I first met Meg Valliant almost exactly a year ago. I had several short interactions with her over the course of a three day biking camp in the Arizona desert . . . she was mountain biking, I was road cycling. . . we shared loud evenings of bliss with 35 other women under the night sky next to a camp fire over a few bottles of fireball and whiskey (although I don't remember seeing Meg drink...mostly because I don't remember much), we gleefully sang fairly out-of-tune pop ballads and rock classics late into the last night together. It was epic.
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And then I saw Meg jump. Mind blown. I had never seen a woman go over a jump and actually catch air before. And not just the 2 inches of wheel clearance that feels like you are Evel Knievel defying death and gravity just to land a quarter second later freaked out and breathless (anyone? anyone?) ... Meg SOARED effortlessly around a pump track and boosted off a kicker with swagger and confidence. I needed to learn how to do that!
Fastforward. In June I got to actually hit the trail with Meg and was not only impressed by her jumping, but by how effortlessly she handled the group dynamics of a very wide spectrum of rider ability levels.
Meg was kind enough to offer me a private jumping lesson. Despite Meg's incredibly patient coaching...It was frustrating. My wheels seemed glued to the dirt and I awkwardly bobbled and bounced around the park. Further demonstrating how awesome Meg is, she moved me from one frustrating task into other more manageable tasks and then made some suggestions for what I could practice with my bike off the jumps so that next time I would find more success. It worked.
Two months later I caught up with Meg and Kat Sweet and, after a morning of skills clinics, I found myself popping off the lip of a jump with a teeny bit of air, then casing it, then knuckling the landing with my rear wheel, and then... I FLEW OVER THIS FRIGGIN JUMP LIKE A BEAUTIFUL GOLDEN EAGLE! I had never felt so happy and accomplished in my life. I let out a whoop of joy followed by another whoop from Meg and then a bunch of whoops from everyone. It was epic and things clicked and I absolutely wouldn't have done it without Meg and the Sweetlines crew.
Meg is so impressive on so many levels (biking, jumping, coaching, parenting, etc. etc. etc.). She is passionate and kind. She is always the first to ask if you need help and the last to leave... she's the kind of person everyone needs in their life. Meg inspires me and so many people who are lucky enough to know her...I am really grateful for this opportunity to share her story.