Taken from Dirt issue 140, October 2013

Jan Sallawitz has been involved with EVOC, the bag and back pack (and now body armour) company, since the very start. EVOC was dreamt up by friends Bernd Stucke, Holga Feist and Jan when they were travelling the world together. Not happy with the existing gear that was available they decided to make their own… and the rest is history. Jan was firstly a pro snowboarder and then snow travel writer, he now finds himself as the marketing manager for EVOC.

Who is Jan Sallawitz?

Just a normal guy who likes to travel with his bike.

Where do you live?

Munich, Germany.

What’s your job title?

Marketing Manager, EVOC.

What do you do?

I’m responsible to develop strategies and tools to spread the passion that EVOC is more than merely pieces of equipment.

How long have you worked for EVOC?

Right from the start in 2008.

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?

Working as a dishwasher in a pub.

Where’s your favourite place?

I travel a lot, but there´s no place like home: my flat, right in the middle of Munich.

Where’s your favourite place to ride?

Iran, landscape and friendly people. Ecuador, variety of trails. Scotland, highlands and trail centres, the Alps, Big mountain riding. Black Forest, here are my roots.

When are you happiest?

Coming back healthy from a challenging trip and spending time with my family.

What makes you angry?

Ignorance and discrimination.

What makes you happy?

Discovering new places with my bike or snowboard. Perfect waves for surfing. To see my daughter starting to ride a bike.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Seize the day, enjoy the moment, don’t worry.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever given?

To look left and right before crossing the street (to my kid).

What are your extravagances?

My big collection of bikes, snowboards, skateboards, surfboards – and I own more pairs of shoes than my girlfriend.

Who do you admire?

Anybody who lives for their visions and always gives their best.

What’s the most important thing in your life?

My family.

What would you never throw away?

Pictures. It is even hard for me to delete photos from my mobile phone.

What’s your greatest fear?

That something terrible happens to my family.

What was your luckiest escape?

Taking some bottles of whisky to Iran as a present without giving it any thought. Not until standing in the immigration line in Tehran and noticing the signs saying “death penalty for importing alcohol".

What’s the first thing you do in the morning?

I’m not an early riser. A strong cup of coffee is always the first choice.

What’s the last thing you do at night?

Reading a book.

What would be your dream meal?

Sushi in Sapporo or a steak in Argentina, accompanied by good Bavarian beer.

What things do you always carry with you?

Clothes plus door keys, wallet, mobile phone.

Do you have any regrets?

Starting to smoke cigarettes was a big mistake.

What’s the most important lesson that you’ve learnt?

Talk is cheap – you have to actually do things. You can always learn from mistakes. Be responsible for your own life and always do as good as you can.

If you could have dinner with three famous people (dead or alive) who would they be?

Steve Peat, Fabien Barel and Cedric Gracia.

Who is your favourite rider?

Hard to name just one.

What’s your favourite bike product of all time?

The first mountain bike I saw when I was a kid was like a revelation for me. For today it is our bike travel bag that makes it safe to get your bike around the world.

What’s your least favourite bike product of all time?

In the 90ies there was a tendency towards very long stems and very narrow handlebars. Couldn´t get the idea behind it as it only gave a very unsafe riding feeling. Luckily this period is over.

What’s your favourite motto or saying?

Seize the day.

What saying do you use too much?

We can think about this for next season...

What bike are you riding at the moment?

Rocky Mountain Slayer 70.

What are you listening to at the moment?

I have a lot of very different music on my mobile phone… shuffle function randoms.

What one thing would you change about yourself?

Getting completely rid of cigarette smoking.

What are your weaknesses?

I sometimes tend to put too much stuff into one day and get into a rush.

What does the future hold for you?

A long holiday with my family – without any bikes.

What does the future hold for mountain biking?

650B E–Bike enduro races – that is for sure!

How would you like to be remembered?

To be remembered at all would be a great thing.