It seems that nowadays, most kids, teens and even adults can be seen with their faces buried in electronic devices instead of enjoying the outdoors to its fullest potential.
For 15-year-old Brian “Kody” DeRuyter, however, this is not the case. DeRuyter prefers to spend his time in the dirt; or rather, on the dirt – on a track where he races his dirt bikes.
“When I was younger I saw Travis Pastrana doing tricks and at that point I knew the dirt bike scene was for me,” said DeRuyter.
He began racing at the age of six and has participated in over 300 races.
“My parents said that if I win my first race, I could continue doing it and can get a bike of my own. I raced in Los Banos and won that race, and here I am today.”
DeRuyter moved from Ripon to Oakdale in 2014 and has made a home in the Cowboy Capital of the World. During his freshman year in 2017 he joined the Oakdale High School freshman football team but his season was cut short as he suffered an off the field injury that sidelined him for most of the season. His injury came from racing, his true passion.
“I’ve suffered so many injuries on the bike but I refuse to stay off of them,” he admitted.
Today DeRuyter rides his YZ 250S Yamaha and will be racing at the 37th Annual Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. The championship is held at Loretta Lynn Ranch and is scheduled to begin on Monday, July 30 and concludes on Saturday, Aug. 4.
To get to this prestigious event, DeRuyter qualified by taking first place in both the Loretta Lynn Local Arena race and the regional races in both the 250 and 450 division. Only the 42 fastest riders in the nation qualified for the National Championship. His résumé is as impressive as it gets and he has taken, among other honors, first place at Hangtown Amateur Nationals, placed in the top four at Daytona, placed in the top five twice at Mammoth National and placed in the top ten at California and Arizona Amateur Supercross.
“I have performed in front of many large crowds but competing at Loretta Lynn is going to be an experience for sure. I am excited about it; I have never raced there so I am looking forward to it.”
DeRuyter and his family realize that he could not be successful at racing without the help and backing of his sponsors. The teen wanted to take time to thank his sponsors: Brett Hamilton-Braap Shop Yamaha Modesto, Mike at Fly Racing, Josh Boykin of Boykin Suspension Modesto, Charlie Evans of California Rock Crushers Ripon, Standardcoco, Mika, DT1, Finish Line Catering, Rev Monkey, Rusty and Jena Langley and family, Marvin Wild, the Joey Brasil family. He also wanted to credit his family for their support, including his aunt Laura and uncle Chris and family, his grandma and grandpa DeRuyter, Kaylee, Tyler, and his mom and dad.