For the second straight year, North Fork’s Ryder Ellis will look to make his mark as one of the country’s top young motocross stars as he competes in the Loretta Lynn Amateur National Championships July 31 - Aug. 5 in Tennessee.
Ellis, who recently turned 7, earned his “golden ticket” to the event by qualifying in the Loretta Lynn Regional contest in Washougal, Washington May 27-28.
“We are very proud of Ryder and all of his accomplishments,” said Amber Ellis, Ryder’s mother. “He has been very focused and determined. He’s worked hard and he set a goal to make it back to Loretta’s, and he did it.”
Perhaps true to his name, Ryder has always wanted to be a motocross star. He reached that decision at only 3 years old, when he sat on a motorbike for the first time.
At least twice a week, he practices on a course set up at his family’s home in North Fork, performing tricks, flying off jumps, and riding hard into curves.
Both Amber and Rob Ellis, Ryder’s father, said it could be a bit frightening to see their son take on such a high-intensity sport. But they love giving Ryder support, even in the rare cases he crashes.
“No doubt about it, when he wrecks, it’s scary,” Rob said in a Sierra Star story last year. “When he’s going so dang fast, it’s scary. But at the same time, it’s exciting.”
“He hops right back up and he’s good to go after a crash,” Amber said. “So really, it’s more the mom and dad who are scared ... and he just keeps getting better and better, so it’s one of those things where it’s hard to say no to him.”
Amber said Ryder has improved his skills since last year, and could place even higher in the championships.
“He has definitely grown since last year,” Amber said. “He’s a top rider in California in the 4-6 limited class. He’s putting in a lot of time on his bike and traveling up and down California for races.”
This year, Ryder has competed in numerous races, earning wins in the Mammoth Motocross Qualifier, the Moto Pro Triple Crown of Northern California, and the Loretta Lynn Midwest Qualifier.
Ryder is a straight ‘A’ student at Spring Valley Elementary School, Amber said, with sponsors including NorCal Cobra, Mountain Up Racing, ALiAS MX, Spy Optic, Mika Metals, DT1 Filters, Little Ripper Designs, Snuffy Racing, Live Purple, 31 Thirty Designs, and Dunlop Tires.