Raylena Lyons
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Raylena Lyons

Raylena Lyons

Raylena Lyons

User Name: raylyons
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Raylena Lyons Ladies Offroad 1"I was born and raised in Southern California and moved to Arizona after high school. Being from Southern California, one would have thought that I participated in riding quads, dirt bikes or something of some sort.  My only exposure was when I was little my Dad and I used to go off-roading a little before he sold his truck. Growing up, I was very athletic through my youth years all the way to high school, playing softball, basketball and I was a cheerleader. Six weeks after I graduated high school I moved to Arizona for school and eventually I met my husband. He was the one that started to teach me how to ride quads and dirt bikes for the first time. We would always take trips to the dunes for the holidays. Years later, my husband lifted our 2003 Toyota 4Runner and we began taking family wheeling trips every weekend. We both got our dream of owning a Jeep, however; it is a six speed and unfortunately I had never learned to drive a manual. About 4 months after buying our Jeep, I finally worked up enough courage to try and drive the Jeep on my own. It was on Elvis, a trail out in Florence, Arizona. I remember my husband posting the video on Facebook “She can’t drive on the street, but she sure can drive over rocks”. After this moment, I fell in love with driving the Jeep.  I liked the challenge behind it.  It turned into a constant battle of who got to drive on what weekend between my husband and I.  For some reason I was always too nervous to go out wheeling without him. Mostly because I was worried about stalling in front of everyone, eventually I worked over that fear and looked at it as “I am a girl, who has never driven a manual vehicle in her life.  I learned how to drive a manual Jeep and learned to do it off-road climbing over rocks”. So, with that same mindset, my best friend Lindsay Hall and I decided that we would compete in We Rock 2018 in our 1994 Toyota 4Runner."

Occupation: Production Manager
Birthday:  June 7

Ladies Offroad Network Events Attended: 
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Questions & Answers

Raylena Lyons Ladies Offroad 1About Raylena:

Q: What is your favorite color?
A: "Purple"

Q: What is your favorite food?
A: "Tacos"

Q: Do you have any kids? Tell us a little about them:
A: "I have a 2-year-old boy and a 6-year-old girl. My daughter is a competitive cheerleader but loves wheeling very much. She has been going out wheeling with us since she was 4, and nicknames all our vehicles. My son has been going wheeling with us since he was 6 weeks old. One of his first words was Jeep or as he would say JEEEEEP. He will check every bolt on the Jeep before we go out for a run."

Raylena Lyons Ladies Offroad 1Q: Do you have any pets?
A: "We have an 11-year-old Pit Bull."

Q: Do you take your pets off-roading?
A: "We didn’t use to but after losing our Rottie in October 2017, we began taking our Pit Bull out with us when we have enough room in our Jeep. He does good and enjoys being outside and hanging his head out the window."

 Raylena's Off-Road Facts:

Q: How old were you when you first started wheeling?
A: 
"I don’t know for certain, but I would guess 5-6 years old until my dad sold his truck, then I started learning as an adult. At 18 years old I started to learn to ride quads and dirt bikes and then at 28, learned to drive our Toyota off-road."

Q: Is your whole family into off-roading?
A: 
"Yes, very much. My husband competed in W.E.Rock in 2017 and took first place in the Western Series in their class. My daughter always asks to go wheeling.  When she's driving her Power Wheel Jeep, she will ask which way to turn by asking driver or passenger.  My son is obsessed with Jeeps.  He will stop whatever he is doing to look at or watch a Jeep video. My dad and mother-in-law recently bought Jeeps too."

Raylena Lyons Ladies Offroad 1Q: Are you usually the driver or the co-driver?
A: "That was always a battle between my husband and I.  Now that we own 2 vehicles, we both get to drive."

Q: Do you have any off-road traditions or rituals?
A: "We always take a family selfie before beginning our trip. Additionally, my daughter has always named every vehicle (Jeepers, Big Dude, and Broken Rib)."

Q: How often do you get to go off-roading?
A:  "Every weekend."

Q: How did you get started in the off-road world?
A: "My husband always wanted to race growing up, so when we bought our 4Runner, he started going out wheeling with friends and it has grown from there."

Raylena Lyons Ladies Offroad 1Q: Where is your favorite place to wheel?
A: "We live less than 2 miles from a big wheeling area called Table Mesa in Arizona, so it's like our backyard.  Going to King of  The Hammers for the first time this year was very fun."

Q: What is on your off-roading bucket-list?
A: "Go off-roading in Moab, Utah and to California for the Rubicon Trail. I would also like to participate in King of The Hammers as a driver or co-driver."

Q: How are you active in the off-road world?
A: "This year I will begin competing in W.E. Rock Sportsman C with my best friend."

 

Raylena's Off-Road Stories:

Q: What is your most memorable off-road moment?
A: "I made it up Backdoor at KOH 2018.  After watching so many people not make it throughout the week, it was extremely exciting to make it.  This was also my first trip to KOH."

Raylena Lyons Ladies Offroad 1Q: What was your first wheeling trip?
A: "Table Mesa in Arizona"

Q: What was your longest wheeling trip?
A: "Crown King is a popular trail in Arizona, depending on how busy it is, determines when you will finish. We have easily spent 8 hours of our day wheeling. We also have driven 14 hours to Norden, CA for my husband to compete in a W.E. Rock event."

Q: What was your favorite wheeling trip?
A: "
Honestly, there have been so many that it is hard to pick but KOH was fun because it was nice to have different scenery."

Raylena Lyons Ladies Offroad 1All About the Ladies:

Q: Who do you look up to in the industry? Why?
A: "Honestly, I am very new to the industry and starting to learn about the industry and who does what. So at this time, I cannot answer this question."

Q: How do you feel as a woman in the offroad industry?
A: "It is very apparent that the industry is dominated by males and when men see a woman driving, the looks of shock we receive are sometimes priceless. So, how I feel being a woman in the off-road industry? I feel challenged to excel because it is such a male-dominated sport.  I want to thrive on driving and competing this year in WE Rock and have fun doing it because the more I get involved in this industry, I love it more."

Q: What changes have you seen in the off-road industry since becoming involved?
A: "I am very new to the industry, so I can’t really say much right now but I have noticed that off-roading sport is starting to come out in the media more, such as; NBC's Journey to the Hammers show, 4Low Magazine, Crawl Magazine and the movie that will be created with video feed from this upcoming WE Rock series."

Raylena Lyons Ladies Offroad 1Q: Give us a story, about educating, guiding, empowering ladies in the off-road world:
A: "I recently learned how to drive a manual and learned to do it off-road before learning on the pavement. I was always embarrassed of stalling, so I would never go anywhere without my husband with me and usually only drove if it was close friends. On St. Patrick's Day, our friends had a big St. Patty’s Day Run for their recovery business. My husband couldn’t attend and because of this, I wasn’t planning on attending because of my fear of making a fool of myself, if I stalled. After a long debate, I attended the event alone. Once we started wheeling, I finally concluded that 95% of the people out there driving were men and of that maybe 90% of them were driving an automatic. I was part of the 5% of women drivers there, but I was also the only women driving a manual on a difficult rated trail. Plus, I had only learned to drive a manual 3 months before this trip, honestly, I still wasn’t comfortable driving it on paved roads.  I now believe that this trip was what gave me the confidence to not care what other people thought.  I still stall here and there but now if I want to quit driving that moment, it’s not because I was embarrassed but more because I'm frustrated with myself, but I like the challenge and usually get right back at it."

Q: What advice do you have for ladies who want to get started off-roading?
A:  "Determine what your passion is and where you want to be. If it’s something you just like to do for fun here and there, that’s great but if it’s something that you love and you want to further yourself in the industry, do research. If you want to compete, research what you want to do. If it's going fast or slow and crawl, decide first so you don’t invest money and have to redo everything. We made that mistake and spent money changing routes. Also, don’t care what anyone thinks and most importantly have fun."

 

Raylena's Vehicle:

About Raylena's vehicle: "1994 Toyota 4Runner and 2012 Jeep Wrangler JKU."

Raylena Lyons Ladies Offroad 1Vehicle Name:  Broken Rib or Yota (4Runner) and Jeepers (JK)

Q: Is your vehicle a Daily Driver?
A: "No"

Q: What is the best modification you have done to your vehicle?
A: "I haven’t done any modification to our vehicles since I started driving but we have purchased hydraulic steering for our 4Runner."

Q: Do you work on your own vehicle?
A: "Yes, not enough to do things on my own but I am starting to learn to fix stuff when it breaks."  

Raylena Lyons Ladies Offroad 1Vehicle Information:

Vehicle Type: Toyota 4Runner
Year: 1994
Builder: RoxtarTrux
Tire Make/Size: 37 BFGoodrich KR3s
Wheel Make/Size: 17” Walker Evans beadlocks
Front Suspension: 3 link
Front Shocks: 16” 2.0 Profender Coilovers
Front Bump Stops: 2.0 Profender Bumps
Rear Suspension: 4 link
Rear Shocks: 16” 2.0 Profender Coilovers
Front Axle Housing: Toyota mini truck
Front Differential/Locker: Toyota V6 and Detroit Locker
Front Axle Shafts: Longfield Chromoly
Front Drive Flanges/Hubs: Aisin    
Front Steering Components: Hydro assist
Rear Axle Housing: Toyota mini truck
Rear Axle Shafts: Longfield Chromoly
Raylena Lyons Ladies Offroad 1Ring & Pinion Manufacturer & Gear Ratio(s): Yukon 5.29
Battery: Optima Red Top
Exhaust: Custom from Cats Only Muffler
Front Driveshaft: Arizona Driveshaft
Rear Driveshaft: Arizona Driveshaft
Body Modifications: Back halved and caged by RoxtarTrux
Seats/Harnesses: Corbeau Seats and Crow Harnesses
Winches - Front/Rear Brand & Capacity: Smittybilt XRC 9.5

 

Raylena Lyons Ladies Offroad 1Vehicle Type: Jeep Wrangler JKU
Year: 2012
Builder: Absolute Offroad
Tire Make/Size: 37” Maxxis RZR
Wheel Make/Size: 17”
Front Suspension: Rock Krawler E-Factor Mid-arm
Front Shocks: Bilstein 5100
Front Bump Stops: Rock Krawler
Rear Suspension: Rock Krawler E-Factor Mid-arm
Rear Shocks: Bilstein 5100
Rear Bump Stops: Rock Krawler
Front Axle Housing: Dana 30 sleeved and gusset
Front Differential/Locker:  Yukon Zip Locker
Front Axle Shafts: Yukon Chromoly
Front Steering Components: Aluminum tie rod and drag link
Raylena Lyons Ladies Offroad 1Rear Axle Housing: Dana 44
Rear Differential/Locker: Yukon Zip Locker
Rear Axle Shafts: Longfield Chromoly
Ring & Pinion Manufacturer & Gear Ratio(s): Yukon 4.88
Engine Manufacturer: Pentastar
Battery: Optima Red Top
Exhaust: Banks
Front Driveshaft: Adams Driveshaft
Lights Interior/Exterior: Single Row 50”, Rigid Pods, and Rock Lights
Winches - Front/Rear Brand & Capacity: Smittybilt XRC 9.5


Author:  Raylena Cook

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