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Chilly’s Blog – From The Archive
2007 Sawmill National Enduro
I honestly have no recollection of ever seeing the belt buckle you see pictured here. I was definitely at the 2007 Sawmill Enduro, I remember it well, mostly for all the wrong reasons. I have never entered a 4-Stroke C class in any race ever and I certainly didn’t win anything that day in 2007.
Yet there it was, sitting in the bottom of a drawer. Neena pulled it out yesterday while she was searching for some other long lost piece of information. It was in an envelope addressed to Jon White, at my location. So hey, Jon White, I guess I have your trophy. Give me a ring.
Why I would have never tried to forward this award I am not sure. As I said I don’t remember even seeing it and I have a better than average memory for such things. That is part of what makes me good at what I do. I can remember trivia about bikes from 30 or 40 years ago. But I may have been working in Idaho at the time or something, so it may have arrived and got filed without me ever taking notice.
As for 2007, let me see what I can remember.
It was the first year of the new National Enduro format. My dad and I had traveled out to Texas for the first race of the season. The highlight of the race was hearing about my buddies, the Christini teammates Ben Smith and Joey Giordano, taking each other out in the final test, in the nasty canyon right before the finish line. I cruised right up it, I was always good in that kind of technical stuff. I was on the minute behind the two of them, so we spent most of the day together. I may have actually passed one or both of them right at the finish. They were both faster, but the CRF250x based two wheel drive bike wasn’t much of a racer.
Here are a few random things I also remember from Texas: Matt Stavish showed up with a new van and his cousin in tow. Geoff Aaron was there racing on a KTM 450xc. I left a t shirt with Bo Bobbitt that I never got back. I stubbed my toe in a test and was sure it was broken. I had to make my dad sleep in the van instead of the hotel while we were on the road because he would be ready to get up and leave at 4am. Nick Fahringer confided that there was just no way he was going to be able to compete for a win on his Gas Gas without having the kind of factory level suspension of Lafferty and Bobbitt. See, I really do have a good memory.
Next up on the enduro schedule was The Quicksilver at Coalinga. That race is a whole story in itself. Mike Sigety, Dennis Decker, Dylan Debel, myself and my dad were all on the same minute. We went back and forth with each other all day. They were all faster than me, but each had trouble at some point, so I led our little conga line as much as any one. Late in the day the weather got really bad and Dylan ran off and left us. Dennis ran off the side of a mountain and Mike stopped to help him recover. I had a really good day and then buried my bike in the rocks of the endurocross section right at the end and in front of everyone.
The we went to Ohio for an ISDE qualifier and I twisted my knee really bad. I took a DNF and had a long miserable drive home. The following week was the Sawmill enduro. I could barely walk. But I had already planned the race and had Dylan’s bike. I was to pick him and Rickard Wressel up in Sacramento on the way up. So off we went. I was on the same minute as Nathan Woods.
It was a pretty eventful day. I did not ride very well and that always makes for a long race. I was riding my 2007 250xcw I think. I had both a 250 and a 300 that year. I knocked the petcock closed in one of the tests and lost a few minutes getting it figured out. A lot of the early part of the course was on ATV trails and that did not really suit me.
In the last test of the day we ran way down a gravel creek bed. It was lots of fun. There was a little bit of water, but not too much, mostly just splashing around and weaving down the creek. But I came around a corner and made the fatal mistake of taking the water line instead of going around it. Unlike the other puddles, this one was well over three feet deep. But the time I got the bike stopped, the water was up to my bars. I had to pull the bike out backwards because the water just looked to get deeper.
The 250 was already completely drowned out. I had to remove the tank and plug, turn the bike upside down and pump all the water out. It took me at least 20 minutes to get going again. It was a lousy way to finish the day. That was May 27, 2007.
Now that I think of it, I must have been in Idaho that summer when this buckle probably arrived. I took both the 300 and 250 to Idaho City and then went on to Sandpoint. I sold the 300 while I was up there to a guy from Canada. I drove up to Creston and delivered it to him there.