"We are real bike freaks.”

As a newcomer in the two-wheeler business, Wolfgang Klinggraber runs the"Sgrafit-bike" in Retz - with a team of different types of cyclists united by their enthusiasm. Outline: For professional reasons, Wolfgang Klinggraber was on the road in a completely different field. In his free time, however, he was always on the most beautiful cycling routes. Then came "Sgrafit-bike" at the Sgraffitohaus in Retz. There he now also wants to inspire others for tours through the Weinviertel.

What is your background and how did you come to Sgrafit-bike?

My professional background is completely different, but I have been a passionate cyclist all my life, so I have turned my hobby into my profession. I continue going on cycling holidays in my spare time. Here in Retz I got the offer to complete the concept of "Sgrafit Hotel & Apartments" with a bicycle shop - as bicycle accommodation. The owner has been looking for someone who offers a bicycle shop with rental and service in the same building.

What does this symbiosis of accommodation and bike shop look like?

The sgraffito house is located on the main square, from where you can see not only its special façade, but also the shop sgrafit-bike. The rental is located at the back, below the apartments. These apartments have a large courtyard where we prepare everything for our clients. You will also get a short introduction from us there and can test the bikes. You can also use a wash station before packing up or returning the bikes. When you stay here overnight, we hand over the e-bike charged. And if you rent it for several days, there are charging stations for you to use - or you can bring the battery to our shop in the evening. Guests staying in the house can rent bikes from us; we also offer more cost-effective bookings for a combination of an apartment plus bikes. We then take care of all your cycling needs - from rental to service to basket and helmet. I have a great, dedicated and young team. We have known each other for a long time and enjoy doing this. And we are dealing here with good-humoured people who come to cycle and go on holiday and they feel that about our team. That is a big advantage for me compared to other professions.

Is part of the concept to also recommend the most beautiful cycling tours?

Rental is the main pillar. We want to expand our service with tours since the demand for tips is definitely there. We have linked the most beautiful routes in the Weinviertel on our homepage and we also ride routes ourselves and then pass on the GPS data. We make sure that all tours are reasonable. We offer different routes, from leisurely to sporty. If customers want to bike fewer kilometres and instead stop at a good wine tavern on the way, have a coffee in the afternoon and a glass of wine on the way back, we have suggestions for that too. We ourselves enjoy going to Elmer's Café following a tour of the main square in Retz. If you are looking for something on the road - there are many routes that will take you past the newly renovated Retzbacherhof in Unterretzbach, for example.

Is the area particularly suitable for leisurely rides with a rest stop when hunger and thirst make a call?

Definitely! In recent years, a lot of work has been done, not only on signposting the cycle paths, but also on everything that is offered gastronomically around cycling. The Weinviertel cyclists' picnic is great - a bicycle basket for two people filled with local food - bread, sausage, cheese and more. You can get that from us too.

Do you also offer guided cycling tours?

More and more people are asking us what else they can do beyond the familiar paths. That's why they should be able to book tours including a guide with us. What makes "Sgrafit-bike": We are all real bike freaks and also like cyling ourselves. But we are different types of cyclists. Each person with us has an area in which they are well versed - from dirt bikes to downhill to road bikes. For the guided tour, you can come with your own bike or book one. Depending on your wishes, we will then show you, for example, a dreamlike tour towards Hardegg, where we can take sporty ride into the mountains or pleasantly relax in the village. If you like, we will tell you something about the history of the area and then go out for a meal together. Personally, I would also like it if we could attract more ambitious cyclists in addition to the leisurely ones.

What does a perfect cycling day look like here in summer?

You have all the possibilities; that's what makes this area so special. If you just want to go for a short, flat ride, you can do this just as well as you can climb the next mountain on an e-bike, mountain bike or road bike. One of the rounds run through Kleinriedenthal, Haugsdorf and Hadres to Mailberg, where you could visit the castle and enjoy a glass of wine or a coffee at the Hagn winery, for example. Starting and finishing in Retz, it is between 70 and 80 kilometres long and the landscape along the way is beautiful. If you want to be even sportier, there are tours towards Pulkau with several metres of altitude. The "Chardonnay Wine Cycle Route", which starts in Retz and runs through cellar alleys and past winegrowers, is easy to follow and very beautiful. If you are looking for something that is not strenuous, you can also head towards Laa an der Thaya, where you can sit down and have a picnic anywhere along the way or stop at an inn. Or you can even go for a swim in the Vranov reservoir in the Czech Republic, as the border is only a few kilometres away. In summer, it's a perfect ride.