Eagle County racer rolls to ATV success
EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado – Kyle Renzelman didn’t clomp to the top of winner’s podium to finish his rookie season racing ATVs, he bounded up there.Kyle enjoyed the best summer of his young life, taking second overall in the Utah Sportsman Rider Association’s ATV season-long points race.The summer went something like this:• Broke his wrist in Moab the first weekend.• Finished third the next week racing with that broken wrist.• It rained so hard in Salt Lake City that a bulldozer had to pull his machine out of the mud.• A dust bowl in Fillmore limited riders’ visibility to about 10 feet, but not their enthusiasm. They crashed into each other during the start.• Dust is not forever in Fillmore. A different weekend saw them racing through the rain and mud.• Back to Moab, where he broke his wrist that first weekend, he crashed even harder but won three races.What could be better?
Kyle, 16, is a sophomore at Eagle Valley High School and lives in Gypsum. He can’t wait to start racing again.He rides his 450 Suzuki LTR like it’s the object of a love/hate relationship. He loves that it goes that fast, and thrashes it until it does.”I’ve been riding Suzuki since I was little,” Kyle said.He doesn’t know exactly how fast it goes – it doesn’t have a speedometer – but it has to go fast enough to pass the guy in front of him, and most of the time it does.It’ll fly more than 45 feet. Usually it returns him gently in its loving embrace to Mother Earth; sometimes it dumps him harder than a bad girlfriend. There are two kinds of racers: Those who’ve crashed and those who will and before that first day in Moab was over, Kyle was both kinds.He broke his wrist in the second race when he jumped too far and landed on flat ground instead of the landing area. That compacted his handlebars and snapped his right wrist like kindling.He got a cast and replaced it with a brace because, of course, he had to race the next weekend and a plaster cast simply does not provide the kind of flexibility you need to crack the throttle open and make that Suzuki scream like a liberal in a Limbaugh Lovers convention.
Did we mention that he was extremely successful, finishing second overall in his first season?Before last season Kyle had never raced, so when he rolled up to the starting line for that first race, some jitters rolled right along with him.”I was kind of nervous for that first race, but when you get to the line your adrenaline runs and you don’t think about anything else,” he said.His uncle Clint Renzelman raced, and taught young Kyle to make an ATV defy the laws of physics. He got lots of tips from Uncle Clint, like hit the gas and don’t back off, and finish what you start. He finished fourth in that first race – a good start.His season finished the way it started, in Moab with a gawd-awful crash and Kyle atop the winner’s podium.Kyle was flying over a double a 45-foot double jump, came up a little short and hit bottom harder than MySpace stock. His bike flipped four times; he flipped way more than four.His helmet visor broke, but not his head. His dad, Rob Renzelman, helped put both Kyle and the machine back together. He finished the weekend with three straight wins and his first overall weekend victory.”The bike was trashed and he was sore. We managed to get the bike together after a few hours and he went out and finished the season with three consecutive wins,” Rob said.Races last about 20 minutes if you’re winning, longer if you’re losing or racing with broken bones. There are two heats per day and events last two days.That’s four races in two days. We did the math for you.Kyle’s preparing to challenge for the title this summer, working out every day with weights and cardio fitness, and is picking up sponsors: Yoshimura Exhaust, K&N Filters, Derisi Racing and Streamline brakes.In the meantime, a career in broadcasting would be great, he says. If that doesn’t work out, there’s always another race.