The Cali Kid & The Wheelie Queen
Up-and-coming rippers Matt Koen and Martha Gill put their mark on the birthplace of mountain biking – Marin County, USA – in our latest issue
Marin County is a historic location in the world of mountain biking. Lying just north of San Francisco, it's where pioneers such as Charlie Kelly and Joe Breeze first cobbled together 'klunker' bikes and raced them down the infamous Repack downhill, spawning a whole new sport.
Neither Matt Koen nor Martha Gill can claim to be born-and-bred Californians, but the brand they both ride for – Marin Bikes – certainly can. Since 1986, Marin bikes have been ridden through every era of MTBing, and now they're being raced by these two future stars of the sport.
Matt, 19 – who was born in South Africa but is now the quintessential surfing, skating, pickup-driving California kid – and Martha, 20 – a Lancashire lass with a love of (and serious talent for) wheelies – are a pair of up-and-coming EWS racers on the cusp of breaking into the top ranks.
For the new issue of MBUK, photographer Steve Behr caught up with them both in the birthplace of MTB to find out more about them and watch them hit the trails. You can read the full story in our October 2018 issue (MBUK 361), on sale now. To whet your appetite, check out these web edits of Matt and Martha shredding!
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Former Mountain Biking UK features editor Ed Thomsett is a downhiller at heart but has been riding bikes of all types since a young age. He's raced both nationally and internationally in downhill and enduro, and has spent several summers living in the Alps and Canada, riding, roadtripping and living the dirtbag lifestyle. Now Ed calls upon his years of experience riding bikes to the limit as a writer and reviewer for MBUK and BikeRadar. He's also an avid trail builder and has scraped out numerous steep and technical lines in the woodlands of his native North Yorkshire. These days Ed will happily turn his hand to any discipline and believes the sign of a good week is when every bike in his shed ends up muddy by the end of it.