On September 11, I got a text message from my friend Tom White, letting me know that he was ceasing his chemotherapy treatments because they were worse than the cancer he was fighting. “The cancer is worse and that’s with the chemo. And the chemo is worse than the disease, and I am done with it as of this week. I’m going to try to ride Milestone tomorrow. I am looking forward to a few good days without poison. It would be really cool to see ya. Don’t try to stay with me on the track, though…what do I have to lose! Haha!”
Coincidentally, Pat Foster and I were already scheduled to test at Milestone on the 12th: myself on the 2018 KTM 250 SX, and Pat on Zach Osborne’s championship-winning factory Rockstar Energy Husqvarna FC 250. The day itself was hard to top. A large group of Tom’s closest riding friends showed up to do laps alongside him and watching them laugh and bench race in between rides was great. The highlight came at the end of the day when Husqvarna’s Andy Jefferson asked Tom if he’d like to take Zacho’s bike for a spin since we were done with our test ride. For a guy who owns nearly 200 motorcycles and among them some of the rarest and most collectible on earth, Tom was as excited as a kid on Christman Eve as he threw his leg over the number 16 Husky. Riding laps alongside him as he hooted, hollered, and laughed is something I will remember forever.
At the end of the day when our gear was off and our bikes were cooled off, I sat Tom down in front of my camera. “What are we doing?” he asked. “I’m not sure,” I replied. “Let’s just talk for a while.”
The following video contains that conversation in its entirety, unedited and unplanned. I miss you, Tom. And thank you for being my friend.
CLICK HERE to read an excellent tribute to Tom White by his close friend Jody Weisel of Motocross Action.