Michelle Muldoon or “Ginga Ninja” to her biking friends is a privateer mountain biker and Physical Education Secondary School Teacher in Ireland. While the top pros dedicate their lives to racing for privateers it’s a juggling act of hard graft to fund their racing while trying to fit in as much training as they can, so they can be as competitive as possible when they get to race day. Biking is such a huge part of Michelle’s life and she tries to balance everything she can around it.
I try to get out on my bike for at least two mid-week spins and the gym twice a week also. Weekends are devoted to all-mountain adventures on the mountain bike. This is when it really doesn’t feel like training, more like having fun on the bike with my friends. I also like to mix it up during the winter with some trail-running and indoor bouldering at my local climbing wall.
As the race season approaches, my training will veer more towards interval training and focus on maintaining power and strength in the gym. Weekends are spent sessioning different trails and doing downhill runs to keep the skills fresh and reactions sharp.
For the 2017 race season Michelle will be riding for Flow MTB with sponsorship deals from NICOLAI Bikes (frame), WTB (tyres, rims, saddles, grips), ION (apparel and protection), Kali Protectives (helmets) and Olfi Action Camera. Her local bike shop Madelkcycles will also be supporting her at Irish races and with bike mechanics.
Michelle races enduro MTB both in Ireland and internationally spending her summers travelling around Europe in her race van following the enduro race scene, riding epic trails and meeting new people everywhere she goes. As one of the fastest female riders in Ireland she’s made the podium in almost every round of the Gravity Enduro Series since 2013, and is currently ranked 2nd in the country.
Michelle is an Ambassador for Cycling Ireland and a fully qualified ‘Gearing Up Off Road’ and Trail Cycle Leader with experience coaching beginner women’s biking sessions. As as a secondary school PE teacher she teaches bike skills as part of the PE Programme and will be delivering this programme to other PE teachers around the country as part of their professional development.
2016 race season
In 2016 Michelle was racing among the fastest riders in the world in the Enduro World Series (EWS), as well as the European, French, British and Irish Enduro Series. Her best result in 2016 was taking 11th place at the Irish round of the EWS which left her with a goal of one day being top 10 in the world.
Michelle spent 5 weeks in her van in France and Italy racing and made her first ever international podium in Alpe D’huez at the Mega Avalanche Cup in July.
During 2016 Michelle’s love of racing took her to a global level when she competed in the USA and Canada.
Highlights of 2016
- 11th Round 3 Enduro World Series, Ireland – I was in the ‘Hot Seat’ watching other riders come through which was a first for me. This was my best EWS result to date
- 3rd Mega Avalanche Cup. My first international podium
- 2nd overall in the Irish Gravity Enduro Series 2016
- Travelling across the globe to America and Canada, living the dream and racing amongst the best riders in the world
- Living the ‘vanlife’ in the French Alps and staying in the stunning village of Chamonix under the giant that is Mont Blanc
- Washing in the icy cold Savoie Valley river in La Thuile after an epic race weekend!
- Experiencing the stunning trails of Snowmass, Colorado and Whistler
- Watching Crankworx in Whistler – EPIC
- Making so many new friends along the way and riding in the most amazing places
2016 race results
- 25th overall – Enduro World Series (EWS)
- 11th – EWS Wicklow, Ireland
- 33rd – EWS Aspen, Colorado
- 25th – EWS La Thuile, Italy
- 3rd – Mega Avalanche Cup. My first international podium
- 2nd overall – Irish Gravity Enduro Series
- 1st – Welsh Gravity Enduro Series, Cwmcarn
Plans for 2017
With priority entry for every round of the 2017 Enduro World Series Michelle will be racing in Ireland, France and Canada. With plans for Trans-Provence, Mega Avalanche and many of the National Enduro Series and European enduro races she’s set herself some big race and personal goals for the year ahead:
- Race three of the eight rounds of the Enduro World Series in Ireland, France and Whistler
- Race the 6-Day Trans-Provence Enduro in France
- Podium every round of the Irish GE Series with at least 3 wins and win the overall series
- Come top 3 in the Mega Avalanche Cup
- Race in the British, Scottish and Welsh Enduro Series
- Spend a month in my van exploring the French Alps
- Run coaching clinics for women throughout the year
- Continue to run 6-week Gearing up off-road courses for beginners with Cycling Ireland
- Increase female ridership and positivity through education and advocacy