17-year-old FMX rider dreams big

Gerardo Ruiz

Erick Ruiz stretches out while he does a "one-handed look back Hart attack."

Mexico City is home for 17-year-old freestyle motocross rider Erick Ruiz, but for the time being he's planted his feet in Temecula, Calif. Setting his sights on reaching the jet stream of FMX, Ruiz is looking to get some good seat time riding his dirt bike. With only a handful of years' experience he's landed in the right town to hone his skills and get advice from seasoned veterans.

Gerardo Ruiz

Erick Ruiz, 17, says his goals are to "ride competitions and lots of shows, enjoy all the hard work I'm currently doing."

With support from Red Bull Mexico he has been busy doing demos in his region of Mexico. Riding multiple shows a week is a great way to get in some good seat time and performance experience, ultimately preparing him for when he gets the chance to hit the big stage.

Working toward his dream of riding his dirt bike for a living, Ruiz is young and full of the ambition it's going to take to reach his goals. He's already found his way onto one of the most prestigious energy drink sponsors and is living in the heartland of FMX, a good start for young Ruiz.

We caught up with Ruiz on a day off from riding to learn more about this up-and-coming rider.

ESPN.com: How long have you been riding? FMX?
I've been riding a dirt bike like eight years ago, FMX five years.

What's it like to grow up riding FMX in Mexico?
Difficult and so different. No other riders to ride with and not so many sponsors. My spot is at 9,000 feet elevation from sea level, so dirt bikes don't run very good over there. It's a big difference [between riding] over there and on sea level. But I still love my place, so much inspiration there.

How's the riding scene out there?
The riding scene is good because we're just a few riders doing FMX, so a lot of shows for all. But talking about exposure and sponsors is difficult.

Does Mexico have very many contests or demos to participate in?
Yes, talking about demos, I think Mexico is one of the countries that have more demos per year. We got like two, three per week at least.

But now I'm not riding that [many] demos, just riding a few for Red Bull Mexico.
Gerardo Ruiz

Erick Ruiz shows everyone that being 17 has its benefits when it comes to a perfectly executed "Cordova."

Are you staying in Temecula right now to get experience with the top pros and ride on competition level courses?
Exactly, and to ride motocross too.

What are your goals with FMX?
Keep doing it [while] my body holds. Ride competitions and lots of shows, enjoy all the hard work I'm currently doing. Make my mark on the industry, keep having fun, every single day I ride, and ride with my heroes.

Anyone you'd like to thank?
Red Bull, Scott, Alpinestars, Enduroshack, my father and mom, Full Perch foot pegs, Masters Of Dirt.

Note: You can follow Ruiz on Facebook at Erick Ruiz, on Instagram at ERICKRUIZFMX, on Twitter at @Ruizfmx and his website www.ErickRuiz.mx.

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