Driven by curiosity – the story behind the VOTEC VRC allroad bike
What do curiosity, the desire for inner peace and movement, and a certain weakness for understatement have to do with the creation of the VOTEC VRC? We look into these questions and above all the idea behind the VRC on a tour from Stuttgart through the Black Forest to the Hornisgrinde. And basically this tour will already tell us everything.
But let’s go back to the beginning of this tour. Stephan came to VOTEC as a product manager and thus to Stuttgart. An eventful and creative time. To get inspiration and ideas, Stephan – like so many of us – needs movement, which leads to a certain inner peace and replaces the otherwise always present restlessness. Right from the start, he oriented himself towards the Black Forest. This rural contrast.
At that time still on the main roads, on the classic routes. However, this did not lead to the hoped-for calm. There was still too much going on on these arterial roads, the transfer from Stuttgart to the secluded Black Forest was too long. And so at some point Stephan stood in front of this proverbial crossroads. On the one hand the classic route to the Black Forest, on the other a gentle gravel path. Winding, somehow promising, but also uncertain.
It was and still is curiosity that brought him to gravel. The desire to leave the noise of the city behind as quickly as possible, switch off the background noise and indulge one’s own curiosity – with an uncertain outcome. Over time, the understanding grew of how the network of paths from Stuttgart is connected, how it leads into the Black Forest and where potential lies. It didn’t stop with this one dirt road. Side roads were added, old abandoned farm and forest roads. It’s these small roads with their more direct encounters. Hardly any cars that overtake you too closely with 4-5 times of your speed, but rather tractors, where descents and climbs determine who is faster. Young stokers with old cars and mopeds who are more looking for their James Dean moment than real speed.
After a few trips, the route was finally complete. It ended on the Hornisgrinde. Here Stephan stood in the last sunlight. Looked into the Rhine Valley and the Vosges, and thought about what the perfect bike for this tour would have to look like.
Versatile, with the dynamics of a racing bike, with wide tyres, uncompromising on the road and off the beaten track. At this moment the idea of the VRC, the VOTEC all-road racer, was born.