North Fork’s Ryder takes silver in national motocross championship

North Fork is now home to one of the best young motocross riders in the country.

Earlier this month, 7-year-old Ryder Ellis entered the Loretta Lynn Amateur National Championships in Tennessee for the second straight year. After days of competition, the young star came away with a second place finish out of 42 competitors, falling behind only Wyatt Thurman of Temecula.

“It feels awesome,” said Ellis, thanking his family, friends, and sponsors for their support. “It was fun racing the fastest kids in the nation at the biggest race for amateur riders. I had fun.”

Leading up to the national championships, held July 31-Aug. 5, Ellis trained a minimum of two days a week at his base track outside the family’s home in North Fork, said Amber Ellis, Ryder’s mother. All year, she said Ryder trained to improve his race times and earned his “golden ticket” to compete nationally by qualifying in a regional contest in Washougal, Washington in May.

“We are extremely proud of all the hard work, dedication, and effort Ryder puts into this,” Amber said. “It was an accomplishment to just make it to Loretta’s and to the winner’s podium. That is huge.”

Ryder did all that while attending first grade at Spring Valley Elementary School, and being on the honor roll.

“He along with any other racers that received honor roll during the school year received an A+ sticker to place on his bike,” Amber said. “That showed everyone that his education was most important and his grades in school reflected that.”

Ryder has been dedicated to becoming a motocross star since he was 3 years old. Riding in the 51cc class, the young athlete has competed in more than 50 races since he first set hands on a bike.

Rob Ellis, Ryder’s father, helps with maintenance work, ensuring his son’s Cobra bike is always ready to strike on the track.

“He always gives 100%,” Rob said. “(Ryder) puts his heart into it and is focused and determined. Most importantly, he has fun riding. It’s the best experience for the whole family.”

Ryder has upcoming races this fall at the Fly National Amateur State Championship in Sacramento, and the Moto Pro Triple Crown in Northern California.

Ryder’s sponsors include: NorCal Cobra, Cobra Moto, Snuffy Racing, Fly Racing, Mika Metals, DT1 filters, Ricks Freelance motocross, Dustin Pipes, Spy, DT1 MX Park, Dunlop, RP Paving, 3130 Designs and Mountain Up Racing.