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Dialed In With Donk Presented By Kimpex Canada

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Well, we’ve reached the backside of summer, and man, did it ever feel like it flew by! I’ll hit you with the old cliché line of it feels like yesterday that we were getting ready to start the season. Now, our new bikes aren’t new, our fresh gear isn’t so fresh, and if you’re anything like me, you’re worn out and a little beat up. But I think that’s just the sign of a damn good summer!

And a damn good summer it was! I’m very grateful to be able to able to follow our pro series working with the MX101 team, and also race myself locally with AMO in Ontario. It was definitely a busy one with the travel and workload, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy it. Although it flew by, it also felt like a long summer, give or take a couple, I spent most weekends at the track, whether I was racing, working, or both. I realize I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to do both, and I cannot express my appreciation for Peter and Wendy from the Priority MX Team and Priority Mechanical, as well as Kevin Tyler from the MX101 FXR Yamaha Team. I straight up have no idea what I would be doing if it weren’t for these people, and I am forever grateful and thankful for them. Thank You very, very much, guys.

Now, amidst the many highs of this summer, “we” undoubtedly experienced our fair share of lows. BUT! “We” are working on not worrying about those lows and making the best of the hand “we’re” dealt. Making the lows seem insignificant or learning how to let go and move on from negative things is always easier said than done. Sometimes it’s the investment, monetary or just time spent, that makes it harder to accept a negative situation, but the key word there is accept. Obviously, you cannot change things once they happen, but what you can do is control your reaction and what you do to rectify the said situation. 

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One small negative situation(s) that occurred early this year that I look back and laugh at, was my first and second rides on my new bike. As most know what I do for a living, naturally, I completely disassemble my new bike and engine and build them up properly before I ever roll it out of the shop. Well, a couple of poor decisions and misjudged weather forecasts had me riding my fresh build in what we’ll call less-than-ideal track conditions. But! Being Mr. Optimistic here, it was just a little longer wash sessions as half the bike came back apart (laughs) and I had to replace a few parts earlier than usual. Who doesn’t love fresh parts!? GUILTY as charged, your Honor! And in the end, the benefit of the negative situation was the Orange 22 got a little more attention this summer than usual. The glass is half full!

The other major lows I will bring up are from the work side of things. We headed out west to Kamloops, BC for round 1 of the Triple Crown Series and things were looking good until they didn’t. After an awesome opening moto with Dylan and Tyler, Shawn ended up 3rd. As things were quickly shaping up to look like a replay of moto 1, Big Blue spit Shawn off coming out of a turn, and abruptly ended our day. I ran over, and the first thing I always ask when my friends are in this situation is “Are you with me?” Always hoping for a “yes”, or some sort of confirmation that they can hear me and are responsive, then it’s a quick assessment of the injury and just make sure they stay relaxed and breathe. Bringing someone down from a heart rate around 185 BPM or more, isn’t always an easy task, especially when they’re in any sort of pain. In my experience just being calm and reassuring to them has been the most beneficial. Shawn told me, and after looking, it was very clear his shoulder was not where it was supposed to be. He ended up heading to town and paying a visit to the hospital to have it put back in. Now, I’m telling you all this because one of the more significant highs of the summer came almost immediately after this. By the time we had everything packed up and were headed back to town, we were told Shawn was already back at his house right there in Kamloops. So, we headed over to see how he was and other than his arm sitting in a sling, you’d never know anything happened. We drowned our sorrows in a few too many slices of pizza and a Michelob Ultra or two. Thanks Randy!

Now here’s my high… 7 days later, and after I gave a stern talking to Big Blue, Shawn was back racing and put the damn thing up on the box with 3-3-2 moto scores! (3 – 15 Min Sprint Moto format) Going in, I think he said he went for a quick mountain bike ride that Thursday and that was the only test to see if he could race, so really, we had no idea how this was going to go. Well, we played the hand we were dealt and made the most of it! The rest of the summer was a steady trend upwards, and it felt like we were improving every weekend. Shawn gifted me the remains of near boiling champagne bottles a few more times until an unfortunate, but similar situation heading into the final round at Walton had us back playing that same hand again. Battered and bruised, quite literally, we went into the final round with one mission, and oh boy, by no means was it pretty but at the end of the day, Shawn did what he had to do. And, yet again, we turned a negative situation into finishing 3rd overall in series points!

I’m proud of how we as a team, and obviously Shawn himself, managed these situations. No one panicked or made any irrational decisions. “The plan” had just simply changed, and being able to adapt to the situation, make the necessary adjustments to said “plan” and keep rolling with it is one of the many reasons why Mr. Maffenbeier has had a long and very successful career.

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Speaking of a long and successful career, and probably the most significant highlight for me this summer was my good friend Liam O’Farrell finishing his professional career on his own terms. Saving you from the long and drawn-out sob story (again) I’ll just say this – I’m just so happy for you, bru!

A very positive and highlight-worthy mention for many, was finally being able to take the Triple Crown series all the way West, AND East this year. It was as refreshing as it was necessary as no one, and I mean no one wanted another year of the condensed version of the series. It was frustrating from all sides, riders, teams, fans, promotors, and Jetwerx themselves. I think it would be safe, and fair to say almost everyone was happy to make our way across our beautiful country just to race dirtbikes again.


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I’ve spent an almost embarrassing amount of time trying to remember all the awesome things from this summer to put into words and up on the screen here. As I mentioned, it was just another awesome summer! So, it’s hard to funnel everything down to pinpoint certain highlights. My whole summer was a highlight! I was fortunate to have my family join me again at a few of the local pro nationals and that’s always awesome for me. Just working away and seeing my 2 little guys and my gorgeous, child wranglin’, badass of a wife roll up on their bicycles just to say hey to Dad makes it damn near impossible to have a bad day. Also, having them there for the week while I raced at the Walton Trans Can was once again, just adding to the file of “things I’ll never forget”. It was a long, busy week, Shawn got hurt, I was sick as hell, the kids were running around non-stop just being kids, and remember that badass woman I just mentioned, yeah, she took care of us all, and, just like she does in our everyday life, was the glue that held the Donk Shit Show altogether. 

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I hope everyone had a great summer, regardless of any hurdles or setbacks, I hope you were able to accept it, adapt, and make the most of the hand you were dealt. If you don’t understand what I mean, give my buddy Brock Leitner a follow on the ‘gram. @brock.leitner. This man is the definition of acceptance, adapting, and making the absolute most of the hand he was dealt. Always proud of you dude, long before, and now. One of a rather short list of riders to challenge himself in AMA SX, the guy has a deep tank of determination and continues to apply that mentality to the present day. Same attitude, different direction. Props to you, brother!


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