Megan Griffiths

I had been following Megan on social media for awhile and knew that I wanted to profile her. Just one week after returning from the Women of Moto Eastern Canada tour, I drove out to the Okanagan Valley to meet her! We met up in the hills above Okanagan Lake in a recreation area known as Bear Creek, which is a popular dirt biking destination. Megan had her dog, Moose with her, who quietly sat in the shade under a tree while she did her thing. Watching her tear around the hillside was incredible! Her skill set literally blows my mind and gives me something to aspire to. I don’t know how many times I have watched her “How to do a wheelie on a dirt bike” video on YouTube yet still haven’t worked up the guts to try it! Megan is a fellow tradeswoman and works as an industrial electrician in the oil and gas industry. As it turns out, her and I once worked on the same site together (it’s a small world in that line of work)! I have a major soft spot for women in the trades. So here’s Megan’s interview. She’s an inspiration through and through and I am so happy to have met her.

To read more on Megan be sure to pick up Fast Times Magazine issue 2.2

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Tell me one fun fact about yourself 

Here is something that most people don't know about me.  Before I fell in love with dirt biking, I was crazy about back country snowboarding.  Winter would bring me so much joy.  I spent about 76 days out of each winter season up in the hills snowboarding.  I think I was born to be in the mountains!

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What or who inspired you to start riding?

I wanted something with wheels and a motor ever since I was a little girl.  I loved the idea of having freedom to explore on my own.  It wasn’t until later in life that I had the money to make it happen but I made it happen none the less! I decided on a Yamaha TTR 125 to explore the back roads of my home town.

How long have you been riding?

I have been riding for about 10 years now.  I got my first dirt bike in 2007 when I was 16 years old.

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What kind of motorcycle do you ride and why?

I ride Husqvarna Motorcycles, specifically a TX 300 and an FX 350. I chose this brand for a couple of different reasons.  The number one reason is the quality! Husky makes top of the line bikes.  I put my bikes through a lot of abuse and these bikes can not only withstand that abuse, but they also perform extremely well.  These bikes are designed with the avid rider in mind.  Every part, from the suspension to the motor, functions at a high level, allowing me to reach my maximum potential on the bike!   The second reason I went with Husqvarna is because of what they are all about.  Husqvarna is all about the adventure! Their brand promise is “Pioneering since 1903”.  This means a lot to me because adventuring, exploring, and pushing the boundaries of the sport is what I am all about.  I am proud to represent a company that promotes this sort of stuff!

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What is your dream bike?

This is going to sound funny but I think I may have finally ended up with my dream bike.  I am currently riding the TX 300.  This is a 300cc two stroke dirt bike that is designed for woods racing.  This bike is geared perfectly for the trails, it is light and nimble, it corners like a dream, and has heaps of power.  The cool thing about this bike is that it can actually be quite tame when you need it to be, but when you open up that throttle, you have enough power to do anything imaginable out on the trails.  This bike is also fairly simple and cheap to maintain which is a bonus for sure.  

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Were you intimidated by the male dominance in the riding community?

I may have felt a little intimidated when I first started riding, but I think that was more by the bike itself.  It was my first time on a motorcycle all together and crashing seemed like the end of the world to me.  I actually didn’t understand the concept of replacing parts back then.  I thought that if you broke something on the bike, it was broken for good hahaha. Oh man.  Anyways, back to the male dominance part.  I truly believe that I can accomplish anything that the guys can accomplish (if not more hehehe). I have felt that way ever since I was young enough to remember.   It would never even cross my mind that I shouldn’t do something because there weren’t many women doing it, so jumping into a male dominated sport wasn’t an issue for me.

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How has riding helped you in your personal and professional life?

Riding has been an amazing part of my life.  I have met so many incredible people because of it.  I met most of my closest friends while riding or at some sort of dirt bike related activity.  The people in this industry are pretty darn awesome.

Dirt biking has also had a very positive impact on my mental health.  I am the kind of person who needs to stay busy.  I love to be physically active and I love working towards bettering my skills. I guess you could say I am a very goal oriented person.  My riding has given me huge goals to strive for and work towards and has kept me very busy.  I’m always working on something, whether it’s my skills on the bike, or some sort of plan for my riding career, the gears are always turning!  

When it comes to my professional life, again I’ve met a lot of people in the industry who have helped me along my journey and helped push me in the right direction. I have also learned a lot about the ways of the dirt bike world.  There is so much to learn when it comes to sponsorships, professionalism, how to be a good ambassador, and that sort of thing.  It’s been an amazing journey so far, I’ve really learned a lot.

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Do you have any women in the moto industry that you are inspired by? Why?

Yes, my biggest inspiration in the moto industry is a woman.  Her name is Victoria Hubacek.  Before I even started racing, I would hear all sorts of stories about her.  Just destroying the boys out there on the trails, so skilled and so awesome.  Then I finally saw her at the races.  She raced on the A loop (the tougher course), in the men’s class.  It was so inspiring to see! Ever since then, I knew that I would be doing the same one day.  She is an amazing role model for women in the sport but also just for people in general.  She’s a really good human.  Caring, hard working, fun, and well liked by everyone she meets :).

As a woman of influence with an significant social media following, can you give me an example of how you have inspired other women riders?

I think I have grown on social media and been able to inspire other women riders because, in a way, I am doing what others think isn’t possible, or would be “too hard”.  I am a very small person (5 foot 3 and 120 pounds) doing what many grown men struggle to do.  Off-road riding is extremely physical and being small certainly has it’s down falls. I think that by showing the world what I can do (especially the ladies out there who are interested in the sport), I am able to inspire people to get out there and give it a go.  I know that if I see someone do something that I think is “too hard” or “not doable”, my mind changes instantly and I am dead set on doing it.  I get quite a few messages from women telling me that I have inspired them to get into dirt biking.  My favourite one so far was from a lady who follows my YouTube channel.  She told me that I inspired her to start learning to ride a dirt bike at the age of 65! I really love reading messages like that.  It gives me even more incentive to keep doing what I’m doing!

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What does success mean to you?

Success comes in many different forms.  I always try to take something out of everything I do, but I will admit, I am very hard on myself.  I always have a big goal/project on the go and naturally, success to me would be achieving that goal.  I work hard and do everything it takes to get there.  When I make it, I feel great and bask in the feeling of success for a short period before coming up with a new, tougher/bigger goal.  Haha, it never ends!  But success comes in smaller packages too.  When I go out on the bike and finally clean a nasty suspended log for instance, that is a form of success in my eyes.  It’s progress!  Sweet, satisfying progress.  It’s such a great feeling to move forward and better your skills on the bike.  That is most of the reason I love this sport so much.  There is so much you can do on a bike.  So much to learn, so much to practice, and so many opportunities to succeed.

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Where do you see the women’s moto movement/culture in Canada heading over the next few years?

I see the women’s moto movement growing like crazy over the next few years.  Every year I notice more and more women getting into the sport.  The women’s classes in my local off-road races are getting bigger and bigger. All it takes is a few ladies to start spreading the excitement and the passion for it, and then others will follow! It’s so easy to get the bug when it comes to motorcycles.  I’m noticing more and more women’s specific events and group rides happening, as well as more funding for prize money for women’s racing.  We are definitely starting to get noticed out there.  The more women and girls that get into the sport, the more seriously we will be taken as a whole.  It’s really great to see and I’m happy to be a part of this movement!

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What is your dream moto trip?

My dream moto trip has always been to go down to Utah and ride Moab with a good group of friends.  I know it doesn’t sound like anything spectacular but ever since I saw my first YouTube video of the Moab riding area, I was in love.  It’s something about the terrain out there.  It’s nothing like any of the terrain here in Canada.  The grippy rocks out there look unreal!  There are so many obstacles to try and I’ve heard about some pretty challenging trails… It’s certainly on my bucket list. 

How do you feel the image of female riders has changed over the past few years?

I hate to say it but female riders often used to be portrayed as beautiful on or beside the bike, but their skills were not showcased nearly as much as the mens’. I mean heck, the most you ever saw of women around dirt bikes was when they held up the signs at the start of the race or when they stood beside the winners on the podium.  The women’s class at the races wasn’t very big and seemed to be overlooked. Over the last few years, I’ve noticed the female image becoming more and more about our skills, dedication, and determination, as well as the blood sweat and tears instead of the physical imagine/the modelling side of things. It could be because more women are getting into riding, and there are more of us pushing to promote the actually riding aspect of it all.  I am really glad to see it going in this direction.  I’ve been working really hard to break that stereotype and change peoples views on women in the sport and I’m stoked to see many others doing the same.

How do you feel you have broken stereotypes as a female rider?

I guess I am not your stereotypical dirt biker.  Judging by how people react when I tell them I race dirt bikes (especially the guys at work), I am far from what you’d expect an avid dirt bike racer to be.  My small stature as well as being a female might have a little bit to do with that haha.  I think maybe it just surprises people to meet a tiny woman who is so extremely passionate about something that can be so gruelling and physically demanding.  I suppose I’ve taken it to a level that really blows people away and I am proud of it! 

Who is your favorite person(s) to ride with?

My absolute favourite person to ride with is Orrin Malacko.  He is a good friend of mine from Maple Ridge on the west coast of BC.  He has devoted a lot of time and effort into mastering the really technical terrain.  We both push eachother to do awesome (what most normal humans would consider to be crazy) things on the bikes and we always have good laughs while we are at it.  No rock face is “too gnarly” when Orrin and I are together which I love because I feed off the positive vibes.  All I need is the old, “Oh it’s totally doable!” and i’m in with both feet!

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