Out of the Blue | Meghan Williams | Schrader’s

By Jeff McConkey

Presented by Schrader’s.

Name: My name is Meghan Williams.
Age: 34 years old.
Hometown: Turner Valley, AB.
School and Grade or Occupation: Oil & Gas Consultant
Number: #32
Bike: 2019 KTM 250 XC-F
Race Club: Rocky Mountain Dirt Riders Association (RMDRA) and AMSA Off Road
Class: Ladies Intermediate

This week we feature Meghan Williams from Turner Valley, Alberta. | JRB Photography photo

Who got you started in riding/racing?

When I was 18 years old, my father and brother decided to take their motorbike course to get their licences for street bikes. Shortly afterward my mother started suggesting we go and get our licences too.

I kept telling her ‘No motorbikes just aren’t my thing.’ She was relentless. One weekend camping my dad helped me try riding a Honda XR 650 dual sport. I would do laps around the campground and he helped me start and stop since I had trouble touching the ground. We planned to get up early the next morning and ride down the road a few kilometres before traffic increased for the day. I was sold!

My first bike was a Honda Nighthawk 650.

Years later I thought riding dirt bikes might be fun; no speed limits, less traffic and less leather apparel in the summer heat. My boyfriend was racing 30B in the AMSA Dirty Moose race and he encouraged me to ride his bike the next day in Ladies Beginner. I entered my first race on his 2012 KTM 300 XC-W. When I crossed the finish line, I still wanted to do another lap.

As a little girl, were you a ‘girly’ girl or a ‘tomboy?’

I think I am the perfect combination of Girly Girl and Tom Boy. Growing up I spent countless hours at the local dance studio, yet my University was funded by working in a machine shop. I love having beautiful nails while ripping on my dirt bike!
 
Is there one female out there that you think has paved the way for other girls to be successful in moto or off road?

I think this is a group effort: mothers who work on land advocacy so we can ride, female pros ensuring there are appropriate classes to advance through, female riders setting up women’s events and ladies rides etc.

As a racer, are there any obstacles that you feel a female racer has to deal with, that maybe a male racer doesn’t?

I believe that the obstacles are the same, however each individuals reaction to a situation may vary based on experience. As a beginner, I used to be intimidated by some of the peripheral details and these became obstacles. Things like loading and unloading my bike, doing routine maintenance, or driving with an RV trailer to races were all new experiences and learning curves. Luckily, I always found myself surrounded with supportive people to overcome the obstacle.
 
Who do you like racing against better, the girls or boys?

I like racing and riding with dudes as I find them to be extremely supportive. I am waiting for the day when I can give my boyfriend a run for his money. Slowly, I am getting there!

“Off road racing has really taught me about determination. I worked two jobs to purchase my first dirt bike.” | JRB Photography photo

Who is your favourite female rider and why?

I love a good riding day with Lisha Fitzgerald and Carly Panylyk. These ladies know how to ride, and I am guaranteed to laugh until I cry at least twice on each ride. Good but not always clean fun!

Is there a racer you look up to and why?

There is a Japanese philosophy Kaizen which translates to ‘Continual Improvement.’ I aim to apply this to all aspects of life, dirt biking included. When I bought my first dirt bike two years ago, I focused on continual improvement. I tried my best to attend Stephen Foord‘s beginner lessons at Wild Rose Race track every Tuesday evening. Stephen has been a wonderful coach for me!

Do you have a “can’t miss” race or event that you try to attend every season?

As a member of the Rocky Mountain Dirt Riders Association, I try to attend and volunteer at the AMSA Dirty Moose race each year.

Who is your hero?

Elayna from La Vagabonde.
 
What are your plans and goals for the 2019 season?

This year I am focused on growth as I moved up a class into Ladies Intermediate. I am focused on completing all the races, as these are longer and more challenging races. I spent several weeks riding in Arizona and Utah this spring and am planning a trip in Montana and Idaho this fall. I am also excited to focus on my off season training this winter.

What are your biggest accomplishments to date?

Last season I completed in the Ladies Junior class and it was my first season really racing and competing.

At the Mountain Goat race in Crowsnest Pass, AB I entered into the Ladies Intermediate class. This was the first race that I completed the full Adult B loop. It was a technical course and a large accomplishment to complete the full B loop!

Meghan plans to work hard on her off-season training this year. | JRB Photography photo

What is the biggest lesson that Motocross racing /Off Road has taught you so far?

Off road racing has really taught me about determination. I worked two jobs to purchase my first dirt bike. That season I only entered one race as my work schedule conflicted with racing. I have had lots of crashes/injuries yet each time I get back up with my goals in mind. I like to try to do one thing each day to bring me closer to my goals.

Do you think it is possible for us to ever see a female Supercross champion? 

For sure and I can’t wait for it to happen.

If you ever have children, will they be Off Road or Motocross racers?

As long as kids are having fun, that’s all that matters. I think they would be World Adventurers.

Who do you want to thank?

I would like to thank my sponsors Ride Hard Designs, Flow Vision, Klim and Cycleworks Calgary, who help make racing possible for me. I would like to thank my mother for not giving up on me when I told her motorbikes weren’t for me and my father for putting me on my first bike. Lastly, I want to thank my best adventure buddy and boyfriend Elwyn Evans, for teaching me to dirt bike, for supporting me no matter where in the world he is and believing women can do anything men can do and vice versa!