Next up in the Riders series is Magdalena Beljan. Magdalena rides a custom built Santucci, which she has had since November last year.
Can you tell us a little about what you do?
I’m a PostDoc at a Research Institute in Berlin. My parents met as young ‘Gastarbeiter’ from Croatia in Germany. So, I grew up in West Germany and also studied there. But after finishing my PhD six years ago in Luxembourg and spending too much time in trains I’m happy to finally live and work in Berlin now..
Where has your bike taken you / What’s your favorite ride?
It sounds cheesy, but my favorite bike tours are my daily rides with my family. My son learned to ride his little bike half a year ago and it’s so much fun to see him enjoying his new skill and to ride next to him or in front of him on my own bike. But the bicycle lanes in Berlin are really bad, so I prefer to ride calmer streets with him. The path next to the Landwehrkanal in Kreuzberg and Neukölln is pretty and quiet, for example.
I also like to ride alone over the Tempelhofer Feld in the early morning. It can be so calm and peaceful there. And to be honest, as I always just had very old and rough-running bikes in the past it’s a lot of fun to finally speed up a bit with my own new bike.
How did you choose the design for your bike(s)? What drew you to this particular style, and how was the collaborative process with Dan?
I was looking for a safe and ‘family friendly’ bike. On the other hand it was my first new bike as a grown up, so I wanted something nice and quick and unique. I’ve been in some bike shops before, but either the costumer service was lousy or I didn’t like the design of the bikes. And to be honest: I was too stingy to spent a lot of money on a practical yet ugly bike.
When I met Dan he was immediately very supportive. I told him that I would like to fix a child seat on the bike, so he suggested wider tires and a fixed back light, which runs on batteries, and much more to make it safer. I think that I had a clear vision on how my bike should look: very classy and minimalist. But I had no experience and knowledge about bikes and their design and Dan was also very helpful on this point. For example, I was very sure that I wanted an ‘all black’ bike with a matt black frame, but Dan suggested to take a pearl black glaze and in the end he was totally right. The frame would look too massive with a matt glaze. Dan has a very good eye for all these bigger and smaller decision without ignoring the customer’s needs, which makes his bikes looking so special yet still personal in the end.
What’s your favorite thing about owning a Santucci Cycle?
I think I was looking (and finally finding) something like the housewife Porsche (“Hausfrauenporsche”), the Porsche 924, in bike form: something pretty, but also practical for the daily use. And that’s also what I like the most about my bike. It’s funny, because I think that’s also the reason why a lot of parents on playgrounds ask me about my bike and where I got it from.
What would be the soundtrack to your favorite bike journey? (if you could listen to music when riding, which we discourage!)
I’m a huge fan of ‘Reverberation Radio’ and I love their mixtapes. This one is my favorite and it’s nearly like a story by its own: #199 Reverberation. Or if I should choose just one track: Talking Heads – Road to Nowhere.
See the gallery of Magdalena’s bicycle here.