THE MEDITATIVE STATE
In 2021, the number of bicycles in Germany had reached the number of inhabitants. Statistically, every person in Germany has a bicycle at their disposal. Many certainly have none, but others have many. The bicycle has become versatile. The bike is a way to get to work, a shopping aid, a child transporter, a sports equipment. For me, the bike means a lot. A means of transport in everyday life, but also very often a racing machine. Over the years, it has become a center of life, a comfort zone to sit on the bike. I'm not alone in that.
We feel a bit like Pantani when we climb that mountain faster than we thought we could. Even if not all of us are competitive athletes.
We love the feeling of rolling faster and faster on smooth roads with the wind in your back. Even if not all of us race.
We're all proud af when we got over that damn 24% ramp. Even if not all of us wanted to set a new PR.
We all know the feeling when your legs are empty after a long tour and your head is just happy. Even if this tour is different for everyone.
We all somehow know this "meditative state" on the bike. Even if each of us takes a different path to reach it.
Bikes, helmets, clothing and everything you need on the bike have been advertised differently for a long time. What we see seems to be addressed to an elitist minority. To those who, like a tour pro, only pedal up alpine passes out of the saddle without shedding a drop of sweat. Preferably at golden hour in the drops without a facial expression.
I don't know how you ride up your weekly tourmalet, I'm sure it would look a little less easy for me. Of course, like everyone else, I want to feel sporty, fast and powerful. But I know I'm not always like that, and I'm sure you're not either. Still, we've earned our bike, our bibs in the closet, the spilled ISO powder in the kitchen just as much.
If someone feels adressed by the sterile, commercial Pantani without perspiratory glands, I can understand that, as there are certainly many who would like to ride their Tourmalets just like this.
But the reality is more. The reality is sweating, cursing, not feeling like it anymore and still pedaling, stumbling, red traffic lights, coke from the gas station, starvation, an 8th place in the segment and still celebrating yourself because 1273 people were slower beforehand, then almost puke, Let it roll when your legs give up and then you ride into the idyllic sunset anyway, without planning so. It's all part of it, and I'm sure you can think of more facets right now.
This is how I want to advertise cycling.
Both sides have their place. We keep pushing our own limits and win every time we get on the bike. Everyone has the right to feel badass like "Ulle" '97.
And at the same time, we are all just human beings who sometimes suffer and torture ourselves. This perspective also has its place.
What is it all about?
Cycling Jersey + Bibs. The clothes that are more familiar to us than many everyday outfits. The clothes we trust blindly on our adventures.
Dissolve boundaries between media as much as possible. Videos, better short than too long. Minimalist Reels with all the more mood. Photo material for insta-slides, which also contain gifs from Reels / videos.
Elmar, Pia, ? // Road / Gravel
Mara, Anne // Bike-Packing
Chris // Road / Urban
DOs & DON'Ts
Helmet, socks, shoes, glasses and the bike may show many colors. Rings, chains, bring them on. Somewhat matched to Jersey+Bibs of course. But "stealth riders" in all black lycra are boring and fortunately outnumbered.
Show emotions of all kinds, from joy to frustration, effort to relief.
Not every bike tour takes place on the Tourmalet at sunset. Reality also has the fast post-work ride out of the city under cloudy skies. Therefore: The landscape and the weather can also be beautiful. In its natural beauty as it is. Picture-book sunset won't be forced.
Most of us aren't pro athletes - it does not have to look like a 35 km/h average all the time.
Avoid cycling advertising clichés. Emotionless riding in the drops for 30 seconds, for example. Or the classic intros in which you can hear chain and rolling noises recorded in the studio and someone rides fast past the camera coming from the off screen, then the music starts. Cliché. Don't.
Scenes getting rid from the pace elite. Standing at a red traffic light. Stop at the gas station. Stop at the only grocery store in the middle of nowhere. Coughing and gasping after overestimating the duration of the segment.
Celebrate yourself. Clear Do. Even if very few of us are tour professionals, I want to give everyone a stage on which we can feel like Ronaldo at SUIII. Hero shots - standing there in boss mode - posing with understatement. Because each of us deserves it. Not just Ronaldo, not just Pantani. Portraits off bike. Also shows the product well...
Getting close with the camera. Wide angle lens style. No distant observer vibes. Handheld. Shaky in Action. Calm off the bike. Maybe filming with a cell phone and action cam occasionally, so that it sometimes feels like it was being filmed by a companion. No drone. Drone footage does always look nice, but only influencers have one with them when biking. Too sterile, uninvolved observer.