Thomas Weyand

Name: Thomas "TW" Weyand

Residence: Nunkirchen, Saarland

Sponsors: Platzangst, Bio-Circle

Main discipline: Gravel

Instagram: Work in progress

Tell us about yourself, who are you and what makes you unique?
Hi, I'm Thomas, known as "TW," living in Saarland, married, and father of 2 teenagers. Sports have been on my agenda since my first steps. I've tried and engaged in many sports: football, tennis, badminton, running, MTB, skiing, snowboarding, golf, and now gravel biking. As you can see, all sports that require a solid surface under the feet or wheels, water is not my element. In my younger years, sports involved a lot of movement and energy, but with age, I've slowed down a bit. I still engage in most of them, but not with the zeal of 30 years ago. Gravel biking, on the other hand, is something I can do until old age, with plenty of paths and accommodations available.

Why do you love Graveling?
This question is very easy to answer: it completely decelerates me. You are alone with yourself and the bike in nature, able to stay wherever you want, ride for as long as you want, go wherever you want. Everything around you is either just for you or not for you at all. Even if you're not alone on the road, you can make all these decisions for yourself, but you don't have to. So, another freedom that comes with graveling, and it's free, *grins.

What is your best GRAVEL experience so far?
A spontaneous ride from Saarland to Bozen, with my 2006 Stumpjumper and a friend. When you see the Alps on the horizon for the first time, struggle up the Fern Pass over the old Via Claudia Augusta at night, cross the Similaun, see the Vernagtsee below you in deep green, reach the cycle path along the Etsch after the long descent through the Schnalztal, and leisurely roll into Bozen, such experiences are etched into your mind. And you want to have them again and again.

What are you most proud of in your GRAVEL career so far?
I never believed you could cycle 375 km in one go until I tried it myself. And I think it would have gone further if the meeting point with my friends hadn't been reached after 375 km.

A tip you would give to a young GRAVEL kid who also wants to become a GRAVELIER.
Grab a parent, pack a tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, flashlight, and drinks, along with a flyer from a pizza delivery service. Ride in one direction for as long as you want, set up the night quarters in between, chat, look around, enjoy. It's wonderful! Sleep in a tent, pack up in the morning, and then call the remaining parent to pick you up. On the way back home in the car, there's a lot to talk about—from the first pedal stroke at home to planning the next tour. Once you're back home, it's already too late: infected :D