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Interview with Christoph Hartmann

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Christoph Hartmann is one of the founders of Pasculli Radmanufaktur. His enthusiasm for cycling is huge. It has always been his dream to share his love for cycling and beautiful bicycles with other people.

We have met Christoph a while ago to talk about his favourite bike tours in Berlin and Brandenburg. Also, he gave us some insight about his essential bike equipment. There is the “ONE” thing which he always carries in his back pockets…

How did you and Maik Kresse came across the idea to start a bike brand?

Christoph: “Cycling is my passion. I discovered my enthusiasm for cycling at an early age. In 2005, when we were in Italy, we discussed the developments of bicycle frame designs. It was obvious that many brands had reduced sizes to only S-XXL. However, every person is different, especially when it comes to the topic of body measurements. So, we wanted to make the difference and wanted to continue offering individual, unique and perfectly sized dream bike.

Christoph is oboist at the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. He started to play the oboe at the age of 13. from the first day, he was just fascinated and had found his first love. Thus, it is probably not such a big surprise that the name Pasculli has a connection to classical music. The brand is named after the Italian oboist Antonio Pasculli.

With the foundation of Radmanufaktur Pasculli, a dream has become true. For me personally, it is pure joy to see the name of one of the greatest oboists on my bikes.

Which is your favourite bike?

Christoph: “Of course my favorite bike is a Pasculli. I used to be a road cyclists, but last year, I have discovered the beauty and fund of gravel riding. Maik and me, we love the quiet roads in Brandenburg and it’s always a little adventure to try new routes. So currently, my  favourite bike is a Pasculli Angelone. This Angelone has originally been built for my father, according to his personal wishes for multi-day bike tours. One of his highlights was the tour trough Israel. My father and I we are the same size and almost exactly have the same body measurements. When he  stopped riding,  he gave the bike to me. With some slight changes I had found my favourite gravel bike.”

For road cycling, Christoph also owns a Pasculli Altissimo with which he enjoys to climb the mountains in the Italian Apenines.

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Is there a "must-see" or "must-do" bike tour you recommend in Berlin and Brandenburg?

Although, there are no mountains in Berlin and Brandenburg, Christoph says that it is an incredible area for all kinds of bike rides. He himself rides a lot in the south and west of Berlin and then going to Brandenburg.

Christoph: “The Grunewald and Wannsee area is the absolute must-see in the south-west of Berlin. No matter which bike you ride, you will always find a nice tour, like the famous Havel-Chaussee for Road Riding. If you want to do a beautiful gravel tour in Brandenburg, I like going out to Großbeeren and the direction to the new airport. Just follow your “flow” and enjoy the scenery.”

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What have you got in your back pockets, when you go for a bike ride?

My old friend and "cycling legend" Peter Kinzel, taught me from the very beginning that the most important thing to take with you - no matter what - is a rain jacket! I always fold my rain jacket in a certain way - first I fold it lengthwise and then roll it up from the bottom to the top.

Christoph: “When I go on a bike ride, I have a few things with me. In addition to a spare tube, pump and a mini tool. Of course, I always have enough water and some bars with me. And then, there is one more very important item. My old friend and cycling legend Peter Kinzel, taught me from the very beginning that the most important thing is a rain jacket. Since then, the rain jacket is my faithful companion on every ride. I have been in several situation when I just thought: “Thank you, Peter!”, as the jacked has been a kind of life saver. When it started to rain,  I put on my rain jacket.  When I got cold during a coffee stop, I put on my rain jacket. When I am in the mountain and have a down-hill in front of me, I put on a rain jacket.”

If you take a rain jacket with you, according to Christoph, the way it is folded is very important.

Christoph: “I always fold my rain jacket in a certain way – first I fold it lengthwise and then roll it up from the bottom to the top. I put this roll in my back pocket from my jersey, so it’s always ready to use. I grab it by the collar, shake it gently, and it’s ready to go.”

What do playing the oboe and cycling have in common?

Christoph: “Fortunately nothing at all – no kidding – on closer inspection my two passions have a balancing effect. Of course, the endurance from cycling helps me play the oboe, and the breathing exercises from playing the oboe in turn help me ride my bike.
Cycling is my hobby and on the bike I can just relax my mind. Long bike rides are not just a pure workouts and about being “fit”. I enjoy the nature, the silence, the landscape and just let my mind wander.

I feel that bike rides, especially gravel tours are like short holidays. It is fantastic to explore the area around Berlin, to arrive at home with a lot of new impression, but also with the feeling to have worked out properly. I might be physically exhausted, but I just feel happy and most of the time hungry. So after bike rides, I like a nice plate of pasta with a big salat and a beer or a glas of wine.”