The Debora Effect

After suffering a life-altering brain injury 7 years ago, Debora DeNapoli found healing in the one place she was warned never to return to—the trails.

The Debora Effect demonstrates the true essence of mountain biking: pure, unadulterated joy.

Debora didn’t see a ceiling for what she could experience in life. Constantly pushing to be faster, harder and stronger, she completed long endurance efforts to raise money for causes close to her heart before her injury. But when a motor vehicle accident in 2014 significantly impaired her riding ability, she started seeking a different level of fulfilment: riding for the fun of it.

Recovering from a TBI one outing at a time, Debora found getting on her bike and back into nature was key to processing her most debilitating symptoms and tackling her mental health.

Altering her course in mountain biking, Debora now brings her contagious energy and love of community to every single ride and person she interacts with—accompanied by a whole lot of singing. With boundless happiness, joy and laughter, people gravitate towards Debora, and it’s easy to see why.

Photos: Sterling Lorence

Debora DeNapoli