Frid’Eh Update #8 | Presented by Fox Racing Canada

By Billy Rainford

Presented by Fox Racing Canada

It’s another strange week here at the DMX Frid’Eh Update because we don’t have anyone racing with the #8 in 2021. Heck, when’s the last time we even had a #8?! It got me wondering what’s up with that particular digit.

Liam O’Farrel was #8 in 2010. | Bigwave photo

What’s wrong with #8? Why do no racers take it? I remember Liam O’Farrell ran the number way back in 2010. I found this shot of him crashing at Gopher Dunes. Was it the number’s fault? Maybe?



Octophobia is the fear of the number 8. If you’re afraid of more than one number you have arithmophobia.

In the United States, octophobia is not that common because the number eight is not a ubiquitous symbol of bad luck, the devil or other superstitions. Americans are more likely to have a phobia of the numbers 13 (triskaidekaphobia) and 666 (hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia) because of their negative connotations.

In other countries, and in minority religions here in the US, the number eight can be a significant number, making those folks more likely to develop a phobia of it. Numerologists also ascribe meaning to the number eight.

The Significance of the Number 8 in Other Cultures

In order to understand octophobia, it is necessary to learn about the various meanings ascribed to the number. The number eight is a holy number in many cultures, which carries a great deal of power.

Many cultures and religions recognize the number eight is significant because it represents:

  • The major festivals of the Wiccan year
  • The number of days in the Jewish Hanukkah
  • The Angels carrying the Holy Throne of Allah in Islam
  • The Guardians of the Directions in Hinduism
  • The Immortals of Chinese lore
  • An affiliation with wealth and prosperity

Should I See a Therapist?

If your fear of the number eight interferes with your personal relationships, your job or your ability to perform essential daily tasks, such as buying groceries and paying bills on time, mental health experts recommend seeking treatment. This is the general standard for most cases of a specific phobia or simple phobia.

Number phobias, such as octophobia, can fall into the aforementioned category. As it is nearly impossible to avoid specific numbers, such as the number eight, on a daily basis (consider street signs, addresses, a trip to the grocery store, going to a baseball game…).

Therapy for a specific phobia, such as octophobia, usually consists of cognitive behavioural therapy techniques, such as desensitization.

No mention of Motocross in there. I guess we’re safe? Then why do we never see anyone running the number? I still don’t get it.

2007 #8 Grant Langston. | Wikipedia photo

Is Grant Langston the most famous #8? He’s the rider I associate it with.

I did some Googling and found this article done by Racer X way back in 2007:


August 29, 2007 2:18pm | by: Andy Bowyer

Welcome to the Shift Number Cruncher. When we started this band all we needed, needed was a laugh, years gone by I’d say we’ve kicked some… Oh, excuse me, in lieu of this week’s number I was taken back to these decadent lyrics of Motley Crue. We knew a time would come when we would repeat a number we have already crunched and after the events of last weekend’s race at Steel City, we thought we would dedicate this week’s column to #8.

Something occurred to me while I watched Mike AlessiGrant Langston, and Kevin Windham dance inside the six-sided ring of fire in that glorious second moto. The tie that binds between all three riders is the magnificent number eight. GL carried it on the charge to victory, Kevin wore it in 1998, and Alessi is of course #8… hundred. That is what got the gears churning and, before long, I had a pretty cool gaggle of correlation to numeral eight. Before we get rolling, press rewind and check out the one we did previously right here.

Let’s kick start your heart with a little old school, shall we? Here we have a really cool shot of Gary Semics. Check out the black, left-side straight pipe! Can’t you almost hear that heavy, drummed-braked beast as he notches this loamy right hander? Gary won three 500cc nationals between 1974 and ’76, he won the ’75 500cc SX title, and he rode for Team USA in the late 1970s. Oh, and he can still ride faster than most of you reading this!

Here we have 1978 500cc National Champion, Rick Burgett hard on the gas on a #8 Yamaha. Number eight….Yamaha…national champion…hmmm.

We had a tough time identifying this one. The gators and short stocky stature offer hints of one Danny “Magoo” Chandler, then I had thoughts of maybe Steve Wise, but I knew it wasn’t those guys. Thus, we had to go to the Captain. DC can identify guys like this in an instant. Alas, it was Jim Gibson. He usually knows what stickers they had on their helmet and what color Gatorade they drank that day too.

This is Davey Coombs running the eight while putting in some laps back in back in 1997. That is the first year Shift made riding gear coincidentally. Davey also placed 8th in the 125 class at the ’85 Daytona Supercross, then he thought college was a better option.

Steel City was also unique in that it hosted the first ever Pro ATV Open on Saturday. And you know what? I thought it was pretty freakin’ rad! Those guys haul serious ass and several were hucking the sketchy uphill triple-double-rhythm section. Could have been the beginning of something really cool. Jason Luburgh was out there running #8 and came in 13th.

Two of the more popular questions being asked this week were, “When was the last time we have seen a three-rider battle for the lead in the big boys’ class?” And “When is the last time we have seen five riders win in the premiere class in the outdoor nationals?” Ok, check this out: The answer to both of those was the year this man with the immaculate elbow positioning, Greg Albertyn, the three-time FIM World Champion who won the 1999 250cc AMA Motocross Championship. He did it wearing #8 as well. Pretty cool, huh?

It’s been a while since I’ve gone all NASCAR on you but with #8 being the order of the day, we have to give a nod to the turmoil surrounding the biggest proprietor of the digit of all-time. When Jr. up and decided to leave DEI (Dale Earnhardt Incorporated) at the end of the 2007 it sent shock waves through the NASCAR community. A gigantic bidding war broke out, which Rick Hendrick won, but it was Dale’s old boss that ended up having the last word. You think motocross guys are particular about their numbers? Consider NASCAR has a 72 million-count fan base, of which about 35 percent are Dale Earnhardt fans to the bone. On any given weekend at Talladega there are around 50,000 red #8 t-shirts and hats. There are also about half as many #8 tattoos. Well, those cats are going to have to buy some new gear and hit up the parlor because Teresa told Hendrick Motorsports and Dale Jr. that the #8 is staying right where it began at D.E.I. This was a bitter pill for Jr. to swallow as it was not only the number his Granddaddy raced with, it is virtually his entire identity. Nothing like a step Mom scorned, huh? Right now it looks like Ricky Carmichael’s driving coach, Mark Martin, and Aric Amirola will share the number in 2008.

Did that help? No, I didn’t think it would…

I remember going to the Washougal MX National back in 1999. Every year, a few buddies and I would drive down from Vancouver and make a road trip out of it. We’d drive down on Friday after work and head straight for that saloon in “downtown” Washougal. We’d stay way too late and then park up the hill/mountain from the entrance to the track.

It was a brilliant plan! We’d sleep in the back of the van/Cherokee/whichever vehicle we drove that year and then when we’d head down the hill in the morning. The traffic was always lined up for miles coming in from the other direction. We’d drive right in.

After the races we’d head straight to Westport, Washington, for a couple days of surfing before heading back to Vancouver. It was an 11-year tradition.

Anyway, we showed up to see South African World GP Champion Greg Albertyn running #8. I don’t have more to this story. He’s just another guy I remember using the number.

If you know the story about the #8, please let us know in the comments section.

We’re on an off weekend in the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series. We’ve got to wait until March 6th before we’re in Daytona for the annual Bike Week tradition.

I think we’ll have to wait to see how the 250 class shakes out at Round 2 before we go jumping to conclusions and hand the trophy to Justin Cooper. The first round last week in Orlando was complete chaos. It can’t be like that again, can it?

In the 450 class, Ken Roczen and Cooper Webb appear to have this down to a two-rider competition for the title.

Defending champion Eli Tomac is making me think he’s ready to ride off into the sunset! I can’t believe I just wrote that, but, unless he comes out guns-a-blazing next week in Daytona, it will be difficult to argue against the fact that he almost appears to be mailing this season in.

But we are headed to Daytona which is a track that is usually suited to his strengths as an animal in the MX portion of the sport. We may have to wait until Dallas on the 13th to see what he’s got planned for the rest of the season.

Or maybe he knows he’s also got the 3 Atlanta outdoor rounds to put on a charge? I don’t know, he’s an enigma this season.

All I do know is that if he doesn’t get his starts sorted out, he’s not going to be chasing down #94 or #2 at the front. Without a good start, he won’t be beating them.

Of course, now that I’ve said all that, he’ll go out and win by 20 seconds next week…

Shelby Turner and Tyler Medaglia Headed to Hog Waller GNCC Next Weekend

We’ve got two very competitive Canadians to watch once the action gets back underway next week for Round 2 of the GNCC Racing series at Hog Waller in Palatka, Florida.

Shelby Turner finished 4th at Round 1 in South Carolina while Tyler Medaglia continued his streak of bad luck at Big Buck and was forced out early.

Shelby lost her camper trailer on the way to the race and then her van on the way home from the race! Fortunately, they’re both (her and boyfriend Thorn Devlin) fine and will be lining up next week.

We spoke with Tyler to find out just what happened to him. Check it out on your favourite podcast source: iTunes, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, SoundCloud, or Spotify…is there a new one this week?

Short and sweet this week. We’re heading into a big melt here in Southwestern Ontario. With 9C temperature, the snow is going to melt pretty fast, but we’ve got a lot of it so we won’t be wearing flip flops anytime soon.

I was hoping to be in Lindsay, Ontario, this weekend for the CSRA Snow Bike racing, but I’ve been informed there won’t be any media on the grounds. Too bad because it should be some great racing! Yanick Boucher and newcomer Sam Gaynor should be a nice battle. Oh well, maybe restrictions will lighten up and I can make it out to a race before the season is over.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Have a great weekend. See you at the races… | Bigwave photo
And Happy Birthday to this legend, JSR. I think he used to race, too. | Bigwave 2010 photo