Greetings Tõnno! Thank you for your time! What is your home country and town where you spent your childhood?
I was born in Elva, a small town in southern Estonia. After completing the first class of school, we moved with our family to Tartu. This city of less than 100,000 inhabitants is also located in southern Estonia, and is also called the city of the university. Every year, there are bike races, called the Tartu Road Race and the Tartu MTB Marathon. Both competitions draw among the top 3 number of participants in Europe. Everyone can take part - both pros and beginners.
Please, could you describe your story of getting acquainted with cycling and your first bike?
I was 12 years old when I went to bicycle training in Tartu. Besides my children’s bike, my first bike had a steel frame and was a 10-speed. At that time, all the beginners had the same bikes, and everyone was happy. It was during the time of the Soviet Union. We saw foreign bikes when older and stronger riders at our club went home. The Soviet Union had both Olympic and World Champions, such as the man, Aavo Pikkuus, and the woman, Erika Salumäe (twice the winner of the Olympics; the second time she represented independent Estonia). They started their careers in the same area. Later, I traveled with the Estonian Junior team to various competitions and to Central Asian camps. Today, you have to pay a lot of money to get to these areas. Since then, I’ve had an interest in traveling. As of now, I've ridden and just traveled in most of European countries. The Continent I have still not visited is South America.
Where are you based at the moment?
For the last 20 years, I have lived in the Estonian capital, Tallinn.