Embracing the Chill: Why Tobias Woggon loves riding in icy climates

From landscape gardening to riding in the Enduro World Series, Tobi Woggon has worn many hats. These days you’ll find him exploring the world, bringing places to life through his riding and telling stories about his experiences in the saddle.  

From the sunny island of La Palma to the icy landscapes of Greenland, Tobi is always up for an adventure. Recently we chatted to him about how he got hooked on mountain biking, what he loves most about riding in winter climates, and how he made the most of exploring locally in 2020.

Hike-a-bike in Kamtachatkar, Russia

So Tobi, what’s your MTB story? How did you start, why do you love it?

I’ve always ridden bikes. Even as a small child I once fell asleep in the child seat clutching my bike. I really got into mountain biking through friends who hung out every weekend on the illegally built trails [near my home in Cologne]. They started taking me along with them, and bam! I was a mountain biker.

With his identity as a mountain biker cemented in his own mind, Tobi soon found his passion for turns evolving into a love for discovering new places. After studying landscape gardening he made it a priority to travel, working stints as a mountain bike guide, and getting brand sponsorship to ride in the Enduro World Season which took him to destinations like Whistler, Canada. Along the way he discovered other awesome places, some of which he returns to again and again. One such place is Scotland, so naturally, we asked him about it:

In the past, you’ve spoken about your multiple return trips to Scotland. Can you tell us about your love affair with the country? How did you “discover” it and what keeps you going back?

Scotland combines good trails with the unpredictability of the weather. There are few places where I feel as free as in the vastness of the Scottish Highlands. And there are so many epic trails that komoot really helps me to find!

Scotland isn’t the only chilly northern country where you’ve ridden… you’ve also spent some time in snowy Greenland! Can you tell us a bit about riding in the Arctic Circle?!

When you leave the known bike regions and go in search of new trails, it’s usually the surroundings and the journey itself that make the adventure so special. Rarely do you expect to find the best trails in Greenland, Kamtachatkar [in eastern Russia] or the Faroe Islands, but the trips are indescribable.

There is a theme here of wild places with wintery conditions… what is your attraction to these places (and these conditions)?!

What fascinates me about the Nordic countries and their conditions is that no matter how well you plan, you end up being so dependent on nature. I also love the moment after a rainstorm when the sun comes out.

Tobias riding in the Faroe Islands

Not everyone is going to head to the Arctic to get their MTB-fix so for those wanting to explore a little closer to home, what make’s komoot a great tool for fellow mountain bikers?

The real adventure starts when you leave the worn out tracks and get to regions where there are fewer signposted trails. Komoot lets me go there and find trails where I would otherwise be afraid of getting lost.

Speaking of staying closer to home, 2020 forced all of us to stay local, but it sounds like you had a pretty good year of adventures nonetheless. What were some of your favorite MTB adventures from the past 12 months or so, and what made them so special?

Due to the special circumstances, this year I had to postpone or cancel some trips. This gave me the opportunity to explore more of Germany, including the region I live in. For example, in the summer I traveled around the south of Germany with my gravel bike, and crossed the Tyrolean Alps from east to west by MTB. I certainly wouldn’t have done these rides in a normal year.

We’re glad Tobias was able to make the most of 2020, and we hope you were too! You can check out Tobias Woggon’s adventures on his komoot profile.