Rider Interview - Daniel

Rider Interview - Daniel

An interview with Daniel Gottschalk.

We had a chat with Daniel, about life in general, his passion for riding bikes and talked about his season. He even told us about his superpower.

If a stranger would ask you to describe yourself in one sentence, what would you say?

I am Daniel, a guy who doesn't take himself too seriously. I love my family and love to ride my bike. 

What does bikepacking mean to you?

Adventure means uncertainty for me. Having everything I'll need on my bike, is freedom. It's adventurous because you never know where you're going to sleep at the end of a day. Besides that, it's all about making memories, gaining experience, and meeting new people.  
Additionally, it's the uncertainty about what might happen. Unpredictable problems occur all the time. And you need to find a solution. Guess what, there's always a solution no matter how hopeless the situation might seem. 

What type of bikepacking do you like the most?

Currently, I just own one bike and that's a road bike. That's also my bikepacking machine, I like to have a good mixture of adventure and comfort (never without my sleeping mat). 

How do you train for races and events?

I don't train specifically. What I try to do is ride my bike regularly and nearly daily. But I don't freak out if I can't ride for a day or two. 

How do you handle your time management?

I am working full-time, so it's not easy to squeeze everything in. If the weather is bad I try to do my training on rollers. If it's nice outside I am commuting to work. On weekends I try to ride longer distances. But it's never more than 10 hours a week.

How do you plan your races?

Honestly, I am not planning anything, till now at least. Because of the bags, I have on my bike, I am not stressing about time because I have everything I need with me. I did the NC400 two times so far, it's a fixed route event so I haven't needed to plan a lot. If you do races like Three Peaks Bike Race it's different because of all the planning.
I just try to pack the right things and look after my bike.

What does your preparation look like?

I try to train 5-10 hours per week. To not forget about my base miles, I love to ride with my girlfriend. I prefer to not do too many intervals, but if - I do some stupid time trail races on Zwift. I don't do mental training, I rely on the experiences I gained during some races or projects like the Heavy 24 or Everesting. Instead of having a coach I am relying on my gut feeling.

How did your season go?

It was good and I am happy with it. My preparation went well. To be ready for the season I did a few test rides. Like 500km to the sea, originally I planned riding it nonstop but ended up sleeping 3 hours. The Heavy 24, a 24-hour mountain bike race was also part of my preparation. What I am really proud of, is my win at this year's edition of North Cape 4000. 

Learnings from this season?

Focusing on yourself and riding on your rhythm is super important. Listening to your body and just sleeping a bit more if you feel like shit. These races are super long and taking it a bit easier from time to time doesn't slow you down. 

What are your plans for next year?

There are a few options. What I want to ride for sure is the Race Across France and "Rund um Sachsen", both are bikepacking races. I am still vacillating between Transcontinental and North Cape 4000. It kinda depends on the route and my holidays. 

What's your superpower?

Puh. Big ambition. And having the ability to find the best sleeping spots super fast.

If you want to follow Daniel on his next adventures, follow him on Instagram Daniel's IG.

Daniel during his winning ride of the 2022 edition of North Cape 4000.

Photo Credit: https://www.northcape4000.com/ Matteo Dunchi