THE WORLD'S FIRST eBIKE LONG DISTANCE TRAVELLER
At the age of 21, he embarked on his first round-the-world trip, which took about three years. He got by along the way by doing casual work. And eventually the time came for him to choose: normal life or adventure? He chose the latter and became "a professional adventurer". We are talking about Maximilian Semsch, who was the first to discover eBikes for long distances.
He planned his first tour from Munich to Singapore and wanted to make a movie about it. By himself. At the end of the trip, Maximilian had collected 80 hours of video material. The film was finished seven months later. It aired at a total of six international film festivals and won three awards.
He came across eBikes while searching for a new tour. "The main subjects over the past years within the bicycle industry have been electric mobility, eBikes, pedelecs. Everyone was talking about them, but no one had tried them until then." He developed the idea of embarking on the first real eBike long-distance journey in order to test the technology in terms of its resilience, among other things. And he soon raised the standard to the right level. His aim: travelling around the Australian continent on an eBike.
It kicked off on New Year’s Day 2012. The tour began in front of the Sydney Opera House. This time, he was joined by his partner and a cameraman to record even better footage. What followed was a tour through extreme heat and loose, dusty terrain. Loaded with 30kg of luggage along endless streets and with lorry drivers who had no idea how to react to cyclists. Always present: the persistent headwind. As they reached the half-way mark on their tour, Max and his companions discovered that they were travelling the wrong way around the continent. No matter how they continued, the wind would always come towards them. But turning around wasn’t an option.
The small team reached their starting point in Sydney 187 days later, despite all challenges. At 16,047 kilometres, the 'Around Oz' tour was the first, and so far, longest tour in the history of eBikes. The Munich native brought home over 35,000 photos and more than 400 hours of video material, which he published for his interviews, DVDs and Blu-rays as 'What a Trip – Around Oz'.
Up to now, Maximilian Semsch has travelled through over 30 countries on his bike and cycled about 60,000km. However, he never explored his own country. But this was about to change because the biggest adventures often begin right before your doorstep.
On his 7,500km long trip, Semsch visited all 16 Federal States in about four months. He started off in Bavaria, then travelled through the new Federal States of Thuringia, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Of course, he also went to Germany's capital Berlin. Afterwards, he rode through Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg and Lower Saxony. From there he went through North Rhine-Westphalia, Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland. Finally, he went to Baden-Wuerttemberg and back to Munich.
Germany features about 75,000km of bike paths. Hence it is possible to travel the whole country by bike without using high streets. "I only cycled through very far and exotic countries. At some point, I realized that I never saw much of my home country, except for Autobahn and gas stations even though Germany has one of the best infrasructures for cyclists. This is why thought: Why not explore my unknown home.", Max explained.
During his journey, Semsch was regularly joined by riders from different regions who showed their native region to him. He met over 200 diverse people, from a religion teacher over a vet to the ski legend Jens Weißflog who travelled through his home with Semsch, the Ore mountain area.
Adventure for Semsch means to discover, travelling with open eyes and be curious, for which you do not have to travel to the other side of the world. Our own country is full of extraordinary people, spectacular landscapes, nearly forgotten customs and exciting stories. There is no better way to explore all of this than a relaxed journey with your bike. Semsch‘s summary of his trip: "Germany, for me, was one of the most diverse and interesting countries I have travelled so far. I was totally surprised how many beautiful areas there are right in front of my doorstep."