Swami’s Junior Development Team: Megan Jastrab interview

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How did you get into cycling?

Ever since I can remember, which hasn’t been to long as I’m only 15 years old, I have been on a bicycle. I started competing in bicycle races when I was 8. With the BMX track only a few miles from our home in Apple Valley and my parent’s concern for my brother and I riding on desert roads, which typically have a 55 mph speed limit, they said that we could try BMX. I already had most of the BMX gear as I had been riding motorcycles since I was 2 years old and the track had loaner bikes for kids to get started on – good to go! I competed in BMX till I was 12 at which time I started to ride on the road. Both my older brother, Ryan, and I enjoyed riding on the road so much that my father began teaching/coaching us on how to ride and race. We participated in a few local races, which quickly grew into racing most every weekend that we could – parents permitting. Our passion for riding and racing didn’t stop there, we soon were back on the dirt, this time without the motorcycles. Mtb riding was added to our calendar of cycling events. We jumped into both the NICA (Jr. High/High School Mtb) and the USA Cycling events in 2015. In 2015, we also tried and fell in love with track riding at the StubHub Velodrome, in Carson, CA., only a mere 2+ hours from our home. Due to logistics, we only rode the track occasionally, until half way through this year. In a nutshell, riding a bike is just what I like to spend my time doing!!! Currently, I am in my fourth year of competitive cycling, I have achieved 11 national gold medals, 23 national podiums, and several Pro wins. I love cycling and am always looking for ways to improve and challenge myself. Let me know if anyone has an extra cyclocross bike, I might have to give it a try in the near future!!!!

What other sports do you participate in?

At the moment, I am only competing in cycling: road, track, and Mtb! However, during the off season, I will be dirt bike riding, camping, and skiing!

How do you balance school and sport?

I am luckier than most student athletes, as I have the luxury of being homeschooled. To me, it is an added perk to always have my teacher with me, well, most of the time – Hehe. Homeschooling makes it easier for me to accommodate both training and completing my school work. As a cyclist, I am always traveling on the weekends and sometimes during the week to attend Stage races. This fast pace
schedule makes it necessary for me to always plan ahead. I need to make sure that I don't leave assignments until I get home from a race on Sunday, last minute studying doesn’t work well after a day of hard racing. Procrastination is not one of my characteristics, because if I haven’t finished my school work, chores, etc. racing is off-the- table as an option for weekend.

Where do you see yourself 5 years from now/What are your long-term goals in cycling?

My goals are to compete in the Women’s World Tour, Olympics, and the World Championships, probably the same as every other competitive cyclist. Then one day, I would like to not just compete in the races, but to also win them! Additional, I would also like to work college into the mix. Where I see myself in 5 years…. I hope achieving these goals!!!

Any tips for Juniors thinking of entering the sport?

To have fun!!!!! Riding a bike is just so much fun, so don’t focus on just racing and winning, because you can forget why you actually started riding a bike. “Always try your hardest and never give-up! When a race doesn’t turnout the way you want it to, look at yourself to see where you need to improve. There is always more to learn, and having the support of parents, coaches, your team, mentors, and the racing community will all bring you closer to your goals.

Follow Swami's Cycling Club:

Founded in 1989, Swami’s Cycling Club is one of the premier and most recognized clubs in southern California. We are composed of more than 300 male and female cyclists in the San Diego region who participate in the entire spectrum of cycling activities from the adrenalin-pumping action of racing to mountain bike and fitness rides.

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