Frid’Eh Update #52 | Eric Jeffery | Presented by Yamaha Motor Canada

By Billy Rainford

Presented by Yamaha Motor Canada
Week #52 belongs to Eric Jeffery from Oshawa (Courtice), Ontario. | Bigwave photo

Welcome to the final Frid’Eh Update of the 2021 season presented by Yamaha Motor Canada. I type this week’s edition from the confines of our basement apartment/granny suite at our house in London. It seems all the effort to try and avoid COVID the past 2 years fell apart leading into Christmas and I find myself on self-quarantine for the next few days.

To answer anyone’s question, it felt like a pretty decent cold or flu. It only lasted a couple days before I actually felt a lot better. Unfortunately, as soon as I started feeling better I lost my sense of smell and taste. That seems to last another couple days. I have been able to sleep over 10 hours per night, though, so that’s something new.

My main concern was that I’d be on lockdown so long that I’d miss A1, but it looks like I’m going to make it out of jail just in time to make it to California for the western swing of the 2022 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series, so I am super Dungey pumped about that!

Eric Jeffery from Oshawa (Courtice), Ontario, is the rider who makes it in just under the wire at #52. I’ve known Eric and the entire Jeffery family for a long time. I’ve always felt welcome in their pits and have downed way more than my fair share of hot cups of coffee in their motorhome over the years.

Every time I think we’ve seen the last of Eric at the Pro Nationals he shows up again; he just loves to line up and race.

He’s got to be one of the busiest people you’re going to meet at the races. He’s got a good job in a huge home building company, he’s married, he’s got 4 kids under 4 years old, and he still managed to get out to a few rounds this past summer.

Here’s a look:

Here’s what Eric had to say when we grabbed him for a chat this week:

Here’s what Eric Jeffery had to say when we got in touch this week. | Bigwave photo

Direct Motocross: Hello, Eric. You showed up to race the 2021 season on a pretty sweet-looking Club MX Jeffery Homes Yamaha. What can you tell us about that bike?

Eric Jeffery: The 250F I had last year was Joey Crown‘s race bike for Supercross that he didn’t end up using due to getting injured. Cale Foster stripped it down and made the suspension and other parts to fit me. 

2021 was probably the closest you’ve come to retirement from racing. What keeps you coming back?

Honestly, I just love the rush of lining up at a pro national with 40 other riders on the gate. You don’t get that same feeling at a local race.

One of my funniest memories of Eric is when he earned the #69 for the 2015 season. When numbers were announced, he made a social media post that just said something like, “It looks like I’m taking the year off from racing…” | Tyler Spikman photo

You raced 3 rounds of MX and hovered around the 21-23 range. How did the racing go from your perspective?

It didn’t go too bad for not really racing a 250f in a while as I’m more comfortable racing a 450. Each round I felt more and more comfortable. I felt like I had some good speed but just was never able to really put everything together in a moto. 

How much prep time did you have heading into last season? I know you’re busy with work and an ever-growing family. 

Not all that much, really. Like you said, work has been crazy and having 4 kids under the age of 4 takes up a lot of time. Haha. Greg Poisson and I got out riding a few times before the season and that was pretty much it.

I have to think your racing days are numbered now. Of course, ever time I say you’re not racing, you come back! What will you miss most about it?

Like I said earlier, the rush of the gate drop at a big event, walking around the pits, talking to everyone and just the whole atmosphere of the weekend.

Another funny moment was Greg Poisson’s motivation at Walton One in 2021. | Bigwave photo

What have you been doing since racing ended this past season?

Nothing too exciting. I’ve been working lots and then it’s a full-time job at home with all the little ones running around. Lol

With Jeffery Homes being so involved with the Club MX team, is that something you’re aiming at getting into more? How involved are you with the team?

Me, personally, I am not really involved with and I don’t think I’ll get involved as I don’t really have any time to invest into that with working full time. Spending time with the family and if I still want to try and race a little bit myself. The race team is my dad’s passion and it’s awesome to see the improvements him and Brandon (Haas) are making with the team each year. 

Eric was on Joey Crown’s Club MX race bike for 2021. | Bigwave photo

Can you tell us what your job title is there at Jeffery Homes and what do you do, exactly?

I’m the Jobsite Supervisor so I do all the material ordering, scheduling of trades, on site trouble shooting, making sure any homeowner’s selections are put into the house during building, the final inspection walk through with homeowners before they take possession of the house, and some after sales service. 

What are your winter plans?

These days there doesn’t seem like there is much you can do but hopefully we get some snow and I can hit the trails on my sled and maybe get out snowboarding a couple times. We are also going to build a rink in our backyard and teach Charlee, our daughter, to skate.

If Eric comes back in 2022, he’ll be #72 which means he’ll miss the Frid’Eh Update for the first time in 11 years! | Bigwave photo

Do you have plans to line up again at all in 2022?

As you know with me, Billy, I’m pretty last-minute, but I definitely want to get a 450 and hit some rounds, but we will see what happens.

What does the future hold for you, looking ahead a few years?

Honestly, it’s hard to say. We still have lots of work ahead of us at Jeffery Homes so I will continue doing that and I may even venture out and build a few custom homes on my own. Also, watching my kids grow up and who knows maybe you will see us at the track but in some younger age classes 😉

Have we seen the last of Eric at the Nationals? You just never know… | Bigwave photo

Well, Happy New Year, Eric. Good luck with everything. Is there anyone you’d like to thank before we let you go?

Happy New Year to you as well. I hope you are feeling better. I’d like to thank my wife for all her hard work keeping our house running with the crazies all running around, my parents for all of their support, Brandon at Club MX for still making me feel like part of the team, FXR, Greg Poisson for helping me out this year, Cale Foster for not only helping me out with the bike build but also for some trouble shooting at the races, Davey Fraser and Carlson Racing for giving me a place to lay my head at the races, and thank you for doing this, Billy, it’s been an honour being in the Frid’Eh Update for the last 11 years. Maybe this really is the last time. 

Eric at the TransCan at Walton Raceway back in 2010. | Bigwave photo

The older you get, the more introspective you become. Writing that caption about Eric not being in the Frid’Eh Update next year for the first time in 11 years sort of hit me a little. It’s the relationships with the riders and their families as much as the actual racing that keeps me doing this. Being able to go back through my archives and see where all these riders came from is important to me. I’m glad I have all of these old photos of riders throughout their careers to go back over. But yes, it makes me feel pretty old sometimes.

It also makes me happy to see riders come and go in this sport with strong futures. Eric has a beautiful family and a great job to get him through the next chapter in his life. Good for him. But you know what, I would never bet against seeing him on the line again in the future. I’ve bet against it before and lost.

2022 Supercross

We’re about to turn our attention to Supercross full-time here in just over a week from right now. In fact, we’re only 8 days from A1. The exciting part for us north of the border is that we’re heading into a season that will see quite a few Canadians taking a shot at SX.

Let’s have a look at what we’ve got coming.

250 West

Jess Pettis and Cole Thompson will go head-to-head in 250 West SX. | Bigwave photo

#150 Jess Pettis

Cole Thompson

We’ve got us an old fashioned Platoon situation here. Are you in the Barnes camp or the Elias camp?

250 East

#551 Guillaume St Cyr

#170 Julien Benek

Tanner Ward

Let’s add Tanner Ward’s name to the 250 East SX list. | Bigwave photo

We all knew that Guillaume and Julien were planning to race SX but now we’ve got Tanner Ward thrown in the mix as well.

We were going to do a podcast interview with Tanner this week, but we’ve decided to wait until after the weekend because Tanner says he will have some more definitive plans and deals to tell us about then. We’ll be sure to lock him down for a chat as soon as he can tell us all what we want to know.

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Out of the Blue | Sierra Weinkauf | Presented by Schrader’s

By Jensen Amyotte

Presented by Schrader’s

Name: Sierra Weinkauf

Date of Birth: April 1, 2011

Hometown: Neilburg, SK

Grade: Grade 5

Race Number: 401

Bike: KTM 65 & KX85

Race Club: Marsden MX Club

Classes: Ladies / 65cc Open

This week, we feature #401 Sierra Weinkauf from Neilburg, Saskatchewan. | Family photo

Who/what inspired you to get into the sport of motocross and how long have you been racing/riding? 

Watching my brother and my friends ride made me want to get a dirt bike. I asked my mom and dad to get me one so I could join them. I’ve now been riding for 3 years and racing since the spring of 2019.

From your first ride to where you are now what is something you never thought you would be able to overcome but have?

Hitting the doubles at my local track, Marsden MX Club.

Who is your all-time favourite rider and why?

Broc Shury is my favourite rider because he is a pro and I love watching him throw whips on the track.

Sierra’s favourite rider is Broc Shury and her favourite track is BlueRidge MX. | Amy Nasby photo

What is your favourite track and why?

BlueRidge MX is my favourite track that I’ve ridden at. It’s very fun and challenging. It’s built into a hill so there is lots of elevation change and jumps. It’s also really great to watch as a spectator because you can see the whole track.

What event do you look forward to most every year, one you don’t ever want to miss?

I look forward to heading to BlueRidge MX every year with the ADRA (Alberta Dirt Riders Association). We were lucky enough to race there twice in 2020!

Do you have an pre-moto rituals? 

My dad taking me to the line and talking about what I am going to do and my mom, dad and brother saying good luck to me.                

Tell us about your 2021 race season and your plans for 2022.

I had a very busy 2021 season. I raced 2 series this year. I raced in the Midwest Amateur Series which was 8 rounds, and the ADRA which was 3 rounds.

For 2022, I am planning on racing both series again and, hopefully, be able to go and race Arenacross for the first time ever.

Sierra also hopes to race some Arenacross in the new year. | Family photo

What is the biggest lesson that motocross racing has taught you so far?

It’s taught me that it is very challenging but super fun. With lots of practice I can do better and harder stuff.

What kind of track/dirt do you feel you excel at most and why? 

My favourite dirt to ride in is when it’s tacky so I have lots of traction and can ride harder and faster.

If you ever have children will you give them the option to race as well? 

Yes, I would let them do it because it’s something that is really fun to do and watch and something we could do together!

If you could give 1 piece of advice to a female of any age who wants to start riding, what would it be?

I would tell them that it’s something great to get out and do and a memory to remember for a lifetime.

What was your first fear when you started riding and how did you overcome it? 

Jumping was my first fear when I started racing. I overcame it by practicing and getting taught how to do it properly.

What was your first race number and how did you choose it?

401 has been my only race number. I chose it because it’s my birthday month and date!

Watch for young Sierra in 2022 as she has a busy schedule planned. | Denise Amanda Photography photo

What do you like to do in the off season? 

In the off season I like to ride my snowmobile and snowbike and play in the snow.

Who would you like to thank? 

My mom and dad for taking me and making sure I have everything I need to be safe and have fun. My sponsors, One29 Racing and FlowVision Canada. My trainer Broc Shury for believing in me and helping me improve and ride better. My dad for always making sure my bike is running perfectly and getting me to the line.

I almost forgot that this is actually New Year’s Eve! I’ve been below ground for 4 days straight, so we’re not really whooping it up this NYE…

I hope everyone has a fun time with family and friends tonight. I’ll get the #DMXVan ready for what could be her final voyage. A few more payments and she’s all mine! Haha. Once that happens, it’ll be time to think a little bigger for the future. Something that will serve as a more acceptable “mobile office” is what I’ll be shooting for, whatever that looks like.

I also just realized it’s 6C outside here and all the snow is long gone. When did that happen?! I bet people were riding over at Gopher Dunes this afternoon, weren’t they?! Life of a subterranean really starts to drag on a person. Anyone out there ever seen the old Time Machine movie from 1960? Classic. I’m turning into a Morlock!

Happy New Year, everyone! I promise we’ll be back to firing on all cylinders around here very soon! But for now, it’s back to the four walls of the basement…

Scott Jeffery says, “See you at the races…” | Bigwave photo