The Story of our Pushbikers Community
and the Social Rides.
When an “event” is “fully booked” after one hour, then you know: everything was done right. A phenomenon that we have been able to experience weekly with the Pushbikers & Friends Rides since May. Every Thursday evening, more than 50 cycling enthusiasts meet at the Pushbikers shop to achieve one goal in four groups with different route lengths: a really good time together on the road bike!
From five to fifty
“The stays in Australia were a formative experience for me,” says Christian Grasmann, his eyes lighting up. “Not only because of the races and successes our team was able to achieve there, but because of a feeling or experience I had there in the very early hours of the morning. “Bunch Ride”, i.e. the group ride. At six in the morning, a large group of cycling fanatics met in Bendigo to ride together, including (budding) professionals, ambitious club riders and older gentlemen. The goal was relatively clear: roll together and exchange ideas, but also: destroy each other in the mountain sprint on Mount Alexander”.
Christian took some of this spirit with him to Holzkirchen, where he had already been part of various training groups as a young rider. “The principle was not new in itself, but it just interested me to understand cycling not only on a professional level, but as a way of life, as an “addiction”.” After the Pushbikers shop opened in 2019, Maximilian Kirmeier, who worked as the Pushbikers shop manager, found a like-minded person. So it all started quite irregularly, in the beginning there were two or three friends who would gather loosely in the evening in front of the shop and start cycling. Supplemented by regional riders from the Pushbikers Pro Team, employees and bit by bit also customers who gladly accepted this opportunity. Until Corona thwarted the project.
“Then last year we had another go and people were really into it straight away.” Tom Schwarz picked up the project again in 2022, dug in and invested his time in the development of the Pushbikers Community. “The combination of cycling together and then sitting around the fire with a drink, the mix of the group from professionals to beginners, that’s what makes the community,” he says. And there is also a little bit of pride in his voice.
Getting to terms
Clack, clack, clack. The whirring of wheels and the clicking off of cycling shoes echo across the square in front of the Pushbikers shop. More and more people show up on their bikes, you hear voices, laughter, the shop door opens and closes. From 5:30 p.m. you know right away: it’s that time again! Pushbikers and Friends Ride. The bikes are hung with the saddle on the old balance beam in front of the workshop, deck chairs are ready, on some evenings a food station from Powerbar is already waiting for the community or Tom and his guides have come up with something else. “Thursdays at 6 p.m. are like a family reunion: you look forward to seeing every face, every participant and every kilometre collected during the following two hours,” says Alexandra, who has been involved since the beginning. “I especially like sitting together and feeling connected through sport. It doesn’t matter how good you are or how fast you can go, it just matters that you’re there.”
The weekly groups are called Easy, Medium and Pro-Ride. Between 40 and 75 kilometres, from relaxed pace to fast and accomplished riding. Setting off together, arriving together. With one guide per group who accompanies all participants in the evening and is the contact person. Before we start, there is always a short speech, the groups form up and leave the farm in staggered groups. But the nice thing this year is that although the groups have different requirements, they ride roughly the same routes and arrive back at the Pushbikers shop as close to the same time as possible. In this way, we create the opportunity for everyone to talk to each other even after the rides and for friendships to develop beyond the group divisions. At regular intervals during and after the rides there are also fixed “programme points” within the Pushbikers Network, such as the Coffee Stop at Merchant & Friends, testing AG1 products or tips and tricks from our Team Nutritionist Simon Barr. With us most evenings: our fast photographer on the racing bike, Helge, who captures the best moments for all participants. To round off the evening by the fire, we put on a little highlight with our community beer “Edel Hellfer” from the Holzkirchner Brauerei Sappl.
The mood meanwhile.
And the endorphins afterwards."
The course for 2023 was set early: work was already underway in the winter to build up the history of the social rides sustainably and successfully. For this, it was necessary to give the idea a structure. We have eight road captains for the community rides whose job it is to guide the groups as well and safely as possible. The correct behaviour in traffic, hand signals and emergency help, jerseys 2023 for the community and the search for a registration platform that allows us to better coordinate our rides without losing the personal and casual character of the evenings. There were numerous meetings, which involved a lot of time and energy from Tom, Anna, Alexandra, Alois, Helge, Johannes, Julian and Patrick. Plus: regular meetings with Maloja boss Peter Räuber and his staff Michi, Andy and Annette, who support the overall planning and goals of the Pushbikers Community and equip our Road Captains.
The view has long since moved on to the future. The Pushbikers community will continue to be exciting in the coming autumn and winter. We would like to invite you to lectures and theme evenings again, go to L`Osteria for a pizza together and take the shared experiences further. We’ll swap the road bike for cross-country skis, meet in the snow or ride the Wahoo roller. Because in the end, and in the meantime, so much more connects!