In the last 15 years we have travelled to more than 40 countries. With our mountain bikes or snowboards, in search of the best trails and the most stunning powder runs – for magazines and photo shoots, with professional photographers.
After an avalanche accident while shooting a snowboard video in 1999, former freeride pro Holger Feist came up with the idea of a backpack with integrated back protector. The incident did not involve burial and did not have serious consequences. Holger did, however, injure his back as a result of the avalanche shovel in his backpack when he crashed in a couloir.
The concept of a back protector also seemed to make sense for mountain biking, particularly as the ergonomics of the bike packs at the time left much to be desired. “Like a football on your back!” is how Holger summarised it in 2000 after a three-week bike expedition through Tibet, to Mount Everest Base Camp.
So we started to tinker, sew and experiment, until the first functioning backpack prototype was finally initiated in 2003, on the trails of La Paz. But an entirely different problem emerged in Bolivia, one for which a sensible solution was not yet available on the market: the bike that had been carefully packed in a box, came off the baggage carousel at La Paz airport in tattered packaging and in all its individual parts. Fortunately everything was still there, but this was obviously a reason for developing a sophisticated bike travel bag, as well. Right from the start, the focus was on maximum functionality and quality so as to ensure that worrying about gear was going to be a thing of the past once and for all.
Both products were initially produced only for our own travels and for friends who requested them. Until one day, we had a phone call from a friend and long-term travel companion, Bernd Stucke from Hong Kong. He had taken his bike for a service at the legendary “Flying Ball” bike shop in one of the very first bike bags. Bike mastermind and shop owner Mr Lee was so impressed by this bike travel bag that he immediately ordered 50 bags. And that was to be our first “real” customer. So in 2008 we founded the EVOC brand.
Vietnam Velocity Bikepacking
It’s mid-December when my phone rings and Marketing Manager Jan Sallawitz asks if I would like to travel to Vietnam in January for a photo shoot of the new EVOC CC. I’m speechless. Me, in Vietnam, as a model? But then again, opportunities like this don’t come along often! I agree spontaneously, without knowing what to expect...
TRAIL EXPLORING IN LIGURIA
Now, is that good or bad? The clouds have meanwhile become so thick that I can no longer see how far the drop right next to me is. Well, it’s definitely deep enough not to hear the rock I’ve just dislodged hitting the ground at the bottom. The trail which has been carved into the rock face is just about wide enough for me and my bike, and thank goodness for the steel rope that seems to be firmly anchored in the rock, but which disappears further ahead in the thick fog...