Observing the world of renewable energy and sustainable living

Stoepranden and Peak Oil

‘Stoepranden’ contest in the Dutch town of Dordrecht, 2013

First Dutch national stoepranden championship 2012 Dordrecht

When we were young in the sixties, one of the most favorite pasttimes in the Netherlands was ‘stoepranden‘ or ‘stoeprandje butsen‘ (curbstone bouncing) as it was called in our town. The idea was that two contestants with a ball were standing on the opposite sides of the street, equipped with two stoops and that they would aim the ball precisely at the edge of the stoop, to make it bounce back. Making the ball return at least over the middle of the road was enough for one point, catching the ball before it would touch the ground were two points. We must have scored tens of thousands of stoepranden points in our lives.

Den Helder, sixties

Den Helder, sixties.

Rooswijk, sixties.

Rosmalen, 1962.

Tilburg. Average Dutch street in 2015 with parking spaces, replacing traditional curbstones. No game of stoepranden possible.

From the pictures above it is clear what happened to the game of stoepranden: died a slow death due to the rise of mass car ownership, beginning in the sixties. In the sixties there were lots of children in streets and few cars, the ideal conditions for stoepranden to thrive. Today it is the other way around: streets inhabited by DINKYs (dual income, no kids) and two cars, meaning: goodbye to stoepranden.

However, if ASPO president Kjell Aleklett is right, peak oil is immanent. The prices of diesel and petrol are rising again and Peak Car and Peak Traffic Jam are already behind us. And although we are reasonable confident that there is still enough alternative fossil fuel around to set up a renewable energy base, the assault against the conventional five-passenger car could be intense the coming years, due to financial collapse and rapidly increasing fuel prices. When additionally the 1968-value system of easy divorce & feminism could be smashed questioned, who knows, the Golden Age of stoepranden could return.

Hope for the future: Dutch towns, majority inhabited by Dutch people with no cars… and stoepranden in fine shape… and enough Dutch children around to play the game.

[] – stoepranden


First Dutch stoepranden champion 2012: Iseline Visser


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