monika mannke

  • Wednesday Flow or Distance


How long have you been riding?
I started biking as soon as I could walk. In my 20’s I toured around Europe on a classy 3-speed bike until the frame broke. When I arrived in Canada my first purchase was a secondhand 10-speed road bike which I used to commute year-round in Toronto. I was bitten by the mountain bike bug only 8 years ago here in Edmonton, and haven’t looked back.

How did you learn to ride a mountain bike?
A long-time Dirt Girl introduced me to the Canada Cup course because she was under the impression that I’d mountain biked before … must have been my shiny new bike! It was quite a 3-hr introduction to mountain biking which resulted in a cracked rib … but I wasn’t deterred, quite the opposite. I’ve taken some basic courses, but most of my skill improvement came from chasing and watching better riders but also from riding as often as possible.

What is your favorite moment involving bikes so far? 
In 2016, a friend (Cathy Graham) and I teamed up to race in the Golden 8. It is a challenging course at the best of times but when it rains it pours. Cathy and I ended up in a mud bath, BUT our perseverance earned us 3rd place. When Cathy crossed the finish line her first words were “can we please go to a hotel and not stay in a tent tonight?” … priceless. In 2017, as a solo racer at the 24 hrs of Light in Whitehorse, Yukon I managed to place second behind a racer half my age. I was in the saddle on a course similar to “root canal” for 20 hrs. Needless to say, my butt was in desperate need of some TLC, but it was AWESOME!

Why do you ride with Women on Wheels YEG?
I just enjoy riding with women. Their camaraderie and support is uplifting and inspires me to continue biking as long as I can. As my skills improve I’d like to encourage newer riders to experience the freedom this sport has to offer. I just love feeling the wind in my hair and zoning out.  

What are you looking forward to most this year?
To finally conquer some of my nemeses and to continue to get up and try again. It’s never to late to learn new tricks.