The Altmark is characterised by several beautiful cycle paths. Christian Starck explains how to rediscover the bike as an attitude to life.
The cycling culture
Floating on a bike
Christian Starck has been an enthusiastic cyclist since his childhood. In the countryside we cycle comparatively little, although the Altmark is perfect for it. He wants to create sustainable mobility and introduce the people of Altmark to the culture of cycling with his hire bikes.
There are people for whom the bike is a means of transport. And then there are passionate cyclists: they love being outdoors and feeling the wind in their face. Christian Starck, bicycle mechanic and dealer from near Arendsee, is a "total bike guy": he has been on bike tours or tinkering around on bikes since his childhood. He describes cycling as a "floating state". A feeling where we no longer touch the ground and are carried. For him it is not about getting to the destination as quickly as possible. It is about the cycling itself: "Just being there and feeling good." Cycling is like a culture of its own, an attitude to life. But while many people cycle every day in cities, this trend is missing in the countryside. Christian's vision is to equip rural areas with good bikes and create sustainable mobility as a result. "Ride a bike," he wants to tell people, and he also carries this message on his sign during the climate demonstration. He sees himself first and foremost not as a dealer but as a creative artist. "An entrepreneur should contribute to the community, do something for the good of all, that's how it's written in our constitution." Christian not only manufactures and sells bicycles, his company also cooperates with various bed and breakfast establishments, a hospital and a leisure centre, providing a fleet of 70 hire bikes in total and enabling holidaymakers and Altmarkers to be more mobile. We can take a hire bike, for example, to cycle round the lake, once round the Arendsee, and get an ice cream for free for just a few euros. These kinds of collaborations are important to him, cooperation among entrepreneurs. So that not just one but many are happy.
Christian does not have an insider tip for cyclists in the Altmark. For him, the journey is the reward. "When I'm out riding my bike, I'm on the move. It is about perception when cycling, the state of floating. And if I feel good, it doesn't matter where I am going. Then it's even fun to cycle through the desert." Nevertheless, the native Brandenburg local likes the Altmark. "Basically we are nothing special as the Altmark", he says with a wink. "But we're a damn fine region. We have so much space and sky. We have nothing – no mountains, no waves, no sound of the sea. And it is precisely this nothingness that people find attractive. Having time to yourself and being able to look straight to the horizon. And there are just a few clouds, cranes flying by. This brings us to the most modern trend, minimalism. This humble simplicity is what we have here."
Owner Christian Starck Binde Binde Nr. 14 39619 Arendsee / Altmark