Out of the Blue | Kyleigh Ruhl | Schrader’s
Name: Kyleigh Ruhl
Date of Birth: December 20th of 2006
Hometown: Berrien Springs, Michigan
Currently: Nappanee, Indiana
Grade: Sophomore in high school
Bike: CRF 150r
Classes: 85cc and Girls
Who/ what inspired you to get into the sport of motocross?
Who really inspired me was my uncle, Mitch Sluder. The first time I ever rode a dirt bike I was around 4 years old and was in an open field with no track or jumps. It wasn’t until I was about 5 when I started racing. My uncle would take my cousin and me to a few fair races here and there but not very often. I wasn’t very serious about the sport at such a young age but as I kept riding throughout the year I realized my love for the sport just grew more and more.
As a racer, are there any obstacles you feel a female racer has to deal with that maybe a male racer does not?
I think female riders tend to face many different obstacles than males do. As a female rider I feel as if it is hard to not get discouraged in a lot of situations. While there is a girls and women’s class, females can still race with the boys. I think there is a very positive side to riding and racing with the boys but with that comes some discouragement. Riding with the boys can be harder competition which can make you faster but it can also make you feel like you aren’t fast enough, strong enough, or even worthy enough to race with them.
Being a female rider is challenging knowing we may not have the physique or speed some guys have. But I think as a female rider you need to remember just because males have a slight advantage doesn’t mean you can’t beat them or win.
What is the biggest lesson that motocross racing has taught you so far?
A big lesson racing has taught me is there are going to be obstacles you face as a male or female. This sport is an awesome sport that takes a lot of talent, and it is unfortunate but sometimes things just don’t go the way you planned them too. With this sport come injuries, mental toughness, bike problems, and for some money can become an issue. If there is one thing that this sport has taught me it would be that you have to fight and make sacrifices in order to do the things you love and that’s just a part of life.
If you have children will you give them the option to race as well?
If I have children in the future, I would definitely give them the option to race motocross. In fact i think it would be hard for me to not force it upon them just because of how much I love the sport I would want them to experience and feel the same sort of love for it that I do. But with that being said, you can’t force a kid to love or enjoy something just because you do, so I would definitely give them the opportunity to try it out, but if that’s not what they’re interested in then that would be perfectly ok.
If you could give 1 piece of advice to a female of any age who wants to start riding what would it be?
A piece of advice I would give a female rider that’s starting motocross is to give it time and practice just like everything else. You will slowly start to see progression throughout your experience, it’s just a matter of being patient and cutting yourself some slack as you’re learning. I think another very important thing that would be good to get in the habit of while learning to ride is making sure you keep good form. Good form will help you with everything when it comes to corners, jumps, and saving yourself from crashing. Form is a very big factor in the sport of motocross.
What was your first race number and how did you choose it?
My very first official race number that I chose was the current one I have right now, #714. And that all kind of started while I was out at RedBud open ride with my uncle, Nick Ruhl, while I was riding on the small track with a trail bike at the time. It wasn’t until after the first moto when my uncle started to ask me what race number I wanted. I continued to go on about how I thought 14 would be a good number. He explained that someone already had the number so I should pick something else. I thought I would just keep 14 in my number and add a number in front. I added the number 7. I told Nick I wanted my number to be 714, he then went on to tell me that was my mom’s birthday. I had no idea while thinking of it, but once he told me that it made me want it even more. So that’s the number I went with and still continue to have to this day.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
When I grow up I would love to race Supercross and be a professional racer. But while that’s my dream I would also enjoy starting my own interior design business and becoming and interior designer.
What was your first fear when you started riding and how did you overcome it?
Something I thought I would never overcome was my crash on my KTM 65. I had been racing while I was going into a corner with whoops right out of it. I didn’t allow myself to straighten my bike out before entering the whoops. I came around the corner going into the whoops hot while my back end began to fishtail booting me off the bike leaving me in a scorpion position, unconscious. While I don’t remember all of it my grandma happened to get photos of the crash, and hearing stories of it was very hard for me to regain the confidence to be aggressive on the bike again.
When not on a dirt bike, how do you keep yourself busy? Are you involved in any other sports or extracurricular activities?
When I’m off my bike and I’m left unable to ride I do school sports outside of race season to keep me fit and in shape for when the season comes back around. I did basketball, track, and cross country. But now I only do track, and with the rest of my free time I work.
Who would you like to thank?
There are many people I would like to thank for even making it possible for me to race. I would like to thank my uncle Mitch Sluder for introducing motocross to me at such a young age and getting me interested. I would like to thank my uncle Nick for cheering me on and encouraging me to ride fast and beat the boys. I thank my grandpa for making many sacrifices in order to race me and help me chase my dreams. My grandma and aunt who come to every race and bring food to eat throughout the day, bring encouraging and positive vibes, and taking pictures of me while riding. I would also like to thank my Lord and savior Jesus Christ while this wouldn’t be possible without him.