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Riders Series – Meet Philip Schaub

The Riders Series moves onto Germany and we catch up with 22-year-old, BMX rider Philip Schaub and we connect on bikes, Stuttgart, winning the German National Championship, broken backs, playing the piano, training, crashes, victories favourite cities, and… “Living each day as if it was your last” I think we can almost start a riders band by now, any drummers?

What is your name, how old are you and where are you from?

My name is Philip Schaub, I’m 22 years old and live in Ludwigsburg/Germany (a city close to Stuttgart). 

Tell us about where you live. What is your favourite thing about living there? 

I live in the beautiful region of Stuttgart. It’s characterized by a beautiful river – the Neckar – a lot of hills and valleys with vineyards and furthermore its the home of Mercedes and Porsche 

What is your favourite thing to do where you live? Do you have any hobbies? What do you do in your spare time?

If I’ve got any spare time, I like to relax somewhere in a quiet place in nature or I spend time with my friends in Stuttgart. Partying there is always a lot of fun! Besides riding as a rider – I’m really interested in music – one of my favourite hobbies is playing the piano.

Tell us about where you’ve travelled to and what is your favourite place to visit?

I’ve been to several countries, many places in Europe, America and even South-America. It’s hard to decide, but I would say my favourite place to visit is California. I just like the weather, the surroundings (nature) and the people there are pretty cool. I could even imagine living there.

What should we know about you?

I’m a very ambitious and determined person and I can’t stop chasing my goals until I’ve reached them, but nevertheless, I always try to live my life at it’s fullest. My favourite quote is: “Live each day as if it was your last’’. Enjoy your time on earth, because it’s only limited…

Tell us about your riding…

Due to the fact that I was always one of the smallest people for my age, I had to compensate for my lack of power with skills on the track. I’m really thankful for that because its the only reason why I’m a good technical rider on the track today. Maybe my riding isn’t the smoothest and the nicest to watch, but somehow it’s efficient…I really don’t even know the reason haha

Tell us about your bike…

Since last season I’m riding a WiaWis carbon BMX-bike. The break, cranks, chain and chainring are from Shimano (XTR, DXR) and my stem and bar are from Tangent. In front, I’m riding an aluminium wheel, in the back – carbon. Both wheels are spoked in Pride hubs and have Tioga tyres (Powerblock) on it.

Do you remember the first time you got on a bike?

The first time on a bike was pretty early in my life, at the age of 3, I told my parents that I absolutely wanted to learn how to ride a bicycle. When I was 5 I got the chance to take part in a BMX-session from the local club and it was so much fun that my parents even had to drag me away from it. Lucky for me, two weeks later they signed me up and my BMX, “career’’ could start hahaha. So I’ve been riding from 2003 up to and till now.

What has been the biggest challenge on your journey? 

The biggest challenge on my journey was an injury in 2011 that took me out for 1 year. I broke my back during training. Fortunately, I only broke some vertebras and I can be very happy today that I didn’t get paralyzed during the fall. It was a long and hard road to recovery from this one but nothing could stop my motivation from riding my bike again.

Tell us about your worst crash and your best moment…

 My worst crash: When I was a small child (age 7/8) I rode my local track backwards just for fun without looking for the other big riders. I rode up the landing of a steep jump and suddenly an older rider appeared in the air and crashed full speed into me. It was the biggest shock of my life, but luckily I had no serious injuries.

 My best victory moment: There are two moments in my life that I’ll never forget. The first one is the first place at a European-Cup in Switzerland, 2015 in the Junior Men category. I had struggled all season long to get a good European result and finally at the end of the season I won a European Cup. I was so happy! The other moment took place just a few weeks ago after I managed to win the German National Championship in Stuttgart. It was a special moment for me to win in front of my family, friends and the home crowd and to celebrate such a victory with so many close people around yourself makes it even better!

What keeps you going?

Last year I went through a difficult phase where I really considered stopping riding BMX at a high level. It was like, riding a bike and all that big volume of training just wasn’t fun for me anymore. So I took a break and after a certain time (on and off bikes) I found the joy of riding a bike again. I got to the bottom of the reasons that made me want to stop BMX and I could change my conditions and set new goals. That’s the way I could encourage myself to keep ongoing. Since that time I’m motivated like never before.

What routine do you have when it comes to training? Do you have any tips? 

For me, it is always important to reach the maximum out of every session. I always try to focus on a few steps in training, so that I can improve them step by step from session to session. I would say, it’s also important that you can reflect on yourself as a rider. You should always be aware of your skills and weaknesses. That’s the only way to know what you can/should improve next session to become a better version of yourself.

Do you have any role models that inspire you to carry on?

 My role model in BMX is the Latvian rider Maris Strombergs. He is/was a very smooth, clean, technical rider with a great pull. He’s just a champion.

What made you decide to compete in the Red Bull Pump Track World Championship?

The participation in the event was a funny coincidence. I saw the commercial on social media and thought it could be a nice event, but I didn’t really consider going. Then a few days later, one of my teammates said that he registered himself for the qualifier in Füssen. I decided to accompany my mate and give it a try. I absolutely didn’t consider that I could win this event haha!

How do you feel about the Final and representing your country?

 I’m really excited and keen on riding the Red Bull Pump Track World Championships in Bern. It will be a nice event for sure and I’m really looking forward to line up and ride with/against the fastest riders the world. It will be an honour to represent my home country in such a great event.

What would you do to celebrate if you win?

 If I win: firstly, I would go completely crazy the following night; and secondly, when I’m home I would organize a big BBQ for all my friends and family to celebrate the victory with them 🙂