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INTERVIEW mit dem Journalist, Fotograf und Dozent Max Marquardt

INTERVIEW with the journalist, photographer and lecturer Max Marquardt

JB: Can you briefly introduce yourself?

MM: Of course: Max Marquardt, I'm in my late 30s. I was born in Munich and grew up in beautiful Chiemgau, as well as in the Ebersberg district near Munich, where I still live today. After studying journalism in Munich, Karlsruhe and Berlin, I first worked for various magazines and newspapers, including Huffpost, Focus, Playboy Germany (Yes, Playboy), VICE, FreeMansWorld and many others. As a reporter, I was then drawn to the Balkans, where I reported on violent clashes. This was followed by many instructive but also stressful years as a news journalist and riot reporter. My last official "gig" as a reporter was the G20 summit in Hamburg. After that I decided to devote myself only to the beautiful things in this world. And that undoubtedly includes cycling.

JB: Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your book "Auf Asphalt"

MM: Callwey-Verlag approached me and asked if I would like to write a book about racing cycling. At the time, I was still working full-time at Playboy. I was immediately hooked because I had been riding a road bike for over 10 years at that point and pretty much everything in my life was geared towards it. I quit my beloved job to devote myself fully to the book. This was followed by 13 months of writing and traveling to the most beautiful passes in Europe. The book itself is about the passion of (racing) cycling. That was important to me. There are already so many books on the market that deal with technical things or training. A book purely about why the hell you torment yourself up an Alpine pass at the crack of dawn, gasping for breath and burning your thighs, that just hasn't existed before. Since I've been cycling myself, I've kept thinking about what exactly fascinates me about it. After all, I couldn't even explain it to myself. In Auf Asphalt I tried to find the exact answer to this question. Did I succeed? The reader has to judge that for himself.

JB: What else are you working on?

MM: I am currently doing preliminary research for my next book. What exactly it will be about is still a secret. It also depends a bit on what the publisher says about it. So keep your fingers crossed for me. Otherwise I'm quite busy with CLEAT magazine , where I'm the editor-in-chief. Here, too, we have some exciting stories planned at the moment. Of course, this is not meant to be an advertisement, but if you like adventure stories and outdoor stories on or off the bike, you are welcome to take a look at our website.

JB: Do you have a favorite road bike route?

MM: Not really. There are a few passes that I really like. For example the Passo Rolle and the Monte Grappa in Italy. The Swiss passes such as the Grimsel Pass and the Furka Pass are real highlights. But I prefer to do my short 30-kilometer training lap at home. An hour full throttle to clear your head. Past my favorite coffee roastery, Merchant & Friends, where I stop for an espresso from time to time. You don't always have to travel far to enjoy extraordinary moments. And an extraordinary moment can often be something very profane.

JB: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

MM: In a world of peace.

JB: What makes you happy?

Sunshine, mountains and a cold beer in hand. And my freshly restored 1992 Jeep Cherokee XJ. A dream.

JB: Munich?

MM: The best city in the world, next to Nuremberg of course. Always white-blue sky, fresh pretzels, decent Weißwurst and people who can't find parking spaces for their flashy cars. You love and hate Munich. But in the end, you always find your way back to this city.

JB: What does a typical day in Max Marquardt's life look like?

MM: Phew, that's a hard one to answer. Because hardly any day is like the other. The only routine I have is the same morning coffee ritual: espresso from the Bialetti and reading the news. When the weather is nice, I prefer a ride on a racing bike, gravel bike or mountain bike to work. If there's anything I've learned over the past few years, it's mindfulness. So to keep body and mind in a good and livable condition. And you don't get that if you stress yourself unnecessarily over emails or phone calls in the first few hours of the day. Otherwise, I work quite a bit, often late into the night. There are two phases of the day when I can be creative: in the morning and in the evening. In between there isn't much. But it's not that bad either. When I'm not at my desk writing a book or article for CLEAT , I'm out and about with my camera on various projects. I manage various social media channels and shoot most of the content myself. So you see, a normal 9 to 5 working day would not be practical for me. The Bundeswehr, where I also teach journalism as a lecturer, despairs because of my unconventional way of working. At this point, sorry to my colleagues and comrades, I'm incorrigible in this regard, haha.

JB: What comes to your mind when you hear the following keywords?
- Social media

Curse and blessing at the same time. I earn a large part of my money with it and yes, social media is actually fun for me. But what I've noticed lately and what I really want to say: People: Cycling is not a damn fashion show! This applies to the girls, but also to the male bikefluencers! Just ride your bike and enjoy life. Enjoy moments, not your jerseys. This usually results in better content.

- music
I am a musician myself and also play in a band. Music was also my first great love - long before cycling. I couldn't live without her.

-Role models
Role models might be going too far, but there are many people who inspire me or make me think with their actions, their art or their lifestyle. Sometimes they also motivate me to turn a few screws in my life myself.

- Flow
Cannot be sought or forced. Come easy and is incredibly important. Whether doing sports or writing. Nothing works without flow.

- Inspiring
To be completely honest: I'm one of the few people who still have a Tumblr account and even maintain it. That's so damn old-fashioned, I know. But I still get a lot of inspiration from the pictures I see on this platform. No hard feelings, please!

- Adventure
My last was a road bike trip to Iran. Incredible! I still draw on that today. Since I've only been bikepacking for a few years, I'm sure there will be a few more great adventures to come. Even if they only take place on your own doorstep.

You can get Max' book ON ASPHALT- PASSION ROAD BIKE here

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