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Mark Mandeno

Trail Advisor

In 2015, while Mark was teaching children to surf, he fell off a surfboard into shallow water, resulting in a spinal cord injury. Mark’s experience of facing and overcoming obstacles and re-creating a whole new sense of meaning and purpose in his life is now part of what he wants to share with others. Mark has always found the most meaning, purpose, and satisfaction in his life when helping other people connect and discover themselves in more healthy and fulfilling ways. The work Mark does with Adventure Works and now has taken up for #AdaptMTB is a mechanism for living out this purpose.

Before his injury, Mark was an active adventurer, engaging in activities such as alpine climbing, rock climbing, kayaking, adventure racing, and multi-day hikes. He also served as the teacher in charge of an Outdoor Education program in a secondary school and underwent training and worked as a counsellor. The journey from being a teacher of nine years to a small business owner and learning how to live as a quadriplegic has been a steep but satisfying learning curve for Mark.

Since taking up adaptive mountain biking in 2022, Mark has realised the transformative potential that adaptive sports, particularly adaptive mountain biking (aMTB), can have for individuals living with disabilities like his own. Mark recognised a gap in accessible trail information as he sought information about accessible trails for riding on his Bowhead Reach. Mark understands the physical and mental barriers standing in the way of other adaptive riders exploring new trails and the need to grade and compile trail data to support the pursuit of adventure.

Mark Mandeno
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