Markella Mildenberger was fit and active before a routine surgery went wrong in 2011, affecting her ability to walk and leaving her with chronic pain. Life, as she knew it, changed forever and for the next five years, she watched her world unravel. The turning point came in 2016 when Markella learned that her pain was permanent, and she made the decision to start ‘living life again’.
Three years later, whilst looking for a new challenge, and with no mountain bike experience (but a huge amount of pain just sitting on the saddle), Markella, a mountain bike newbie, signed up for one of the world’s most gruelling multi-day MTB events, the BC Bike Race in British Columbia – 7 days, 300km and 10,000m of elevation along some of the sport’s most technical trails – and made a film of her experience: “It’s Just Like Riding A Bike”.
Ahead of the UK premiere on Monday 16 March, which kicks off a week of adventure, wildlife and environmental films at the annual Four Seasons Film Festival, I caught up Markella via email to hear more about her experience.