Tall Tales is a collection of our favourite crazy bike-related stories from our favourite riders, racers and industry legends.

Everyone has that story that they wait until the end of the night to pull out when the anecdotal oneupmanship starts to get into the final round. Tall Tales is a collection of our favourite bike-related stories from the best in the business.

This week’s Tall Tales comes to you via a photoshoot gone slightly wrong in New Zealand through the eyes of Steffi Marth.

Photos by Cam Mackenzie.

Once upon a time I was able to travel wherever I wanted to ride bikes in beautiful places and share unforgettable moments with my dear friends…

Actually this scenario is not so long ago and I am honestly sort of glad for the forced off-time I have now to sit back and relax, get all my stuff sorted that was bugging me for months and just enjoy the beautiful memories I made.

One of my absolute best friends comes from B.C. Canada; you probably all know her from her famous pink and black “Ferdagirls” Youtube video. Micayla Gatto and I are sort of similar in some ways and absolutely different in others. We love bikes, adventures, a great time with others and one very important thing, laughing our asses off about anything at anytime.


Our biggest difference is probably our nationality and all the little attitudes that come with it. Also the way we work is very much the opposite. I am all planned out and super focused while Micayla is real loose canon with ideas and thoughts that are all over the place. I feel like we feed from each other a lot in terms of riding and creativity and when it really counts, we work together amazingly.

So this February we got a big trip to New Zealand sorted to kick off the season the best way we could. Now I feel extremely lucky because it might have been the only time we were able to hang out together for 2020. Anyway, we landed in paradise to ride bikes, have fun, do Crankworx and … oh actually we also had to deliver some content for our new mutual sponsors ABUS and EVOC.

So we hired the super talented kiwi photographer Cam Mackenzie to shoot some images for us and two seconds later we parked the car for a sunset mission somewhere around Rotorua/New Zealand. Cam said it will be a 350 vertical meter climb and so we went off to make sure to get the best light on top. You know exactly what comes next. Of course Murphy’s photoshoot law got us and the sun dipped right when we arrived on top, super tired and insanely sweaty. Typically we left late, we giggled the whole way up and went through about a hundred jokes and stories to the top.

We managed to get amazing shots at the top, thanks to Cam who was able to handle it professionally. Finally it got very dark and we decided to not take the trail through the pitch black jungle but cruise down the fire road back to the car. This is the climax of the whole tall tale because I bet you don’t know what’s coming next…

We almost ran over a cute Wallaby family in the dark and then stopped at a crossing near the bottom of the mountain. Cam got his phone out to look at a map. That’s never a good sign! We found out we are on the backside with no access to the front and decided to follow a road that seemed to have a little diversion but will bring us to the car.

Long story short… from there it took us over an hour and about 15km to get back to the car. Did I mention I am afraid of the dark? And of animals? I was so thankful we were in New Zealand rather than Australia where this situation could have killed us. On a good note: I saw the Milky Way, some glow worms and Micayla and I can add another typical #twostokedgirls story to our memories.

You will be able to track down all of the crazy stories in the Tall Tales series head here.

Why not check out our Wise Words interview with the same Steffi Marth here?

Read all our other unique content on our Features page here.