A few weeks back we had a strong brew and great little catch-up with professional bike shooter, passionate rider and cancer Council ambassador Marcus Enno, aka the irrepressible Beardy McBeard. We were half expecting something live to come flying out of his impressive facial fur but thankfully the real treasures came when we learned more about the man and his work.
Beardy, or Marcus (we still don’t know how best to address this legend) was busy getting ready for one of his many international masochist pursuits. Such a cyclist.
Beardy and his caravan follow, or more accurately narrate with spectacular images, the Giro D’italia and Tour De France in his capacity as a cycling obsessive that moonlights as a professional photographer. Good thing he has, as the kids these days say, crazy mad skills. No seriously. His mission is convey the beauty of cycling, and he does.
Check out Beardy’s Caravan and the talent is raw and ridiculously evident. The wheat and the chaff get quickly divided when you see the emotion and feeling achieved by a craftsman that loves their subject and knows their stuff. We fair-dinkum love his work, and we’re pretty stoked Beardy chose Velosure to insure his Giant Defy. Because he travels with his bike, he told us that the free worldwide cover with his premium bicycle insurance policy is ideal.
But there are buckets more of praise to heap on McBeard. We met in Bondi Beach as he was about to head off to the the Giro D’Italia. It is not one of The Grand Tour events for nothing.
There are crazy Italians, and they are just the spectators. Then there is the heaving hungry pack of UCI riders and their big support teams. There is 21 days of groundhog day with a spectacular twist, where the grind and pain are guaranteed to smack you in the face but every second is a new challenge.
‘I would love to watch the Giro’ you say. Your dream may be to ‘soak up the incredible thrill of the stages’. And that all makes sense to us. We are going to have some bleary-eyed work days in May. But just stop and imagine your work is to maintain a laser-eyed focus on keeping up with the leaders. Are you kidding? This is the world of Beardy McBeard.
Steep inclines, cobblestones streets, hair-raising corners and amateurs with selfie sticks. What a nightmare. And navigating traffic in Italy is normally harder than finding a good time in a nunnery, so imagine trying to get yourself from one vantage point to another, to get great photographs, while your subject matters are trying to break records and win titles?
What Beardy achieves covering these tours is worthy of a jersey itself. Not only does he get the shot, and many, many, many of them. Everyday of the event he is working with a remote Sydney team to vets the memory card for the best images, edits and uploads and then pens an insight from his daily adventure. Intense.
Maybe that’s how Beardy captures the riders emotions so well, because his tour is at least as exhausting as theirs. No team physio or mussets of food for McBeard. His wife Miriam is critical to his success, they worked together covering the 2014 event, making him both a talented and very lucky man. But other than that the pressure is on him. His cycling grit must put him in good steed.
Go Beardy McBeard. We look forward to watching the Giro unfold through your eyes this May on your blog.