Christian Junker riding his mountain bike next to his black VW Tiguan 1 with bike rack

Off the beaten track with the Tiguan

Off the beaten track with the Tiguan

Christian Junker is the German Downhill Champion and loves adventure. Whether on his mountain bike or in his car: This family man never loses his grip, no matter how wet and bumpy the surface gets. 

A final deep breath and he’s off


Racing downhill, over roots and stones, jumping over obstacles and speeding through mud – pure concentration. This adrenalin-loaded discipline is known as downhill mountain biking. The story of this sport began in the 1970s, up in the hills of Northern California. By the early 90s, mountain biking was starting to spread throughout Europe and is now enjoyed by more than just amateurs. Christian Junker has ridden down more than one hill in his time – he’s one of Germany’s best mountain bikers. “Racing with your bike through the woods, through nature, is just awesome. Adrenaline, freedom, joy – all in one!” It’s not hard to imagine – the combination of an outdoor experience and sport sounds like a lot of fun. And what about all that mud during bad weather? “That’s normally the most fun of all” laughs this family man. His young daughter also enjoys splashing around in the mud: He can already start sharing some interests with his kids. And what about his wife? She’s proud of Christian’s success and fully supports his passion – and everything that goes with it. “I love family life, but I also enjoy those little moments I have to myself.”

Adrenaline, freedom, passion
Christian Junker  
Christian Junker with helmet and opened visor in portrait

Up and up

Mountain bike trails are waiting off the beaten track. If you want to get to them, you’ll need the help of a confident four-wheeled companion. For Christian, the fun doesn’t wait until he’s at the top of a mountain – it starts on the way up.

Christian Junker is riding his mountain bike down a slope
On the hunt for adrenalin

Early morning peace and quiet, a hearty breakfast, then it’s time to go. “I check my equipment before every ride, take a look at the tyres and pedals. It takes a bit of time, but I need to be able to rely on every single element. When every piece fits perfectly, I find my peace.” The SUV itself provides not only a stylish but crucially a reliable way to head up into the mountains.

Of course, Christian doesn’t just go downhill on his bike – he’s ridden on virtually every kind of track and surface you could think of. That’s how he knows full well that kicking the Tiguan into gear can stir up similar sensations between the vehicle and its driver. “Feeling the surface beneath you, noticing how the wheels react to it and adjusting your driving behaviour in a split second – yep, that just as true for four wheels as it is for two!”

Christian Junker sits at a lake and prepares himself mentally for an excursion
I never know what’s waiting round the next corner, but whatever it is, I’m ready!
Christian Junker
Christian Junker is riding his mountain bike down a slope
Out and about, taking in all the beauty around me, escaping everyday life
Christian Junker

Hop on the bike and head down the mountain – as quickly and action-packed as possible. “I feel every shudder reverberate through my body, but it never throws me off course.” Christian races over sticks, stones and roots. But isn’t that dangerous? Mountain bikes are made to cope excellently with uneven surfaces: Broader tyres with a deep tread and good suspension ensure a better grip. It also demands a high degree of concentration, so you don’t overestimate your own ability and keep your bike under control at all times.

Christian Junker ends his bike tour on his Tiguan 1, which brings him home reliably - Volkswagen older models

Outdoors – dirty – epic

Christian Junker rides his mountain bike along a muddy track in a forest

On every journey into the countryside, whether it’s on two wheels or more, things are bound to get messy. “Even in good weather when the ground is dry you’re gonna get dusty – that’s just the nature of the sport. If I got off my bike without a speck of dirt on me anywhere, it just wouldn’t feel right.” Bikes or cars are often carefully cleaned right after a trip – after all, you can only rely on the quality of the material if it’s all properly taken care of. And while bike chains are painstakingly oiled and windscreens are rid of mud and small stones, what happens to person cleaning their equipment? Well, their clothes get absolutely filthy.

I need reliability, trust, challenges and freedom
Christian Junker

Whether it’s a mountain bike or a Tiguan, up in the mountains or down in the valleys: The comparison between a mountain bike and a Tiguan doesn’t seem quite so crazy, eh?

Go to Tiguan 1

Christian Junker starts his mountain bike tour, in the background are several parked VW cars

Freedom is not only something you feel on your mountain bike – it’s also in the design of your Volkswagen: With the products from Volkswagen Accessories, you can customise your model according to your desires and needs.

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