For motorcycle enthusiast Ricky Lane, coming eighth in Australia’s biggest desert race was a little surprising after no training whatsoever.
Ricky competed in the Finke desert race in Alice Springs with little preparation and a lot of enthusiasm.
Many of the 650 nominated riders pulled out before the event, with around 580 racing on the day.
After competing in his first Finke race last year, Ricky was determined to place in the top ten.
“We were running eleventh last year when I got a flat tyre, some guys helped me on the side of the road and we got 35th overall.”
Lane had better luck this year, and was thrilled with his place at number eight.
The 26-year-old said he is amused by some of his friends’ reactions toward his success, which has seemingly come from nowhere.
In fact, Ricky has been riding since he was single digits, himself.
“For people out here that are like ‘who is this guy?’ like I say, I’m not just a freak, I’ve spent a lot of time on the bike.
“When I was a junior rider in New Zealand, I started in motor cross when I was 8 years old and rode until I was 18,” Lane said.
After seven and a half years off, Lane is happy to be throwing himself back into the sport he excels at.
“I rode with some friends that I made at work out here and they were blown away and they’re like ‘yeah get another bike!’ so it kinda pushed me into it.
That was in October 2015, when Ricky decided to buy a bike and train for Finke 2016.
Since then, Ricky has also placed in the Richmond River Run last year, and the Deep Well Alice Springs desert ride earlier this year.
He admits his training schedule was overtaken this year, going to Finke with no recent rides under his belt.
“My bike was in pieces a week before the race,” Lane laughed.