Out of the Blue | Kyla Gilchuk | Presented by Schrader’s

By Jensen Amyotte

Presented by Schrader’s

Name: Kyla Gilchuk
Date of Birth: August 1st, 1993
Hometown: Hinton, Alberta
School/Grade or Occupation: Elementary Teacher Race Number: 834
Bike: 2020 Beta 300 RR
Race Club: Rocky Motorcycle Club
Classes: Ladies A/ AMSA Intermediate

This week, we feature Kyla Gilchuk from Hinton, Alberta. |
Teagan Brosinsky photo

Who got you into the sport?

My dad is the main reason my passion for this sport grew so big! I started off with racing quads at the Hinton Motocross Track when I was five years old. It wasn’t until later in life that my passion grew for bikes. When my mom passed away in 2017, I needed something to keep my mind busy and that was when I competed in my first ever hare scrambles race and I was hooked; dirt bikes became a huge part of my life. I haven’t looked back since!

When not on a dirt bike how do you keep yourself busy?

I have just recently starting sledding and I had an amazing season! I love to be doing anything outside, it’s where I find my heart the happiest and where I am most at peace. Anything from hiking to camping and riding bikes and sleds!

Are there any obstacles you feel a female rider has to deal with that maybe a male rider does not?

At my level, I have not come across any major obstacles, except maybe my height! Haha There are so many amazing women out there paving the way for other lady riders and they are proving that despite some of the obstacles they may face. They can still rip out there and set the bar even higher!

You have competed in hare scrambles. Tell us what that’s like.

It is an unreal adrenaline rush. Taking off from the finish line with a group of rad ladies, charging into the single track, hopefully in a good position because passing can get tricky. Riding to your full potential and pushing your limits. There is honestly nothing like it in my opinion. The feeling you get where exhaustion hits your whole entire body but you know you’re going to come back before the times up and you will have to head out for one more lap, or during the endurance races when you know you’re only halfway through the loop and you have to keep pushing to maintain your place and not to make any silly mistakes that will set you back.

I never knew how hard I could push myself until I started racing. I can thank racing for the progress I have made on a bike! The confidence you grow and watching other women just destroy out there is amazing! Moving through the woods at a fast pace, trying to chase the lady braaper in front of you while trying to ensure no one passes you, it feeds my competitive soul and honestly makes me so happy!

The Desert 100 in Odessa, Washington, is a race she never wants to miss. | Layton Photography photo

Do you ever see yourself competing in motocross?

I have always wanted to try! Last year the Rocky Motorcycle Club put on an endurance race with a mix of track, hare scrambles and enduro. The gate start was such an adrenaline rush. Pretty much every spot was taken up and the second that gate drops, riders rush to the first corner to get themselves out in the front. It was such a cool experience and with the proper bike, I would definitely delve into the sport more!

Who is your all-time favourite rider?

I couldn’t even begin to name one, there are so many amazing ladies and men out there pushing the limits and setting the bar even higher. I honestly admire anyone out there on two wheels challenging and pushing themselves to be better and do better!

Between riding on dirt, in the woods and also the snow, which do you feel you excel at the most and why?

I spend most of my time riding in the bush, on the single track. I find where I excel the most is on the fast, flowy trails where you can just rip and feel the wind blowing through the sides of your helmet. I am working towards getting stronger in the technical riding areas to help my progression in riding!

Is there an event you look forward to most every year?

Odessa, Washington – the Desert 100 is my all-time favourite event. But, sadly with COVID-19, we have been unable to go! So, this year I am just excited to get out and race in some different clubs and meet some more rad women.

Who has been your biggest inspiration/hero on and off the track?

My father continues to be my biggest inspiration. He continues to push me to be the best version of myself. He is my biggest cheerleader! I am always learning more and more from him and for 60 years old, he can still rip on his bike! He has always been there for me and continues to help me grow on and off the bike.

“…it’s not so much about the place on podium but about having fun on my bike and continuing to grow as a rider.” | Courtney Schmale photo

Tell us about your 2020 season and your plans for 2021.

2020 was an awesome season. I bought my 2020 Beta 300 RR and have put a lot of hours on it! I plan to put more hours on my bike, race as much as possible and just get out and ride with my people and continue to grow as a rider! Racing hare scrambles brings me so much joy and happiness so partaking in as many of them as I can is a must!

What are your biggest accomplishments to date?

The progression I have made on a bike is what I believe to be one of my biggest accomplishments. I have placed well in quite a few ladies races, but for me, it’s not so much about the place on podium but about having fun on my bike and continuing to grow as a rider.

Four years ago I was on a KX 100, I could barely stand or turn without falling over, hills up or down were a hard no. Looking back then to now, I cannot believe how much I have grown. My confidence has skyrocketed and pushing myself and my limits even further. My fear is no longer a barrier.

The trophy I am most proud of and this was a huge accomplishment for me was placing 16th out of 65 lady riders at the Desert 100, which was a huge goal for me going into the race.

What is the biggest lesson that being involved in motorsports has taught you so far?

Motorsports has taught me so much and it has made me a better person in so many ways. I will forever be grateful for the people I have met along the way and for the sport as it has brought me so much happiness and fun adventures. The greatest lessons that this sport has taught me are patience, confidence, independence, I have become stronger overall, mind and body, perseverance and the most important one, happiness!

Keep an eye out for the #834 of Kyla in the trails or on the track! | Kat Orcutt photo

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Continuing to race and just enjoy this sport as much as possible. I want to share my love for racing and riding with other people!

Are there any sponsors or people you would like to thank?

Ride Hard Designs, Mountain Lab Gear, Flow Vision,
Astra Off Road, Seven Designs, 509, Ryno Power, Redline Kelowna

Go see Rick Bradshaw at Schrader’s!