Interview with Paul & Dieter from Trail Towns TV
In this interview, we asked Paul and Dieter from the upcoming Trail Towns TV show
what inspires them to cycle, hear their best bike advice, and revel in some of their exciting tales from the road.
About the Show
Paul van der Ploeg is a world champion mountain bike rider, and Dieter Kahsnitz is a self-professed lover of dad jokes and passionate cyclist. Trail Towns' first season consists of 8 episodes scheduled to premiere on SBS in June 2021, with Paul and Dieter exploring the great rail trails across Australia and New Zealand.
What’s your favourite cycling route in NSW? Australia? World?
PAUL: I've had a few good races in NSW and the standout for me has been Ourimbah State Forest. It has some proper trails in there and I had a great day riding with mates. Australia? I love riding in the Victorian High Country! My favourite place is probably Falls Creek because of the landscape and trails, just so unique and beautiful. World? We have some of the best trails in the world! But if I had to say an international location I'd say Queenstown in New Zealand or Pemberton in Canada! Both world leading trails for Mountain bike riding.
DIETER: NSW...The state really is a massive mystery to me. I've ridden in Thredbo, Snowy Valleys, and a little around Merimbula / Tathra. But so much to explore now. I actually just love NSW because it's a big state, with just so many things to discover, and super cool people. Victorian's can often bypass it for Qld. We shouldn't. NSW is a gem. My favourite riding is in the high country of Victoria, mainly because I part own a place near Bright, so I ride there heaps. But there are just so many cool places to ride in Australia - almost impossible to name a favourite. Overseas? Sedona, Arizona, in the southwest of America. Just absolutely mind blowing MTBing.
How did your passion for cycling ignite?
PAUL: I grew up in Mount Beauty, and I'm the baby of 5 boys, all of my family rode mountain bikes in summer and skied in winter. I was destined to be addicted to riding from a very young age.
DIETER: I finished ski instructing in 1989...needed a new challenge and MTB's hit the market... I bought one ...hooked for life.
What’s the ultimate cycling trip on your bucket list?
PAUL: I'd love to do a South Island New Zealand cycling tour with my girlfriend Chloe. She loves riding and if we could take a month to explore the beauty of the island that would be my ultimate bike holiday. [Sounds like you need to check out our sister travel company in NZ, Adventure South
! - ed.]
DIETER: I go to the US every year riding, so I reckon Europe - maybe Switzerland, Austria, and do the alps in Summer - ride all the parks, eat the food, look at the views. Perfect. [For European cycling trips, UTracks
has you covered, and in the US, our new brand North American Active
has just launched - ed.]
Possibly a controversial question: do you have a favourite café stop?
PAUL: I live in Collingwood, Melbourne these days, so I'm spoiled for choice in the café world. I do love country bakeries, actually. Gum Tree Pies
in Yackandandah is a must visit in Northeast Victoria!
DIETER: Not really. I love discovering new places, and part of the adventure of riding is discovering not just trails, but cafés, views, locals, places to stay...so, not really.
What’s your best/funniest memory from a cycling trip?
PAUL: How can I pick one?!?! The time I flew into South Africa solo to meet my team and they were flying in 24hrs later, the time I broke my leg in Rotorua and got a business class trip home, the time my mate accidentally stole my passport in Portugal, or what about when we crossed a barbed wire fence on the border of Vietnam to get into China! There are too many to choose from.
DIETER: I did a cycling trip in the late '90s to Bright with a group of mates. We stayed in one room, all 6 of us, no room to even walk by beds in the room, had to crawl over them and riding MTB's on the trails was not allowed back then, so we ran the gauntlet for the week, got chased by the locals for attempting to pick up some local girls, we actually ran out as fast as we could out of the town in the middle of the night being chased by a group of very tough and very angry locals along the river! We watched "The Omen" in the room and all got nightmares. We were all about 30 years old too. One mate stayed in a tent because he thought there were too many of us in the room. His tent got hit by lightning (he wasn't in it) and then got washed away in the subsequent flood. That's all I can remember.
What would you say to a first time cyclist?
PAUL: Get out and explore new places, ride new trails and immerse yourself in nature.
DIETER: Ride for fun, include as many friends as possible, do it as often as possible, and always include your partner.
What’s your best piece of cycling advice?
PAUL: Always ride within your ability. Build up slowly... Everyone will be having a coffee at the same café at the end of the day. Just enjoy the ride.
DIETER: Don't crash.
Keep an eye out for Trail Towns TV show which will be screening on SBS soon! In the meantime, stay up to date with all things Trails Town: