We are very pleased to welcome Wiebke Lühmann as a new member of the Project Horizon team. Wiebke is a passionate triathlete and loves adventures on the bike. She deals with many exciting topics related to these areas that go far beyond just doing sports. In the following section she introduces herself and explains what moves her.
Who am I?
I'm Wiebke, I'm 26 years old and I love bikepacking and triathlon. I live in Konstanz on Lake Constance, I'm studying business education for a master's degree, I do classic club sports, I'm part of the Konstanz triathlon team for the Baden-Württemberg League and at the same time I'm an adventurer. For me, the balance between a structured training plan and spontaneous bikepacking trips is very valuable. In Constance I have found a place where I can experience both.
What am I doing?
I prefer to ride my bike myself: either on a gravel bike or on a racing bike. Sometimes long, sometimes short. Sometimes fast, sometimes without hectic. When I'm not driving myself, I talk a lot about cycling. I share my passion on my private Instagram channel @wiebkelueh . But the topic also often comes up in close contact with friends, acquaintances, family members and roommates. The more I drive, the more I love it. And the more I talk about it, the more I realize how many topics there are that are absolutely worth talking about. Either because they are beautiful and I want to share them with everyone, or because they are talked about way too little and I feel like talking about them can help overcome them. This led me to the decision to become part of the newly formed collective The Women All Ride. Passing on knowledge, networking and mutual encouragement has become an important part of me and my path.
Why am I doing it?
For me, cycling is the most obvious realization that I can get really far on my own. And the more I realize this self-efficacy, the more closely I work with my body, the more I push my limits, the freer I can feel. And that's good for me. This not only makes me more independent and self-confident, but also allows me to give something back to others.
I am very privileged to have this experience and to be able to talk about it. I enjoy sharing my stories and have learned that we are in constant process. We grow, learn and change every day. I am convinced that we can influence our lives through our actions, our thoughts and our compassion and that motivates me enormously.
What am I committed to and what do I want to stand for?
Cycling is empowerment. You empower yourself. It is the symbiosis between physical and mental strength, endurance, nature experience and self-awareness. I want to share all of that. I am convinced that with the right role models (i.e. with real people with whom you, or especially women, can identify), the right environment and a pinch of courage, you can achieve anything. But I don't just want to inspire and motivate others, I also want to initiate complex topics and get into an exchange about them.
Wiebke's bikepacking adventure
In April, Wiebke went on a bikepacking weekend from Constance to Allgäu and back. Here you can read what she experienced on her adventure:
From the lake to the mountains
In everyday life I sometimes don't even notice how time flies. Get up, drink coffee, work, eat, more coffee, keep working, workout, eat, phone, sleep. Lockdown days are often very monotonous. And boom, it's mid-April again. What happens to the many hours?
i love sunsets And independence. Even if this everyday routine creeps in again and again, which is somehow normal, I love to break out and get away for a short time. Leaving the usual structures, challenging my body, breathing as much fresh air as possible and clearing my head at the same time. That is also my goal on this tour.
This is how I motivate myself to go out again and again – and preferably alone – and change horizons. The bike is my best companion. I cover long distances, can transport enough luggage and am not dependent on anyone. Only on myself. The decisions of where I sleep, what I eat or how far I drive are up to me. I enjoy discovering new places and finding my rhythm. Whether in the forest, on bike paths or through rural villages, in a few moments I gather numerous new impressions. Every minute is different. Every minute I'm awake and in the moment. Although my legs get tired, my batteries recharge in the process. For me, it's not about traveling far at the moment. It's more about breaking out and taking a deep breath. Even if packing is sometimes very exhausting at the beginning and there are many small and large to-dos that I have to think about, I pull myself together to leave my comfort zone. It's the weekend escapes, the micro-adventures or overnighters that appeal to me.
From Lake Constance to the Allgäu
3 days | 2 nights | 292 kilometers | 3888 meters of altitude
From Constance I take the ferry to Meersburg, on the other side of the lake. The Alps can be seen in the distance from the lake. They are somewhat obscured by the fog. According to the weather forecast, temperatures should be between -5 and 15 degrees in the next few days. I have everything with me, from long merino jersey, overshoes and thick socks to a short jersey.
After the first 20 kilometers at the lake, I immediately take my first break. I started late and it's already lunchtime. I get a muffin from the bakery, which I eat right at the port. A man speaks to me and asks where we are going and whether "isn't that dangerous for a woman alone on a bike?". I say I feel safe. The most dangerous thing in Europe, I think, is the traffic on the road - and I'm often spared that on the gravel bike because I'm often in the forest or on dirt roads.
On my bikepacking tour in South America in 2019, I often thought, "I can't choose whether I'm a woman or a man" when I was asked this question. However, this answer is usually not satisfactory for my counterpart. On the other hand, it is more convincing when I say that when I travel alone, people are much more likely to offer me help. People seem more open and trusting when I'm traveling solo. And I enjoy this feeling of freedom and self-determination when packing my bike.
Shortly after the first meters of altitude and the route that leads away from the lake, I reach the first snow. I still have a good 1000 meters of altitude ahead of me today before I reach my destination for the day, Immenstadt. A few tough climbs make me sweat, but the views over the mountains and the tranquility of the forest are worth it. I stop in the forest, eat the pretzel I brought with me and am satisfied that I am finally on my way. My goal these days is to find my own pace and consciously enjoy the tour.
Day two - from Immenstadt to Haubach near Isny - I just let myself roll. I ride almost 70 kilometers and in between I meet two other bike packers who are coming towards me on their route from Ulm to Munich. We get along well right away and look forward to our adventures together. The track leads me through the snow-covered forests and I enjoy the view over the Illertal. The temperatures are pleasant. In the meantime I have to push because the snow is too deep at over 1000 meters. I don't see a soul for over an hour. I feel like I'm all alone in the forest.
The sun on the third day shines brightly from midday, so that I can take off my arm and leg warmers and feel so energetic that I plan a small detour via Bad Waldsee. At 11:30 a.m. I have a second breakfast and stop for a portion of fries, which I enjoy on a meadow in front of the Zeil Palace. My body clearly tells me what it needs. We are a good team I think. In between, discover the local sights - old linden trees, fountains, streams, old buildings, peasant huts, meadows. I take a lot of impressions with me and even if my legs are very heavy at the end, I feel like I've experienced more than in the last three weeks. After 125 kilometers my longest day is the last of my journey. I reach my front door tired, hungry and completely satisfied.
The film about Wiebke's bikepacking tour to the North Cape
In August 2022, Wiebke went on a cycle tour from Hamburg to the North Cape - she covered 3,500 kilometers in 30 days . A longtime friend accompanied her with her camera. Watch the inspirational film that came out of it here – a film about freedom, self-realization and solo travel :
Are you planning a bikepacking adventure and still need the right equipment? Here you can find the RYZON clothing that Wiebke wore and accompanied on her journey :