AMERICAN MOTORCYCLIST MARCH 2019
Motorcycles, Journeys, Trophies & Marina
One Woman’s Introduction To Motorcycling
For many motorcycle riders, the path into riding is a gradual one. It begins with short rides and steadily works toward riding longer, tackling increasingly technical roads or trails.
However, Maro “Marina” Grubb’s introduction to the two-wheeled lifestyle has been anything but gradual. In six years of riding she has completed a cross-country off-road motorcycle trip and won an AMA regional enduro class championship.
In the beginning
Grubb grew up in the eastern European nation of Ukraine and did not throw a leg over a motorcycle until after she moved to the United States in 2012.
It was encouragement from her husband, Derek Grubb, that helped her get over her nervousness about riding. Grubb had raced dirt bikes in his youth and had gotten back into riding in his mid-30s. He taught Marina how to ride off-road and, later, how to ride on the street.
Marina quickly became enamored with motorcycling, and motorcycles featured prominently in the couple’s wedding ceremony.
Grubb said her family was unable to travel to the 2012 wedding from the Ukraine, so they rounded up several of dirt-bike friends for a ceremony on the Hatfield-McCoy trail system in West Virginia.
“We rode our dirt bikes to a spot on top of a mountain, where we were met by a preacher and a ranger,” she said. “It was great [fun] splashing mud on each other.”
Crossing the nation on dirt
Within a year of learning to ride, Grubb began planning an off-road, cross-country adventure, much of which followed the Trans American Trail.
After three years of planning, Grubb, her husband and a small group set out on the trip in 2016. They rode from Port Orford, Ore., to Liberty Park, N.Y., with Grubb on a 2012 Suzuki DR-Z400. The 22-day trip covered more than 5,600 miles and featured 13,000 feet of elevation change.
It was a trip Grubb said she would do again in a heartbeat.
“What better way to see the United States,” she said. “The beauty of each state was unforgettable.”
Champion at 25
Grubb next decided to give off-road motorcycle competition a try.
She competed in an off-road race in 2016, and raced for the first time in the Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series in 2017.
In 2018, Grubb raced a KTM 250 XC-W in seven Sprint Enduro Series events in the Women’s Novice Class. She won the last five events and claimed the 2018 class championship.
Plans for the future
For 2019, Grubb plans to return to Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series competition, this time in the Women’s Amateur A/B Class.
Grubb said she is putting together an all-female team to compete in the 2019 Kenda Northeast 24 Hour Challenge, an AMA-sanctioned 24-hour off-road endurance race, and is considering taking part in several Grand National Cross Country Series events.
Grubb also said she is working on starting her own business that will cater to female motorcycle riders, and is working with her husband to plan a 15,000-mile, cross-country trip in Canada for 2020.