What inspired you to start cycling?
I guess my father is the most important person, who inspired me to start cycling. He was cycling a lot on his road bike, when I was a young kid. I’m originally from Cologne, Germany, which is close to the Dutch and Belgian border, so we went to both countries a lot to watch all the spring classics and in summer we went to France to see the pros at the Tour de France. In the age of seven I had my first little road bike and in the age of eleven I started at my first race.
Tell us a little about the cycling culture in Germany:
When I was a kid Jan Ullrich was the first German to win the Tour de France. People in Germany went crazy, Everybody was talking about cycling and riding bikes. In the following years the media was mostly talking about doping in cycling. So it became very unpopular. In Germany cycling is one of these small types of sports, which becomes popular, if a nation is successful and otherwise nobody really cares. Luckily cycling is not just about performance and professionals. In general cycling is growing in Germany. Many people care about the environment and their own body, so they commute, they cycle to get in shape and they cycle to enjoy the landscape. It’s great to see, especially in cities, that people sell their cars, because you can get everywhere by bike.
What is unique about cycling in your country?
People cycle, because they really like it. They like to get in shape, to get outside and enjoy the landscape and to do sports in their leisure time. In Germany sustainable thoughts are growing rapidly. People try to be more and more aware about fair trade, ecological transport and green politics. Therefore in many German cities you see people with cargo bikes doing their groceries, instead of going by car.
What do you recommend to a cyclist who is going to Germany?
Of course I could say cycle in the Alps, but then you should go to Italy, Austria or Switzerland… I like the small mountains all over Germany. The Erzgebirge close to Dresden is amazing or the Eifel close to Cologne. If you’re in Hamburg you should visit Suicycle. It’s a fixed gear shop in the middle of St. Pauli. Pretty unique! Visiting the Canyon Showroom in Koblenz is also special. It's a mixture of a spaceship and a museum.
What is it like working/racing with RAD RACE?
My passion was always cycling. As a kid I was racing and wanted to become a pro. It didn’t work out an I started to study and work. But I didn’t really like to just work for no other reason than earning money. Therefore I quit my job and travelled with my fixed gear 7 months through Asia. I visited plenty of bike shops, met so many cyclists and started at nearly 10 races. When I came back I didn’t want to go back to my old job. RAD RACE gave me the opportunity to not just being part of the team RAD PACK, but to become a part of the company. My job is to manage several social media accounts, especially STRAVA, for different customers, we organize different sport events, beside the RAD RACE events and furthermore I’m managing the team.
So, RAD RACE gave me the chance to combine my passion with my profession.
Best cycling moment so far?
Wow, that’s super difficult. I guess winning HolyCrit in Malaysia was one of them. HolyCrit was an illegal fixed gear race organized by two friends in Singapore. Unfortunately police caught them and they were facing a lawsuit with high penalties. 2 years of jail, 10 whiplashes and more than 30.000$ fine. In the meantime they continued organizing races in Malaysia. It was great to see that they followed their passion, no matter if the legislation in Singapore wanted to stop them. I was honored to win the race and to meet the guys a few more times in Singapore.
Btw, one year later the lawsuit was over and luckily they just had to go to jail for two weeks, the whiplashes were off the table and the fine much lower…
What do you love about cycling culture?
I love that cycling brings people together. I went to Thailand without knowing anybody and without knowing where to go after one week. I’ve meet so many people who showed me around and who recommended me to friends in different countries. In these seven months I’ve been in 9 countries and have seen places where I would have never been as an ordinary tourist.
Is there anything you’d like to see improve in the cycling community?
Cycling is expensive. You have to buy a bike, a helmet, shoes, clothing, tons of accessories… People compare that a lot and judge people, because of their equipment and how they look on their bike. I really don’t like that. Unfortunately too many cyclists think about that too much, instead of sharing their passion - the love of cycling.
So I guess we all can relax a little bit more ;-)
Explore the world on my bike.
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