Take a Walk on the Wild Side
We are all captivated by people that think outside the box, and places, ideas and products that make our imagination run wild. Totally individual, unique, and sometimes even eccentric, these are the people that we admire because they aren’t afraid to explore, reinvent, and go on an adventure to discover that truly great inspiration takes courage to turn into success.
Wild Rider: Steffi Marth
STEFFI MARTH (33)
Professional Mountain Biker
“I feel like I truly am ‘riding the dream. I found my passion for it and for racing bikes and ever since this BMX track is my paradise.”
It was the speed and the feeling of freedom that got Steffi Marth hooked on the sport of BMX Biking. Racing BMX bikes since the age of 12, Professional Mountain Bike Athlete Marth is a five-time National BMX and 4X Champion and winner of the bronze medal in the 4X World Championships in 2014 and 2015. Passionate about nature, Marth’s life brings together the best of both worlds as she moves away from more competitive racing towards exploration, adventure and freeriding. A much-publicised face in the world of mountainbike media, Marth’s competitive nature has also seen her complete a Master of Science in Architecture and a Degree in Public Relations.
Describe yourself in three words
Active, outgoing, life-loving
When did you first start BMX racing? Did you have any role models when you started BMX?
I started at the age of 12 and loved it from day 1. I didn’t really have a lot of role models back then but now it’s for sure all the women that were successful in both, BMX and MTB such as Caroline Buchanan, Anne-Caroline Chausson…
What triggered you to get into a wild sport like Mountain biking / BMX in the first place? We are sure there were other options.
I played handball at the time I got into BMX. I was super into it and liked all the games when I had to be fully concentrated and put it all out on the field for myself and the team. I like to give everything and always loves competition. I come from a small village called Plessa, 50 km north of Dresden, it’s in the south of Brandenburg. We didn’t have a lot of options of things to do in our village. One day the mayor decided to close down the public swimming pool because renovation was too expensive and so they looked for other options for the youth. We finally got a BMX track in our village and all the kids rode at that time. I found my passion for it and for racing bikes, and ever since then the BMX track is my paradise.
How is it being a female athlete in extreme sports? Do you feel like things are becoming more equal in terms of opportunities, coverage, and sponsorship, for example?
I mean, this is a tough question… I believe female athletes have the advantage of still being quite rare and so there are many possibilities for a smaller group of people. It’s fairly easy to get sponsoring while there are so many men trying to get supported. But on the other hand, of course we have disadvantages in body shape and mental state. A female mountain biker just looks different to watch on a bike than men and I think this won’t change. Women are racing the same courses as men and sometimes get equal prize money (like at the Crankworx World Tour) but still… there is way more money going into male athlete sponsoring.
What is your favorite training to stay in shape, stay fit?
I love training… all kinds of it. I love to ride all my bikes (on the bmx track, in the woods, on the mountain or also my road bike). But other than that, I also love bodyweight training – like with the app Freeletics.
Have you been in danger? Please describe your wildest moment.
I think I have been in danger a lot when I ride really small paths at a high altitude, but honestly? I don’t feel in danger. If I feel scared or unsafe I won’t ride anymore. I try to be in my comfort zone all the time. My wildest moments were for sure back when I participated in the DH World Cup. There were some tracks that really scared me and we only had a few hours of practice so I mostly had to go for huge jumps and steep lines in my second run of the day.
Social media plays a big part of promoting yourself in this social media driven world. How do you view social media, which one is your favorite? Pros and cons? What do you think of the term, “influencer”?
Social Media is a blessing and a curse really. It gives us athletes a lot of possibilities to share our daily life; competition preparations, behind the scenes of a pro athlete’s life, like biking adventures. And also it gives all the riders who don’t have those top results a chance to share their lives and to make some money from being riders. There is so much more to it than just race results. On the other side, I really don’t like the term “influencer” because I know there are people who have not accomplished anything in the sport and get paid to “just present products”… we (humans) just like to see something beautiful (sunsets, kittens, beautiful humans) and it doesn’t always have a deeper meaning.
You have a Masters’ degree in Architecture and you have studied PR. Interesting combination. How have these two experiences helped to shape who you are now?
Studying for about 10 years besides racing bikes was tough but I am very happy that I finished it. With my 2 degrees I’m always ready to make a change in my work life if I want to… The architecture study helped me to be better at graphic design but also to plan big projects and execute them. PR studies were obviously super important for my job now. Besides the activities and sports it’s a lot about communication and media work, so those lessons I’ve learned were super important for my job now.
Sports sunglasses—what brand do you wear, what do you like about them, and what improvements would you like to see? Are you interested in using smart glasses or augmented reality when it becomes available? If yes, what kind of AI glasses are you yearning to own and how could they be helpful to you?
I am wearing RedBull Spect Eyewear glasses in all situations. I love my prescription glasses for traveling and working… and looking smart of course 😉 For biking I have a huge range of different styles of RedBull Spect Eyewear glasses. What I really like about them is the comfort… I don’t even notice I wear sunglasses. Another special feature of the RB Spect Sunglasses is the Dual Temple System which makes sure the glasses are not moving from their place while being in action. Polarized lenses are also super helpful when having to find your right line on a technical trail.
AI glasses… pheewww it’s a new topic. I haven’t really thought about it. But what comes to my mind first is the opportunity to use them while driving, for example to be able to keep your eyes on the road. Or even when biking to navigate or something like that.
In ten years where do you want to be?
I guess in 10 years I still want to work in the mountain bike industry… not sure if I’ll still be the pro rider in front of the camera or more in the background organizing something. I already have my hands in a couple of projects and it’s so exciting to think what will be in 10 years.