Through the eyes of a globetrotter: E-Bike adventures in Hamburg
17.08.2020 | General
Michael Poliza was a successful actor at a young age, then became an IT entrepreneur, world traveller, adventurer, experience designer and nature photographer. Today, the life artist organises unforgettable day-long adventures in and around Hamburg – with his E-Bike.
Through his work as a photographer, with which Michael Poliza has made a name for himself internationally, he received many enquiries about whether he would be interested in showing travellers the locations of his original images. "Initially I brought my photographs to people, and now I take people to my photographs," explains the photographer. Michael Poliza has built up an internationally recognised travel company in recent years as a guide and "experience designer".
The map in your head
After international travel had been largely frozen by the coronavirus pandemic, the 62-year old had to look around for a new sphere of activity. Instead of going further afield, he decided to rediscover his hometown of Hamburg: he made the most of the coronavirus lockdown to visit all the places by E-Bike that he had neglected in his years of foreign travel. He also visited the places that you simply cannot or would not like to get to by car.
The driving force behind his travels to 190 countries has always been his passion for adventure and curiosity, but also his love of the beauty of nature. As a photographer, he keeps trying to capture it in his images. "I fundamentally hope that we can discover and preserve the beauty of our planet. Not because I think it needs to be saved – the planet will recover from us when we are no longer here – but it is in our interest to enjoy it for as long as possible," explains Michael Poliza.
Therefore, in the spring of this year, for 75 days in a row he set out on extensive trips of between 40 and 80 kilometres to discover the beauty of Hamburg, and combine the most beautiful places in a virtual map of the most impressive views in his head – the treasure trove for his E-Bike Adventures.
"The experience is what matters," stresses the Hamburg native. "People who book on one of my tours are looking for something special. They want to share an unforgettable experience with a good friend, partner or new love. As a family, they want to show children their hometown from a new angle, so that they can learn something new at the same time as having fun. It's all about organising shared memories, perhaps combined with a culinary experience, or with a special theme, possibly lighthouses, churches, castles and much more."
"I am born and bred in Hamburg, I love my city and I am lost for words about the special places that Michael is showing us," confirms Marlies Wrede, a participant. "He has discovered the most incredible places for us to visit. The tours are perfectly choreographed and beautifully put together. A magical sunset tour recently passed through the Hafencity district on its way to Wilhelmsburg – where the beautiful old Johanna Windmill stands on an enchanted lake. After dark, the tour continued onto the harbour with its bright lights, and the views from the Theatre am Hafen over to the Elbphilharmonie concert hall are simply breathtaking. Then we returned through the old Elbe Tunnel. There is no better way to explore the city!
"Ride as if you have just eaten spinach"
Michael Poliza himself has been riding Riese & Müller E-Bikes for almost ten years. When he had the idea for the E-Bike Adventures, he was certain of one thing: a comfortable, safe and reliable E-Bike is an important part of the perfect experience – as he has learned himself.
After a short period of getting used to it, the E-Bike, with its safe riding dynamics, gives you a great feeling of being out on the road – it's simply fun to ride. "Ride as if you have just eaten spinach," is what the guide says, referring back to the comic character Popeye, who gets his great strength from eating vast amounts of spinach. And as the bike essentially almost rides on its own when you want it to, you can concentrate on the sights.
"The fact that Riese & Müller has set itself the goal of becoming the most sustainable company in the industry is a clear statement and another reason for me to work with the brand. Basically, I'm not a moralist. Everyone needs to choose himself or herself how he or she wants to travel. On the other hand, I don't regard cars that consume 30 litres as being contemporary any longer. A high-quality E-Bike always offers a good alternative for moving silently through the natural world leaving only a small carbon footprint behind."