Frid’Eh Update #37 Presented by Gamma Powersports
By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford
It’s not often we get to say we know a World Record Holder, but that’s what we have here this week in Alex Harvill. Often, it’s the quietest people you need to pay closest attention to and that seems to be the case here. Alex is the polite and humble rider out of Washington State who races motocross, Supercross, and jumps his way into the record books.
Alex has been coming north to Canada to race our Rockstar Energy MX Nationals for the past few years and earned #37 for 2017. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to see him line up with his new national number as injury kept him from the races this past summer.
Alex is a new dad and has lots of cool things planned for the future. He should have already gone for a new record, but…nah, let’s let him tell us all about it. We grabbed him for a chat, so here’s what he had to say:
Direct Motocross: Hello, Alex. We haven’t seen you in a while. We’ve gotten to know you over the last few years, but for those who may not be familiar, can you give us your moto background?
Alex Harvill: I’m from eastern Washington… pretty small town. My dad got me riding dirt bikes and it’s been a big passion of mine. I didn’t get to race much as a kid, but we did a lot of trail riding and would hit the occasional track. I won a few Arenacross championships in the Northwest National Arenacross Series and 2 Junior class championships in the Northwest National MX Series. I played 3 sports in high school and didn’t take racing seriously until after high school.
“Evel Knievel did have an influence on me. We have some strange connections. 20 min from my hometown is Moses Lake where Evel’s first jump was over a Bobcat and a box of snakes.”
You’re from Washington, so I’m guessing proximity took you to Canada in the first place, but can you tell us how and when you decided to come north to race?
I decided to come to Canada after I saw some of my fellow riders have success, like Brad Nauditt, so I wanted to give it a shot. My first races were Arenacross in 2015. It didn’t go very well (Laughs). That summer I tried moto and I loved it. My results were just OK but I had so much more fun. The atmosphere at the races is just so much better than AMA series. The people are just so much more friendly and it makes it all more enjoyable.
What is your best Canadian memory?
My best Canadian memory would be last summer. It’s kind of a tie between Pleasant Valley and Ulverton. Ulverton, I finally had good starts and ran inside the top 10 for a bit and ended up 12th, which I was so happy with. Pleasant Valley was the same scenario and I ended up with 11th overall. It felt so good to be so far from home with just my fiancé and me and have some success.
You ended up with #37 for this season, but we never saw you. I know you’re getting over an injury, but can you tell everyone what happened?
I was very bummed to miss this summer of racing and not to get run my #37. I injured myself attempting to break my world record for MonsterEnergy at the NASCAR race at Talladega Super Speedway. On my practice jump I hit the ramp entirely too fast and I flew passed the landing ramp and landed on concrete which then my front wheel blew apart and I shattered my heel along with very bad road rash. I have 12 screws and a plate in my heel now but I am very lucky that was my only injury.
So, I’m also guessing that Evel Knievel was a big influence, or are you too young?
Evel Knievel did have an influence on me. We have some strange connections. 20 min from my hometown is Moses Lake where Evel’s first jump was over a Bobcat and a box of snakes. He owned a motorcycle shop there and he raced flat track in my hometown, Ephrata. I have a practice spot in Soap Lake which is where his second jump was over a few cars sponsored by our local Dodge dealership that’s still there.
How did you get into that side of moto?
I got into distance jumping in 2012 at Toes MX. Ryan Capes broke some records there and Toes built a new ramp to jump on and one day I just hit it. The first time was 266 feet that’s on YouTube, and then 9 jumping days later I jumped 425. No one has seen the footage because it was supposed to be featured in a movie that has never been finished. Who knows if it will. I have some videos on my website: www.alexharvill.com
Can you tell us what records you hold?
I hold the overall distance jumping world record at 425 feet. as well as a Guinness world record for longest dirt jump at 297.5 feet.
You had another World Record planned but weren’t able to do it. What is the record you’re going for and is it rescheduled yet?
The plan is to break my record of 425 feet for Monster next May at Talladega.
What are your racing plans for the future?
My plans are to get back to racing and get back to distance jumping once I’m ready. My goal is to earn a factory ride for racing. I’m hoping my jumping will compliment that. I really love racing in Canada and I hope I can make a career of it. I qualified for a Supercross last year and I would like to do more of those.
I’m willing to bet there’s a lot more cash in it for you on the ‘jump for show’ side though, eh? How does that all work?
Yes, there is a lot more money in doing jumps or shows, but it’s all at a risk. I want to be able to do a few jumps a year and be on a team to race moto and Supercross as well as a few off-road races.
Will we see you in Canada again in the future?
My goal is to be up in Canada for the upcoming Arenacross races. I want to earn a number again next summer and do the whole series. I had so much fun last year!
Oh, congrats on the new child! How is fatherhood going for you? Bit of a life-changer?
Fatherhood is amazing! My son will be 10 months on the 16th. It’s really changed me for the better. He’s starting to walk and is a handful. It’s crazy how fast it goes. My fiancé was pregnant all summer when we did the series and now he’s about to be a year old.
OK, good luck getting back out there. Thanks for the chat. Who would you like to thank?
Thanks for the chat, Billy! I would like to thank my family, Dan Moore at EVO suspension, and Vision Graphics for all their support.
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Gopher Dunes Quicksand Sprint Enduro
Hey, guys. Happy Friday. Well, It’s starting to look like our riding season is slowly winding down. But before that happens, we really need to get out and take advantage of the great events left this season.
Last weekend was one of the best yet. The great gang at Gopher Dunes held their first annual Gopher Dunes Quicksand Sprint Enduro. First of all, I am not an off-road racer, nor do I pretend to be. I have hit the trails a handful of times and each of them have been for a race. It’s very clear that I have no idea what I am doing, but I just love to ride.
The idea of me racing this race came when Bigwave Billy received a text message from GDR boss man, Derek Schuster. It read, “Hey Billy, do you think you or Jeff would want to come out and race our Quicksand Sprint Enduro event next Saturday Sept 2? I have a bike for you, if you decide u want to do it.”
Well, that was an easy one. My response to Billy was quick and simple, “I’ll do it if you don’t want to.” Next thing you know, we are watching video of me getting hung up on some tires halfway through the single track section, and looking like a complete squirrel. I’ll back it up a bit and give you the full run down.
“After struggling for a few minutes, the hardest part of the day was over…. I had decided on what colours I was going to sport for the day.”
I started hydrating on the Thursday leading up to the race. I’m not sure why, but I seem to cramp up like a worm on hot asphalt when I do these off-road races. I thought by starting to prep myself 2 days early, that I would be in the clear. I arrived at Gopher Dunes around 8am
After parking in the row of trucks and trailers, I hopped out and proceeded to stretch a little. The first thing I see is this burly looking little fella pushing a 250 2-stroke with the #194 on it. It was none other than Little Richard Grey. It seems like I hadn’t seen “Lil Richard” in years. After catching up with my former rider (I wrenched for RG34 in 2011, and we got a podium together at Walton with a 9-3 for 3rd o/a), it was time to head up top the Gopher Dunes shop to see what I was going to be riding for the day.
As I walked in through the back, it was a who’s who in the industry. Colton Facciotti was working on a set of forks. Young Austin Watling was reading a Honda manual while prepping his bike. Dylan Wright was hanging out along with wrench Kyle Ward. Heck, even Liam O’Farrell was there chatting with his former mechanic, Todd Kuli. Add in a little Donk and Steve Simms, and we were set for a great day.
After talking to Wayne Carroll and Derek Schuster, they had someone wheel my ride to the back door. My steed for the day was a 2017 Honda CRF 250. It wasn’t as shiny as I’m use to, but I was excited to have some fun on a Honda.
I pushed it over to my truck and topped it up with some gas. I was thinking I had a win in me so we went with the premium gas for the day. Boy, was I wrong! After struggling for a few minutes, the hardest part of the day was over…. I had decided on what colours I was going to sport for the day.
Next up was riders meeting. Derek Schuster and Predi Medina ran us through how everything was going to work for the day. The format was new to everyone, but it was honestly pretty basic to figure out. There were 3 tests – the MX loop, the XC loop, and the single track loop. Each class had a set amount of laps to complete in each loop. You could do them in any order and take breaks whenever needed. Sounded good to me.
Up next, the sight laps. I hopped on my Honda and headed out for the sight lap. I got in behind Todd Kuli and we were off to the single track loop, first. After heading down the start section, we entered the woods. I’m still not sure how it happened, but I somehow hit the first tree we encountered. You see, there was a really tight pair of trees that you had to squeeze between to hop on the tight trail. I came in a little hot and somehow got my front tire a foot or so up the 2nd tree pinning myself into the first tree with my Honda. I’m pretty impressed with how tough the rear fender was on this bike as it was twisted around and actually upside down. To my surprise, it popped right back to normal and after remounting, it was time for some more fun.
After really struggling through the tight stuff, it was time to make some adjustments on my ride. I’m a tall, lanky rider, but I run a really low set up with my bars, but I like to have my levers at least level with my bars, if not a tad bit higher. That was it… I had the set up, and things were going to get better right? I was wrong once again.
We finished the sight lap on the remaining two loops, and it was race time. Seeing how much I struggled in the “tight stuff,” I figured that I would get my 5 single track laps out of the way before the track got beat.
Lap one started not so bad until I tried to ease up on a downed female rider while making the pass. Great idea, not so great technique. I ended up stalling my bike like a spode and it just didn’t want to refire. After what seemed like an eternity of kicking, the red beast was back up and rolling. I finally completed the lap and lined back up for lap 2.
This lap went much better and the confidence was growing. Strike 2 for me, as too much confidence is usually bad news. While putting down one of my “heater” laps, I once again came in way too hot and somehow got tangled in a snow fence ripping myself from the bike. I may be a shitty woods rider, but I’m no dummy as I did everything in my powers to keep that bike running as I knew starting it would be a chore. After flailing around trying to pull in the clutch, it wasn’t meant to be, and I stalled the bike again. Quite a few kicks later, I was back on the gas and having fun.
In between laps, Colton Facciotti was nice enough to point out my almost flat front tire while helping me start my bike. After pumping up my tire, it was time to hit the MX loop.
God, was it ever nice to twist the throttle and get out of 2nd gear. All was going well until I hit the rollers into the back section. Yes, the section they only use on National day, and do not groom. I just have one question…”How in the hell do the top Pros go through there so fast?!” I honestly think I got passed by a cameraman walking. Yeah, I was that slow through that section. Oh my God it was gnarly! Well, I finished my 5 moto laps and after a brief fuel pit stop and a quick rest, I was set for my final 5 laps on the XC loop.
Like I have said a million times. I don’t ride trails, I’m not a real fan. Boy was I wrong again. This was probably the most fun part of the day. It was fast, wide and well-marked. It was rough in spots, and there were a ton of sandy berms to blow up.
After completing my 5 laps, the race was over for me. My hands and butt were sore, but I was feeling good, otherwise. Everyone was having a great time and huddling around the big screen to catch a glimpse of the results. I tried to avoid making eye contact with the screen as I really didn’t want to see. I joked with Bigwave that I had been fighting settings all day, and that I thought I had gone the wrong way. I wish it were true. Turns out, I’m just not that good.
Either way, I can say that I had a ton of fun. Yes, I know that we are “supposed” to say how great things are on here, but this really was. I think Derek, Wayne and the GDR Crew is really onto something with this Sprint Enduro format. It was fun, and easy to do. I will definitely go out of my way to make it to the next one, no matter what.
I’d like to thank the whole Gopher Dunes crew for the invite to the event, and the bike to ride. Also, a big thanks to Jay Moore at Fox Canada for the great looking Shift gear and Aaron Barsanti from Mica Sport/Scott Sports Canada for always taking care of me.
That is it for me this week, I’m back on the moto track preparing for the War of MX, Vet National at Motopark, October 7th. Have a great weekend and always remember to #smileforBC and #liftwithscott.
Jeff, you really need to go do more events and write your stories. Not because you’re winning everything you enter, but because you’re self-deprecating humour about your trials and tribulations makes for some great reading. In fact, the worse you do, the better the read! Keep up the “great” work! In fact, if people don’t see this here enough, I’m going to post your story on its own later today.
I went out and watched the Quicksand Sprint Enduro and, just like Jeff said, it was one of the most fun days I’ve had at a race track in a long time. Seriously, most moto purists avoid enduro races like the plague, but this is a format that will have motoheads heading for the trails in numbers not seen before. It’s a great and non-threatening way to get your feet wet in the off-road world. If and when they announce the next Sprint Enduro, so yourself a favour and get yourself there. You will be glad you did.
Here is a video of the day:
Best MX loop time: Colton Facciotti 3:44.2
Best XC loop time: Colton Facciotti 4:39.2
Best Single Track loop time: Zachary Lewis 5:00.2
(I see Vet Expert rider AJ Snively with a last lap time of 4:40.0, but I am going to have to call him out on this one as perhaps a “short loop?” since it’s almost 1 minute faster than any of his other laps)
You can find full results HERE.
You can also check out our PHOTO REPORT HERE.
Canadian Motocross 2018 and Beyond
CMRC VS. JETWERX
The big question we get asked around here on a daily basis is, “What’s going on for next year?” Well, we know there has been a press conference announcing the new series and the future from the Jetwerx side of things, but where does that leave the CMRC and Mark Stallybrass? That’s a good question.
I had a lengthy conversation with Justin Thompson from Jetwerx this afternoon and he is “full steam ahead” with their indoor and outdoor program.
“It’s very aggressive, right now, what’s going on.” ~ Justin Thompson
Having said that, there are still quite a number of things yet to be decided. Things like manufacturer support and the race schedules are 2 things still to be penned in.
The sport of motocross is obviously too small in Canada (or really anywhere, for that matter) to support 2 Pro series, so decisions are going to have to be made, and made fast. It makes it difficult on us and the racers when the question about who they are racing for next season and where inevitably comes up in an interview.
But, as Justin said, “It’s very aggressive, right now, what’s going on.” Justin promised that there will be some Press Releases out next week and that a phone call to him next Friday may provide more concrete answers. We will definitely ring him up again next week.
He has been talking with Mark Stallybrass and with the OEMs to get things to a workable solution and program.The entire amateur side of things is another part of the process that is yet to be ironed out.
We gave Mark a call as well but were unable to get in touch with him for a comment, so watch for something from the CMRC’s side of things as soon as we are able to speak with him.
So, for now, all we know for sure is that there are still questions to be answered. However, there WILL be a Pro series next season. Stay tuned for more answers as we find the right people to ask these questions.
Future West Arenacross Championship
Colton Facciotti Arenacross School This Weekend at Gopher Dunes
Wanna get trained by a 4-time Canadian champion? Well then, we know where you should be this weekend!
Tyler Medaglia Post ISDE France Podcast Interview
We grabbed Canadian #5 MX1 rider Tyler Medaglia for a chat a couple days ago to go over his experience at the 2017 ISDE in France. In case you missed it, here it is:
Madi Watt PlumFund Medical Fund
Good luck, Madi Watt.
Canada, let’s Help Madi!
Madi Watt is a member of the Canadian Womens Trophy Team that went to France to represent Canada and compete in the 2017 ISDE (International Six Day Enduro). After months of preparation it was finally race day. Madi started off the day completing her first crosstest and was on her way to time check 1, which required riding road. No one knows exactly what happened as Madi can’t remember, but she had a crash and was found by another rider. We believe she skided off the road went into the ditch and hit a culvert. Madi sustained severe injuries and was airlifted to the hospital and has been in the ICU. Unfortunately the rest of Team Canada has had to return home and leave them on their own. Madi’s condition has improved but there is still no time line on when she can fly home due to her injuries. This is everyone’s worst nightmare and the unforseen costs of an extended stay. Any support would be grately appreciated to help Madi and Trevor and the rest of their family here in Alberta waiting for them to come home!
If anyone wants to donate other than credit card you can press the “contribute” button and beside the billing info click on “pay offline” then you can send money via e-transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org or a cheque can be mailed. Thanks Everyone!!! This platform was chosen because all others take a percentage of each donation and this site only takes 3% for credit card processing.
Vet National at Motopark
If you’re in Ontario, get ready to have some fun! Here’s another chance for you to go head to head with our very own Jeff McConkey.
2017 MOTOPARK VET NATIONAL — SATURDAY AUGUST 7
Get ready for the Motopark Vet National by signing up for our Fall Vet Camp that takes place on October 5 & 6, 2017.
- Thursday October 5 – 8:00am to 9:00pm – Vet Camp Sign in.
- Thursday October 5 – 9:00am to 4:00pm – Vet Camp
- Friday October 6 – 9:00am to 4:00pm – Vet Camp
- Friday October 6 – 6:00pm to 9:00pm – Vet National Race Registration
- Saturday October 7 – 7:00am – 8:30am, race sign in
- Saturday October 7 – 8:30am, MANDATORY RIDERS MEETING
- Saturday October 7 – 9:00am, race practice starts
- Saturday October 7 – 46th Anniversary Dinner & Awards Banquet
THE OFF-ROAD CAFÉ
The Off-Road Café will be serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Featuring a full menu including our most popular items, Moto Muffin’s and Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches. No need to stock the fridge when you come to Motopark.
Dinner will be available at the Off Road Cafe each evening. Full service is available in the Restaurant at the following hours. Monday thru Wednesday 8:00am to 6:00pm Thursday thru Sunday 7:00am to 7:00pm Hours below;
- Monday 8:00am – 6:00pm
- Thursday 7:00am – 5:00pm
- Friday 7:00am – 7:00pm
- Saturday 7:00am – 7:00pm
- Saturday 8:00am – 5:00pm
- Saturday 6:00pm – 46th Anniversary Dinner and Awards Banquet
TRANSPONDERS REQUIRED TO BE SCORED, (MORE INFORMATION BELOW).
NO RACING LICENSE REQUIRED, Motopark welcomes all racers to race the Vet National. No membership or licensing fees required to race.
The main gate is staffed 24 hours. No one will be allowed into the main pit area between the hours of 11:00pm and 7:00am. Vehicles arriving during those hours will be staged in the overflow area. Please shut generators off at 11:00pm.
Security will be on duty and Motopark has a number of video security systems on the property. Should you have any concerns overnight please report to the main gate. There is no beer tent at Motopark. Firewood is available at the main gate which is staffed 24 hours Wednesday through Saturday.
CAMPING AND HOTELS
All Motopark’s serviced sites and hotel rooms are booked for this special event. Local hotels to contact include the Key Motel in Chatsworth (10 min) 519-794-2350, In Owen Sound (20 min), Inn on 6th, 519 376-3510, Quality Inn 519-376-1551. There are other Hotels in Owen Sound. There is lots of primitive camping available. Any vehicles arriving after 11:00pm will have to wait until morning to park so as not to disturb the campground. Generators must be shut off by 11:00pm for the same reason.
Sign in for the race can be done online or at the scoring trailer at the finish line from 6:00pm to 9:00pm Friday and 7:00am to 8:30am Saturday morning.
Want to beat the lines or sleep in an extra half hour on race day? Pre register by following this link: http://secure.tracksideonlineresults.com/motopark/ (Once you register online all you have to do is head to the registration trailer located at the finish line check in and sign a waiver.)
Main track classes, have your transponder number ready for registration. Mini track classes will not be using transponders. Online registration closes at 2:00pm on Friday October 6.
Pre-registration is not mandatory you can sign up at the event.
- TRANSPONDERS REQUIRED TO BE SCORED.
- 50cc GP does not require transponders.
- Vintage classes do not require a transponder.
- main track classes will be using transponders.
- You can race without a transponder but you will not be scored or win any awards.
- Buy one from MyLaps – buy a transponder.
Bike numbers are mandatory. If you do not have bike numbers on your bike you will be black flagged.
Fort Moto paintball will be open Friday and Saturday. The fee is $25 per player and includes a mask, gun and a hopper of balls. Commander Jeff will officiate at all games. To register you can sign up in the registration area in the Off-Road Café.
- Firewood, head up to the front gate, $10 a grain bag full.
- No Fireworks. PLEASE DON’T BRING ANY FIREWORKS.
No pit bikes are allowed at Motopark on race days. Golf Karts are to be driven by licensed adults only, passengers must be seated. Race bikes may be driven to the starting line. First gear only. No motorized vehicle of any kind to be ridden in the spectator/vendors/sign in area in front of the restaurant.
- $10 per person,
- 6 and under free.
Primitive camping fees per vehicle:
$20 the first night and $10 each additional night.
- Practice fee is $35 per day.
Race Entry Fee:
- $40 per class (2 moto format)
Sign up for the race in the black Motopark trailer by the finish line.
Vet National Classes
- Women 25+
- Vet 25+ B
- Vet 25+ A
- Vet 30+
- Vet 35+
- Vet 40+ B
- Vet 40+ A
- Vet 45+
- Vet 50+
- Vet 60+
Vintage National Classes (no transponder required)
- 50cc Pee Wee GP (4 – 8)
- 65cc Pee Wee GP (7 – 11)
- Supermini (9 – 16)
- Ladies B (105cc to 250cc 2-stroke, 150 to 250 4-stroke)
- Open Beginner
- Open Junior
- Open Int/Pro
Date of Event: Oct 7, 2017
Club: Vet National
Monster Energy Cup 2017
Warning: Do not try to make sense of this track until you watch the video.
Jeremy Medaglia Opens His Track
We’ll be sure to grab Jeremy Medaglia for a chat soon to learn more about what he’s got going on at his new track – including what he’s going to call it! – but for now, here’s a quick look:
OK, we’ll leave it there for this week. PRMX is currently in the process of finalizing their roster for the 2018 Supercross season. The Canadian team has got to be applauded for thier efforts to get and keep riders on the gates both north and south of the border!
Also working things out for the upcoming SX season is Josh Snider and the Redemption Racing gang. Watch for updates on what they have instore soon.
Have a great weekend!