RD Coffee fuels Ryan Dungey’s passion

Ryan Dungey Coffee
Mike Vizer
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An athlete’s life moves quickly and the nine-time Supercross/Motocross champion was not ready to slow down when he retired in 2017 – so Ryan Dungey looked around for something else to fuel his passion and RD Coffee was born.

During years of circling the United States and traveling internationally as an ambassador for motorcycle racing, Dungey drank gallons of coffee. Some of them were good. Some were bad. A few were great.

Anyone who has had a great cup of specialty coffee – that did not come from a can of pre-ground beans from a grocery store and is not doctored up with steamed milk and artificial flavors – knows how subtle the difference between good and great can be. It is much like the tiny differences in a race that build up to seconds at the checkered flag.

The coffee journey starts with the bean and ends in the cup. Any mistakes along the way can ruin the experience.

“I started drinking coffee early in my racing career as a professional,” Dungey told NBC Sports. “I was probably 16 or 17 when I got introduced to it and it grew on me from there. I went from casually drinking coffee on the way to the track, stopping, grabbing a cup and meeting friends. Also it was our thing to do when we were traveling the circuit, going to different cities – different states, different countries. It started to really grow on me, so I developed a passion for it.

“As I learned more, I had friends who had an interest in coffee. It was super interesting to me about what made a good cup of coffee; what made a bad cup of coffee, sourcing the beans – which beans are good, which are not and the whole process down to the roasting side of things. I became fascinated with it all.”

Dungey was a highly touted Supercross 450 class freshman in 2010. In his first top division race, he went toe-to-toe with the rider many assumed would walk away with the championship that year and he came away with a near-miss, finishing second to James Stewart in Anaheim I. He won the next two rounds at Phoenix and Anaheim II. Then he went on to win his first 450 SX championship on the strength of four more victories.

He won the Motocross championship later that year, achieving two of motorcycle’s greatest accomplishments as a rookie.

Ryan Dungey CoffeeFueling that drive was coffee and he knew then that it would become more than something that got him up in the morning and kept him awake all day.

“Back in 2010, that is when I had the dream that I wanted to do something in the coffee industry,” Dungey said. “I didn’t pursue it immediately because my racing career was full time and I didn’t want to have any distractions, so I chose to wait until after racing.

“I decided when it became to time to end my racing – I always thought I would open up a coffee shop – but with everything that was going on I thought it was a lot simpler to set up my own roasting process, roast my own beans and share it with everybody.

“I didn’t have all the overhead (that a shop would) so I could put all the resources into the web development, getting the roaster, getting the build-out set up and it went from there. We launched June 1 last year.”

RD Coffee is a direct-to-consumer e-commerce site.

For most, finding the perfect brewing method is key. But that is only possible because of everything that went into the process before they ever press the button on the grinder. One cannot make a good cup of coffee with a badly-roasted bean. And one cannot achieve a great roast with an inferior cherry.

Roasting coffee is not as simple as putting green beans on a heat source and waiting for it to change color. To get the full flavor of the bean, a roasting profile has to swell and wane like a symphony until the last notes of the allegro fade.

“My biggest concern was dialing in on what roasting processes I wanted to move forward with,” Dungey said. “There was a huge learning curve. I knew a lot, but I needed to hone in on the last details of the roasting process, where I was going to source the beans, the web site. I was a one-man band back then.”

Dungey sat in his garage with a 2.5-pound air roaster and learned by trial and error. He chose air over drum roasting because he believes that provides a more consistent profile. When he thought he had the process right, Dungey asked friends and family to sample the coffee along with him, then took their comments and poured that back into the process.

“I focused on specialty coffees – the highest grades available – and so you’re getting high quality beans,” Dungey said. “As I was going through this process and sampling different origins, the flavors and notes that are inside these beans and being able to adjust the roasting profile to bring out the maximum flavors: When to start, when to stop and the end-temp.

“These beans have lots of flavor. They are really smooth, they are really balanced and complex. I was blown away with how much taste they have.”

Dungey’s first coffee was from Cajamarca, Peru, high in the Andes mountains. He found that a nice medium roast brought out hints of almond, lemon and toffee. And so his first coffee, which he’s named Accelerate, was born. A darker roast was needed for a true espresso, so he combined beans from Colombia and Guatemala to create his most recent offering, Holeshot.

“We know life can be a grind at times and we want to be a small part of your journey in helping you get to the finish line,” reads one of the taglines at RDCoffees.com.

To that end, RD Coffee offers subscriptions that deliver every one, two, three or four weeks. Aficionados can by a single pound or mix and match different varieties – either way, there is a five percent discount that gets substracted from the total. Consumers who subscribe to Dungey’s coffee are entered into a drawing for race-themed merchandise in a monthly giveaway.

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings after Anaheim 2: Ken Roczen is consistency’s king

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Strength is found not only in outright wins, but also through consistency, which contributed to the rise of Ken Roczen in the SuperMotocross Rankings after Anaheim 2.

Roczen ended the 2022 Supercross season with the knowledge that he urgently needed change, so he declared himself a free agent, signed with Suzuki during the offseason and set upon 2023 with renewed determination. It worked. Roczen is one of three riders in the 450 class with a sweep of the top five and that consistency has given him the lead in the NBC SuperMotocross Power Rankings.

SuperMotocross Rankings Anaheim 2
Like Babe Ruth pointing to the outfield wall, Ken Roczen pointed his way to the Power Rankings lead. – Feld Motor Sports

This formula rewards riders who compete at the front of the pack at the end of the Mains, in their heats, or in last week’s case, the three motos that make up the Triple Crown. Roczen has improved his overall performance each week with a fifth in Anaheim 1, a fourth in San Diego and his first podium of 2023 in Anaheim 2. Can he keep the trend alive with a first- or second-place finish in Houston?

A fall is all it takes sometimes. Last week, Eli Tomac tumbled hard when he pushed wide on the exit of a turn and jumped on top of a Tuff Blox. He remounted after that incident in Race 3 of the Triple Crown, but could only manage a 13th-place result in the moto. It could have been much worse and resulted in an injury, but coupled with a sixth in the overall standings at Anaheim 2, it pushed him down a spot in the SuperMotocross Ranking.

Along with Roczen (and Chase Sexton), Cooper Webb swept the top five in Supercross’ first three rounds. He is knocking on the door of a win and it won’t take long for him to ascend to the top of the box. Webb has two victories in Houston and each of them came during a championship season.

If there is a more determined rider than Jason Anderson, get out of his way. His path to the front of the pack is not always lined with primroses since he often has to pass multiple riders with whom he has had a run-in during his path, but the SuperMotocross Power Rankings are concerned only with raw results – not intention – and Anaheim 2 was Anderson’s best race of the season. He earned his first top-five and first podium with a second-place finish that was aided by a moto win.

MORE: Triple Crown format shakes up A2’s finishing order

Dylan Ferrandis has also been a model of consistency. Last week his Triple Crown effort of 4-6-5 gave him an overall finish of fifth. That came on the heels of a fourth-place result in the season opener and a sixth in San Diego. With no result worse than sixth this season, the numbers add up quite well.

Sexton’s position just outside the top five this week is entirely attributable to his last-place result in the San Diego heat. The SuperMotocross Rankings looks at the past 45 days, so that will affect him for a while, but if he continues to ride like he did in Anaheim 2, he’s going to climb quickly despite that albatross around his neck.

450 Rankings

This
Week
Driver Power
Avg.
Last
Week
Diff.
1. Ken Roczen 84.63 3 2
2. Eli Tomac
[2 Main; 2 Heat wins]
83.25 1 -1
3. Cooper Webb 82.25 2 -1
4. Jason Anderson
[1 Heat win]
80.63 5 1
5. Dylan Ferrandis 78.75 4 -1
6. Chase Sexton
[1 Main; 3 Heat wins]
77.75 9 3
7. Justin Barcia 67.88 6 -1
8. Aaron Plessinger 67.63 8 0
9. Adam Cianciarulo 67.25 7 -2
10. Joey Savatgy 61.00 11 1
10. Marvin Musquin 61.00 12 2
12. Malcolm Stewart
[1 Heat win]
58.75 13 1
13. Christian Craig 56.13 14 1
14. Colt Nichols 56.00 10 -4
15. Dean Wilson 47.50 15 0
16. Tristan Lane 41.00 18 2
17. Grant Harlan 40.67 19 2
18. Justin Hill 40.57 16 -2
19. Logan Karnow 36.50 20 1
20. Alex Ray 36.00 21 1

Supercross Points


The 250 West riders get a couple of weeks off before heading to Oakland for the rescheduled Round 2 and several of them need the rest. Tough weeks for Cameron McAdoo and RJ Hampshire forced them to lose ground in the SuperMotocross points to Jett Lawrence at a time that could prove to play mental games.

Lawrence also had his share of issues at Anaheim 2, but overcame early falls in the first two motos and finished no worse than sixth. Considering that he dropped to the tail of the field in Race 2, that was a remarkable accomplishment and he entered the final race with a shot at the overall win. He narrowly missed that mark, but still has not finished worse than second in three rounds. His lead in the SuperMotocross Power Rankings is safe.

Cameron McAdoo rode with injury in all three Triple Crown motos, so his sixth-place finish was a moral victory. Cameron McAdoo, Instagram

McAdoo said it best in an Instagram post this week: “Woke up feeling grateful that I’m relatively healthy after my big mistake during qualifying yesterday. We made the decision that it would be safe for me to race so I did everything I possibly could to get through the night ending up [sixth overall]. We will work on getting healed up in these few weeks off to come back strong for Oakland!”

With results of 8-7-5 in the Triple Crown and his combined sixth-place result, McAdoo lost significant ground to Lawrence in both the points’ standings and our Power formula. The Oakland race is going to be critical if he wants to stay in the championship hunt because the series will have a long break before returning in Seattle for Round 11. No one wants to sit with negative feelings for that long.

Mitchell Oldenburg has quietly amassed some impressive numbers. His name has not been called a lot during broadcasts, but he has not finished worse than seventh in any of the first three rounds. Themes develop during a season and weekend – and for the moment, this one revolves around reliability. Oldenburg finished 5-4-6 in Anaheim 2 which means he has consistently amassed SuperMotocross Power Rankings points.

Stilez Robertson won his first race of the season in Moto 2 of the Triple Crown. Coupled with a third-place finish in the final race, he leapfrogged Hampshire and Enzo Lopes, both of whom had disappointing outings. He stands fifth in the points’ standing mostly due to a ninth-place finish in the season opener, but each race has been progressively better and that is a good sign.

Sometimes, all it takes is a taste of success. Prior to Anaheim 2, Levi Kitchen’s best Supercross finish was a seventh earned in this year’s season opener. He scored a ninth at Minneapolis last year, but that was not enough to put him on the radar. This early in the season, one strong run can sway the SuperMotocross Power Ranking significantly, but Robertson has earned his way into the top five. More importantly, he’s going to be the object of interest when the West series returns to Oakland.

Next week the 250 East riders mount up in Houston, Texas before they head to Tampa, Florida. The Power Rankings will combine the two divisions, so the riders below are likely to shift dramatically.

250 Rankings

This
Week
Driver Power
Avg.
Last
Week
Diff.
1. Jett Lawrence – W
[2 Main; 2 Heat wins]
89.13 1 0
2. Cameron McAdoo – W
[1 Heat Win]
77.63 3 1
3. Mitchell Oldenburg – W 77.00 5 2
4. Stilez Robertson – W
[1 Heat win]
76.75 6 2
5. Levi Kitchen – W
[1 Main win]
73.75 12 7
6. RJ Hampshire – W
[3 Heat wins]
70.00 2 -4
7. Max Vohland – W 69.29 8 1
8. Derek Kelley – W 63.75 10 2
9. Enzo Lopes – W 63.25 4 -5
10. Pierce Brown – W 61.29 13 3
11. Phil Nicoletti – W 59.25 7 -4
12. Dylan Walsh – W 56.00 9 -3
13. Cole Thompson – W 51.00 11 -2
14. Robbie Wageman – W 50.75 15 1
15. Anthony Rodriguez – W 49.00 14 -1
16. Ty Masterpool – W 47.50 16 0
17. Kaeden Amerine – W 47.50 16 -1
18. Dominique Thury – W 47.00 18 0
19. Austin Forkner – W 43.00 20 1
20. Derek Drake – W 42.33 21 1

* The NBC Power Rankings assign 100 points to a Main event winner and 90 points for each Heat and Triple Crown win, (Triple Crown wins are included with heat wins below the rider’s name). The points decrement by a percentage equal to the number of riders in the field until the last place rider in each event receives five points. The Power Ranking is the average of these percentage points over the past 45 days.

POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 2 AT SAN DIEGO: Ken Roczen moves up, Chase Sexton falls
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 1 AT ANAHEIM: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence gain an early advantage