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The semplicity is at the base of everything.

Anka Martin is just a normal girl that made her passion for mountainbike a life style.

When did you start riding and how?

I started riding about 18 years ago now – wowtime sure flies when you’re having fun! I just started off riding on the boardwalk to and from the beach, and then started veering off onto little dirt tracks to see where they would take me, and that is what got me hooked, that desire to keep seeing what was around the corner and to keep going. I was hooked and have never looked back. It has shaped my life.

Anka Martin

Anka Martin // Photo credit Sven Martin // Juliana Bicycles

Do you normally go riding/training by yourself?

I do ride by myself a lot, I enjoy the quiet time, it is a time where I get to think about everything. I usually go on one group ride during the week, which is great as it always pushes your riding and it ends with burgers and beers at our local pub. Don’t worry about always being in the back either, when I go on the group rides, I am usually the one at the back, but that is how I learn, I try to mimic what the boys are doing and see it as a great opportunity to learn from them. Weekends are also usually a time where we go out on big group rides and adventure out into the backcountry a bit further, but I do love my solo rides.

Do you think for a girl it’s not easy to go around alone to race if she doesn’t have a team that support her?

I wouldn’t say that it is easy, but I also don’t believe that you need a big team to go around and race. Don’t put it off and wait for that to maybe happen. If that is what you want to do, if it is your passion, you need to just go for it and do it. Work hard in the off season, save some money and then go on an adventure and race your bike and travel the world. Find another girlfriend to join you or a guy friend to go with. You will need to put in the hard work before any of the team support will follow.

Would you change something on the Enduro races to give the chance to more girl to partecipate?

At the moment there are so many great enduro events. You have the EWS series which may seem a bit intimidating to girls when you start off, but there are so many other races that are just as amazing and a great platform to start from to build up some experience and practice. The French enduro series are great and so are the Italian Superenduro series races. Once you’ve done a few of those, go on and give the EWS a go! It’s not as scary as it seems. Just get out there and have fun with it.

What do you feel when you ride?

Freedom & happiness.

Are there many girls cyclist and events just for women in your country?

Yes, there are lots of events happening in New Zealand. Not too many women’s only events, but a fair bit of weekend clinics and camps. The races out here are fun and cater for everyone, so we are really lucky to have many to choose from and there are also a huge number of very talented Kiwi girls who ride and race. Coming home to a local race is not easy by any means – the girls all push each other a lot.

Why do you think in Italy not many girls like cycling?

I am not too sure, maybe it is more of a cultural thing. In New Zealand, everything revolves around the outdoors and women are raised in a way that they are exposed to doing lots of things outside and to be tough and not afraid of doing things. I have a lot of great girlfriends who I race with from Italy, and they are wonderful girls. Hopefully there will be some of the younger generation girls who get into it in the future.

Three words to describe this sport?

Healthy, adventurous & liberating.

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A proposito dell'autore

Chiamata dagli amici "acqua e paltan", proveniente da sport completamente differenti, ora dedica cuore e mente al mondo delle due ruote offroad. Poliedrica nel suo lavoro: un'ottima fotografa, sa mettersi a disposizione anche dall'altra parte dell'obiettivo! Attiva come "social specialist" non smette mai di pensare a dove la bici la porterà ad infangarsi la prossima volta!