Kyle Puerner, 44 Camarillo, CA Vet racing is just as competitive as any other class at the races, and while the older riders don’t have the time to dedicate to their riding that their younger counterparts do, they still take their racing seriously and battle just as hard for the win. The goal for the vet racers is fun and the thrill of competition and to fuel their passion for the sport. One of these vets seeking out an escape from the regular routine is Kyle Puerner. He is often at the top of the charts in the 40+ Novice class at many of the rounds and is a regular podium finisher in the Vet Novice Open class, too. How did you get started riding? My older brother got me into it, and it was mostly just riding in fields and back hills. He started racing and I didn’t, he got really into it and raced for many years and then passed away. I actually didn’t start racing until after his death and I kind of got back into riding and started racing. What does racing do for you? It’s a total release for me. I love racing, I love coming to the races and hanging out with all my friends. It is fun meeting new people and just having a good time. It’s brought a lot of joy to my life. What do you do during the week that racing gets you away from? I am very busy, I have a nursery and a landscape contracting company so I am constantly on the go and working hard. Getting out to the track one or two days a week totally recharges me for the next week. Is that your normal amount of riding? Maybe two time a week, sometimes only once a week, it all depends on how busy we are. I like to try to ride twice. Between work and riding, do you have time to train? A little, I surf so I try to do that. I’m not in the gym as often as I should be, so I need to start getting back into the gym. What’s the difference between surfing and motocross? Compare the two. Surfing is a great sport, you are at one with the ocean and everything, but it is kind of a selfish sport because it is one person on one wave and you are fighting for the waves. Motocross is a little different, it is still one and one competition but there is a little more camaraderie at the track than there is out in the water. People don’t really talk to each other out in the water. I love surfing, but I don’t always like the games that go with it. So the surfing crowd isn’t as sociable as the motocross people? No. On the beach they are but in the water they are all super serious and it’s not a social thing like motocross is. As I get older I think I enjoy motocross way more. In your first moto, you had a side by side battle for the lead. What is that feeling for you? It’s a combination of a bunch of feelings, there is a lot of nerves involved when you are riding that close to somebody. Mike and I battled through the last lap and it’s a full rush of excitement and when you make that pass it’s really good. When you don’t make that pass, it is still fun but it is a little bit of a let down. All racing is good though, win or lose, just come out and have fun. Are there any other activities that you do in your off time? I like to travel when I can, I like to go to Costa Rica for the surf as well. But the trip there and the people there, the food, everything is great. When I have free time and it doesn’t involve work or motocross then it is surfing. Have you ever gotten on a motorcycle in Costa Rica? Kinda, not with gear on and just sort of fooling around on a kid’s YZ125. I probably had no business being on there. I only had tennis shoes on but I did have a helmet on. So not really, but soon maybe.