My parents got separated when I was 5 years old. My Dad took the responsibility for me and my brother as my parents decided that it is going to be his job to bring up children. In this time he was self-employed as a Dipl. Engineer in IT and helped small and mid-size companies to run their network and server. Due to a long partnership with a customer, who didn't pay in the end, we got poor. A big minus on the bank account forced my dad to bring us to mom's house. This was a dark year and luckily we got back to dad with the help of a German court.
In the end, we had to move again and lived in the north of Germany, where my father didn't find a job, because being a single parent and 50 years old.
No money, no bikes.
So I started working for them as a gardener. Sponsors were the key, that's why I started racing and made advertising for myself. I became a successful racer and finally earned money by riding bikes. Due to the bad luck of my father and the economic situation it brought us to, I decided to study and became an academic.
Now here I am.
Mountainbiking did fascinate me early. Being unstoppable with a bike made me feel free.
A father's friend brought us into mountainbikes. He also was the guy who supported me the most, on my way to a pro rider. It was his garden, I was working for my money. It was his old bikes I bought and it also was him, who introduced me to my first sponsor.
For me, the bike was a tool to connect with other people. In the early days, we already had big groups together to ride every weekend on our home trails.
I started racing as an obligation as well as an important step on becoming a pro rider. First German races, then international races.
When I got invited by friends to visit the beautiful island La Palma of the Canary Islands, I got to know another side of mountainbiking. Two guys who earned their money with bikes, not from being a pro rider, rather more to ride together with other people, having fun on the trails. The job of a guide sounded like a perfect combination of earning money and riding bikes for me. After school, I spent my first whole winter as a guide for Atlantic-Cycling. I never got rid of it again.
They also brought me in contact with a German Bike skills teaching school. Later I combined the guide work with the work as a skills teacher.
Racing is just a synonym of competition. Is it really? For sure it is, but there is more behind. Racing also includes Teamwork, friendship, focused working skills, and the power to follow your goal, even if it is far away.
I mostly enjoyed the friendships and connections I`ve made on the racing circuit. But also, the feeling of working with a track is an experience I don't want to miss anymore. You start riding with respect, trying new lines, exploring some shortcuts and fast lines, struggling on some hard parts, but in the end, you always know every single part of the track before you start into your race run.
I have been constantly up with the top guys in national racing. I have made some good results in European cups, and I made it to the top 30 in the world cup. Why should I stop now? There is more to reach.
True, but in the End, you are following your own way of success and happiness. And for me, the time has come to work out of different perspectives in racing.
For 2019 there will appear a lot more great content on my Youtube Channel. Also, I am doing a Podcast about the Bike Industry together with my friend Tobias Woggon.
I will moderate the german downhill races on-site as well as writing reports for MTB-News.de.
The social media accounts of "Merchant and Friends" and "Newmen" will be built up by me.
And hopefully, if you have read until here, we might make a project together!