Matt Begg is a kid that goes commonly unnoticed within the New Zealand mountain biking scene. The nineteen-year-old full-time joiner apprentice living in Ashburton New Zealand could easily be one of the best Free-ride mountain bikers within the country, yet no one knows about him.
If you are unfamiliar with Ashburton, it is a small country town situated in the middle of the Canterbury Plains with not a hill in sight. Not the most fitting location for a budding Freerider. The only facilities Matt has is an old small skate park down the road from his home which is his only riding spot within the town. The closest “real" riding spot is 1.5 hours away in the city of Christchurch. Matt is one talented rider for sure, particularly since he’s only been riding for three years. Before he fully dedicated himself to Freeride, he dabbled with BMX, but nothing serious. For the past couple years, since Matt got his drivers license, he’s been driving up to Christchurch after work on a Friday night then crashing on who’s ever floor/couch he can find for the weekend, then driving back to Ashburton on Sunday night, ready for his 5 am wake up for work the next day. Matt's passion for riding is right up there and is shown by the long drive he pulls off most weekends. When riding Matt is always having fun, pushing his riding hard, and always trying to learn new things. For the people that know of Matt, I’m sure one of the first things they think of when they hear his name is his smooth style and his incredible dip 360s. It's incredible the way he can effortlessly throw around his 16kg+ downhill bike. It's hard to comprehend how fast this kid is improving especially with the lack of facilities he has access to.
Film/Edit: Hunter Paull
Rider: Matt Begg
Photos: Hunter Paull & Ben Karalus
Special thanks: Andrew Costain & Liam Allan