Finding the limit
WHEN THE WORLD CHAMPION INVITES YOU TO E-BIKING IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC
Tobi Woggon and Tomas Slavik - two adventurers among themselves. This summer, the two packed up their friend Oli Sonntag, grabbed three GHOST E-Riots and headed off into the forests of the Czech Republic. For 3 days they explored tons of trails full of power and experienced non-stop action. What remains? Many memories of an incredible weekend and the realization that e-bikes are actually quite cool.
By Tobias Woggon
Two years ago, when I was traveling in Iceland with Tomas Slavik, he introduced me to his hobby—fly fishing. Since then, we’ve talked several times about meeting up in his home country for a spot of biking and fishing. Tomas lives close to the German border, on the Czech side. He’s a big fan of his homeland, and has often described how beautiful the landscape is there. So we’ve spent ages trying to find a time when neither Tomas nor myself was traveling around the world, so we could spend a few days relaxing together in Czechia—and we finally found a weekend this summer we were both free.
For even more laughs, I took my friend Oli Sonntag along—he can squeeze more fun out of any trail. So with brand-new GHOST E-Riots in the back of my old Land Rover, we set off for Tomas’s. If Tomas really wants to show us as much as he says, and we want to have some time for fishing as well, we’re going to need to pack some power—and nothing’s better at that than a good e-bike!
So the deal was:
3 pro bikers
3 days of hitting the Czech trails
On the road to Czechia with Oliver Sonntag
Load up the e-bikes, pick up Oli, drive to Tomas’s. I love this kind of adventure.
In the past, when I was competing in championships, I never really had the chance to see the landscape and the countries I was in. That’s why I decided one day to head off by myself. I packed up my bikes and a camera. Deciding for myself where to go and how much time to spend in one place makes me super happy and has given me a completely different connection to cycling.
Perhaps that’s why Oli and I talk so much on the journey to Czechia. It’s not just a shared passion for biking that we have in common, it’s our personal histories too. Going from amateur rider to pro-rider, to “escaping” from regular jobs to focus our lives more on biking, doing more of what we enjoy.
Oli runs a mountain bike school, I give lots of talks about my life traveling with my bike, what I’ve learned from it, and the experiences that have moved me forward. Besides racing, Tomas adds even more of a bike vibe to his everyday life by organizing his own successful mountain bike events.
All in all, we’re already agreed during the outward journey: whatever Tomas has in store for us, the weekend is bound to be great.
Oliver SonntagFounder of the Sundayrides MTB school in Bamberg
Tomas SlavikFounder of the JBC 4X Revelations event in Czechia
Tobias WoggonFormer Enduro World Series rider, speaker
A weekend on e-bikes
After a weekend on e-bikes, I can definitely say: we packed some power. Not just the boys—I was always pretty sure they’d spend the three days putting the hammer down—but the E-Riot Trail Pros too.
To begin with, we went easy on our new rides. But it soon became clear the bikes didn’t need any mollycoddling from us. Given all three of us usually go out riding without a motor more often than with, we had a lot of mind-blowing moments. You could often hear us saying things like “I never thought I’d make it up that hill!” or “I’d have never managed that without the motor!” Words like that coming from the mouth of a world champion, now that says something
“I feel like there are no limits to what I can do this weekend. Like no trail could beat me!” Oli quipped at one point, adding: “Of course it’s tiring. But it’s a different sort of tiring. For me, the biggest driver to riding hard is the long battery life. You want us to test how long it holds out? Come on then, let’s find out!” And off he sped.
What can I add? The guys gave it absolutely everything. But in the end, the limiting factor wasn’t the exhausted battery on the bike, but our own drained batteries.
After a beer or two, lots of laughter, and with smiling faces, we went our separate ways and set off for home. What a ride—three pro bikers meeting up with their new toys like kids at summer camp: Three days of non-stop action.
Thanks, guys, it was a blast. Czechia, E-Riot, and GHOST: It’s been my privilege!
Text: Tobi Woggon
Photos: Andreas Dobslaff, the Attention Builders