I live in Garmisch Partenkirchen [in the extreme south of Bavaria] but I grew up in Munich. I actually started riding in Hamburg, where I was a student. I spend most of my summer travelling through the events or at our camps. In the autumn and winter, I also travel further afield on an adventure trip, cycling and taking photos, for example to India.
Mostly the Attack SL, with plenty of room, because I always have a lot with me and it offers a perfect fit.
My favourites are high Alpine trails in the Alps, especially the sunsets on the trails in the Aosta Valley.
As a professional rider, Karen Eller has won the Transalp Challenge and the Canadian Trans Rockies event three times. Her training, technique and tactics have helped her to master the 650km event, with 21,000 metres of ascent, time and time again. Karen’s demanding requirements in terms of bike technology, her many years of racing experience and her love of nature also make her a talented trainer. Even early on in the career, Karen was engaged with the topic of women on bikes – from product development of bikes and clothing through to the role of women in the mountain biking scene. Since her active career has ended, she shares her knowledge and experience through mountain bike workshop sand camps. Meanwhile, Karen and her partner, Holger, have established one of the most successful enduro events in Germany, the Schnitzeljagd Single Trail. Karen is also the author of a German-language book, “Mountain Biking for Women.” She has lived in Garmisch-Partenkirchen with her partner, Holger, for the last few years and has two children.
What makes my current bike so special:
I have been riding carbon bikes and fullies for as long as I can remember. They are light, fast, and safe downhill, which was always very important on my long-distance races. Marin was my first team sponsor. At the time, I was still riding aluminium bikes, but after switching to Cannondale, the Raven was my first carbon bike, and that is what I won the Transalp on. Since 2001, I have been riding for Scott, which is a carbon bike specialist. The new 2018 Genius is my favourite trail bike.
Uphill or down?
I like them both the same. In my camps, I ride downhill a lot – and I often take the mountain railway to get back up, because our aim is to train riding technique. During my private rides, I like the challenge of pedalling uphill, so I like a good mix of both. However, I do find gravel trails downhill completely pointless.
Why I’m on board:
It’s fun to work with a company that likes to get feedback about its products and incorporates this feedback into its products. It’s an all-round good company with a long history and high-quality, well-thought-out products.