Six-year-old Chestermere BMX rider, Ryker Lolacher is heading to Las Vegas to compete in the USA BMX National Series season opener the Silver Dollar Nationals.
Lolacher was born and raised in Chestermere and learned how to ride a bike on a strider and then straight two-wheels, skipping the training wheels, at the local bike park.
“He has literally gone from a toddler to a little man growing up at our bike park, practicing every day he can while it is open,” Ryker’s father, Colin Lolacher said.
Ryker finished the year ranked 6th in the province as a five-year-old completing against six-year-olds and ranked 11th in Canada.
“Now he’s going to go race against the American kids,” Colin said. “We think it is pretty cool that he uses our park as a key piece of his practice.”
The family left on Jan. 3 for Las Vegas, so Ryker could race against the best youth in the U.S.
To train, Ryker typically raced two to three nights a week throughout the summer and would practice five to six days when not racing.
“The majority of that time was spent at the Chestermere Bike Park. There weren’t many days over the summer that you couldn’t find him there during the day with mom and in the evening with dad,” Colin said. “During the day he spent a lot of time on the pump track because his mom gets a little nervous when he is jumping so she saves that for dad to supervise in the evening.”
Ryker first started going to the bike park when he was just one and a half years old and would bomb around on a strider and then moved to a two-wheel bike.
When he was four years old, his parents met other local MBX families and started to learn about the sport.
Managers of the Bombshell Factory Team for Canada, Dan and Christy Porier, and their children became mentors for Ryker and Colin in how the sport worked.
About two weeks after meeting the Porier family, Ryker started racing with Calgary BMX.
At the end of his first season racing, Ryker was asked if he wanted to join the Jr Development Team.
“Ryker of course jumped at this opportunity and is very proud to ride for the Bombshell Team,” Colin said.
Ryker has since competed in the full Alberta provincial series where he won a gold medal and other podium positions throughout the year.
When the Alberta series ended after nationals he kept riding and practicing.
“We had times where we actually had to take his bike away so he would have time off of it and to get him to do other things, but that never lasted long as he would just grab his mountain bike and go for bike rides out to the country,” Colin said. “Inevitably, he would end up back at the bike park where he would find some way to scare his mom.”
Colin could tell Ryker wasn’t done riding for the season, and the family headed to Abbotsford B.C., so he could race in the last outdoor event.
Ryker is now riding at the BMX Indoor Training Facility in Olds a couple of times a week, and in Calgary at least once a week.
“Ryker is ready to go for Vegas and a lot of thanks goes to our Chestermere Bike Park for giving him a place to go every day that is just down the street,” Colin said.