Matt Jones, Freeriding Mountain Biker – Interview
23 year-old Red Bull athlete Matt Jones has worked his way up in the freeriding mountain biking scene to become one of the best in the world.
Jones emerged onto the British dirt jump scene while still at school, before breaking into the international bike scene in 2013 at the age of 18. He won Farm Jam 2016 in New Zealand having achieved top 10 places at the previous year’s Vienna Air King and Bearclaw Invitational.
Matt’s breakthrough feature film sees him push his mountain biking skills to the limit. You can watch it at redbull.com.
How old were you when you started riding?
10 years old.
Where did you ride growing up?
I’ve always ridden at Woburn, my local trails and ‘bike park’. I started out on a race BMX and rode a BMX track with my twin brother when we were super young, but this was short lived when we discovered that Woburn was on our door step and there were jumps in the woods to ride. This is still one of my favourite local spots to ride for sure.
“I started to just enjoy the jumps”
What inspired you to move into Slopestyle? How old were you when you started competing?
I always did dirt jumping but was actually more focused on downhill with my brother. He got loads faster and better at racing as I started to just enjoy the jumps on the race tracks, so it was pretty clear that I should be getting air rather than keeping it low and fast. So I decided to give some bigger jumps a go and it all spiralled from there.
Why did you choose to shoot the edit locally? Do you still ride locally?
I’m really into the local riding scene where I live. It’s not the biggest but everyone is super friendly and has always helped me with riding and digging over the years. I still live locally to where I grew up and so it made a lot of sense to find somewhere close-by to shoot this video especially as the dirt, terrain and feel of the place is what I know best.
“The chance to bring your own flare”
What is your advice to young riders wanting to get into Slopestyle?
I guess one important thing is to do whatever you enjoy, don’t look to hard at what other riders are doing and feel the need to emulate that. The best thing about freestyle sports is that you get the chance to bring your own flare or perspective on things to the table, that’s what makes it unique so just do what comes naturally and hone your skills wherever that may be.
How do you keep disciplined when it comes to your fitness training regime?
It’s actually really hard to maintain a routine when travelling a lot and forever changing plans last minute. But for me it’s more about having options with training, the gym is good in the off season but not available when i’m away, so for me even doing stretches in a hotel room is important and keeps you on top of things when off of the bike.