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Hardbrakers: Porto-Marrakech

We met the Hardbrakers in Berlin last year, the crew of Hamburg is without doubt one of the craziest, most hilarious and funniest of the current fixed scene. “Grandtours” travel is their unmistakable trade mark. Long distances, fixed-gear… Hamburg gangsters gang has already traveled almost all over Europe by bike, the Hardbrakers are the pure Street style led to another level: tattoos, beers, flashy type, km and, above all, lots of fun.

The last madness of this group of friends has led them to cross Portugal and Morocco, with distances between 100 and 200 km a day exposed to the hardness of the heat of the Moroccan desert, the imposing Atlas mountains, the madness of traffic in cities like Tangier, Casablanca and Marrakech… and all dealing hazardous situations and accidents. A madness that we thought deserved an article in our magazine.

In the Berliner Fahrradschau could admire together with Carlos Fernandez Laser the photographic exposition of this project titled PORTO-MARRAKECH. Carlos photos are the best narration of the adventure of these seven from Hamburg. 

To not bore the reader and interviewed, we decided to ask Carlos if he dared to make a short Chronicle of his experience with the Hardbrakers, and the result has been the following:


Robert: “My first thought: The smell of exhaust fumes, animal cadavers and the mindblowing view of the rock desert.”

Michal: “Ten white guys in the desert“ – it wasn’t as hot as expected, at least as long as you are riding…  corrupt cops, shady bars, weed fields, Ali Baba and his busy colleagues.”

Karl: “Don’t call me white”

Rapha: “It’s way too much for just one phrase.”

Ardi: “- My broken bike.
– Jubie was left behind (Jubie sprained his ankle in Spain).
– Every Moroccan is a professional salesman of rugs, lamps, clothing and hash.
– My high-speed crash bombing down the hill
– 1 liter of Coke-Cola in a glass bottle, dust, sweat and desert.”

Benny: “Tarifa to Tangier. A short trip on the fairy, 100% culture shock, love the sun, love the desert. Finally, no more freezing. Entering Marrakesh à 44,4°C. I hope we continue this thing called “Grand tour” every year until the end of our life.”

Philipp: “Tangier – one of my most intense experience ever soaking wet car seats due to broken air conditioner we destroyed two rental cars in 3 weeks. Fucked up underbody, two messed up trunk doors, oily interior and one broken main frame. Don’t be gentle; it’s a rental to the fullest.” 


The Hardbrakers got in first touch with me before their Ghetto Crit race the night before 2014 Pankt Saulopoly Alleycat in Hamburg. I covered that event and also raced it. Result pos. 4 of 5 in my heat, ha, ha.

Anyhow, they liked my photos and overall me as a person. I liked them a lot too, so it was kind of love on first maybe second sight.

Actually, I knew a few of them a little bit before, but not a lot.

When I got the call from Mario, if I could imagine covering their trip from Lisbon to morocco, I was instantly on board.

A couple weeks before the trip started, I got a high budget job in the Swiss Alps, which made me changing plans and I couldn’t start in Lisbon but I flew right after my job to Morocco where I met the guys in Fes.

Benny and Philipp (the filmmaker). I waited at the airport in the middle of the night for about 4 hours. They had a hard and long turn that day. I was happy to see them. I put my luggage in the car, and sat down in the back. The small car was full with luggage, spare parts and right in front of my feed, beers and several bottles of vodka.


Next morning we met the crew, due to some change of plans, we had to stay a night in Fes, my pickup city. Everybody was already tanned, but me. Coming from the Swiss Glacier straight to Morocco, ha, ha.

From that point, I was driver, first aid nurse and photographer in one person.

I shared the ride with Philipp the filmmaker, who told me after my first half day with the crew, that he can feel an upswing in the mood and motivation since my arrival.

That was something great to hear, especially if you arrive “late” and the crew already grown together in their „adventure mood“. The first day was a lot of uphill which gave an amazing start for taking photos. The landscape, the donkeys on every corner, old trucks and people. Wow. In general, people were looking at us a lot. Far off from the normal tourist routes, 7 guys on bikes in spandex, 2 guys in a car with photo and film gear, wearing out north Europe summer outfit. I could imagine a lot of the Moroccan hasn’t seen that before.

In general there weren’t that my bike riders on Moroccan streets. A few every know that.

The first day ended in Fez, my place of arrival, with a hill bomb. Ardi slipped in a high-speed corner.

First aid with disinfectant and vodka for the mood helped quite quickly. Lucky we, just some skin were left begin on Moroccan tarmac. The last kilometers led us by burning garbage piles and some very crowded streets. What a first day.

The next day was already kind of routine. Waking up everybody early in the morning, packing, setting up camera gear and go. Out to the wild. Km after km. Full of photos, stunning views, chats, laughs, sweat, camels, desert, kids throwing rocks, places that looked like Star Wars movie sets, etc.

And out of nothing, the last turn. 38Km before we arrived in Marrakesh, we stopped at a cow skeleton. This became a part of the exhibition. At that point, we took the black and white portraits of the each riding member of our little crew. You have to imagine a spot – surrounded by desert left and right, a narrow sandy path , blue sky, heat and maybe a little bit of a breeze. That was my “studio“ for those portraits. It couldn’t be better. I had this idea for those portraits way before I left. But I couldn’t imagine those circumstances. WOW a few hours later we arrived in Marrakesh. The final destination. This moment was kind of surreal. Arriving on a spot surrounded by tourists, guys playing their flute in front of cobras, and much more crazy things. After all those days in empty places.

I am a happy guy, that I was part of that trip. So much fun!

Carlos:“Have camera, will travel.”

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