For a few years now, the quaint coastal town of Aptos, CA has been a breeding ground for mountain bike talent. Mostly famous for the now deceased Post Office jumps, the local riders have always been good about grooming up and coming talent. Aptos and all of its hidden nooks serve as an off season training ground for big names like Brandon Semenuk and Logan Peat as well as being called home by the likes of Ryan Howard, Tyler McCaul and many more.
Today we take have a chat with two promising groms that the established riders have wisely invested their time in. 16 year old Owen Marks and 15 year old Garret Mechem just might be some of the athletes that define the future and throw down in front of 40,000 people at Joyride in a few years. That is, if they play their cards right. We headed deep into the woods to hang out with them and watch them throw down at their new spot now that Post Office has been flattened. Here we go…
Garret : 15 years old. 5’5″ – 5’6″? I don’t really know but I’m 125 pounds.
Owen : Deity Components and Fox Racing Shox.
Owen : Ummm, probably Ryan Howard and Kyle Jameson because they were always riding at post office. They’d try to get me to do a bunch of stuff and get steezy on something and then they’d keep hassling me til I got it right.
Owen : Well, I lived in Seacliff and my dad told me there was a pumptrack over here(RIP) and I came over here on my BMX and just started riding every day when I was 11.
Garret : My good friend Bubba who is a well known BMX racer got me into riding. I’d go over to his house after school and also ride Polo Grounds(currently being rebuilt) and the pump track. Sometimes we’d try the little jumps off to the side at post office. Eventually I just got better and better and started riding post office every day and he went on to go full BMX racer and did well at that.
Owen : Haha, pretty much. I just got on one and it felt like a bigger BMX and because of the shocks, it didn’t hurt so much when you landed.
Owen : I’m in the middle of building one up and I want to but it’s taking a while. It would be nice to do that kind of thing a couple times a week to mix it up, but dirt jumping will always be my focus.
Owen : 360’s for sure…I’ve been doing them for a while and I dunno. Yeah, they just feel right.
Owen : Some flip barspins for me cause I’ll do them good one time and other times I blow it. Some truck drivers as well because I have to do them switch.
MTB-MAG : What’s your favorite spot to ride? It can’t be post office but it could be anywhere else?
Owen : Tough one, probably Woodward West. I just love the variety.
Garret : Same, absolutely.
Owen : Lately a lot more just because Post Office got torn down so we’ll go to parks in Scott’s Valley, Ben Lomond and Santa Cruz.
MTB-MAG : Are you guys working towards getting on the FMB tour and getting into slopestyle? You ride and train a lot at Deer Camp…Where do you guys see yourself in a few years.
Owen : I don’t know yet. I want to try some contests and feel it out, but I want to get a bike industry job and just be a flowy trails rider. If contests go well I’d like to go that route but I’m not putting too much pressure on myself.
Garret : I want to see how far I can take things with my riding. If it works out great. If not, no big deal, I can always find something else or be a LOC like R-Dog.
Thanks guys! Good luck.