5 ACTORS FROM 3 GENERATIONS INTRODUCE THEMSELVES
17 stages, 19,950 metres in altitude, 2,066 km, 4 cyclists, 3 countries, 1 companion
Grandfather, father and two sons want to cycle the Way of St. James together, i.e. 2,066 km with a total of 19,950 metres of altitude. The family is accompanied, supported and cared for by their best friend. Their goal is not only Santiago de Compostela, but above all to collect donations for their heartfelt projects in West Africa and Ukraine. The fundraising tour will start on 25 July 2022 in Trier (Germany). It will continue through France to Spain. There are a total of 17 stages to be completed. The arrival in Santiago de Compostela (Spain) is planned for 11 August 2022 and the end point of the Way of St James in Fisterra is to be reached on 13 August 2022.
These people set out on the Camino de Santiago for a good cause
May we introduce? These are the people who are embarking on this incredible challenge. Let’s start with the man with the most experience:
Name: Werner Kühnle
Hobbies: Road cycling and hiking
Personal motto in life: “Look ahead and persevere”.
Photo: Werner Kühnle, Jakobstour 2019 – Endpoint
What connects you with West Africa? Between 1985 and 2006, I made 500 trips, mainly to the West African countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire and Equatorial Guinea, but also to most of the Gulf States. However, I have never visited the West African country of Benin. As a pastor in the New Apostolic Church, I worked for the development of the Christian religion in these countries.
How long did it take you to plan this charity tour? The charity idea came from my son Karsten. I worked on the planning of the tour myself for about 3 months, including route selection, stage destinations, logistics, and of course the actual tour description, which provides many exciting insights.
How many kilometers have you ridden on a road bike in the last 10 years? Good question, it’s about 60,000 km.
What motivated you to ride a road bike? This was already my hobby as a teenager. After I was unable to work due to illness in 2006, the sport helped me to systematically get back on my feet.
What drives you personally to ride this Jacob’s Tour again? On the one hand, the diverse scenic and personal impressions of the first tour in 2019, and on the other hand, the fact that I can now ride this tour again for a good cause with the three generations on the road bike and one of my best friends.
And now for the man with the insanely social idea: Karsten Kühnle!
Name: Karsten Kühnle
Hobbies: playing the clarinet, cooking, windsurfing
Personal life motto: Today is my best day!
Photo: Karsten (left) together with his father
What drives you personally to do this tour? The will to help in a very concrete way. Anyone who has seen and felt the joy, enthusiasm and leap in quality of life that is triggered by access to fresh drinking water or even the opportunity to visit a school knows that providing help across borders is a must. Supporting the people in Ukraine is also the order of the day.
What do you associate with the West African country of Sierra Leone? I was very lucky to be there as a young adult in 1993, 1994 and 1996 to help with various aid projects. I still keep my local driving license as a souvenir. Together with my wife and our children, we have usually donated one or two drinking water wells per year for several years.
Do you donate to the Charity Tour yourself? Absolutely and with great pleasure. I have already transferred the first large donation to the Human Aktiv donation account. I have already transferred the first donation of € 8,264 to the Human Aktiv donation account. I was inspired by the tour motto “4 x 2,066 km” and made it “4 x 2,066 €”.
How did you come up with the idea of this charity tour? Paul, my eldest son, rode the route for the first time in 2019 with my father. Already in 2020, we wanted to ride the tour as a charity tour – at that time exclusively for well and school construction projects in West Africa. Then Corona came along. Today, in 2022, no one can ever ignore the suffering of the people in Ukraine, which is why we decided to split the donations.
How are donations distributed? As already mentioned, all donations are divided equally between aid projects in Ukraine and well and school construction projects in West Africa, specifically Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Benin. Very important: 100% of all donations are used for the intended purpose. There is no deduction of administrative costs, which is great.
Now to the youth, who are so often said to be uninterested and uncommitted. A prejudice that does not apply at all to today’s young people – especially not to Paul and Caspar Kühnle. Let’s start with the older one: Paul Kühnle!
Name: Paul Kühnle
Occupation: Pupil, grade 12
Photo: Paul at the finish of his first Jakobstour by road bike in 2019.
Was treibt Dich ganz persönlich an, diese Tour zu fahren? Ich möchte einen Beitrag dazu leisten, dass Menschen in Not geholfen wird. Außerdem freue ich mich, weite Teile der Strecke zum zweiten Mal zu fahren. Da sind die anstrengenden Bergetappen dann nicht mehr ganz so schlimm.
Du bist diese Tour in 2019 schon einmal gefahren – was ist deine schönste Erinnerung? Damals war ich gerade erst 15 Jahre alt und mit meinem Opa und seinem Freund Klaus als Begleitfahrer unterwegs. In Spanien war es oft über 40 Grad heiß, was echt anstrengend war. Der schönste Moment war die Ankunft in Santiago, wie man auf dem Foto sehen kann und auch die Messe am Abend um 22 Uhr damals war sehr bewegend nach all den Strapazen.
An welche Etappe erinnerst Du Dich besonders? Ich glaube, es war die 6. Etappe von Toulon-sur-Allier nach Felletin mit fast 155 km Distanz und fast 1.900 Höhenmetern. Ich wollte mehrfach aufgeben und das Rennrad am liebsten in den Graben schmeißen. Aber ich habe es geschafft, auch dank der Unterstützung meines Opas.
Du verzichtest für diese Charity Tour auf rund 4 Wochen deiner Schulferien – was sind deine Pläne für die restlichen zwei Wochen? Ich weiß es noch nicht genau, aber gerne würde ich noch zu meinen Großeltern an die Ostsee fahren.
Encouraged by his big brother Paul, Caspar also ventures on the extremely challenging tour and, as the youngest, also cycles for a good cause.
Name: Caspar Kühnle
Occupation: Pupil, grade 8
Hobbies: Playing football, road cycling, windsurfing
Personal life motto: “… the only easy day was yesterday…”.
Photo: Caspar during a cycling tour on the Volcano Cycle Path in Hesse.
What drives you personally to do this tour? I want to support my father in his aid project. And of course I am looking forward to the sporting challenge!
Have you been riding a road bike for a long time? I was 8 years old when I rode from Passau to Vienna with my grandfather (Werner), my father and my big brother Paul. The distance was about 330km and we rode the Danube Cycle Path. Now I am 15 years old and we each cycle 2,066km to get to our destination.
Would you like to go to West Africa one day? I don’t know yet, maybe later.
What is your favorite dish? Cheese noodles
Last but not least, the man who, as Werner Kühnle’s best friend, accompanies, cares for and motivates the 4 racing cyclists and ensures that they all reach their destination safely.
Name: Klaus Müller
Year of birth: 1951
Hobbies: photography, diving, travelling
Personal motto in life: The smart person learns from everything and everyone, the normal person from his experiences and the stupid person knows everything better. (Socrates)
Photo: Klaus on one of his trips
What drives you personally to accompany this charity tour?
Friendship, charity, getting to know new things, …
Werner told us about many tours you have done together around the world – what are your fondest memories of them?
2017 Canada/USA, 2019 Armenia (hiking tour), 2020 Chile/Argentina
How do you spend the day while the road cyclists are on their bikes?
There is always more than enough to see and do. For example, the cyclists always need to be supplied with drinking water or other clothing. Occasionally, a spare part is needed for the bike. Then I also try to take a few pictures of interesting motifs every now and then. And finally, I take care of the logistics, which means finding out where to eat well in the evening.
What connects you with West Africa?
From 1988 to 1993, I held 4-6 seminars a year in Sierra Leone on behalf of Werner. Most of them were held deep in the bush under the simplest of conditions. I met many interesting and very likeable people, most of whom still live there. I always felt very comfortable in the homeland of these people and with them.