MARTIN, Mich. (WOOD) — Some people are built for the track, but with a name like “Ryder Bloomquist” it’s obvious he was born for it.
“It just seemed fitting, I always liked (the name),” Ryders’ dad, Troy Bloomquist, said.
Bloomquist, a lifetime motocross racer, decided to name his first child after his own love for the sport. It was only a matter of time before he got Ryder on a dirt bike.
“I’ve been doing this since I was four years old,” Ryder said. “I started with training wheels in my grandma’s backyard.”
And it wasn’t long before he ditched the training wheels and started showing elite potential.
“I ran into a guy at one of the local tracks in the wintertime,” Bloomquist said. “He thought (Ryder) was really fast on a PW50 (a go-to learner bike for children), and I needed to get a bike built.”
Although, Motocross isn’t the most affordable sport to fund. The dirt bike alone costs anywhere from $5,000 to $6,000.
“Every dollar I have goes towards this,” Bloomquist said. “I drive around in a big ‘ole van, and we stay in that a lot when we travel.”
The investment paid off. Ryder is now one of the best racers in the state of Michigan and qualified for Loretta Lynn’s for the first time at just 7 years old. It’s the largest amateur motocross championship in the world, held annually at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee.
“Last time at Loretta’s, I took third,” Ryder said.
Now, he has his sights set on another top-10 finish. The 12-year-old from Muskegon is heading to Hurricane Mills for the second time in his career.
“It’s pretty hard, this year it was definitely a struggle to go back to the ranch, compared to the last time I made it,” Ryder said. “It was way harder this year.”
Ryder went four years without a qualifying bid, but this season he qualified in two races, punching his ticket back to Loretta’s. He beat out more than 100 other racers and credits his dad for helping him get back to the big stage.
“My dad comes out here to the track, makes me work hard for it, practice for it and finally we made it back,” Ryder said.
Bloomquist raced for many years but eventually stopped due to injuries. Now his passion is fueled by watching his son compete at the highest level.
“It’s just a ton of fun,” Bloomquist said. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t.”
Ryder will compete in his first race at Loretta Lynn’s on Aug. 2 at 1:30 p.m.