Our sport is full of great stories, on and off the track, and up and down the results sheet. Englishman Dylan Woodcock is one of them. After spending a brief, yet agonizing stint paralyzed in the hospital after going down hard in Houston last year, the #260 of Woodcock is back for another go at racing in 2022. So far things are going well too—he made the 250SX main event in Oakland. We caught up with him for what turned out to be a great edition of privateer profile.
Racer X: I’m excited to talk to you. I don’t know much about you, but I know a little bit and I’m excited for you to fill in the details. I know you’re from England, what career path did you have before coming to the United States? I’m assuming you grew up racing.
Dylan Woodcock: I raced in Europe for a long time, and I always rode BMX and stuff like that. I always wanted to come to America, you know? I loved the stadiums and all that type of stuff. That was what I wanted to do, so that’s what I set out to do, and here we are now. I spent a lot of time in Europe racing, going to Holland, France, and all these different places. It’s all been stepping stones to get to here [America], but once you get here, nothing’s like here. It’s different.
In what way?
Everything’s on steroids, basically. The jumps are bigger, there’s more guys, there’s more everything.
Off the track things are probably different too.
Yeah, a lot of things are different, like the way people live. Everyone here is so relaxed. Everyone in Europe is uptight. Here it’s sunny, it’s nice, it’s beautiful. In Europe it’s raining, it’s miserable, and half the people don’t want to be there. You know what I mean?
Not really, I’ve never been to Europe. I’d love to go someday.
Oh mate, it’s miserable sometimes there when you’ve got to bash out a load of motos and you don’t really want to.
Was last year the first year you came here to race?
No, I’ve been coming since 2017 to race, but I was so young. I’m only 21 now. I’ve done a full year when I was 17, and when I was 18 I didn’t race. Nineteen, I made a main, and this year I’ve made a main as well.
Well, you’d think the person interviewing you would have done better research and known that stuff, I’m sorry. Let’s talk about last year. You had a pretty big crash that resulted in a traumatic injury.
Yeah, it was a bit of a shit one. I came into the season feeling not too great, but then everything started to click and I started doing well. One thing led to another and I got a little too confident, a little too excited I’d say, and it cost me big time. Other than that I was happy with the season and how it was all going, and the people who were talking to me were people I thought would never even try to talk to me. Then the accident happened and I was in the hospital for quite a long time and couldn’t feel my legs. I think it’s changed me for a better person and makes me want it even more. Everything from now on is pure enjoyment, it’s always a win because it always could be worse.
Absolutely! That had to be scary man. How long could you not feel your legs?
Nearly a full month.
Oh wow. Did you think that was it?
Yeah, I did. I thought it was game over. But there were little hints here and there and it finally came through. That was good.
So it was gradual? It wasn’t like one day you just woke up with feeling back?
It was like stepping stones. It was easy, easy, easy, then a bit of walking, that type of stuff. It started clicking, and one day I just decided I was done with the cane. I was walking around like a pimp with a cane. It finally came through, so that was good.
That’s crazy, it had to be tough. You had to learn how to walk again and now you’re back racing again!
Yeah, it wasn’t very nice there for a minute, but we’re here now and we’re racing. It’s nothing to worry about now, everything from here is pure gravy.
How much supercross experience did you have before coming here? There’s not a ton of supercross going on in Europe.
I had some experience before coming here, a few guys have little tracks, but they’re nothing special. They’re just tiny little tracks. They’re entry-level. But when you come to America the tracks are legit and sized up.
I bet that was quite the learning curve.
It was for sure. The whoops were a big learning curve, but after I got that down it seemed to come a lot easier.
I’ve literally tripped and fallen over just walking through the whoops.
They’re big boys.
You rode your way into the main in Oakland and took 18th. What are the goals from here moving forward?
The goals are to make it out of the heat race. I made it out of the LCQ, now the goal is to make it out of the heat race. I know I’m not going to win, but if I can get top-15 or something like that, I count that as a win for myself. We’ve got realistic goals. My dad and I, and Mickey Carter from California Motocross Holidays, set some goals. They’re not massive goals. People say, “Oh you’ve come all this way and you set goals like that?” But we’re realists, we’re not going to come out and win. We’re privateers paying our own money. It’s a different ballgame.
Will you be racing the nationals as well?
[Laughs] No. You guys don’t want to see me outdoors, I’m trash. I’m a supercross-only kind of guy, you know?
[Laughs] Well you’re definitely honest! Who’s been helping you go racing this year?
Stunt Flying, California Motocross Holidays, United Grab, Stolen BMX, Duck Smart, Pod Knee Braces, Talon, Seven Gear, Bell Helmets, Ride 100 percent, Dunlop Tires, ODI Handlebars, Horsepower Solutions, Rob at R&R, and More Sugar, which is my company.