Interview Lukas

1. Who are you and when did you discover cycling?

My name is Lukas Löhr. I discovered cycling when I was 13 – my dad was always a big fan of the Tour de France so naturally, I got into it too! After watching the Tour, I really wanted my own racing bike, and luckily, one appeared under the Christmas tree! I’m the competitive type, so I started racing in local events the very next year…and didn’t stop for the next 11 years! I’ve done a lot less racing in the last two years, but it’s still part of my sporting career. 

2. Why is your VOTEC the perfect bike for you?

Being a roadie, I never really ventured off-road. It was only with the VOTEC VRC that I started to explore the gravel roads and quickly realised that Cologne, especially in the west, offers much better gravel than asphalt roads. The VOTEC allows me to combine my road training with off-road exploration – it’s really a bike I love on all surfaces.

3. Why should people go for a ride with you?

Anyone who’s ridden with me knows that my Strava or Komoot routes can be hell. 😉 

‘I’ve added a few hills’ means that the ride has at least 2500m of elevation gain. If I plan a gravel ride and say “it could be adventurous”, there will most likely be a lot of pushing sections. On the other hand, you’ll laugh a lot riding with me. 

4. Is there one cycling experience that’s shaped you in particular?

Apart from several particularly tough races, the Stuttgart-Stelvio project was particularly inspiring, as I’d never done anything like that before. Last year’s Everesting project also pushed me to my limits and opened the door to ultra-endurance events. 

I don’t think I’ll become a huge fan of those events, but I was excited by the planning and implementation stages as well as the stress of these extremely long ‘races’. Maybe I’ll be persuaded to do an event or two after all! 

5. What’s your perfect weekend?

The perfect weekend combines road and gravel cycling with friends. On Saturday we start with a very hilly ride in the Bergisches Land or Sauerland. On Sundays we head to the gravel roads west of Cologne!

We’ll then celebrate at sunset with non-alcoholic beer. There’s constant banter and if you run out of breath because some moron makes a joke on the steepest part of the climb, even better. We’ll finish the day looking like chipmunks because the sun has baked our jerseys onto our skin!

6. What are your plans for this season? What are you looking forward to and what are you dreading?

This year I’ve set myself the goal of breaking an unofficial world record. Unfortunately, this isn’t yet a done deal, but I still think it’ll push me to my limits. It’s crazy and will be very exciting to see how I approach the whole project. Of course, we’ll film the whole thing again and make a short film about it.

7. What’s been the biggest challenge for you and your bike so far?

Definitely last year’s Everesting project, where I rode up a gravel hill a total of 70 times for the same elevation gain as riding up Mount Everest. 

At the end of the day I’d burnt 10,000 calories, sat in the saddle for 15 hours, could hardly look straight ahead and was just happy to have managed the targeted 8848 metres of altitude in the end. It was extremely demanding and an emotional challenge for me.

8. If you could change one thing about the cycling world, what would it be and why?

I’d immediately overturn the ban on the ‘supertuck’ position and the forearms on the handlebars position. For aerodynamic reasons 😉

9. How can cycling be made more accessible to everyone?

I think that the Covid situation has shown many people how cycling can be a nice addition to everyday life and how it can make us reassess how we get around.

Cycling could become much more accessible to the masses if more consideration was given to the cyclists on our public highways. Then, more people might be tempted to ride in the mountains on nice asphalted roads or cruise along the picturesque riverside roads in the neighbouring village. 

10. If you could just cycle for a year without thinking about money or obligations, what would you do?

I’d probably want to climb all the legendary mountain passes.

11. What do you do when you’re not on the bike?

I tinker with my bike, watch cycling on TV, plan more rides on Strava and Komoot and think about my next cycling challenge.

12. What role do you see yourself playing in the VOTEC ENDEAVOR PROJECT? 

I see myself as a rider with race-specific experience who tries to keep up with our ultra-event riders on the long distances. I also try to keep the team’s spirits up by being a joker! 

I look forward to future challenges, especially any events that are fast rather than long, and will try to support the team as best I can.