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!
Wise Words this week comes to you via the medium of Steffi Marth.
Steffi Marth is one of the very lucky few who have turned a successful racing career into a successful riding career. Former World Cup downhiller, German 4X champion and 4X World Championship medallist, Steffi can certainly turn her hand to most things two-wheeled. You will find her more often these days in sunny parts of the World riding bikes for plain fun.
How would your closest riding buddies describe you to someone who has never met you?
They would hopefully say that I am fun to ride and hang out with. That I have a pretty entertaining German accent and like to live up to my “Party Marthy” nick name.
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?
I bought an iPhone X which I can take super great portraits with. I take a lot of photos on my rides and travels and everybody is always super stoked about the photos I airdrop them post-ride. It´s also a curse though because I struggle to enjoy great moments without capturing it digitally. At least I know I want to work on this.
What unusual habits do you have as a bike rider?
Something nobody understands is how I can do the longest rides/climbs without a shammy. I just find them super uncomfortable and feel like a baby in nappies wearing them. I also always have a headband and Buff neckwear with me, even if its 40 degrees.
What piece of advice do you think every mountain bike rider should hear? And what piece should they ignore?
Everybody should know that we share trails and that it’s super important to be nice to all the other people that use them (especially hikers).
Definitely ignore all the comments about whats cool and what’s not to do with bike equipment and always listen to what feels best for you. Super important is also to be open to new things (like tubeless tyres) and always try before you judge new techniques. Engineers mostly think hard about what they invent.
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?
At German 4X Champs in 2016 I had the hardest crash of my life leading out in finals. If I could go back I would make myself go around the huge pro line double and ride the title home safely. This would keep me from 2 years of injury struggle.
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?
I tend to train a lot and don’t make proper off-days to give my body time to get better. I just began giving myself more time to improve my fitness and realised the fact that less is sometimes more.
How do you motivate yourself when you’re struggling or lacking inspiration?
That one is easy … I tell myself that everyone struggles and lows are the best chance to really get stronger.
What single and specific thing about riding bicycles do you gain the most happiness from?
There are actually three things that make me super happy riding bicycles:
- The chance to have unforgettable times with great people.
- Getting absolutely exhausted after a big day.
What single thing would you like to erase from cycling history from the last year?
Any crashes, injuries or cancer news from riders.
What single thing would you like to make happen in the cycling world in the next year?
4X should be back in the World Cup.
Who else should we ask these questions to?