2005 Motorcyclist Of The Year

Curtis Herrmann

Motorcycles are only half the reason we do this. The other half is the people who ride them--people like Curtis Herrmann. Back in July 2001, Curtis had been riding and racing dirtbikes for about a year when his sister Breeana--16 months younger--died of a brain tumor nobody knew she had. Curtis wanted to do something for his sister, something that might save somebody else's sister or brother. So when his mother Brandie did a walkathon to raise money for cancer, Curtis had an idea.

After a lot of work behind the scenes, Curtis and a few of his friends rolled out onto L.A. County Raceway in February '02. Four hours and 250 laps later, the first annual Laps 4 Love had raised $14,000 in pledges, all of which were donated to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (www.pbtfus.org) in Bree's name. They were on to something. The third Laps 4 Love at another SoCal motocross venue raised more than $40,000. Despite mud up to the hubs of his Honda CR85, Curtis and a devoted group of friends did it again at Laps 4 Love 4. What began with one small rider with a big heart and an idea to match added up to more than $85,000. Ask him why and Curtis says, "It's just what you do for people who need help."

Being featured in a national ad for Honda Oils and Chemicals and a public service spot with motocross megastar Ricky Carmichael might have gone to another kid's head. But since this kid's dad is in the movie business, Curtis is on a first-name basis with celebrities who make grownups swoon. "As far as he's concerned," his dad says, "they're just his friends. He's never thought of himself as anything but another kid from Palmdale, California."

That's one more reason this 11-year-old kid is our 2005 Motorcyclist of the Year--and fully deserving of the Greg McQuide memorial trophy.