I just started learning to ride dirt bikes, coming from a trials bike background.
My past experience has been riding Britannia’s “Goat ridge” in Squamish BC, and
“backyard” riding in Crumpit Woods, Squamish.
Due to my 5’6″ height, I was totally intimidated by the full sized 250cc dirt bike with a typical seat height of 38″, so last year I got a Honda CRF150R. I shaved the seat foam down by a few inches, changed the bars, levers, grips and lowered the foot pegs. But I have finally realized after trying to make adjustments to get the bike to fit me better, that the bike is just too short to find a comfortable riding position.
Though tips from watching Graham Jarvis’s you tube vids helped immensely, riding my little bike still seemed more difficult than it should be, especially in trying to find a comfortable aggressive riding position for steeper hill climbs.
So, I looked around to see what other shorter riders were doing and came across Megan Leigh Griffiths on you tube.
Megan is 5’3″ and rides a full sized dirt bike…and she doesn’t just ride it…she totally shreds on it!
I watched a few of Megan’s vids and was so inspired by her talent that I decided to “man up” and test ride my hubby’s full sized YZ250FX that he just bought from Harvey at Diamond Head Yamaha in Squamish.
I was pretty skeptical as to whether or not I could manage the beast at all!
But, to my great surprise, it was super easy to ride and actually felt much more comfortable than my little 150. The suspension was away nicer, and it was easy to maneuver through tight single track.
Needless to say when I got off the 250, I had totally lost interest in riding my little bike anymore!
So, I have decided to sell both my Honda150 and my Beta trails bike to get the new Beta x trainer, which is pretty much between the two, leaning more toward the dirt bike.
Thanks to Megan I have gained some personal confidence in riding dirt bikes.
I asked Megan if she would be interested in a q & a for an article I wanted to write so that her positive vibe might be shed upon the rest of us riders out there…so here we go!
Q1– being 5’3″ whats your trick to getting on & off your bike?
Being only 5 foot 3 is definitely a pain in the butt sometimes but I’ve learned to make it work. When I was first learning to ride a full sized bike I would always make sure I would park where there was a tree to lean on or a rock to stand on haha. Over time though, I’ve worked on my balance and my strength and I don’t struggle with it nearly as much. Something I would strongly recommend for shorter riders is a low seat. I think it is a better alternative to lowering your bike because then you don’t lose ground clearance or change the way the bike rides.
Q2– you are obviously strong & healthy, do you have a training regime?
My training regime mostly involves going out and riding. I will pick a weak aspect of my riding and focus on it for the day. This could involve ripping lap after lap on a technical grass track I made to practice cornering or it could involve practicing a log over and over again until I am happy with my technique. These repetitive training drills are a good way to work on my stamina, my strength, and my skills on the bike. I have also recently started going to the gym. I will be focusing mainly on cardio and stamina.
Q3- What kind of diet do you have? What sort of energy foods do you eat or not?
I have a fairly strict diet that I try to stick to. I avoid sugar completely (not including natural sugars found in fruit etc), I don’t eat many processed foods, and I try to eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables as well as good healthy protein. One of my favourite carbs that I like to eat the night before a big ride or a race is sweet potatoes. I find they give me tons of energy. I eat carbs like that rather than pastas and such.
Q4-When was the first time you knew dirt biking was your calling?
I knew I had found my calling with dirt biking when I first really started noticing improvements in my riding back in 2011. I loved the feeling I got when I realized I was progressing and doing things I never thought were possible on a bike. I fell in love with the sport and just kept pushing my limits. There is ALWAYS something to work towards and it keeps me so busy all the time. It’s perfect!
Q5– What was your first bike & when did you get it?
My first bike was a TTR 125 back in 2007. It was the perfect bike for me learn on because of my size. I could touch the ground with both feet.
Q6-Do you have a mentor?
I have more than one mentor in this sport. My first mentor is a man that goes by the name Hippy. He found me when I was first really trying to improve my riding skills in the trails and he helped me excel. He showed me that I was capable of so much on a bike. I also have a mentor when it comes to riding track. His name is Sam Nicholls. He used to race pro motocross here in Canada and he has been really helping me with my motocross skills. I don’t have much experience on the track but he pushes me just the right amount and is a great teacher.
A-Thanks for your time! You are inspiring, and I hope to get others inspired as well!
Getting over logs-Megan’s tutorial:
Megan’s You tube Channel:
Megan’s Instagram page:
Help fund Megan to race for team Canada in the International Six Days Enduro this fall: