Please welcome Megan Fisher, our newest Sponsored Rider, to the Salsa team. Meg has an extraordinary story, and we can’t wait to see what her future holds. Stay tuned as we bring you her tales from the gravel and bikepacking world. Want to get to know Meg? Read our interview below to learn about her favorite rides, her thoughts on facing big challenges, and more.
SALSA: When you look back, how do you feel growing up on a farm has affected the person you are today?
MEG: I split my growing-up years between my dad’s family farm in rural western Canada and my mom’s family in the Chicago suburbs. I feel like I had the best mix of farm and city life. Time on the farm gave me a perspective that some folks might not get until they’re older, if ever. For instance, I’ve always known where my food comes from and how much work goes into that. Farm life sounds simple and peaceful but is in fact incredibly hard and unforgiving. My Canadian family demonstrated humble strength that I can only hope to emulate. Life in the city shared its lessons, too. Chicagoland exposed me to more traditional organized sports, provided a great education, and taught me how to navigate heavy rush hour traffic. Now, living in one of Montana’s biggest cities seems to strike a nice balance.
P.S.: I always joke that I speak fluent Canadian and deep dish pizza!
SALSA: It sounds like you became a competitive athlete at a young age. What is it about competition that gets you fired up?
MEG: Funny you ask that. Competition against others stokes my fire less and less these days. Certainly, there was a time when I wanted to be the best at everything. Looking back, I realize that my competitive edge came out of a place of fear. I used to be afraid that if I didn’t do well my family, friends, coaches, and supporters would be disappointed. I didn’t know who I was and I let racing become my life. It’s amazing how deep in the pain cave you can go when you feel like your life’s in danger. Nowadays, the competition comes more from within and I don’t train or race from a place of fear. I’ve found acceptance in my abilities and trust that people care about me for who I am—not for how I finish on the podium. I get fired up to discover and challenge my own limits. Meeting and supporting other people on their own journey is energizing.
SALSA: In the months and years following the car accident, there must have been times of real despair? Can you share with us how you got through them?
MEG: I’ve written and re-written my answer to this question. It’s not an easy answer. I owe a debt of gratitude to countless people and one very special dog for helping me when I couldn’t help myself. The immediate transformation from being an independent adult and capable athlete to someone who can’t breathe on their own nor feed themselves, let alone sit up or stand up…I don’t know exactly how I got through those hard times. Other people shared their energy with me. My service dog, Betsy, inspired me to explore and challenge my abilities. At some point I resolved to live each day to its fullest and to try to do the greatest good. I am the one with energy to share now. I am here to help others.
SALSA: Do you have a favorite gravel event at this time? And if you do, what is it about that event that makes you hold it in such high esteem?
MEG: I love Rebecca’s Private Idaho - Queen Stage Race. It’s a gem! The three stages of the QSR are epic. Idaho is beautiful with challenging terrain that rewards everyone’s efforts. There is so much joy and encouragement shared amongst riders and supporters. It’s infectious and irresistible. RPI will always be on my calendar.
SALSA: Tell us about your favorite ride route in Missoula.
MEG: I feel spoiled in Missoula. I can leave on great gravel, mountain, and road rides from my front door. The Holloman Loop is one of my favorites. It includes a mix of road and gravel. It takes a bit of finesse to avoid getting a flat! The route is fairly remote and there are long stretches where the only thing you’ll hear is your own breathing.
SALSA: Most likely, there is someone reading this that is relatively new to cycling and is doubtful that they could ever accomplish a bicycle ride of 100, 200, or perhaps even 25 or 50 miles. What would you like to tell them?
MEG: I wholeheartedly believe that we are capable of more than we know. All too often we put a barrier between ourselves and our potential. It’s all too easy to believe what we can’t do. It’s too quick and easy to say “can’t.” Try adding on, “I can’t right now.” It opens up the world of possibility.
A bike is an amazing tool to help people uncover just how capable they are!
SALSA: A new year has just begun. What are you most looking forward to in 2020?
MEG: I’m looking forward to everything. Really, I am! Each day creates new opportunities and I like what’s on the horizon. I believe in a concept of “The Greatest Good.” I want to use each moment to help as many people as I possibly can.
HOPING TO BECOME A SALSA SPONSORED RIDER?
We are now taking applications for the 2021 season, beginning January 2021. The application period for 2021 sponsorship closes on March 15th, 2020. Please note that we will reach out to you if we are interested in further discussing potential sponsorship. Due to the large number of inquiries, we will not be responding to every application.
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I love being outside. I prefer to ride on dirt. Or snow. If I was born a hundred years earlier I might have been a polar explorer. There's a great natural world out there to see, smell, taste, listen to, and experience. Life slows down out there and the distractions we've created will disappear if you let them. Give me a backpack and let me go.