Marika works as a usability engineer at the Zurich office. She ensures that products are easy to handle for the user. In her free time, she likes it adventurous: she drives off-road on her motorbike.
What is off-road driving?
Off-road driving, also known as Enduro, is part of the motorcycling sport. Many people know Motocross where the drivers drive laps on a groomed racing track as fast as possible and make spectacular jumps. Enduro is different, more like mountain biking or downhill driving. Off road, in open terrain but motor-driven. We ride on small paths, across broad fields, through forests.
What machine do you drive?
I have a Sportenduro from the Austrian manufacturer KTM. It is a 250 EXC-F. This is a light terrain motorcycle that I can lift on my own.
What attracts you to off-road driving?
That I never stop learning and I am challenged over and over again. Often I have to motivate myself to take on an obstacle. Sometimes I fail. When I manage on the next try, the joy is even greater. From time to time, I fall off the bike, but so far, I only suffered bumps and bruises.
How much courage does it take to drive a motorbike cross-country?
Sometimes it takes a little courage to master some obstacles. With increasing experience, one knows which challenges can be mastered. Of course, there are hurdles such as streams, rivers, steep driveways and descents, tree trunks or rocks. We have to overcome these difficulties. In the group, we support each other when things get difficult. By critical passages, the team colleagues are there to secure. If someone is stuck in a steep driveway, we help with the take off.
In Switzerland, off-road driving is prohibited.
That is why we spend our holidays abroad. We’ve been to Italy and France with our motor bikes, but also have been to less traveled countries like Romania, Tunisia and Bosnia. We don’t usually travel to typical tourist places. Often, the locals speak only a little English or German. On each trip, I learn a few phrases in a new language. This is a lot of fun, because I get to know the cultures from a different angle than the package tourist.
Are the adventure tours a good addition to the project life at Zühlke?
Surprisingly, there are some parallels to project life: in a group of drivers you help each other, you know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, or get to know them quickly from new people. Together you experience exciting adventures. At dinner, we talk about the adventures of the day and laugh a lot.
Did you inspire Zühlke colleagues?
In August, we were a small Zühlke team for a one-day off-road training. We were a mixed group of beginners and old hands. We all had loads of fun. I am looking forward to perhaps meeting them again one day off-road.