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Bike, Eat, Sleep

Lydia Puffe and Tino Endres Are Saddling Up Their Bikes for the Fourth Time in the Trinational Tour Eucor

Freiburg, Jun 06, 2017

Bike, Eat, Sleep

Photo: Jürgen Gocke

From June 6–10, 2017, more than 120 cyclists will be biking a route through Germany, France, and Switzerland that takes them by all 5 universities in Eucor – The European Campus. The team will reach Freiburg on June 9. This will be the fourth tour for Tino Endres and Lydia Puffe from the University of Freiburg, as well as the tour’s 20th anniversary.

Teammates Lydia Puffe and Tino Endres on their fourth tour. What they like best? The team spirit. Photo: Jürgen Gocke

“The tour is always the highlight of my year,” said Lydia Puffe, a PhD student in psychology at the University of Freiburg. “But if you think it’s an easy bike ride, think again. There’s a lot of climbing and elevation gain.” The route takes bikers through the Vosges and Black Forest mountains and is between 560 and 920 kilometers long. Each cyclist can decide how difficult they want the route to be by choosing one of the groups with six different levels of difficulty. Puffe chose a route with medium difficulty, while her fellow student Tino Endres is taking a more athletic option.

So what is so great about the tour? “It’s all about the group,” Endres said. Team spirit gives the cyclists the motivation they need to tackle the route’s tougher stretches. “The group helps you keep up,” Puffe admitted. “You’re able to muster more energy than you would otherwise,” she said, adding that it’s also nice to get to know others who share the same passion. “It brings you together,” Endres agreed. The shared experience of spending 6–8 hours in the saddle can be the beginning of a new friendship. “The more times you ride, the more it feels like a family get-together,” Puffe said. “I’m always excited when I see another biker somewhere wearing an Eucor jersey afterward.”

Back in the Saddle in 3 Minutes

The tour is organized by the Tour Eucor student association at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. The Tour Eucor team itself is made up of students and alumni from the five universities in Eucor – The European Campus. This year is the first year participants can be tracked live. Viewers can follow the progress of the different groups on the association’s website

According to the two cyclists from Freiburg, another thing they like about the tour is that people are always extremely helpful. “If you have a flat tire, people always come help you right away. You’re back in the saddle in 3 minutes,” the psychologist said. Bikers also receive assistance from a support crew who always carry a few spare parts and tools to fix all kinds of breakdowns. The crew also takes care of meals and lodging, which is quite a luxury for the cyclists. “All you have to do is bike, eat, and sleep,” Endres said.

This is also Puffe’s first year in the organizing team. Another event they organized was a large photo exhibition in Karlsruhe with pictures from the last twenty years of the tour. This will be just one of the many highlights awaiting the cyclists and other participants at the Eucor Festival in Karlsruhe on June 10.

Nathalie Schnabel

Eucor – The European Campus