Wise Words is our new interview series talking to some of mountain biking’s most switched on people.

We’ll ask our short list of questions to a heap of influential, inspiring and outspoken people that we feel are driving the direction of mountain biking today. Some will make you think, some will make you laugh, some will be plain dumb, some will inspire you to better yourself and your riding. We hope!

This week’s Wise Words are brought to you by the Belgian manchild, EWS and World Cup winner, Martin Maes.

If it wasn’t already perfectly apparent, Martin Maes used 2018 to stamp himself firmly in the annals of mountain biking as one of the greatest.

Martin Maes’ 2018 can be described as nothing but superlative. After bagging a second place in Chile at the start of the year, he’d dislocate his shoulder at the second round in Colombia. Nobody would have imagined he’d win the Whistler EWS, win the La Bresse World Cup then bag a silver at the World Champs in Lenzerheide all within a month.

Photo courtesy of Red Bull Content Pool.

How would your closest riding buddies describe you to someone who has never met you?

2/4 wheel-lover who likes the simple things in life. Spending time with family and friends.

What thing or things have you bought in the last year that had the biggest effect on your life as a mountain biker / cyclist / person that works in the bike industry?

It’s a book.” Beyond training“ by Ben Greenfield. It’s all about how to deal with health-related training issues.

What unusual habits do you have as a bike rider?

I don’t warm up on a turbo trainer before a DH World Cup.

Photo courtesy of Red Bull Content Pool.

What piece of advice do you think every mountain bike rider should hear? And what piece should they ignore?

For racers, I’d tell them that fun is fast.

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If you could go back and re-ride one day from your life so far, where/what/when/who would it be? Would you change anything?

I don’t think I’d change anything to be very honest. Just because every time I had lows or been very disappointed, it made me much stronger.

What have you wasted the most time on in your life as a rider or bike industry career that you wished you’d given up years ago?

Trying to get Athy (Dan Atherton) excited about racing enduro.

Photo courtesy of Red Bull Content Pool.

How do you motivate yourself when you’re struggling or lacking inspiration?

I tell myself that I have one of the coolest jobs in the world.

What single and specific thing about riding bicycles do you gain the most happiness from?

When I rail a corner at the limit, sliding out and carrying speed.

What single thing would you like to erase from cycling history from the last year?


What single thing would you like to make happen in the cycling world in the next year?

I believe that there is still so much to improve on enduro bikes these days. To make them more efficient and then much more competitive. I’m sure it’s coming.

Who else should we ask these questions to?

Dan Atherton.

Keep up to date with Martin’s adventures over on his Instagram page.

You can catch all our previous Wise Words interviews with the likes of Sven Martin, Manon Carpenter, Ric McLaughlin and plenty more here.

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