Frid’Eh Update #49 Presented by KTM Canada
By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford
Welcome to Week #49 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update Presented by KTM Canada. Can you believe this week finds us at the beginning of December?! I’ve always said I get ‘officially’ into the Christmas spirit December 12th. Why, you ask? Well, when I was a little kid, my grandfather came over for Christmas from England on December 12th. For some reason, that just sort of stuck with me. Today being December 1st, I’m going to see if I can get it started early this year. Meh, that didn’t work…
It’s still well above the freezing mark in my neck of the woods, so get out and enjoy some rare December riding if you can.
In 2017, #49 was none other than Dylan Kaelin. ‘The Kaelin Kid’ and his family have been around the sport for as long as a lot of you reading this have been alive. Dylan came up through the Ontario Amateur Ranks with all of the eyes on him, as he was a damn fast youngster.
Dylan was a rider who could always be counted on for a top finish when he turned Pro, but he also struggled with injuries and still has to deal with knees that both need a-fixin’.
He only raced a few western rounds in 2016, but that was enough for him to earn #49 for this past year. Unfortunately, life got in the way and we never saw Dylan represent the #49 in 2017. We grabbed him for a chat to see what’s keeping him busy these days.
Direct Motocross: Hello, Dylan. You scored #49 for the 2017 season, but we never got to see you out there last summer. You haven’t done the full series in a while. What has kept you away?
Dylan Kaelin: Hey, Billy. In 2016 I raced the first 3 rounds, although Calgary was a bust for me. I wasn’t feeling it that day, so I just pulled off. I didn’t end up riding a dirt bike for almost a full calendar year after that. I just needed some time away from the bike. The past 2 injuries really wore me down, and had me questioning how much I wanted to keep riding.
You’ve still got the speed to do very well, it seems. Will we see you lining up for a Pro National ever again?
Yes, the speed is still in there somewhere! Occasionally, I bust out a few fast laps to see if I still got it! But I will never compete at the level I did before. My main focus is just ensuring I am happy and healthy these days.
You came up through the amateur ranks as one of the top kids to keep an eye on. I’m sure you’ll agree that you had a couple moments you’d like to take back, like when you went off on MX Forum, but I’d say you learned from that. Would you agree? What did you learn?
Ah, I can never avoid this topic! Some lessons are best learned the hard way. Unfortunately for me, I never had a mentor other than my parents, who were too busy working their butts of to fund my racing than to be looking over my shoulder with every move. I don’t think I would take anything back, that’s not how I like to look at life. Instead, it did teach me how to appreciate every sponsorship dollar, who was really watching, and a level of professionalism that I believe helped me land my current job.
Looking back over your racing career, is there a race that stands out for you?
I had so many races that were worthy of podium positions, but due to poor starts, fitness, diet, bikes etc., I could just never link it together to get onto the box. It’s on me, and I should have learned more about fitness and bike set up at a younger age… But 1 race that always stands out will be the BC Provincial race I did at Kamloops in 2015. I had my program together that year. I had invested a lot of personal time and money, on top of the team’s and my parents’, to prepare for that season. But, as we know, I blew out my ACL/MCL during the photoshoot a week later, that ultimately ended my racing career.
Oh, how are your knees these days?
The knees are well. I haven’t had them fixed, so I still live with no ACL in my right knee, and no ACL/MCL in my left. All the cycling and functional health has really helped them. The inflammation is down in my body, so I don’t get nearly as much joint pain as I used to.
You grew up in Ontario, but don’t live there anymore. Can you take us through some of the moves you made and the jobs you had before you landed where you are now?
I was an east coast kid up until about 17. At that point, we literally had no money left to continue racing, so my options were pretty limited. That’s when I started traveling to Alberta to work in the oil patch in the off season. Eventually, my family moved out here as well. I also spent about a year living in Abbotsford, BC. I live in Ardrossan, AB now, just east of Edmonton. Edmonton feels like home now.
What’s the toughest job you’ve ever had?
Without a doubt, tank maintenance, it sucks. It’s dark, dirty, FR overalls, respirators, hard work, and long days. My parents own a Tank Maintenance company now, so they clean, inspect and service oil refinery tanks. I used to pick up some hours with them between pipeline jobs, and It was always a humbling experience.
So, now you’re out in Alberta working for KTM. Can you tell us how that all came about and what it is you do for them?
I was off work at the time I got the call. At that point I was calling frantically to the union hall and past pipeline bosses to land some work, but we had such a wet spring everything was still delayed or out of province. Then I got the call in early July, thought about it for a few days, and took it! My official position is Event’s Specialist – West.
I build, plan and coordinate all the Street & Off-Road demos on the west coast. I also play a roll with the MMIC bike shows, KTM Contingency program, and help out wherever else I may be needed.
What is your schedule looking like for the next while?
Right now, I am working from home, building the street demo schedule that takes place April-July of 2018. Next week I am traveling back to head office in Chambly, Quebec, for a year-end meeting and the staff Christmas party. As soon as the clock his 2018, I will be full gas with the MMIC shows!
What was your favourite year racing?
2009, I had no injuries that year. I was confident in myself, my bikes and it really showed in my results. I rode more in that year than I have in the past 3 years!
Oh ya, what was your first race number and why did you pick it?
324! Dale Earnhardt in front of Jeff Gordon…obviously! For the record, I am not a NASCAR fan these days.
OK, thanks for taking the time with us today. Is there anyone you’d like to thank?
Just my family, friends and supporters, who have genuinely had my back through some real shit times. You guys mean the world to me, and I will always be there for you in return!
Good luck with all your future endeavors, Dylan. We’ll see you at an event somewhere soon, I’m sure.
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Mini O’s Road Trip!
Hey, guys. Happy Friday. I will start with our 2017 Mini O’s adventure. Our trip almost didn’t get started as Bigwave had yet to get medical clearance to drive. I had been amped up about this trip for a few weeks, so I was going no matter what it took. I arrived at DMX headquarters just after lunch on the Monday. Bigwave came hobbling out on crutches in his Keswick track-suedo and I knew we were ready to rock. We loaded up the DMX van with the help of Emily, and headed for the border.
After a few minutes of catching up, a phone call was placed to Redemption Racing’s Josh Snider. After Josh filling us in on the great news about the new Redemption Racing/ClubMX Supercross team, Billy and I took in the great news and the bench racing continued.
After making it through the border pretty quickly, we had to stop for some cheap American fuel. I have a sweet tooth, I’m not going to lie. One of my favourite parts about American road trips is seeing the different chocolate bars and treat selections in gas stations. Well, we hit the jackpot at stop 1, and I stumbled upon Caramel M&Ms. Dang they are good, and they pretty much fueled our entire trip.
Back to the road we took, and South we went down I-75. The drive went very well, but we did receive some bad news while en route. Young Canadian future superstar, #43 Noah Viney, crashed early on in SX practice and had an elbow and shoulder injury. Serious bad news as the Viney brothers, especially Noah, were on the very top of my list to see race.
Before we knew it , we were rolling into Gatorback Cycle Park and Tanner Ward was one of the first faces we ran into. I had been scrolling social media for 18 hours straight and the first question we had for Tanner was, “What’s going on with Austin Watling?” Tanner didn’t even have to answer us (that he was willing to divulge), but we could just tell by his facial expression. Bummer #2.
There were quite a few riders that impressed me over the week, too many to mention all, but here are my top 5:
#1. #79 Jett Reynolds. WOW! Jett is the real deal. I honestly feel he will continue to be a winning machine throughout his amateur career into his Pro career. He is just so damn calm and cool. I think he becomes an all-time great.
#2. #936 Ty Masterpool. Ty is the youngest brother of the late Jesse Masterpool, and damn he is fun to watch. Great style from the youngster, and, “Hey Little Masterpool, are you sure you don’t want a picture?”
#3. #47 Jo Shimoda. Jo has the smoothest style I have ever seen. Yes, ever! It honestly looked like he was on a sight lap and cruising because he was that smooth.
#4. #133 Jordan Bailey is on my list for a few reasons. I remember back when I was down south wrenching for Jeremy Medaglia and we rode one day in Orlando. Jordan was a very young Red Bull KTM pilot and he was one of the nicest little kids ever. It was fun hanging out with him back then and seeing how much he has grown and improved over the years. He’s a very nice kid and very underrated in my eyes.
#5. #352 Jalek Swoll. I remember being at Zach Bell‘s training facility in the fall of 2013 and watching the kid fly on his 65. He’s got some crazy style and he’s not afraid to go for it. He definitely has what it takes to be a star.
There are lots of guys I’m missing and overlooking, but these 5 stood out the most to me.
We received a lot of rain and the track crew did a great job on both the SX track and MX track and saved the event. Congrats to everyone who lined up and raced, no matter what class you rode. I say that because there are always some negative comments towards results and most recently comments towards the classes that some people rode.
Yes, there was sandbagging at Gatorback. Look no further than Stockton Stinebaugh. This kid flies and he has 15 National Titles! No C class champion should have that many titles and be in the C class. Back in the day racers avoided the junior class or “C” class. Now some make excuses why they are still in it.
Quinn Amyotte won a title in C. Was it easy for him? Heck no. Quinn worked hard and fought right until the end for it. It was no easy task. Should Quinn be racing C? Probably not, but there were 39 others that didn’t really belong either.
I spent quite a bit of time with Quinn and his brother Larry “the” Enticer over the week and honestly since Quinn was on a JR50, nothing has been handed to them and they work hard. Quinn mentioned that his plans for 2018 are to ride Intermediate and try to qualify for a few Pro nationals with the goal of turning Pro in 2019. I respect that and I respect my little buddy “Quang.” Good job and congrats, I can’t wait to see a black #114 on yellow.
The 2018 Women’s “Pro” Series
Ok, I would like to talk next about the new WMX Women “Pro” Motocross Series. Now, I put a call in to Justin Thompson to ask a few questions, but, unfortunately, Justin is an extremely busy guy and hasn’t got back to me yet. So, here is my opinion as of now: I would like to know how a woman Pro in Canada is determined.
Back in the day in the U.S., you needed to race and accumulate points and earn your Pro license. I remember very well that one of our former champions, Denaye Giroux (Arnett now), spent an entire winter busting her ass for her Pro license.
I have spoken to a few of the women racers so far, and half seem to dislike the word ‘Pro’ and the other half love it. Just because you race a dirt bike in Canada and you are a girl, it doesn’t make you a Pro. Plain and simple. If it does, then I would expect these girls to not race the Beginner classes, or Junior classes as their second classes at races.
Also, I would assume that the Walton Grand National Championship and other similar races would have to create a new class for these ‘Pro’ women?
In 2017, there were a few less-than-stellar turnouts for the women. I’ve spoken to a lot of female racers and they honestly felt they just weren’t good enough to line up at a national. By adding the word ‘Pro,’ I can almost promise you that it will scare a few potential racers off, as they realize that they are in fact not professional.
Yes, we do a few Pro women in Canada, and very good ones at that, but let’s be honest with ourselves, ladies, what are there, maybe 5 per coast? That is not a dig at the talent, that is just honesty. We have some great talent in Canada, and it will continue to get better, but you are not all Pros.
If you disagree with me, drive down to the US and try and line up for a Women’s Pro race down there. Show them the Pro license you don’t hold, and let me know if they allow you to even race. It’s hard to argue that.
Maybe one day we will have a real Pro Women’s Series, but as of right now, in my opinion, it is best to call it what it is, and that is a ‘Women’s National.’
I didn’t write this to piss you ladies off, but someone needed to say it. If I am wrong about the JetWerx series, I apologize, but only time will tell.
Before I go, I would like to send positive thoughts and vibes to Estrella Cemovic and her family. I’m not going to lie, it rattled me quite a bit seeing her hurt after wishing her good luck on the line and snapping pictures of her preparing for that gate drop. She is a fighter, and let’s hope she gets better soon. Have a great week guys and #smileforBC , #liftwithscott and #4estrella.
#11 Kyle Chisholm Finds a Home
If being a nice guy got you rides, #11 Kyle Chisholm would be one of the most sought after riders in the sport. Unfortunately, the way the sport is now, you need to be almost as much about flash and social media presence as speed on the track to get anywhere.
We’ve all gotten to know Kyle quite well over his years racing north of the border. He’ s the no-nonsense rider who lets his riding do the talking. He’s got a career number in the US and that’s a pretty big deal.
However, it seems the rider from Florida always seems to be in a pinch looking for his next ride. With all the young, flashy riders nipping at his heels, it’s tough to get major companies to give you another shot for fear they’ll miss out on ‘the next big thing.’
Well, Kyle has found a home for the 2018 Supercross series. He’ll compete in the 250 West championship with select races in the east on a 450. Here’s the press release:
The 51FIFTY Energy Drink Yamaha Team proudly announces the signing of Kyle Chisholm for the 2018 racing season. Fresh off a top 10 overall finish in last year’s Supercross campaign, Kyle will line up for the 2018 West Coast 250 Supercross Series aboard a 51FIFTY Energy Drink Yamaha YZ250F.
A veteran to the sport, Chisholm has earned respect throughout the industry with his consistency on the track and his professional demeanor off the track. With a number of seasons in the books, the Florida native brings plenty of experience and racing knowledge to the 51FIFTY Energy Drink Yamaha Team.
“I’m grateful for this opportunity with 51FIFTY Energy Drink Yamaha Team,” said Chisholm. “I’ve spent a bulk of my career on Yamaha’s, I’ve worked with many of the current team staff and the crew at Factory Yamaha in the past and I felt comfortable with YZ250F from the first test. I’ve seen 51FIFTY grow over the past few seasons and this year the goal, for the team and myself, is to be inside the Top 5. While the focus is on the 250 West, I’ll have the support of the team when the series hits the ‘East’ and I’ll race the YZ450F at selected rounds. I’m excited to be back on blue and ready to go racing with a team who supports me.”
“Kyle’s a class act and definitely brings a wealth of experience to our team,” remarked Team Manager Craig Monty. “Our paths have crossed before and he’s always been knowledgeable with respect to bike testing/setup and just a fun guy to be around. His hard work and consistency have shown as Kyle has been a name in our sport over the past decade.”
Look out for the #11 51FIFTY Energy Drink Yamaha YZ250F at the gate drop of the 2018 West Coast 250 Supercross Series in Anaheim, California. We look forward to seeing all of our dedicated sponsors and fans at the opening round of the new season #LiveTheMadness
Kyle would also like to thank his personal sponsors for their support during his next racing endeavor including Atlas Brace, EVS Sports, HJC Helmets, Ricky Fowler, Sidi Boots, and X Brand Goggles.
Good luck this season, Kyle.
‘Future Jakes’ Go Head-to-Head this Weekend in Chilliwack AX
Well, technically they’re already named ‘Jake,’ but you could make a strong argument that the future of Canadian Motocross, Arenacross, and Supercross will be heavily sprinkled with the name.
#527 Jake Tricco is the super-fast amateur rider out of Collingwood, Ontario, who will be making his Future West Moto Canadian Arenacross Championships debut this weekend for rounds 5 and 6 of the series.
He will be joined by his amateur rival, #81 Jake Piccolo out of Abbotsford, BC for what should be some intense battling in the Intermediate classes.
Both of these riders are used to winning, so one of the Jakes will be licking his wounds while the other will get the edge on the other as they make their way forward toward what should be very successful Pro careers.
Piccolo will have to prove he can stay off the ground, while Tricco’s raw speed will have spectators on the edge of their seats wondering if he’s about to fall. It should be great racing!
If you’re within driving distance of Chilliwack Heritage Park, if you start your car now you’ll still make it there.
Here’s a look at the standings as we head into another weekend of racing:
Jared Petruska to Sky Holeshot Racing for 2018 Rockstar Triple Crown Outdoor Series
If you’ve been anywhere near social media lately, you’ll notice the very active presence of the newly-formed Sky Holeshot Racing team.
Ex-top Pro, Al Dyck has been working very hard to get this venture off the ground and he’s landed a pretty solid rider in Albertan, #43 Jared Petruska.
Jared is the hard-working racer who was forced to miss a year after that terrible crash entering the first turn in Regina a couple years ago. He’s back and ready to prove he’s still got the speed to compete, and having the support of a team behind him will go a long way in helping him achieve that goal.
This announcement is from their Facebook page:
Sky Holeshot Racing is happy to announce that Jared Petruska will be Racing the Triple Crown Outdoor Nationals with us next year.
Was good meeting him at last week’s Arenacross. Jared is from Calgary and has 9 years of Pro Racing and was in the top ten at the western rounds of last year’s nationals. He will not be at this weekend’s Arenacross in Chilliwack.
Stickers 4 Estrella Cemovic
#25 Estrella Cemovic sustained a head injury last week at the Mini O’s during the Supercross portion of the week. She is still in a Gainesville, Florida, hospital where she remains unconscious, but making progress.
There is already a GoFundMe page going for here but you can also lend the family support by purchasing and displaying one or a dozen of these ‘4 Estrella‘ stickers.
Here is more information on how to help:
As most of you know, Estrella Cemovic has been in a horrible accident and hopefully she knows that she has the world behind her on this one and we will be with every step of the way!! I’ve partnered with DeCal Works to make these amazing stickers for Estrella… #4Estrella. 100% of the profit will be donated to her and her family directly!!
PLEASE BE SURE TO VISIT THE WEBSITE AND ORDER YOURS NOW TO SHOW YOUR SUPPORT!!!
If you want updates on her condition search ‘Updates on Estrella Cemovic’ here on Facebook. There is a limited quantity so get them while you can. I’ve made it super easy for anyone who doesn’t have a credit card or PayPal account to purchase them. As anyone who has used Decal Works before would know, DeCal Works makes super durable decals that can stick to pretty much anything!!!
They’re smaller so you can stick them anywhere!! They are 1” x 5” so it’s perfect for the back of your phone, bike, laptop, or car window.
HERE’S THE LINK TO THE WEBSITE BELOW!!
Please be sure to show your support for this beautiful girl and her family!! Godspeed, Estrella.
A Look at Team Canada MXON’s Week in England
Here’s a video that takes you through the week Team Canada MXON had over competing at Matterley Basin in Winchester, England. From practice, to bowling, to punching, to dinner, to qualifying, to racing, put to the music of Kane Incognito, this should give you a feel for the entire experience.
Kennedy Lutz Update
There were a few riders Jeff and I were looking forward to watching race last week at the Mini O’s and #44 Kennedy Lutz was high on that list of riders. We watched her race the Supercross track on Tuesday. She was entered in the Women’s 14+ and 250 B, 450 and 250. Those are some tough classes!
Strangely, when Wednesday morning rolled around, Kennedy was nowhere to be found on the line for the Women’s main event. It left both Jeff and I scratching our heads. I could have understood deciding to sit out the ultra-competitive 450 class, but certainly not the class she was one of the favourites in.
Since I was still one-crutching it around, Jeff decided to head over to their pits and find out what was up. When he got there, all he saw was their truck and trailer leaving Gatorback Cycle Park. Weird. I sent them messages but didn’t hear anything back.
When we spoke to some other riders close to her, they either didn’t have and answer or didn’t want to tell us anything. We heard things from hurting her hip to just not wanting to race that day. Well, we got in touch with her this week and here’s what she had for us.
“I don’t know…there’s not much to say. I’m not hurt or anything. I decided to leave Mini O’s early. I wasn’t in the right mindset to race. A lot has happened this month and I just wanted to come home and take a break and spend some time with family and friends.”
When I asked her what’s next for her, she simply said, “I’m not sure.”
Sometimes, we all need to recharge our racing batteries. My only concern is when these breaks happen when racers get a little older. When you’re young, nothing else in the world matters other than getting on your bike and behind that gate. As you age, you start thinking a little too much, and that’s when these breaks can go from short, energy-rejuvinating ones to the-rest-of-your-life sort of breaks. Kennedy is still young, so I’m sure we’ll see her lining up again very soon. Good luck, Kennedy…and don’t make us worry like that ever again! Haha.
The ‘Fab 3’ Loses a Member | #424 Austin Watling Is Moving On
When Jeff McConkey and I got to the 2017 Mini O’s to see both #46 Marco Cannella and #184 Tanner Ward lining up to race the A and Pro Sport classes at Gatorback Cycle Park last week, we assumed that meant the ‘Fab 3’ were together and going at it tooth and nail for another round of racing. Unfortunately, someone was missing.
#424 Austin Watling makes up a third of this trio and his absence said a lot. Of course, we asked the others where the third amigo was, and when they looked us right in the eyes and lied about his whereabouts, we knew something was up. Nobody wanted to say anything, but it was obvious something was going down.
Austin has been busy on social media posting photos and even making a video back-flip appearance on Kevin O’Leary‘s Facebook page. That probably wouldn’t have happened if Austin’s focus was on turning Pro and getting to any race he could, like the prestigious Mini O’s. He wasn’t there and it made us curious.
Well, his latest post on Instagram @austin_424 reads, “A New Chapter…” so we got in touch with the man, himself, to get some answers.
Although Austin said he “will be posting something this week to explain myself,” he told us this much: “I just lost my drive for it and wasn’t having fun anymore.”
Anyone who used to race and then stopped, can relate to this. I know that I sort of did the same thing after my Intermediate year and went off to Western for a few years of “higher learning.” Sometimes, you have to be honest with yourself and realize that your dream to become one of the top motocross racers in the world would take more effort and intensity (not to mention money) than you are willing to give. Just ask Ryan Villopoto if he’d do it all again, given his druthers.
Austin will be creating his own media business and will be focused on shooting photos and videos for clients in areas from weddings, to commercial, and real estate to help them market themselves.
We may be losing one of the ‘Fab 3,’ but lots more people out there are going to be gaining a hard-working asset to help them bring their products and services to the marketplace.
Like we said, Austin will be unrolling his new venture publicly on Instagram later this week, so be sure to watch for that. We’d just like to wish him all the luck in the world and thank him for making Amateur Motocross exciting the past few years.
Nobody said it was easy
It’s such a shame for us to part
Nobody said it was easy
No one ever said it would be this hard
Oh take me back to the start.
Geneva Supercross this Weekend
For all you need to know about the Friday/Saturday night event, click here: http://www.supercross-geneve.com/
Larry Enticer Takes His Sled around the Pit Bike Track at Mini O’s
It’s crazy the things Larry Enticer gets to do these days! People just can’t get enough of him and his “Just gonna send it!” catch phrase.
He was at it again last week at the Mini O’s. Motoplayground did a great job with their ‘World Pit Bike Nationals‘ on Friday night and Larry was the main attraction.
Here’s the video of his lap:
OK, folks, good luck to everyone out in Chilliwack at the Arenacross. I’ve finally thrown away the crutches and it feels great to have the use of both of my hands again! You’d think it was mostly about your legs, but crutches steal your freedom of the use of your hands, too.
I may have to head down to the mall for a coffee to wander around and people watch tomorrow. It’s been too long. Have a great weekend, everyone.