As low as 0% APR on Car Racks  Click Here for Details

A CHANGE OF VIEW

Marcus Enno, AKA Beardy McBeard, is a professional photographer based in Australia. He has covered some of the world’s biggest bike races including the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, and Vuelta a España.

Beardy McBeard riding gravel in Tasmania, Australia

Cycling has been a constant in Beardy’s life. From riding as a kid in Australia to pursuing bike-packing adventures in Europe with his partner Miriam—the bike even helped him through a tough battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. These days he lives on the island of Tasmania with Miriam and his daughter Olive. We caught up with Beardy recently to talk about his journey and how he got here.

So Beardy, we have an idea how the nickname came about, but just how long have you had the beard for? Has this always been your nickname?
 
The beard started as a way to stand out on the bike. There were very few serious cyclists with a beard 10 years ago, so it was a little confusing for people at first. It's a common sight now, so I guess you could say I was ahead of the curve. The nickname started when I joined Strava and was looking for an individual name. I’d had the beard for a while so decided to go with Beardy McBeard. I had no idea it would become my trademark.
 
Before your photography career transitioned into cycling photography, what were you mainly working on?

I started my photography journey at high school then went on to complete a diploma in commercial photography at TAFE. I then became an assistant photographer and later a professional photographer at a commercial studio in Sydney. We specialized in corporate, product and advertising photography.

Beardy McBeard riding gravel in Tasmania, Australia

Once you had caught the cycling photography bug, did you find it difficult spending life on the road or in the air away from friends and family?
 
Initially it was so exciting to be traveling all the time. But it started to get so crazy, in my busiest year I was away for over 200 days. It's calmed down since then, mainly due to COVID travel restrictions, but with a young family I’m keen to keep the travel to a more manageable level.
 
Out of all the big cycling tours or races, or even local events, what has been your favorite event to cover as a photographer and why?

I really enjoy the excitement and spectacle of the big grand tours. Traveling around you get to sample the local cuisine, visit amazing places, and the racing is awe-inspiring. That said, I also enjoy photographing my local club races in Hobart. The diversity in my job keeps it interesting.

You had a battle with Hodgkin's lymphoma, how did this change your outlook on life once you successfully managed to overcome such a terrible cancer? Was there anything you learned from this experience that maybe you would like others to know or pay attention to?
 
Once I got over the “why me” questions I decided I had to make the most of the situation. While raising money for cancer research I experienced the kindness of complete strangers who had heard about my situation and wanted to help out. When the worst happens and you make it out the other side it gives you such a sense of purpose and level of motivation. The impossible becomes achievable.
 
How did cycling help get you through the experience and inspire you to take on new adventures on the bike, and with the camera?
 
Cycling was a great escape for me during my treatment. My fitness took a real blow but just getting out on the bike with my camera documenting mates rides was the perfect way to take my mind off the chemotherapy. With my world turned upside down, keeping the routine of the morning ride and catching up at the cafe was my therapy.

After living in New South Wales for quite some time, what drew you to move to the island state of Tasmania off the southern coast of Australia?
 
The dream of owning our own home amongst some of the best riding in Australia was the draw card. My wife grew up in Hobart and we had made a habit of regular visits. During this time I discovered just how fantastic the terrain was for bicycles from road to gravel and mountain bike, Hobart seemed to have it all!
 
What makes living in Hobart, Tasmania so fantastic?
 
Being close to nature and the more relaxed pace of life. Having an alpine climb just minutes from the city and a complex network of MTB trails and gravel tracks.
 
Is there anything you miss about living on the Australian mainland?
 
The hustle and bustle of the big city and family and friends.
 
Where is your favorite place to ride in Tasmania?
 
Kunanyi / Mount Wellington it’s my local ride and one of the most spectacular in Australia. Climbing all the way from sea level to 1270m is the perfect training ride.

You have quite the quiver of bicycles including a road bike, gravel bike and mountain bike. Do you have a favorite one that still brings a smile to your face every time you throw a leg over it?
 
I love my Trance X Advanced Pro 29. I've rediscovered mountain biking since moving to Hobart and this bike is just a fun machine. It puts a smile on my face every time we head out for a ride. I’ve even fitted a baby seat so Olive can enjoy the ride too.
 
Apart from cycling and photography, what else are you passionate about in everyday life?
 
My beautiful daughter Olive and the experiences we can share together like growing our own produce and picking and eating it straight from the garden. I’m passionate about the great outdoors, so teaching Olive about nature and the joy of camping in the bush has been amazing.
 
If you were having a conversation with a younger Beardy, what advice would you give him?
 
Don't sweat the small stuff, follow your passions. If you love what you do you never work a day in your life!

---------

For more on Beardy's photography and cycling life, you can follow him on Instagram.