This is the T-shirt from the 2005 Greenbrier National Enduro in New Jersey. That was the year that I rode almost the entire series hoping for a championship in the Vet A class. I did pretty well in the early rounds out west, but got whooped once the series headed back east. Mike Sigety won the class. I was running second in points, but I think I decided not to go to the last round because we were getting ready for the Six Days and that let Bob Heinzerling take the runner up spot.
This race and shirt have always been memorable to me. At sign up on Saturday night they gave me this shirt along with the route sheet (for a true enduro). I immediately assumed that this was some kind of inside joke. But after talking briefly with the club members working sign up, I realized that it was only an inside joke to me.
Perhaps you can already see the juxtaposition of ideas here. Of course you already know who the rider is. This image, Malcolm Smith racing an early Mexican (Baja) 1000, is perhaps one of the very best recognized icons of our sport. But flat out across the Mexican desert is about as far away from the New Jersey woods that one could possibly get.
In the Greenbrier national enduro, I don’t know that I ever got my KTM 300 out of second gear. I spent the vast majority of the time in first and wishing that I had gone with lower gearing to begin with. So I get a chuckle out of this shirt every time I see it. It is apparently the accidental inside joke that only I caught on to. This is one of many race shirts that I had incorporated into a quilt. So it sits on my bed every night.
By the way, the race did not go so good for me. In the last test, I ran my bike into something that resembled a quicksand hole. The bike went in, nearly to the seat. While attempting to get it out, I pulled a muscle in my back. To this day, that is still one of the most painful things I have ever done on a bike.
I had no choice but to ride my way out of the test, to the finish line. It was incredibly painful, I could barely keep the bike upright. To top it of, I still had to drive myself all the way back to Idaho. But there is even more, the tight trees made such an impression on me, that I got no sleep that night. Every time I would close my eyes, all I would see were trees flying past me, sort of like a video game. So I guess it is fair to say that, of the piles of race shirts I have, this one brings back the most memories.
I survived the 2005 Greenbrier national enduro, but just barely!