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  • Writer's picture David Van Orsdel

BE STRONGER: On the Trail with Nina Machnowski

When you’re happy and doing what drives you, you have the majority of the puzzle already in place. The rest of the pieces will reveal themselves naturally, no matter what your pursuit or passion may be. For Nina Machnowski, that passion is riding, and it’s a lifetime pursuit that has taken her from her home in Northern New Jersey to Brevard, North Carolina where she has become an integral part of a strong and growing scene of female cyclists.

photo by Mack Faint

As part of that community, Nina has found her place as an integral part of Ignition Coach Co staff, helping drive the company ethos and helping direct athletes to coaches that fit their goals and personal style as well as adding a bit of flair to the Ignition brand. As a lifelong athlete and a major driver in the psychological aspects of the training community, she lives by the motto “the stronger and healthier you are, both physically and mentally, the happier you’ll be, and vice versa - progress will follow”, which serves as a reminder to her and performance driven athletes in the cycling community to focus on a wholistic, rather than restrictive, approach to fitness that so many athletes fall into.

Nina after finishing the LT 100 in 2022

This approach has already taken her far, with a hugely successful first attempt at the Leadville MTB trail 100, and has left the door open to events further abroad with future goals including Cape Epic in South Africa , riding British Columbia's wet and technical trails at the BC Stage Race, and the more technical and spectacular mountain bike stage races in Europe.

As a rider who excels in technical terrain, she is keenly aware that by embracing her strengths she will not only garner better results, but also be more fulfilled as a rider. She credits professional rider Sarah Hill and the strong Ignition community of coaches, riders and researchers for helping her understand how to capitalize on her unique strengths and to understand the sport as a whole rather than reducing it to numbers, an approach that leaves her motivated and wanting more, on her terms.

What is ahead of Nina? Certainly more events, from another attempt at Leadville to events even further afield that will suit her riding style and approach to what cycling is and means to her. This means continuing to embrace the community, training, and sport in general as a way of connecting to the community and helping it grow by providing some of her own invaluable insight into being a strong, happy, and healthy athlete.


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