Ride Like a Girl: Meg Fisher

This is Meg. Keeper Jim and I found Meg spinning loops around Mercer Island, big-ringing the rollers in the pouring rain. Meg likes sunsets, puppies, and had a gerbil named Fränk. Meg doesn’t need bad weather to be considered a badass; Meg rides her bike with one leg, so riding in the rain is hardly a blip on the Badass Radar.

Meg Fisher is on the US Paralympic Team, training for the qualifiers at US Nationals in June to make the squad headed for London. At the time we chatted about it, it didn’t occur to me to ask about any other events besides road cycling she’s involved with, but the ten minutes of Google Research I did for this article revealed that she’s a world-class road cyclist, time-trialist, track racer, mountain biker, and triathlete – and has the world and national championship titles to prove it. She also refers to herself as “Peg Leg Meg”.

Meg’s prosthetic leg appears to work amazingly well (if her going to the front and drilling it every time she felt Jim and I were going too slow is any indication), but my ignorance on such matters is nearly comprehensive. It should come as no surprise, I suppose, that as much or more research goes into making athletic prosthetic development as anything else. Cycling-specific race prosthetics are made of carbon fiber and designed to be airfoils. I assume the airfoil design is 50% for function and 50% for extra damage points when employing a front-flip drop-kick. Meg needs one of these for the Paralympics (not for cage fighting). At the time of writing, Velominati is checking with Meg to see if she’s got a donation or sponsorship fund set up for this, and if so, we’ll advise the Community as such. If not, we’ll see what we can do to help arrange for one.

Once she gets her upgrade, I just hope Pat McQuaid doesn’t come staggering by with his tape measure. On the other hand, I’d like to see him try and catch her.

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104 Replies to “Ride Like a Girl: Meg Fisher”

  1. Awesome frank! Very inspiring. I’m sure you’d find a lot of donations here, especially if there was a fresh v-cog decal on the carbon fiber.

    People like her a truly an inspiration to be grateful for what you have in life, and to keep going strong even when faced with personal hardships.

  2. @RedRanger

    No doubt about it. BADASS!

    That bartape has to go.

    Nice piece though, it’s fun running into other peeps on rides, striking up convos, and hearing their stories, especially when they have something to say.

  3. First off, wow! Great story, great rider!

    Second, I would love to hear what she has to say about her pedaling dynamics. She would be the absolute expert regarding what we were talking about the other day regarding cleat placement and the contribution of the lower leg.

  4. @Calmante

    First off, wow! Great story, great rider!

    Second, I would love to hear what she has to say about her pedaling dynamics. She would be the absolute expert regarding what we were talking about the other day regarding cleat placement and the contribution of the lower leg.

    Yeah – and she rides a 165mm on the left and a 170mm crank on the right. Makes my head hurt just thinking about it!

  5. @RedRanger
    Jeebus, that’s a helluva snarl.

    Nice profile, @frank. I liked how you summed up her attitude towards her (what’s the right term… disability? handicap? Those don’t seem to be apropos with regard to her, given her accomplishments) condition with one simple quote:

    She also refers to herself as “Peg Leg Meg”.

    Fuckin’ gold. I’d start a ride with her any day (and likely get dropped five minutes later).

  6. This is absolutely badass. I know how hard it is to ride a bicycle with one leg, my grandpa had no legs. I actually have videos of my grandpa and other WW 2 victims learning everyday things.

  7. @frank

    @Calmante

    First off, wow! Great story, great rider!

    Second, I would love to hear what she has to say about her pedaling dynamics. She would be the absolute expert regarding what we were talking about the other day regarding cleat placement and the contribution of the lower leg.

    Yeah – and she rides a 165mm on the left and a 170mm crank on the right. Makes my head hurt just thinking about it!

    I think next time we ride together, you to be on a bike with a powercrank (can can borrow @scalers), with one crank arm slightly shorter than the other. That’ll put us at about even then, I think.

  8. Very cool! Love the action shot that leads the article. I now know a bit more about paralympic cycling than I used to know.

    Good luck, Meg!

  9. @mcsqueak

    Ugh, seriously. “I want you to be on a bike with a powercrank” is how that should read. My disability is the inability to write a freakin’ coherent sentence in my native tongue. OK, back to lurking.

  10. Awesome! I love to hear stories like that. I’m sure you’ll let us know if we in the community can help, and you can get ahold of me personally too. Being sponsorship coordinator for my team, I have some contacts. Cheers!

  11. @mcsqueak

    @mcsqueak

    Ugh, seriously. “I want you to be on a bike with a powercrank” is how that should read. My disability is the inability to write a freakin’ coherent sentence in my native tongue. OK, back to lurking.

    Ya, and they’re adjustable too. I can make them any length from 140 to 190 (I think).

  12. I can braze her up a bitchin’ leg. I’ll powdercoat it orange, add some carbon bits and put a V-Cog and a “PL-V” sticker on it. Or I can just donate.

  13. SON OF A BITCH!! I’m completely blown away, awe inspired, and TOTALLY IMPRESSED!

    Peg Leg Meg…

    SON OF A BITCH!!

    Get the damn Paypal link up ASAP!!

    -Bianchi Bob

  14. As a dude that sometimes rides with riders that have less limbs than what they were born with, I am stoked that Frank wrote this one ! Awesome.

    Total bad-ass and certifiable! I’d love to see a follow-up closer to London, and yes, if she needs help getting a new cycling leg, let’s help her out!

  15. @redranger: Take what I say with a grain because I know her! And please understand that I brag..but she doesn’t! She never raced before her accident. She could have quit…and she didn’t. She now has 6 gold medals–from Xterra, TeanUSA and other races. She grabbed life by the throat and is choking the heck out it. She is my hero! Early on she said she was “handi-abled” because she chose. All I know is that she is Megan and I am so proud of how she is leading her life that my heart swells.

  16. Thank you to all who have read this article and commented…and are actually thinking about helping her out! You are AWESOME!!! Hugs to you all…signed, Megan’s Mom.

  17. When I’m crying on the side of the road in Flanders, in the rain, I’ll think of Meg. She is V.

  18. An excellent story, and very glad to see it written here.

    Not to take away from all the amazing accomplishments of Megan, but another story that will make you realize it ain’t about our baby kangaroo shoes or perfectly taped bars.
    It’s as Frank would say – lov[ing] the work.

  19. @poorhardworker
    You have good reason to be proud of her. You’re alluding to an accident but none was mentioned during our short ride together; all that was talked about was Cycling, dreams, and Other Good Stuff. I also think its great that Meg is studying to work in acute physical therapy. Seems it might be a subject she knows about.

  20. @Cyclops
    I don’t want to speak for her and while your idea sounds pretty wicked and I have every confidence in your skills, I suspect that the “steel is real” philosophy doesn’t apply to prosthetics. Lugs…*ouch*.

  21. @scaler911

    Awesome! I love to hear stories like that. I’m sure you’ll let us know if we in the community can help, and you can get ahold of me personally too. Being sponsorship coordinator for my team, I have some contacts. Cheers!

    Thanks for that offer; I’ll get you two in touch.

  22. @all
    Thanks for your generosity – we’ll definitely get a paypal link set up or some such. I just heard back from her and she doesn’t have anything set up yet, but will soon. Stay tuned.

  23. @Benj

    Damn that’s awesome! I wonder how much more aero she is?

    I bet a lot. And lighter. And its more carbon, so that kicks ass too. I’m envisioning something on the outer limits of the UCI allowed ratio of whateverthefuck and its going to be badass. And if she gets a flat, I imagine you can jump off at the right angle to get some extra lift and burn less energy. And then when you climb back on you can come from another angle and use the wind for lift. You could save literally fractions of joules.

  24. @il ciclista medio

    Great piece, great character and lovin’ the photo’s.

    The smile in the first is so sweet and the snarl in the second, intimidating stuff.

    Seriously – I saw that on Google and was like, woah, she gets mean, cuz she seemed really nice on the ride. Sign of a champion.

  25. having had the distinct pleasure of riding with several vets who have lost limbs overseas i find it incredible how these “disabilities” do absolutely nothing to hold these incredible athletes back. any suffering you do on a bike is instantly put into perspective when the person suffering next to you is minus a limb or three.

    and peg leg meg is the coolest fucking nickname in the history of cool fucking nicknames…i think i’m in love.

  26. @poorhardworker

    Thank you to all who have read this article and commented…and are actually thinking about helping her out! You are AWESOME!!! Hugs to you all…signed, Megan’s Mom.

    Megan’s Mom, why dontcha encourage your daughter to post on here… This place could use some more pretty girls.

  27. Fantastic article and a true propagator if the V. I am definitely in the picture for sponsorship and i can ask my company too. I am hoping there will be a nicely placed V sticker on the new carbon prostetic as well as a complimentary V kit heading her way.

  28. @Calmante
    Be careful what you wish for…have a read through some of the mid 2011 threads here. A lass named Karolinka was around posting essay length comments on many a thread (as well as some interesting pictures) that veered dangerously close to tin hat territory & generally spoiled most threads she commented on.

    Didn’t take long before she ended up getting more bad reactions than you! It all culminated in some pretty messy comments, posts being removed & her account being stricken from what I recall.

  29. @calamante agreed! Frank get Meg to fill us in o her peddling, to get on the site and sharei her experience andis knowledge. we know her username will be peglegmeg and she will no doubt have a special badge such as a titanium nail or something of that ilk.

  30. @huffalotpuffalot

    I am hoping there will be a nicely placed V sticker on the new carbon prostetic as well as a complimentary V kit heading her way.

    My good sir, I’m sure you mean a Decal?

  31. @Calmante: Again..stunned by the response! I will encourage her to check the site and add her two cents! Thanks to all…

  32. @Mikael Liddy
    Oh, that sounds like an interesting read, but I couldn’t find any…

    So Meg is a triathlete? I feel so conflicted, now. Jaja was my only triathlete exception before now.

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