The Eleven City Ice skating-tour
The founder of the Eleven City Skating-tour is without doubt Pim Mulier (3/10/1865-4/12/1954). He completed his first Eleven City Skating-tour in december 1890. He rode the tour in 12 hours and 55 minutes. That was a very good time, at these days. The time wasn't an official time, because the first Eleven City Skating-tour was rode in 1909. Mulier launched the idea to organise an Eleven City Skating-tour. He asked the Frisian Ice Federation to take the lead. In this way we ended up by another important person, namely S.H. Hylkema. He was the chairman of the Frisian Ice Federation. He accepted the invitation. Some members of the committee thought it wasn't the task of the Ice Federation to organise a Eleven City Skating-tour.
A few years later. The chiefs of area became importanter, because they take much more responsebilities. One of the most famous chiefs of area is Sjirk Velstra. He is the chief of area of Bartlehiem. This is a special place, because you pass Bartlehiem twice. Velstra was born in 1924. He got his first official job in 1954. He was appointed as inspector of the Iceway-switch-board. His job was to maintain the ice at some places. For the first time Velstra was active in the Eleven City Skating-tour in 1956. He was an assistent around Bartlehiem. At present his field of activity comprise the 16,5 km long route between Oudekerk and the Kanterland-bridge in Giekerk. Why is Velstra so important? He makes his area, time after time, free of holes in the ice. In 1996 (though the tour didn't take place) he fixed to stop 15 holes in the ice. He did that by means of Dutch famous Ice-transplantations.
Last but not least, Henk Kroes. The former Ice-master succeeds J.S. Sipkema in December 1994. This brilliant man changed the slogan 'It sil heve', used to announce that the tour would go on, into 'It giet oan'. This is a good moment to write down an anecdote: Henk Kroes would give the last stamp himself to the last skater. When the last entrant arrived, he turned out to be a fare-dodger. Kroes reacted laconically. He said: "Oh, in that case you're the last official fare-dodger."