This time, we take a trip all the way to Germany to interview Marius Hoppensack. Professional bike rider, owner of Beddo bike co, Marius definitely deserves some attention in the biking world. From traveling the world to designing bike parts or even driving at 270km/h, Marius has an interesting perspective that is more than worth sharing. Click the Read More link to read his interview!
Name: Marius Hoppensack
date of birth: August 10th 1988
Current location: Duisburg/Germany
Years riding: 9 years
Sponsors: Beddo, Adidas, SrSuntour, Trickstuff, O´Neal, Reell-Jeans, Schwalbe and NC-17
Photo by Jan Fassbender
Q: Let's start this with a little introduction. Could you describe who you are in a sentence or two?
A: I´m just a guy who loves riding bikes, hanging around with the riding crew and just enjoy having a great time. I´m not that different from you!
Q: How did you get into riding bikes at first?
A: A class-mate told me about guys, flying with their bikes in the forest just for fun and I definitely had to see this, so we went there. It wasn´t as high as he told me, but it was just an awesome scene. Before i was "professional" sailor and the attitude of the guys was totally different. I loved the bike riding scene from the first time and always rode bikes because I loved it. But I didn´t know that it was possible to jump with it. After that day, I quit sailing and spend almost every day on my bike.
Q: What is your bike setup right now? Anything particular about it?
A: At my place, there are mostly skateparks and dirts. So I ride a hardtail with one brake. Steel frame, because I like the clean style and it´s better for skateparks because of dents and stuff. I also ride a gyro from trickstuff and love this one! I started doing tailwhips and barspins both ways now and it became pretty difficult to count the rotations while riding, so it helps me a lot. I ride singlespeed and hate when my cranks slip away. At first, I had my chain really tight, but that ripped off a lot of chains, so now I use a piece of rubber on the cranks to stop it from spinning. Now there's always noise when I ride because of the squealing piece of rubber. But anyways, my bike isn´t in great conditions. My seat is ripped off, my paint is fucked and anything is just that it´s still ridable. Some friends of mine give me shit for this, because I get all the parts for free. But I love riding bikes and not fixing it. Also, the other young riders I meet, they don´t have enough money to buy new parts for no reason, so I see myself as a test guy for the lifetime of bikeparts and I love my bike. No matter how it looks like!
Q: What is your situation right now? Do you work, go to school,...?
A: I´m a professional bike rider and self-employed bikeparts inventor. So I wake up in the morning, work on designs, drawings or ideas for bikeparts. I Take care of team riders, shops and distribution, as well as the website and photoshootings. I Try to find sponsors for Roadtrips or projects and plan the stuff to make them happen. In the afternoon, if all the other riders wake up or are home from school or work, I meet them at a spot and we have a riding session. In the evening, there is another work session, instead of watching TV or hanging on facebook. I really love this kind of life and I hope I can keep doing this for a while. It´s just about seeing things going forward. It's simply the life I've ever dreamed of, since I started riding bikes.
Video of a Day in the Life of Marius
Q: How would you describe the German biking scene? Is there a lot of contests going on this year?
A: To me the german biking scene is pretty big. I don´t know if I feel like this because I live here or if it actually is, but at any contest I go, I see new faces that are just shredding on their bikes, and there are a lot of dirt and skatepark contests. Just a few slopestyle ones, but I think it's because it´s very expensive for a young guy to afford a fully and much harder to build a slopestyle course instead of a three kicker dirt set-up. I think the Dirtmasters Festival is the biggest festival in germany, but there are a lot more smaller contests and shows. So if you like to, there is a lot to travel in germany.
Q: Do you travel a lot outside of Germany to ride bikes?
A: Last year I did four big trips outside of Germany. France, Thailand, Uk and Greece. They were all of one week or longer, so I think it´s ok for that and any of them was impressive and definitely fun!
Q: Let's talk about your frame sponsor. Could you share a bit of history conterning Beddo?
A: Actually i´m my own frame sponsor. I founded my bike brand Beddo in 2010. I always wanted to invent new bikeparts, so one day I thought "now or never", so I quit my payed sponsorship with Scott and started riding my prototype. I must say, that it was a hard decision and sometimes I didn´t know how to go on. But after all, I learned a lot, found new ways and now I´m one of the happiest guys riding bikes. I support great riders on their way to become professional, can help them and know how they feel, because I did the same. I invent bikeparts with them, because it´s a way better contact, talking about a new part while sitting on a bike. So there is a lot of great input for new stuff, so it helps me to build great bikes. Right now Beddo is working out great. We got Grips, Bars, Seats, Headsets and are about to produce the second frame generation, new seats, stems, cranks, rims and some completebikes. In germany we are already well known and it´s also getting better in other countries.
Q: What do you think of the MTB contests right now? What would you like to see more of?
A: I don´t like contests for myself. I think it´s more about having fun than to be the best. And I think it´s not easy to say who is the best rider. In a contest you don´t have that many tries to get a hard line. Anything has to work out just there and I don´t feel that anybody needs to judge my kind of expression on my bike. But i also see the good side of contests. It makes the sport more popular and all the riders meet sometimes, to connect and meet again for trips. It´s not that I hate contests, I just don´t want them for me. A problem that I saw 2 or 3 years ago is that everybody was practicing one line for contests with three jumps. So you saw a guy winning every contest with flip-nohander the first, truckdriver the second and double whip or 3whip the last jump. But this fortunately changed into nice combos and tricks that just some riders do and also different styles. I think this goes further, the higher the mountainbike dirtjump level grows.
Photo by Jan Fassbender
Q: Who are your inspirations when it comes to bike riding?
A: I love a lot of riders. At first my god was Chris Doyle. He is just amazing on a bike and anything seems so easy for him. Also Corey Martinez is a shredder. Today I could watch more of the mountain bike riders as my Beddo Riders. For sure there are also some more, where you just see that they love riding bikes and pushing bike riding to a different level. As MacDuff, Lacondeguy, Pilgrim, Söderström...
Q: Do you have any hobbies aside from biking?
A: I prefer to spend any moment that my body is working out and that I got time on my bike. But if i´m injured or just too lazy, I enjoy reading and learning new things. My last book was about car repairs, than video editing and another one about how your brain works. Pretty interesting if you´re not able to ride your bike.
Q: What is your best bike-related memory?
A: I went to South Africa in 2006. It was just amazing. We traveled the whole south and met a lot of different, poor but unbelievably happy people. I came back with a bag full of new memories and the feeling that I just could be happy with anything I have. All problems people seem to have over here are just nothing compared to the problems they have, so there couldn´t be any reason to be unhappy for a person like us.
Q: Who are your regular riding buddies?
A: I often ride with Ferdi Fasel, because he lives in my hometown. Then with Hendrik Tafel and Jonas Berndt or Gian-Marco Blum and Soren Lammering. These guys are just killing it and pushing me for new tricks and different styles.
Photo by Jan Fassbender
Q: What are your favorite tricks and why?
A: I love tailwhip and barspin, because I ride skateparks a lot and even on dirt you could do this trick on any jump or even combine them with other tricks. On dirt it´s also a 3 Table. But if i see the young guns who learn tailwhip on the second day they spend on the bike, you know that there will be new moves soon and it doesn´t matter what my favorite trick is.
Q: Most German rider seem to have brakes on their bikes, what is your opinion about riding brakeless?
A: I think it´s about having more control on the bike and learn any move perfectly. Here you see how a riding scene is working, you always see more crazy tricks than the year before. Anybody gets more and more control and this is just a way to create a new generation. Imagine John Cowan would have ridden his Hell Track on NWD 2 without brakes. He probably have crashed on any second jump (nothing against John Cowan). Today the riders feel comfortable, because they got lots more control with even harder tricks. In skateparks, most riders are brakeless, but on dirts you could maybe land a trick better with a brake. Image doing a hard backflip combo, hardly get your feets back on the pedals but in the landing you over-rotate and land on the back just because you ride brakeless. I think this is the reason.
Q: What kind of music do you enjoy? Any bands or artists you would like to share?
A: I love HipHop. Sometimes german some times english ones. I got some german acts which are always the same, but the english ones change pretty much. Right now I listen to pretty chilled ones like "left boy", "MacMiller" or "Chiddy Bang".
Q: I've heard there is some kind of rivality going on between Germany and Austria, what would you say about that?
A: Haha, yes it´s more about the upper part of Germany against bavaria. Bavaria is the that part of Germany where you find this "Leather trousers" or "Cuckoo Clocks". There are not that many people in the rest of germany who like this. But this is not in the bike riding league. Here anybody is friendly and in the hardest case you get some funny words. For me it´s even "my country" when I visit swiss or austria.
Photo by Jan Fassbender
Q: In North America, everybody knows about the German highways. What is your opinion about having no speed limit on some of them, and what's the fastest you ever drove on one of those?
A: Haha! It´s pretty dumb, but pretty much fun. Normally we drive around 130km/h which is around 80MpH. It doesn´t really makes sense to drive faster, because you spend much more gas and don´t save that much time. But I also love to go fast and need to do some extra lessons and lost my drivers license a few times because of driving too fast on places, where it´s not allowed. But here it´s pretty simple. I drove 4 months without a drivers license and nobody cares. The fastest I drove was 270 km/h (maybe 155MpH). Pretty cool, but not as great as a highspeed drift, but a nice afterwork fun.
Q: What would be a perfect day for you?
A: Waking up in a different country with some buddies. Just going for some crazy food I never saw before and than visit a sweet spot and go there riding. Learn some sick new tricks clean and spend the day doing them over and over again. Having fun, meeting new people and get to know a new culture. In the evening all the guys from my hometown come over for a visit and we go in a nice club dancing and having fun.
Q: Do you have any project going on right now? Any videos dropping soon?
A: There are two videos of our last trip to Greece to be released in the next days I think. Some new projects for sure, but they are still secret. It´s not because i´m such a mystic guy, but if I tell anyone about a project and it doesn't work out, they are fucked. Or it will work out, but pictures and video releases are in half a year they don´t like it either. So there will be some new stuff and i´m looking forward to it!
Video of his trip to Thailand
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
A: I hope i´m still on my bike. No injury which has taken me apart from that and my body is still working out. I hope all the Beddo teamriders and friends become professional riders and live their dream from one day to another. All the products are working out and everybody enjoys riding a beddo bike. Anyway, bikeriding becomes more popular than soccer in Germany, around the world and any city got lot of different spots to ride. But there are still no trainers. Any guy that gets a trick, teaches it to the younger ones and it´s just one big scene.
Q: What advice would you give to kids that are getting into biking?
A: Don´t be shy to talk to other people who are riding bikes. Be friendly and don´t ask questions just to ask. Feel good riding with them, even if they are better than you on riding bikes. Just with having fun, you will learn anything you want on your bike. Just image what you want to be and solve the differences between what you are and what you would like to be. You can reach anything you want like that. In the end, never forget, that once you were a kid as well.
Q: Thanks a lot for your time, is there anyone you would like to thank or anything you would like to add?
A: I would like to thank all the people I met and created my point of view on the world and it´s things today. Thanks to anyone who rides a beddo bike and supports my vision. All my teamriders, who are awesome at biking and have awesome personalities and create the greatest team I could imagine. Anyone who rode with me in the beginning or helped me in a way. Anyone who gave me some nice words while I had my knee injury. All my friends who give and gave me a great time and all girls, too. Additionally there is one name I would like to thank specially for all he did for me and for the great person he is: Niels-Peter Jensen (NPJ)!
Photo by Jan Fassbender