If you haven't been introduced to PNW Squad member Martha Gill, you've been missing out. She's an absolute blast to watch ride and is an inspiration for cyclists everywhere as she pursues her dreams and builds a career centered around fun. When Martha isn't tackling the gnarliest tracks of the Enduro World Series, you can find her getting rowdy on the muddy trails of the UK, creatively riding on one wheel, and growing the women's cycling community through her organization, the Gowaan Gals. We consider ourselves lucky to work with Martha and hope you enjoy getting to know her as you read on.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Loves Back Wheel
Tell us a bit about yourself. What’s the “CliffsNotes” version of your life story?
I've always been into sports and the outdoors. I was lucky as a kid to have parents that gave me the opportunities to discover my hobbies; whether it was paying for music lessons or taking me on holidays climbing, skiing, and mountain biking. I was quite academic at school, but chose the gap year life and deferred a University place for 3 years before realizing I was never going to go. Now I have my dream job, traveling around the world racing mountain bikes and working on fun filming projects. It doesn't get much better!
What makes you tick? What gets you out of bed in the morning?
What gets me out of bed in the morning? Usually my hungry belly wanting breakfast.
When did you start mountain biking and what was the progression like? Were you hooked from the start?
I've been riding a bike ever since I can remember. I joined my local club and started racing road bikes when I was about 13. I then dabbled in track and cyclocross before finding cross country. As a U18 rider I was picked up by British Cycling and focused quite seriously on XC racing, but was dropped before moving into the U23 category. That's when I discovered Enduro racing and found my real love for mountain biking. I’ve started to take the racing a little less seriously, but have heaps more fun!
What are some of your bike related goals?
I don't like to make goals based on results. I want to be able to finish races and know I couldn't have performed any better. In 2021 I'll be racing more of the Crankworx events which I'm quite excited to do and see what I'm capable of. I just want to have a good time on my bike, keep things fresh and exciting and continue to have fun.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not riding bikes?
I'm into music, so I like to spend my time either discovering new songs or playing my guitar or piano. Also just hanging out with mates, having a drink and a good laugh is one of my favorite ways to spend my time.
What’s your absolute favorite thing about riding bikes?
Ooooh I don't think I can pinpoint one thing! I love the sense of adventure and being deep in the mountains. But I also enjoy the fact that you don't have to be riding the most amazing trail to have a good time. I feel like riding bikes is as fun as you make it, and I love that when you're with other people you can share the experience and thrill together. I also love how I feel like there's no limit as to what's achievable on a bike, there's always something new you can learn. You can always push yourself to go bigger, higher, or faster. It's like a never ending choice of progression.
What’s your least favorite thing about riding bikes?
Cleaning up after a cold, mucky ride when all you want to do is have a hot shower.
How do you hope to add to, or improve, the bike community?
I hope I can inspire any young kids out there to get out and have a good time on their bike. Every now and again someone will message me on Instagram saying I'm their role model and seeing what I post motivates them to get out and shred their bike... I love that, if I can do that for just one person I'm happy and hopefully it makes the bike community richer.
What’s your current music of choice? Do you have any songs, artists, or playlists that you’re hooked on?
I'd say I listen to a wiiide range of music. I like to go on Spotify and listen to artist radio's and then keep on discovering new songs/artists. Most of the time it's quite chill stuff, but depending on my mood you can catch me listening to reggae, rap, old school hip hop, electronic, liquid DnB, alternative/indie, singer songwriter... the list goes on!
Do you have any moments or memories of riding bikes that stand out from the rest?
I've made so many good memories riding bikes all over the world with different people it's hard to say there's one stand out, so I'll take a random pick... The last time I was riding in Whistler I was lapping it out at the bike park with the gals. The Dirt Merchant trail had newly been revamped with some biiig jumps, but we hadn't hit it and we weren't really planning on it either. But then we bumped into a friend, Matt, at the top who convinced us to send it. He said, “Just follow me in and you'll be fine.” Us gals just looked at each other and you know sometimes you just have those moments where you're like, “F*#k it, let's send it.”' - this was one of those.
We followed Matt in and proceeded to scream our way down the entire jump line, hitting each feature blind and just purely trusting the riders speed in front, knowing we had to send each jump to not mess it up for whoever was behind. When we got to the bottom we were all on cloud nine, absolutely steaming off adrenaline, and it was the best feeling ever. I think it was the fact we weren't expecting it and then we all suddenly decided to send it. We got to share the huge adrenaline rush together. You only get that first hit enjoyment once!
Are you currently working on any projects that you’d like people to keep an eye out for? What can you tell us about it/them without spilling the whole secret?
I've got a few video projects on the go at the moment and in the upcoming year. One I'm super excited about is in fact with PNW. I'm keen to push the limits on this one and see what I can do. Let's just say it features curly bars and a new product!
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
A big thank you to the guys at PNW for supporting me, being one of my dream sponsors, and allowing me to make my dream job a reality!