Danger

Datum: 07. 08. 2018

Daniel Schäfer has been a part of the Maloja family for over 10 years and to share his story with you has been well overdue. After finishing the catalog photo shoot with fellow Malojan’s Bella Chen and Guido Tschugg we had the time to sit down and interview „Danger Dan“.

Daniel Schäfer has been a part of the Maloja family for over 10 years and to share his story with you has been well overdue. After finishing the catalog photo shoot with fellow Malojan’s Bella Chen and Guido Tschugg we had the time to sit down and interview „Danger Dan“.

Daniel, how did you get into cycling?


Sports have always been a key part of my life, starting with a gymnastics course together with my mother that led to joining a boys club and onto competitive gymnastics. I was an active member of the Red Cross and Lifeguard Association, too. My friends and I had always been hammering through the woods with our bikes and the moment the first mountain bike was released, it was clear I needed one. With the money from my confirmation I was able to finally get one.

…to buy one yourself?


Exactly! The bike was on offer at “Dasi’s“ bike shop where I’d had an eye on it for quite some time. When I bought it, Dasi asked me to join him for a ride on a Wednesday night, which actually was a problem for me. Wednesday was Red Cross day and skipping this was not an option. After just three times on the bike I decided to switch up my priorities. I was on the mountain bike on the weekends, at night after school, pretty much always! I participated in my first Cross Country race in 1996.

When did you start to consider biking a profession?


This took time to develop. After a long apprenticeship as a telecommunication technician, I had the possibility to take a sabbatical. It was Dasi once again showing me the light. During the summer, I could work at his bike shop and help in the bike park close to the “Geißkopf“, and during the winter season, he found a job for me as a guide on the island of La Palma. After four months on the island, however, I was homesick. Working as a mountain bike guide all day long can be a tough business. This being said, I still quit my job at the telecommunications company.

Was it clear, then, what your plans were for the future?


I think I was aware of what I wanted. I got connected to more and more people in the bike community and was booked for guides and photo shootings a lot. Going back to my old job was not an alternative any longer; I would have rather worked as a pool attendant or postman during the summer. For the winter months, I was on La Palma the place where the idea of „Atlantic Cycling“ was born.

What is the story behind this?


I had always been a fan of shuttling, but the bike station I was working for wasn’t. That’s when Philipp and I decided in 2005 that we should do it ourselves. „Atlantic Cycling“ was a great success, yet after a couple of years I was tired of it and stopped it in 2014/15. I instead concentrated on my next project, which was a Taxi app for people who wanted to go mountain biking on La Palma without a guide.

Is a change in life important to you?


I realized that whenever things don’t fit into my life any longer, I start lacking the motivation to pursue them. There have always been new opportunities and challenges. It has been important to me to be authentic and convinced of what I’m doing, even if it’s risky at times. That is also the reason why I feel so comfortable working together with Maloja. It all started with a shy glimpse at the Maloja trade show booth, afraid to even go inside at first. Finally, in 2007, Guido Tschugg introduced me to Peter Räuber. I was unsure whether a business could be run successfully embracing the Maloja philosophy, yet after 10 years of cooperation, Maloja still fully embodies and lives what I couldn’t imagine in the beginning.

Talking about risk, where did you get the name „Danger“?


So around the year 2004 I was looking to get away from racing and to focus on looking cool flying through the air. Around the same time Guido Tschugg and I were travelling often to Southern France and naturally I was trying the things he was doing. Sometimes things got so dangerous, but some how I got out alive. I think being a gymnast in the past helped protect me from the worst case scenarios. Today I am very happy with the name because it really helped me pull myself together. I was thinking: They call me „Danger“ because I ride dangerously, so I need to focus and ride away clean. Pulling ones self together, concentration and being committed has helped me a lot in life.

What is it like to be on the bike as a guide or taking part in photo shootings on a daily basis?


It can be exhausting! Guiding in particular is tough if you do it a lot. In order to not lose my passion for it, I reduced it to only a few events per year. Travelling is great, yet the dose can be dangerous. I was at home for no more than 30 nights last year spending a lot of time in the car. You just need to think carefully about what you want to do. That is the very reason why I’m not into saving tons of money and posting on Facebook every day.

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