NEWS Sunday 10th March 2019, 7:04pm
We will be asking each of the 2019 Staggs Bar Monarchs how they have been spending the winter, and first up is our new boy Luke Ruddick who will be starting next month on his career in the Championship.
As a youngster making his way in the sport the first priority is to get the best machinery he can, and that usually means working to earn money! He said "I do landscaping, that kind of thing. I've been pretty busy earning money for my speedway. That's why I do it to be honest. I've not spent any money on anything other than my bikes over the winter to be honest! It annoys my girlfriend a bit!
"My bikes are much better than they have ever been, I have spent a fair bit of money. I got a carb, and I got an engine off David Howe, one of his good ones. It's good to buy an engine off someone who has retired. I get on well with him so I am confident that it will be all right. I've got new frames as well.
"Unfortunately it isn't possible to be successful in speedway without spending money these days!"
Has he been able to get on track over the winter? "I've been riding at Rye House, I've been going there for the last three weeks or so for their practise sessions, and I've been to Leicester once.
"I go to the gym two or three times a week. It's hard to fit it all in because I'm working, I have my bikes to wash and I'm going to the gym. I always try to fit the gym in though."
Luke has a busy season coming up travelling from a base down south, but that doesn't worry him, he is ready. "I rode for Mildenhall for about three years while I was living in Berwick, so the travel doesn't bother me.
"In the National League I am riding for Leicester. I was in the Coventry team which rode at Leicester last year so I wanted to go back there. It's quite a hard track to ride so it's good for learning on. I think Edinburgh will be good for me this year too."
Sponsorship is important for all riders, and if anyone wants to help Luke out with some finance he tells us he is always contactable on his Facebook page. He does want to thank an existing sponsor at Berwick though: "I've got a good sponsor at Berwick who has pretty much sponsored me since I started doing it. They are Ideal Carpets, they have made it possible for me to have the bikes I've got this year. He's happy for me to go to Edinburgh."
Luke has ridden at Championship level occasionally with some guest appearances for Berwick. "I guested for Berwick a few times a couple of years ago and beat some heat leaders. I was going really well and then I got my burns injury. I got my arm stuck in someone's back wheel. I had a few operations on that and it held me back a bit.
"There are some other inexperienced riders in the league this year but it's not just them I want to beat, I want to beat the superstars as well!"