Many things get neglected in the stress of everyday life . One of these things is family members. We normally only manage to exchange superficial pleasantries or philosophize about what’s happening in the world when we meet during birthdays and public holidays. But what’s really behind the person who is actually so close to us? We set out to attend a very special family gathering.

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It is an important evening: today the 82-year-old retiree Wilhelm Fischer is receiving a visit from his son Wilhelm junior and grandson Pirmin. Together they want to browse through old photo albums and rekindle old bike memories. Each one has brought his best photos of bikes and mountains.

Granddad keeps his in a heavy old photo album full of black and white prints, Willy has printed off 9 x 13 color photos, and Pirmin strolls casually through the door with an iPad in his hand.
All three have their own very personal views on cycling.

Wilhelm Fischer senior – Born 1932


“For me cycling was simply a way of getting from A to B in those days. Even so, thanks to the improvised equipment it often became a real adventure… One day I wanted to travel from Oberammergau to Garmisch-Partenkirchen to climb a mountain. But my father had turned off my alarm clock and I had overslept. So I jumped on my bike at six in the morning and set off two hours late. I met an acquaintance on the way and together we started the climb. At twelve noon on the dot we were at the summit of the highest mountain in Germany, the Zugspitze. Without my bike I would only have got there hours later.”

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Wilhelm Fischer junior – Born 1962


“In 1988 my friends and I headed to Lake Garda twice a month on average, at first for windsurfing. It’s well known that there is hardly any wind there around midday, so we spent a few hours going on bike rides instead. As was bound to happen, sooner or later we started to spend more time on the bike than on the surfboard…. The gear was still basic though: no helmet and a 28 x 28 gear ratio. The only decent thing was my old pair of Oakley Razor Blades, which I still have. Still, we managed to ride trails like the one from Torbole up to the Altissimo and from there to Navene.”

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Pirmin Fischer – Born 1991


“Cycling has always been a part of my life. As a kid I cycled with my parents, then I spent a while being ambitious and doing amateur races, which soon gave way to dirt jumping. I have been exploring the local trails with my trail bike for some time and I am also a test rider for ENDURO now. For me biking means a good time with my friends in the great outdoors.”

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Whether 1946 or 2014, some things haven’t changed over the years. Biking still connects people, expands their horizons, and gives them a feeling of freedom. Over the years having fun on bikes has become the focus more and more, meaning that the bicycle has changed from being just a way of getting around to a modern piece of sports equipment. How the journey will proceed is anybody’s guess.

Modern e-mountain bikes are a foretaste, however. So, as always, we need to be open to new ideas and accept innovations, staying true to the motto: Let the good times roll!


Words & Photos: Christoph Bayer

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