Out of the Blue | Megan Sharpless | Presented by Schrader’s

By Jensen Amyotte

Presented by Schrader’s

Name: Megan Sharpless

Date of Birth: March 28, 2001

Hometown: Whitby, ON

School/Grade or Occupation: Student at Queen’s University, Dirt Bike instructor at Trail Tours in the summer

Race Number: 952

Bike: KTM 150 XC-W

Race Club: Off-Road Ontario

Classes: Women’s Pro

This week, we feature off-road racer, Megan Sharpless, from Whitby, Ontario. | Sherie Gibson photo

Who/what inspired you to get into the sport of motocross?

I’ve been on a bike for as long as I can remember, thanks to my dad (Blair Sharpless). He had bought me and my sister a JR50 before we were born and welded on a big set of training wheels so we could ride it before we could walk. Needless to say, my dad has always been one of my biggest inspirations. He raced enduros at a high level for most of his life and I’d always hear his stories from the sport when I was young. I remember thinking the stories were the coolest and being super excited to have some memories of my own like that. 

When you’re not racing how do you keep yourself busy?

When I’m not racing, I’m often working at Trail Tours, but when I’m off a bike altogether, I have a few activities I like to do. Two of the biggest are painting/drawing and playing piano. I do them just for fun. I find it an enjoyable way to spend my time. When I was young my parents enrolled me in almost every extracurricular they could find and those two and the dirt biking are what stuck. Other than that, I really enjoy doing nothing and just giving myself a break. 

Megan’s advice: “Don’t get intimidated! It can be overwhelming learning a new skill and practicing it in a public environment that’s male dominated. Everyone starts somewhere and most people who are enthusiasts of the sport are excited to see the sport grow and fresh faces at the track!” | Photo supplied

As a racer, are there any obstacles you feel a female racer has to deal with that maybe a male racer does not?

I’ve always found physical strength puts me at great disadvantage. Most of the racing I do is hard enduro and I find myself in many situations where I could get out of it much quicker if I could muscle my way out of it. 

What event do you look forward to most every year, one you don’t ever want to miss?

The Corduroy Enduro is both my most looked forward to and most daunting event of the year. I love slower, more technical trail which is all The Corduroy is, however that makes the event extremely hard. The race is run by my dad so despite only being able to race once I was 16, I was there every year spectating or running a checkpoint as a kid. I had no clue how the people racing where able to get through it so well and was super excited to try it for myself. I’ve raced it every year since I was 16 and can’t wait to give it a try in the women’s pro class in 2021. 

Tell us about your 2020 race season and your plans/hopes for 2021.

2020 was undoubtedly strange. The amount of racing I was able to do was underwhelming, however it was my first year in the Women’s Pro class which was exciting and new. I loved getting to race on a more challenging course surrounded by faster racers and that’s exactly what I’m looking forward to in the 2021 season. 

With Blair Sharpless as her father, Megan basically grew up at The Corduroy Enduro and has raced it every year since she was 16. | Sherie Gibson photo

What are your biggest accomplishments to date?

In 2019, I raced the Promation National Enduro series in the Women’s Intermediate class. The final race of the season was the Corduroy which I had a tough, but great, ride and managed to finish first in my class. That alone felt fantastic, but it also gave me first place in the series. It was a great way to end the season and finish off my time in Women’s Intermediate.

What kind of track/dirt do you feel you excel at most and why?

I’ve always gravitated towards more technical trails. I never did much motocross as a kid and never really learned to go fast but spent a fair amount of time in single track. I still do not know how to go fast although I’m able to get through difficult trail decently. I’m always happy to hear that the course for a race is tight and tricky rather than open and fast. 

If you could give 1 piece of advice to a female of any age who wants to start riding what would it be?

Don’t get intimidated! It can be overwhelming learning a new skill and practicing it in a public environment that’s male dominated. Everyone starts somewhere and most people who are enthusiasts of the sport are excited to see the sport grow and fresh faces at the track!

Watch for Megan in the Women’s Pro class in 2021. | John Jarvie photo

What was your first race number and how did you choose it?

My first race number is the one I currently have; 952. When registering for an Off-Road Ontario membership I was given a list of numbers to choose from and liked the way 952 looked and my sister got the neighbouring number 951. I’ve recently been debating rearranging it to 925 so it sounds like the Dolly Parton song.

Who would you like to thank?

My family, my aunt, Toni Sharpless, Supersonic School, GP Bikes, Stadium suspension, John Nelson, Opti-2, and anyone who’s ever stopped during a race or trail ride to help me pull my bike out of mud or over a log.