Since the "Husqvarna Guest Factory Rider" program was announced it's attracted the attention of riders across the continent hoping to be selected to participate at one of the 2009 GNCC events. Rounds 1 and 2 featured former AMA National and 6-Day "Husky Heroes", Terry Cunningham and Mike Melton who both did themselves proud with their performances and reminded us once again what made them great back in the day. Now with GNCC rounds 3 and 4 in the crosshairs a pair of Armed Services members, Jeffrey Gordy and Toby Atkins, has been recruited to pick up where Cunningham and Melton left off.
After retirement from a 27-year career in civilian law enforcement, Jeffrey Gordy, (pictured here) joined the U.S. Army where he's served for the past couple of years including a 13-month stint in Iraq as an embedded law enforcement professional investigator with the 3rd Infantry Division 3rd Brigade.
"It is one of the most rewarding jobs I have ever had and I look forward to continuing my service with the United States Army," said Gordy.
A two-time Police & Fire Motorcycle Olympian and prior to giving up riding to serve his country Gordy was a top finishing SETRA "A" class Hare Scrambles rider and runner up for the 2004-05 age group title. This soldier is also a tri-athlete and no slouch on or off a motorcycle.
As a Guest Factory Rider his intentions are "To represent service members and the law enforcement community who serve our country in Iraq and Afghanistan." He's also guaranteed that he won't tear up the Wyatt Seals prepped factory 450 Husky like he suggests his good friend Mike Melton did at Round 2. Game on, Jeff, and good luck to you!
With 5-years of off-road motorcycle racing under his ammo belt, Army Staff Sgt. Toby Atkins, became motivated about the Guest Factory Rider program after reading of the targeted outreach Husqvarna made to members of the U.S. Armed Services.
"It shows Husqvarna's genuine appreciation for what members of the Armed Forces have done, are doing and will continue to do," said Atkins. "No other manufacturer has done that and I truly appreciate it."
The 26-year-old Ohio native is an Army Combat Engineer with tours in Iraq and Korea. He's received recognition for training other soldiers how to shoot their weapons and how to drive the Bradley Fighting Vehicle; skills that may prove beneficial to him aboard the 450 Husqvarna.
"If it absolutely, positively has to be destroyed overnight," he insists, "a Combat Engineer can do it!"
At the GNCC, however, Atkins' only plan is to ride like he's been trained to, and the only thing he's hoping to destroy is the competition. Win or lose he's certain to have an interesting ride.