It’s been just over five months since Ryan Villopoto was shining bright in the racing spotlight. The road to recovery has been a long and somewhat boring one for the Poulsbo, Washington native, but he’s back riding and ready to return to that spotlight. We chatted with Ryan for the first edition of Idle Chat to see how his summer has been without racing.
Q: You’ve had to come back from injuries the past two years. How different have the two injuries been in terms of healing and rehabilitation?
Ryan Villopoto: The ACL was a lot easier to return from because there weren’t any complications. It was a pretty straight forward surgery. The leg injury this year was harder because not only did I break my tibia and fibula, but I broke my ankle too. The doctors had to make sure everything healed perfect before I could start doing anything with my leg. This time I got plates and screws to make sure it healed correctly, which does make for a longer healing process. My doctor was very concerned about it healing properly so I could be 100 percent when I came back. After my last check up, he said it looked great.
Q: Since you had more time to kill than before, what did you do to keep busy? It’s been a while since you’ve raced.
R.V.: It was hard at first because I couldn’t put any weight on it until the beginning of July. I was on crutches for a long time. We didn’t do a whole lot during that time, but make the trip back and forth from Florida, where I’m living part time. Once I started walking, I was really happy. Crutches aren’t fun at all.
Q: You recently went to Alaska. Can you tell us a little bit about your trip?
R.V.: Casey (practice bike mechanic) and I went up there to visit my cousin. We went to do some hunting and fishing, but we basically had a black cloud following us the entire seven days we were up there. Our luck wasn’t good with hunting and we didn’t catch the amount of fish we were supposed to.
Q: But you did have a little fun? I saw a video of you guys mud boggin’.
R.V.: Yeah. That was probably the highlight of the trip. It was pretty fun. I ended up tearing the axle out of the truck I was driving. My cousin Spencer did pretty good, but broke on the last lap of his race. It was a last man standing. I didn’t really do too well. We started with six and they started dropping like flies, but it was fun to watch even after I was done racing.
Q: What do the next few months look like for you?
R.V.: I’m just riding and training for now. If everything goes as planned, we’ll be going to Australia at the end of November.
Q: Are you excited for Australia? Have you ever been there before?
R.V.: I’ve never been. I’m really looking forward to it. It’s always fun to go to a new place. I’m scheduled to race the supercross events in Sydney and then Brisbane. I haven’t raced since April so it’s a good opportunity to get back into the swing of it. You can only ride so much until you need to get behind a gate and go race.
Q: Lastly, you recently got engaged. Congrats! How does it feel to take that next step?
R.V.: I’m really excited. Kristen and I are really happy. We don’t really have any set plans yet for the date or anything. It’s exciting though.