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Emanuela Bandol
Founder & Skills Coach

My name is Emanuela, I am the founder of Okanagan Bike and Ski, here in Kelowna, BC. I am a Certified MTB and Nordic Ski Coach.

My journey in endurance sports began in my early 20’s as a triathlete, cyclist and runner.  Over the last two decades, I’ve raced over 10 Ironman Triathlons, 25+ Half Ironman, Olympic Distance events, 10 marathons (Boston Qualified), and Cycling Road Races at Cat 2 level in Canada and US. The hard work and dedication allowed me to race in every triathlon governing body at a World Championship level: Ironman Kona, 70.3, ITU Long Course, Xterra Maui and ITU Off Road World Championships.

One of my proudest achievements was in 2017 when I became AG Xterra World Champion at the ITU Off Road Triathlon. With this accomplishment I earned my Elite racing card in Xterra Triathlon and Mountain Biking. The last few years I have focused solely on mountain bike racing 6hr,12hr, multi-day gravel and mountain biking stage races in North America. In the winter I race Ski Mountaineering (SKIMO) in the PNW and participate in local Nordic Ski Loppets.


While I absolutely love racing, I think of myself as more than just an athlete. I love sharing the knowledge I have gained over the years and witnessing someone’s “A-HA” moments and as an adult learner myself I have a profound appreciation of the challenges faced when acquiring new and complex skills. I am passionate about youth development; I work with adults of all ages, and I'll bring out your love of summer and winter sports! Teaching and coaching has been the most challenging and rewarding experience of my career and I can’t wait to help you become a proficient mountain biker and/or Nordic skier.

Let's go play and explore the beautiful Okanagan!

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Sasha Podolchak

Sash is deeply passionate about outdoor adventure including both mountain biking and backcountry skiing. With over 25 years of experience, Sash has honed her mountain biking skills on diverse trails throughout BC. Her dedication is enhanced by her PMBIA coaching certification, and her focus on safety is complimented by current Occupational Level 3 First Aid training. Additionally, she has served as a paramedic in BC for over two decades. 


In the winter months, Sash embraces backcountry skiing, touring several different mountain ranges around BC. She brings her safety-focused mindset from her professional roles as a paramedic and wildland firefighter, along with avalanche operations level one through the Canadian Avalanche Association. Her experience also comes from her role as a Professional Ski Patroller at Silver Star Mountain Resort, ensuring the safety of guests.


Beyond outdoor adventures, Sash co-founded the Grindstone Foundation, empowering female athletes. Sash's passion in life is about the joy of pursuing outdoor adventure passions while making a positive impact.

Emily Salmon

My name is Emily and my passion is sharing the stoke for biking. I am a certified Level 1 PMBIA instructor and NCCP Ride Leader Certified, local trail advocate, and adventure seeker on two wheels. I love exploring bike trails all over our beautiful province. 

I moved to BC from Ontario in 2012, and there began my love for outdoor sports. I wasn’t introduced to biking until 2016, at 27 years old. It took me a few years to really dive into the sport but once I did, there was no looking back. 

I can’t imagine life without bikes. I’m a firm believer that learning a new sport as an adult gives me an advantage to teaching. I remember, freshly, what it was like to struggle as a beginner so I strive to make learning easier and fun for beginners - especially adults - in a judgement free zone. (There may be some sarcasm sprinkled in, but it’s all in the name of good fun) 

Most recently I completed my first enduro, and look forward to participating in more as the season continues. 

I love biking in all the amazing areas the Okanagan has to offer - Smith Creek being my favourite. When I’m not riding in the Okanagan, my favourite place to escape to is Gibsons on the Sunshine Coast. 

Let’s have fun on bikes!

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My name is Jacob, I have been mountain biking for almost 5 years and I love it. I have cross country skied for over 8 years and raced for 5 years. I have received two technique awards for cross country skiing and I started coaching 3 years ago. I have completed my Cycling BC NCCP Ride Leader Certification, I love coaching and laughing with the kids. It brings me joy to see young kids enjoying the sports that I enjoy doing.

Jacob Miller
Skills Coach


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