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SVL, 2021/04
Reading time 4:50 minutes

May I introduce...Dirk Zedler, bicycle enthusiast

He was not born with a passion for bicycles. Quite the opposite. Dirk Zedler’s father was a driving instructor, and his family is a “motor vehicle dynasty”, he says. Little Dirk had also petrol in his blood. As a teenager, he learned the technical tools of the trade to become a car mechanic parallel to grammar school. After his time in the army, he took up studies in Karlsruhe - what kind of studies do you think? Mechanical engineering, specialising in automotive engineering. However, as early as in the course of his studies it became clear to him that motor vehicles would lead to a dead end. Back then in the mid-80s, Dirk had already been cycling a lot, especially but not exclusively in the city.

That’s Dirk (photo: private)

A few years earlier, during his months in the army, Dirk Zedler discovered endurance sports for himself. First of all running. “Boozing or running” - there was reportedly not much more offered in the army during leisure time. “I decided to run.” A wise decision.

In 1985, the first triathlon. Running fast was not a problem, neither was cycling - but swimming, the first of the three triathlon disciplines, “was a disaster,” he says and laughs. In 1986, he started working at Radsport Merz in Ludwigsburg parallel to his studies. On countless Saturdays, Dirk cycled from Karlsruhe to Ludwigsburg, always starting at the crack of dawn - so that he was there in time at 9 a.m. when the shop opened. In the evening, he returned to Karlsruhe. In 1991 Zedler joined the Radsport Merz team for a while, but he soon realised: “I’m not a salesman.” In 1991 Dirk Zedler became member of Ludwigsburg swimming club (Schwimmverein Ludwigsburg). This year, he will therefore celebrate his 30th anniversary in the traditional club.

At the SVL club Dirk Zedler finally learned to swim faster. He remembers the training in the Hoheneck open-air swimming pool, always starting at 6 a.m. and says “That was a great time.” But he hasn't really swum for a long time, says Dirk Zedler. His last triathlon is ages ago: 2003 in Steinheim. Nevertheless, he remained loyal to the SVL club all the years. A matter of honour. “I’m very happy to be a supporting member.”

Dirk Zedler in earlier days during cycling (photo: private)

However, sport still plays a major role in Dirk Zedler’s life. At the virtual Bietigheim Corona New Year's Eve run this winter, the man, born in 1962, finished third in his age group. Dirk Zedler is ambitious like he used to be as a triathlete. He burns for what he is doing. Especially for his work.


Read the entire article here.

Author: Martin Tschepe
Photos: Zedler-Institut

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