Catching up with Canada’s fastest couple

An interview with B.C. off-road racers Bobby Prochnau and Chantelle Bykerk

by Steve Shannon

Chantelle Bykerk and Bobby Prochnau, endurocross racers standing by their bikes.

Chantelle Bykerk and Bobby Prochnau are rarely seen apart from each other—even at the races. — Steve Shannon Photography

RidersWest got the chance to sit down with Canada’s fastest couple down at the LoggerXcross in Orofino, Idaho, on May 24, 2014.

Bobby Prochnau started the season strong, with a second at the Desert 100 and a fourth at the first round of the AMA Endurocross series. Chantelle Bykerk won the Desert 100 (women’s class) but had a less than perfect start to defending her No. 1 plate at the first endurocross race.

So, what have you two been up to so far this season?

Chantelle Bykerk: Racing endurocross, training, being hurt.

Being hurt? What happened?

CB: I sprained my thumb, then I sprained my knee in Vegas, so I’ve just been dealing with that.

Bobby Prochnau: I worked until a couple weeks before the Desert 100 so that’s when our season started. We tried to train during the winter but didn’t do the best job.

Wait a second—so you two aren’t full-time pros then. What do you do in the off season?

BP: I went logging, running a feller-buncher, and Channi spent the winter working on her parents’ farm.

Do you get out riding at all in the winter then?

BP: We did arenacross this year. It was really awesome. It kept us on the bikes and racing instead of just sitting around all winter.

Did you do any ice racing?

BP: No ice racing this winter. I did a little bit of snowmobiling, which I really enjoyed, and the arenacross series. I guess we really didn’t sit around much. We did five or six rounds of arenacross. I was top three in the intermediate class and Channi was second usually.

CB: I was usually second in the ladies. There was one really fast girl.

That’s great! What do you think of Orofino so far?

BP: Orofino is pretty cool . . .

(Kyle Redmond walks over and interrupts, looking for a rear sprocket for his KTM. Unlike motocross, the endurocross circuit is quite friendly and the pros all hang out and train together. Bobby digs out a sprocket for Redmond.)

BP: We didn’t realize Orofino is a really small town. At first we were like “Where’s the Walmart?” as that’s where we usually get our camping supplies when we’re on the road. But we found a grocery store.

CB: It’s really beautiful here. Being down in these valleys feels just like home. That’s what it feels like to me. The event is really cool and the track is neat.

Are you happy with the course?

BP: Yeah. The course looked a little plain at first but when we got out there the stuff is pretty big. The firewood is hard. The rocks looked easy when I walked it but if you mess up, they’ll bite ya so that’s good. And the sideways logs are nasty. Those are the things that spook me the most.

Bobby Prochnau chasing down Kyle Redmond at the LoggerXross in Orofino.

At the 2014 LoggerXross in Orofino, Idaho, Bobby Prochnau (No. 9) chased Kyle Redmond (No. 7) down early on in the moto. Prochnau ended up on the podium with a second place overall finish. — Steve Shannon Photography

Are you going to win?

BP: (Laughs) I hope so. We have two of the best endurocross riders here (referring to Colton Haaker and Kyle Redmond), and the announcer said a few more might be showing up.

CB: Anything can happen, it’s endurocross.

BP: I’m hoping for a podium.

Channi, are you going to win?

CB: I’m going to try, but like I said, anything can happen. Endurocross is famous for going from first to last in a hurry so we’ll see.

What are your plans for the rest of the summer?

BP: X-Games, all of the endurocross series, CXCCs (Canadian Cross-country Series) . . .


What’s TKO?

BP: TKO is the Tennessee Knockout extreme enduro. I podiumed there before, so hopefully I’ll have another good run at it. There’s some fast trails and some rocky hills—it’s like a nasty PN race.

So just like riding at home then?

BP: Yep, so hopefully it goes well.

Are you going to race too, Channi?

CB: Yep. If there’s a ladies’ class, I’ll race it but if not I’ll try to qualify with the guys. My bike is going to be there so no offense Bobby, but I don’t just want to sit around and watch.

BP: And we’re going to Atlanta (Georgia) for an endurocross round.

Awesome. Anyone you want to thank?

KTM, RPM Racing Team, Vernon Motorsports, Riders Edge Suspension, Klim, Motorcycle Superstore/Bell Helmets, Maxxis, Rekluse, Sidi Boots, Fastway, FMF, Acerbis, Motion Pro, Matrix Concepts, 100% and our families.

Lots of support. Thanks for your time and good luck tonight.

BP/CB: Thank you!

That night, Prochnau won the pro qualifier then finished 3-2 for second overall. Bykerk won the women’s pro class and finished third in the amateur heavyweight class. The next morning they packed up their van and started the journey back home to train for the X-Games in June.

To see who else won, read Steve Shannon’s 2014 Orofino LoggerXross Race Recap

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