Frid’Eh Update #13 | Brought to You by RP Race Performance

By Billy Rainford

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Brought to you by RP Race Performance
Week #13 belongs to…NOBODY!

Hello and welcome to Week #13 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update brought to you by RP Race Performance. Every 13th week of the year, I think about all the riders who’ve chosen to ride the 13 on their bikes despite all the fear around the digit. First on my mind are Ricky Johnson, Sebastien Tortelli, Tyler Medaglia, and Topher Ingalls.

During Week #5 for T-Dags, we discussed why he chose to go with #5 and he explained that he almost went with #13 for his career number. After discussing it with Heidi, they decided not to go with the number filled with so much negative connotation and superstition.

I guess it makes sense. I think if you had a big #13 on your bike and body and you did happen to get hurt, you couldn’t help look back in hindsight and wish you maybe chose a different number. Why put that on yourself if you don’t have to?

This week also reminds me of just how superstitious most motocross riders actually are. Sure, we all brush it off as simply having “a system” for race days, but deep down we all know we’ve let superstition get the better of us.

Right glove first, right boot first, rev the bike while your hand is reached back and covering the exhaust… The list always goes on.

When I was younger, there was a time when my list of things I had to do before a race got slightly out of hand, to say the least. Read on.

I couldn’t put a hat on a bed. I couldn’t leave a room if it was :03. I had to put my right glove on first. I had to look through the cement pipes at The Big O on the way up to Hully Gully, to name a few that were quickly piling up to become a real problem.

The only one I can remember the origin of is the :03. I was a little kid in Grade 7 or 8. There was a Wednesday night movie on TV about a school bus getting highjacked or something and I was allowed to stay up until 11pm to watch the end of it.

I was a bit of a nutter when it came to getting to bed by 10, so this was a big deal for me. I remember rushing to bed as the credits were rolling and looking at the digital clock on my bedside table as I turned out the light. It was 11:03 (that one became the worst of the worst!).

I had my first-ever bout of insomnia that night. I listened to the clock downstairs in the fancy living room (We all had them back then – the living room you never really even sat in). It was a grandfather clock and actually made quite a bit of noise as it tick-tocked away and chimed every 15 minutes. It was a night from hell for me!

After that, I began seeing “:03” all the time when I looked at a clock. It was uncanny! It started to freak me out a little bit and it all started with me not being able to turn my light out at 10:03 as I went to bed. It went downhill from there.

One day, I told myself enough was enough. I wasn’t a superstitious person. I just didn’t think about those sort of things until that damn :03 thing started happening and I worked it into my racing days. I told myself to stop being ridiculous, grabbed all my motocross hats, ski toques, and anything else that was meant to be worn on my head and dumped them all out on my bed. That was it. I was done!

And it worked. I stopped thinking about any of it and went on happily with my life from that moment. It was very freeing. I was cured!

However, if I’m being honest, I think I still put my right glove on first and will never say, “One more lap.” But those ones are just normal, right? RIGHT?!

There are a million places on the internet where you can find origins of the fear of #13, so I grabbed one from a website that has what should be a pretty reliable URL. Check it out.


Researchers estimate that as many as 10 percent of the U.S. population has a fear of the number 13, and each year the even more specific fear of Friday the 13th, known as paraskevidekatriaphobia, results in financial losses in excess of $800 million annually, as people avoid marrying, traveling or in the most severe cases, even working. But what’s so unlucky about the number 13, and how did this numerical superstition get started?
An early myth surrounding the origin of the fear involved one of the world’s oldest legal documents, the Code of Hammurabi, which reportedly omitted a 13th law from its list of legal rules. In reality, the omission was no more than a clerical error made by one of the document’s earliest translators who failed to include a line of text—in fact, the code doesn’t numerically list its laws at all.
Number 12: A ‘Perfect’ Number?
Mathematicians and scientists, meanwhile, point to preeminence of the number 12, often considered a “perfect” number, in the ancient world. The ancient Sumerians developed numeral system based on the use of 12 that is still used for measuring time today. Most calendars have 12 months; a single day is comprised of two 12-hour half days, etc. Following so closely on the heels of a “perfect” number, some argue, that 13 was sure to be found lacking and unusual. 
This fear of the unknown would seem to play into two other popular theories for the number’s unlucky connotation, both of which revolve around the appearance of a 13th guest at two ancient events: In the Bible, Judas Iscariot, the 13th guest to arrive at the Last Supper, is the person who betrays Jesus. Meanwhile ancient Norse lore holds that evil and turmoil were first introduced in the world by the appearance of the treacherous and mischievous god Loki at a dinner party in Valhalla. He was the 13th guest, upsetting the balance of the 12 gods already in attendance.
13 Only Unlucky in the West
It also seems as if unexplained fears surrounding the number 13 are a primarily Western construct. Some cultures, including the Ancient Egyptians, actually considered the number lucky, while others have simply swapped numbers as the base of their phobias—4 is avoided in much of Asia, for example. 
According to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina, more than 80 percent of hi-rise buildings in the United States do not have a 13th floor, and the vast majority of hotels, hospitals and airports avoid using the number for rooms and gates as well. 
But in much of East and Southeast Asia, where tetraphobia is the norm, you’d be hard-pressed to find much use of the number 4 in private or public life, thanks to similar sounds for the Chinese language (and Chinese-influenced linguistic sub-groups) words for “four” and “death.”

On many occasions, I’ll ask a racer if they have any superstitions. Many of them will say “No” and then go on to list 5 or 8 things they do before every race. It can be pretty comical. And I’m not just talking about things like, “I eat a good meal and stretch,” I’m talking about crazy things like I mentioned I did myself back in the day.

If those hand guards weren’t there on Mike Treadwell’s bike, you’d be able to see a chunk of wood stuck in his handlebars somewhere. (Shown with Carl Vaillancourt at Sand Del Lee back in 2014) | Bigwave photo

Have you ever watched Mike Treadwell at the gate before a race? No? It’s amazing! I remember seeing him do it at Oak Hill in Texas I think for the first time.

I saw him on the gate for his next moto and he was looking around all frantic. I thought it was odd so I kept watching. I think he had the guy next to him hold his bike as he went and picked something up from the ground and walked back to his bike.

He had a small chunk of wood held in place on his bike by the cables and continued to line his bike up behind the gate.

As the previous race neared its end, I watched Mike start tapping the piece of wood in a very deliberate sequence. It was wild. I’m pretty sure I snapped photos of him doing it.

I can’t remember if I asked him there in the pits or if it was at a future race up here in Canada, but he told me that he had to do something like, 2 taps, then 4, then 5, then 2 before every gate drop. It was next level!

I’m sure he won’t mind me telling this story because we’ve laughed about it several times since I first noticed it.

So, if you ask him if he’s superstitious and he says no, you know he’s lying!

And, of course, we’ve all seen Cade Clason do his thing at a very specific time before the gate drops.

I told Emily that I was going to talk about superstitious riders this week and she pretty much thought I was crazy. I explained some of my old quirks and confirmed it for her…

I told her that we all know Motocross is dangerous and that anything we can do to put our minds at ease helps us head into turn 1 with either 39 or 21 other riders.

At first, I think all these little things start because we did something and then went out and had the race of our lives. From then on it just has a way of sneaking its way into our pre-race preparations. None of us wants to be some crazy guy tapping wood on the line before a race! (Sorry, Mike. Lol)

Bill Murray was on The Tonight Show last week and he said he was heading to the NCAA basketball tournament in the same clothes he wore to the last game because it was “good luck.” When Jimmy Fallon asked him if he thinks what he wore had something to do with the outcome, he said in classic Bill Murray fashion, “I like to think I’m doing my part.”

I think we all do little things that we like to call our “process” of getting ready to ride or race, but I also think we’re all just one step away from becoming totally OCD with that process.

I’ve asked this question of myself before: “At what point does simply having a process become OCD?” It’s a tricky question, no?

If you are reading this now, please comment on our Facebook page or on our Instagram page what your pre-race rituals or superstitions are. Craziest one wins!

St Louis Supercross

St Louis: Gateway to the West | Getty Images

We’re heading into Round 12 of the 2024 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series at The Dome at America’s Center in St Louis.

If you’ve never driven through St Louis, you may wonder why they call the city the “Gateway to the West.” Well, I can tell you.

If you’re driving from the east, your entire drive to that point had been corn fields and farms. As soon as you go west of St Louis, you no longer see farms. The geography changes immediately. Suddenly, you’re seeing ranches with cattle not farms. It’s pretty wild really. It’s right where I-55 crosses the Mississippi River, so it all adds up.

My plan was to be at this race, but we’ve got way too much going on at our house right now. For starters, we’ve been looking after the neighbour’s dog, Oakley, for over a month. Don’t forget, we’ve also got a just-under-one-year-old Olive the Aussie Doodle to contend with. Emily is a nurse in Urgent Care, so she works pretty long shifts.

Add to this the fact that we’re getting our kitchen completely redone. Oh, and we thought we’d also redo the entire first floor hardwood floors while we were at it.

Let’s just say that me loading up the van and heading to St Louis for the weekend would pretty much be the last time you’d see me living in this house! I don’t think I’d be welcome back.

But don’t worry, we’ve got photos of #107 Ryder McNabb doing his first-ever Supercross Futures event covered! Yes, I’m stressed out about not being there in person, but I’ll just take a few deep breaths and get ready to be in Foxborough for the next round in a couple weeks.

Saturday will be Round 3 of the 5-round series that will next be at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA on April 13th and finish off at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City at the finale on May 11th.

The top five eligible riders from each of those Premier events will earn an entry into the Supercross Futures AMA National Championship taking place at Round 17 of Monster Energy Supercross in Salt Lake City on Saturday, May 11 at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Here, the fastest amateur riders will compete for a coveted AMA National Championship.”

The original plan was for Ryder to race Daytona and St Louis to be qualified to race Salt Lake City, but they decided to sit out Daytona to continue his preparations.

Here’s his Instagram Stories post from today:

Good luck, Ryder.

Ryder joins fellow Canadian #138 Dylan Rempel on the gate in St Louis.

Previous 2024 results:

Round 1:

138 Dylan Rempel – 10

800 Preston Masciangelo – 11

943 Noah Viney – 19

Round 2:

Dylan Rempel – 9

Preston Masciangelo – 12

We’ve also got a Canadian to watch in the KTM Junior Supercross class. He’s also got a pretty cool name too. Check out #11 Zenon Perzan from Calgary, Alberta. Go get ’em, Zenon!

We won’t have #221 Tyler Gibbs running a 250 in the 450 class this weekend. It’s too bad for a couple reasons: 1) He got injured and is now done for the SX season and 2) #551 Guillaume St Cyr will be riding with the team this week in 250 West, so it would have been an all-Canadian situation there at CREO KTM.

As I’m sure you already know, Tyler crashed during the week and broke his collarbone.I had a chat with him this week. Check it out:

#221 Tyler Gibbs from Mission, BC was racing the 250 East class in the 2024 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series on the CREO KTM team. While training at Robbie Reynard‘s place in Oklahoma, Tyler suffered a broken collarbone that will sideline him for the rest of the SX season. We gave him a call to have him take us through it all and let us know what he’s got planned next.

Here’s what Tyler had to say (shown with Sean Banman at the Birmingham SX) | Bigwave photo

Direct Motocross: Hello, Tyler. Sorry to be talking to you under these circumstances, but I was hoping you could take us through what happened?

Tyler Gibbs: I was just having a good day of riding Supercross doing our sprints and all that stuff with Robbie (Reynard). I went back out and went to go hit this triple on and my bike, unfortunately, cut out at the bottom of the lip so I didn’t make it. I nose-picked it and I went right over the bars and it wasn’t good. 

I didn’t know that my collarbone was broken, I was more concerned because I could’t breathe. I winded myself so good that I couldn’t talk or anything. I pulled my shirt off and Robbie was like, “Ya, you broke your collarbone.”

They didn’t want to do surgery. I was trying to get surgery done but because of insurance stuff it was just too complicated and so I came back here and now I’m just healing up. 

So, I crashed, they took me for x-rays, I waited around for about 3 extra days trying to figure out what to do. I called Jeff (Crutcher) and he told me my season was done. 

Looking back, yes, my season is done, but I had hopes that I could still get surgery but that’s how this sport is. You get hurt and they’re already looking for another rider. Jeff was awesome but I was a little bummed out about that part. 

I was supposed to be the only rider at St Louis, the other 2 teammates didn’t have to do it, which I didn’t think that was very fair. (GuillaumeSt Cyr was going to be my fill-in teammate for the weekend. But I feel like I could have got the surgery, missed St Louis and be back for Foxborough or even without surgery I could be back after Foxborough. 

But it hurts because I put a lot of work into it and just for it to get ripped away like that is a bummer, but that’s just the way life goes. I can’t dwell on it. I have to look at the positives and move forward. 

Robbie and I tried to figure some stuff out insurance was a headache and…

Were you covered for the x-rays?

Yes, I was covered for all that. Basically, I can’t go get surgery if I ask for surgery. And my insurance didn’t work at some these little places. I couldn’t go to the smaller place that helps Robbie’s riders out because they didn’t carry my insurance. 

It’s a bummer but I guess I know for next time. It’s tough because there are only so many companies that will cover what I do because it’s such high risk. 

Tyler Gibbs PRMX Motocross
X-rays showed a kind of ‘green stick’ break to his collarbone. | Bigwave photo

OK, so where are you now?

I’m in Manitoba at my girlfriend’s place. I’ll be here trying to figure things out. I went to see a sports doctor here. They said my break is really common with kids under 14. Usually, it breaks all the way through and mine sort of bent and broke a little bit. You can tell it’s broken really good in one spot. It cracked all the way down but it didn’t go all the way through. 

They wanted to take an x-ray of my other collarbone to make sure everything is aligned properly so that when it grows back there’s no discomfort.

I have another check-up in 2 weeks and we’ll go from there. 

So, no surgery.

Ya, no surgery. I’ll just let it heal. The doctor said that if I did get surgery I could be back sooner but if I ever do crash on it again it can make a mess. You end up bending the plate or you break around it. There was a 99% chance that they weren’t going to do surgery anyway.

I tried everything I could. I wasn’t like, “Oh well, I broke my collarbone, that’s it.” There were a lot of things that went into it. People are always saying that Coty Schock did it or this guy did it…

I’m happy I didn’t have any internal issues because my side swelled up really bad and my ribs are really sore but I didn’t break any. I’m happy that for how bad of a crash it was that I only ended up with a broken collarbone. I’ve never broken one so I knew I would eventually. It doesn’t take much to break one. 7 pounds of pressure is all it takes to break one, so the fact that I hadn’t done one yet was pretty crazy. I’ve had some good get-offs.

My brother (Travis Gibbs) broke his collarbone like 2 1/2 months ago so now we’ve got matching collarbones. Matching femurs and matching collarbones. 

Tyler should be back on a bike in 3 weeks. | Bigwave photo

OK, well, I have to ask you…what’s next as far as racing goes for you?

Right now, I want to race some outdoors, but I can’t afford to buy a bike. That’s the big thing. I raced outdoors last year, I raced Supercross this year and, sure, I made some money but I’m already down like $8000 from Supercross. Even though I had help from Jeff, stuff like hotels, fuel, training, all that stuff, so I’m trying to figure out how to clear some of this off and get back to even and go from there. 

I’m just looking for a bike. Preferably, I’d like to ride a Yamaha 450. That’s what I would like to do. I DM’d Kevin Tyler on Instagram and we talked about who to talk to at Yamaha. I even asked him if they had a bike I could just ride, a practice bike or something like that, but he helped point me in the right direction as far as people to talk to, so thank you to Kevin for that. 

As of right now, I just can’t afford to buy a bike. It’s too expensive. I want to race. I plan on doing a couple races. I’m not going to do the whole series, obviously, but I’ll do the races I want to do.

I’m just going to try and get a bike and be at some of the Nationals. There are a couple on my list that I want to hit. As of right now, it’s looking pretty slim that I’ll be doing it, but I’ll figure something out in the next week or two and then I’ll announce it on Instagram when I have it all figured out. 

I want to go back to Supercross again next year. I don’t want to make excuses, but a lot of things happened that were out of my control, leading up to Supercross: weather, I got sick, I hurt myself, bike issues, having no bike… So, I didn’t really ride a whole lot.

Indianapolis, I didn’t make it, but that’s the best I’ve felt riding Supercross at a race. I was finally starting to feel comfortable and like, “Alright, let’s get this ball rolling!” I was just bummed that it had to end with a bike issue because I was finally starting to feel good on Supercross.

East coast was stacked! There were some really good guys out there, so that definitely made it a lot harder. The West coast, there’s a lot of good guys, but there aren’t as many as there are on the East. 

I’ll definitely go back next year and have another go at it and see what happens after that. 

Unless you get a ride offer, it sounds like 250 West would be the easier one to make happen next year.

Ya, 250 West would probably be the easiest but I don’t know. Usually the West is the stacked coast but maybe all these guys will hop off the band wagon and go West next year, so who knows. 

West coast would be cool to do but I have a feeling that all these guys are going to jump back to the West and then I’ll wish I’d done East coast. We’ll see. 

Tyler Gibbs Motocross GasGas Troy Lee Designs
Hopefully, we see the always-stylish rider at the races this summer. | Bigwave photo

Well, thanks for the update and I’m sorry you had your SX season ripped away from you like that with an injury.

It sucks but at the end of the day you can’t be mad about it. It’s life and I’m going to dust myself off and try again.

Just get yourself super fit in the meantime and be ready to go when you’re healed.

Robbie and I had some good stuff going and I’m going to continue with that. I’m tired of people saying I don’t work out. It’s a little frustrating because people that say it don’t even workout themselves so it kind of fuels me a bit. And there’s a couple people who sort of rub me the wrong way and I just want to, obviously, do it for me, but kind of, you know, show them that I’m the top guy and you ain’t shit, sort of thing.

I’ll just keep working and doing my thing and go from there. I’ll hopefully have something posted in the next 2 or 3 weeks. I could ride in 3 weeks, so we’ll see if I have a bike by then

and I’ll have something posted up on Instagram sooner or later.

You’ll just have to do a few clicks on Ciel’s (Ferguson) bike and you’ll be good to go for Pilot Mound!

Ya, just make a couple things stiffer and I’ll be good to go. (Laughs)

OK, thanks for filling us all in, good luck, and we’ll stay in touch. 

OK, thank you. 

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OK, have a great weekend, everyone, and enjoy the races. Tracks are opening up all across the country, so I hope that means your favourite is one of them.

Hey, Kenny, it’s another Triple Crown this week. Can you stop Jett? “Let’s just say…I’ll see you at the races...” | Bigwave photo
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