Cyclist of the Month: Megan Boettcher

West Coast beats East Coast for this new Seattle transplant. Megan, an experienced century rider, talks about girly socks and getting dropped by a senior who smokes, not just on the bike, but cigarettes!

Age: 27
Occupation: Systems Analyst, University of Washington – Medicine
Hometown: Waterford, Connecticut
Alma Mater: University of Connecticut
Commute Distance: 6 miles round trip from Greenlake to UW (5x/week)

How did you first get involved with Cascade?
I joined Cascade when I first moved here in 2004. There’s something for everyone. I didn’t know anyone, but I knew that cyclists were nice. I attended my first Bike Expo meeting to meet people; I ended up volunteering for two years, coordinating the beer garden and other special projects.

How else are you involved in cycling?
I’ve become the cycling consultant for friends starting to bike and commute to work. I help them find bikes and answer questions for novices; it’s very exciting to see them progress.

What’s your ride?
I ride a 2003 Specialized Allez; I’m very proud to ride a steel bike that’s less than 18 pounds.

Does that mean you race?
I raced for two seasons in Connecticut, but have not picked it up since moving here. I enjoy the big rides with lots of people. On the East Coast, to ride with large groups, you pretty much have to race. I tried the Seward Park Criteriums, but crits aren’t my thing. I also attended the annual Meet The Teams event, but have not found a great fit.

How do you prefer to spin?
I finished my first STP this year and it was great. My favorite loop is around Carnation/Fall City/Duvall. I ride frequently with my boyfriend’s family.

Does cycling run in your family?
My dad raced when he was my age. Now, he’s in his 70s, smokes a pack of cigarettes a day, and he still drops me like a bad habit. He still holds the record for an obscure century in upstate New York.

Do you find any differences between East and West Coast cycling?
The community here is far more accepting. As much as people complain, it’s great; it’s night and day. You can find trails and more riding partners at more levels here.

Do you have any favorite gear?

Biking is one of the few activities where I’m very girly: I get into the apparel…I really like girly bike socks.

What was your most memorable biking experience?
Meeting my boyfriend’s parents for the first time at the Ride of Silence. Riding to Greenlake, I reached across Tom’s handlebars (a no-no, I understand); I hit a curb and crashed into a tree, and he fell onto some glass; he needed to go to the emergency room. I did win lots of brownie points with Tom’s parents for continuing on with the Ride.

How about a best experience.
We used to do ‘combos’ at the coach’s house. He had a ¼ mile loop on his property; he’d have us repeat loops of running one mile, then biking 2.5 miles. My second year of training, I beat my coach! It was good cross-training experience for us.

And last year, I beat my dad’s best century time: 4 hours and 23 minutes.

What have you noticed as a newbie to the area/Club?
Everybody loves to shout “car up.” It’s good, but sometimes it’s over the top. I also like that you can go anywhere in Seattle in bike shorts and not be dressed improperly.

As a minority among roadie enthusiasts, how do you recommend attracting more women to the sport?
Hold more women-only events. Women want to try Club rides, but are often intimidated. Women-only rides would have lots of promise.

Weekdays, Megan can be found pedaling her Allez around Ravenna to and from UW.

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