Riding is more fun with friends. Combine that with an exotic location and you've got a typical Hardbrakers tour (adventure).
The motley crew of students, designers, engineers, artists, DJs and other connoisseurs of the art of living is unified by the love for riding fast on bikes. Each year these German friends will tour a different country. With sore bodies and a head full of memories after completing their recent tour of Brasil, we spoke with three of the Hardbrakers, Rob, Ardi and Jubie.
Quad Lock: For those that aren’t aware… what is the Hardbrakers?
Rob: We are a group of friends, that don't want to accept we are getting older. That’s why we ride bikes together because then we feel like we are 16 again. But after a long night, it’s more like we’re 40.
How did the crew form?
Rob: Simple... friendship.
You just finished touring around Brasil. How do you decide and then plan where to go on your tours?
Rob: Once a month we try to all meet, then we drink a lot of beer and get lost in a world map.
Ardi: We decide which route sounds like an adventurous time and which country we’ve never visited. We want an adventure where we can experience new cultures and meet interesting people.
Do you guys do any training ahead of a tour and if so, what?
Rob: Actually I can’t tell when we had the last time riding all together here in Hamburg. No, no training before the tour, basically just a proper everyday use of the bicycle ;).
Ardi: Everybody has their own preparation for the Tour. Before my first tour, I didn’t ride more than 25 km. It was like going swimming across a lake without knowing how to swim. But with every tour, I improved my preparations. For our recent tour (Brasil) I went for a 50km ride 3 times a week.
What bikes do you ride?
Ardi: We are all riding fixed gear bikes. We like the minimalistic style and it is quick and easy to repair if there is an issue.
We set you up with Bike and Car Quad Lock kits, what apps did you use while riding?
Rob: The best part of the Quad Lock Bike Mount is using it as a DJ booth. Riding full throttle in the middle between everybody else, pumping the best of the 80's with my iPhone connected to the 7 UE BOOM sound-systems on each Hardbrakers bike...
Ardi: In the urban areas I use Google maps a lot. I’m also able to easily see when a call or message (Mail, WhatsApp, etc.) is coming so that I can see which one is worth it to stop and respond quickly.
What was the most interesting experience of the recent tour?
Rob: The Jungle was a blast! I didn't expect such a multifarious flora. I have seen literally every plant you could buy here in Europe at IKEA in their natural habitat.
One day we were climbing up a hill, on the way up everyone was dying but our Brazilian guides said it would be worth every drop of sweat. On top we ate at a family business restaurant with the most beautiful view I have ever seen.
Were there any bad stacks along the way?
Rob: Next to the everyday discussions about the next morning starting times... One broken Handlebar in the steps... A few lost (like the movie The Hangover) Hardbrakers in Rio de Janeiro, as well as Sao Paulo.
You guys also do a few races, who is the most competitive in the crew?
Jubie: Benny Bold is one of our most active racers so it might be him!
Rob: Actually I would say we all do this just for fun. It’s not about winning anymore. The level here in the local bike scene is too high for us.
What’s next for the Hardbrakers?
Rob: Like every year, counting the days until the next tour. GT18 shall be happening in Asia...
For more Hardbrakers check out their Instagram: @hardbrakers