Broc Tickle | Reigniting The Fire

RCH Racing/Soaring Eagle/Suzuki’s Broc Tickle. Photo: Chris Kimball

Broc Tickle | Reigniting The Fire

Through injury, Tickle has found new motivation and a fire burning deep inside

By: Jordan Powell

Motocross is one of the most physically demanding sports around, and unfortunately, injuries are far too common. But when an injury keeps you off the bike for more than a season, it becomes mentally tough, especially if you're competing at the professional level. Sponsors and fans expect to see you behind the gate every weekend, and when you're not, people tend to forget about you.

For RCH Racing/Soaring Eagle/Suzuki's Broc Tickle, a broken back that was sustained during a practice session in Toronto forced him off the bike for the remaining Supercross season, and the entire outdoor National season. For Tickle, it was the most physically and mentally demanding injuries he has ever had, but he's been able to put a positive outlook on it through it all.

So what have you been up to?

Last week I actually got released to do some road biking and some light strength training. So, I've pretty much just been on my bicycle every day since Thursday of last week. Before that, on July 22nd, I had the hardware removed from my back. I was actually cycling before that surgery so that I could build up somewhat of a cardio base. Now, I'm just waiting to be released to ride my dirt bike again, and I'll find out on September 11th if I could do that.

It's been mentally tough since the beginning of this injury because I went from wide-open training and racing to sitting on the couch. I mean, you guys [TWMX] know how it is. With racing going on pretty much every weekend, you're always on the move and always have your bags somewhat packed. So, I went from doing that to pretty much doing nothing in the first month. All I can say is that my Netflix account was burning up, and my couch was getting some extra seat time.

That first month was definitely the hardest part, but when I got released to ride my bicycle, I was able to get myself back in the zone and focus on what I needed to do to get back on my bike.

Another thing I would like to say is that, I wouldn't say that I got to live life like a normal person, but I got to do stuff that I've never had the chance to do. I think that fired me back up, too. A lot of guys don't get the chance to do that. It was nice to be around family in the summer, hang out at the lake, and do stuff that we never get to do.

Tickle progressively got better with each round in the 2014 Monster Energy AMA Supercross season, and secured a fourth place finish at Daytona. Photo: Jeff Kardas

Should we be seeing some KOMs (King of the Mountain) on Strava now that you've been released to ride your bicycle?

[Laughs] I hope so. Before I had the surgery to remove the hardware in my back, I was cycling a lot, and that was fun to just focus on that for a bit. I wouldn't say that I was back to where I was before I got hurt, but I was getting pretty close.

In the professional level, it's pretty easy to get burnt out, especially if you're a 450 guy, because it seems like you guys are racing most of the year. Even when it's the off-season, you guys are at the test tracks testing till the sun goes down. Was it nice for you to hit that reset button and get that fire burning inside of you again?

Yeah, for sure. It's crazy because I get goose bumps hearing that. I honestly haven't spent this much time off of my dirt bike since I started riding dirt bikes at the age of three. The longest I've ever been off a dirt bike before this was three months, and that was back in 2008. It's been tough, but it definitely got the fire burning again. It made me think about where I could be better and improve on. I've been watching the outdoor races, and I've been trying to pick up on what some of the other guys were doing. That way I can work on those things when I do start riding again.

Was getting that hardware removed from your back painful?

Well, the doctor recommended that I should get the hardware removed from my back, but I wasn't sure about it because I could've just left it in. However, I decided to get the surgery done, and I didn't realize how restrictive that hardware was. Two weeks after my hardware removal, it was a night and day difference. I felt back to normal—obviously not strength wise, but mobility wise. It's only going to improve from here, and I hope to work with Doc G to improve my posture and loosen my back up a little more.

Tickle is unsure about where he’s going for 2015, but one thing he is certain of is that he’s more motivated than ever before. Photo: Jeff Kardas

So, what are the plans for next year? Will you still be with RCH?

That's where I want to be. I don't have anything done yet, but either way, I'm motivated. I have my sights set on what I want to do and what I need to do, and no matter where I end up going, I feel like it's not going to hinder what place I'm going to get out at the race. Obviously I want to be with RCH—I was comfortable with the bike and with the team. So, that's the plan right now, and I hope that I get released on the 11th so that I can get back on the bike.

How has bass fishing been going lately?

The month before I got released to start cycling, that's pretty much all I was doing. I'm having fun with it. [Matt] Lemoine got me into it.

Do you think you could give Malcolm [Stewart] a run for his money?

I don't know. I think he comes off a little sneaky because he doesn't really look like a fisherman, but after seeing the last couple Instagram videos of him, he's on his game.

Being sidelined due to injury can cause some unease for an athlete, but Tickle has been trying to make the best of it by spending some time with his family out at the lake and fishing. Photo: Tickle’s Instagram