Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Meet The Rider Chris Drake # 190

Chris is another of the five warriors who has taken on every Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge. Not a Harley guy, he actually went out and bought a Harley so he could do the challenge. His wife Sue who is his biggest fan, read about the HHMC in a motorcycle magazine and knew this was something he would love. She was right! The most attractive thing to Chris about the challenge was simple, "you ride, get up and ride some more."  The only obstacle that gets in his way is financing the ride. Without any electronics to distract him it gives him lots of time to think.

Chris had left the Decatur check point in the 2016 challenge with his riding buddy Terry when at around midnight  they could see lots of bugs flying around the street lights and a police office called out to them and said there were flies on the bridge they were about to cross. Okay, they had ridden in Alaska before where the mosquitoes are the size of hummingbirds so how bad can this be? Well there is something called  May flies and these slippery little buggers where a foot deep and both him and Terry started sliding and both ended up crashing on the bridge. It took both of them to pick up each of the bikes because the flies have an egg sack that made the bridge like an ice rink. Chris hurt his hand and his bike took a pretty good hit so him and Terry did some work on his bike and were able to continue on.

His favorite part of the challenge is the people he meets and the parts of the country you wouldn't normally see. The trials come but he always seems to find people who are willing to help. He remembers a time when he had a problem just after returning to the USA with a wheel sprocket and saw some bikes parked outside a bar. One of the patrons took him and his bike to his garage, helped fix it and got him back on his way.

His friends think what he does is "pretty cool."  They enjoy tracking him on the US Fleet Tracking site on the internet the HHMC has to keep up with the riders.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Meet The New Rider Kevin Blevins # 904

Beside riding motorcycles Kevin likes restoring old cars and is currently working on a 1929 model A Sport Coop hot rod. The  Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge was a ride he found while searching for long distance rides.  In the begin the 14 day challenge was what attracted him but after meeting some of the riders and learned about the passion and camaraderie they had for the challenge he decided "Okay I really have to do this ride." He really likes the fact that the finish is really all there is to gain in the challenge, no prizes.

Preparing for the challenge for Kevin is a lot more of what he has been doing except sleeping next to the bike. The idea of not taking a shower for so many days will be a struggle. The comfort level will be different and help with that spiritual part of the journey.

For Pete's Sake
is the nonprofit Kevin will be supporting. They send families of someone with cancer on a vacation to try and help them through those tough times. Working with this group has taught Kevin that "life is short even in the worst of times you need to find ways to get through it." 

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Meet The New Rider Kenny Brown # 896

Kenny loves to BBQ and had gained quite the reputation as a connoisseur of the grill. He has been riding since he was 5 yrs. old. He grew up on 40 acres where his dad would give him a gallon of gas and say "Be home before dark."  Everyone is asking him about the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge and he tells them he doesn't really know what he is getting into.  Some think he is crazy but he enjoys the idea of a challenge.

He believes you never know what the road may bring and wants to be prepared for anything. He remember bring a hammer and low and behold when a friend hit a deer he was able to pound out the dents so his friend could continue. It didn't take much to convince him the HHMC was a ride he has to do. He learned about the challenge last summer at a chicken wing night at the Amvets post when his friend Brian was sharing his experience and within 10 minutes he was ready to sign up.

Preparing for the challenge he has been losing weight, walking everyday, cutting out caffeine, and even cut back on his beer drinking. He know "mind and body needs to be the best it can be." He is ready for what ever mother nature throws at him.

Fund raising is something Kenny does through out the year. He gives where he sees a need.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Meet The Rider Garry Simoneaux # 619

For Gary this will be his fourth Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge. He rode 2011, 14 and 16. The 2011 HHMC took him over 20K miles door to door. When asked what HHMC means to him his answer "HEAVEN."  He heard about the challenge when he learned a police officer from Beaumont, Texas where he is from, was doing the 2010 challenge but it was taking off in a few days so he was unable to do the ride that year. 

In 2011 the first day Gary broke his ankle but rather than quit he went home and got his trike and rode all the way to Nova Scotia. Riding the HHMC has given him the confidence that he can do just about anything he sets his mind to, but Garry remembers the assistance he received after running out of gas when a pair of HHMC riders stopped to help him. He thought he was out of gas but come to find out he also had a issue with his clutch. Chuck and Richard took the time to tow him to somewhere he would get it fixed. That's what family does, help each other.

Finishing the challenge brings joy to his heart every time he sees the finish line. He has formed so many new friendships from being a participant in the challenge and would be okay with doing the challenge every year like it was in the beginning. His friends really don't understand why he would sleep next to his bike and put himself through all this but he says you have to do the challenge before you could possible understand.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Meet The New Rider Joe Mears # 913

Boys and their toys, that is Joe. He says he has everything you can think of other then a helicopter. He grew up around motorcycles so he can't remember not riding. He has been following the challenge since the beginning and what attracted him was bragging rights. This will be the first time his wife has not traveled with him on motorcycles. She doesn't want to be the reason he doesn't finish. Not crazy about the no hotel rule, she knows Joe is such a gentlemen that if she wanted to go home he would cave and take her home. She is going to let him do the ride himself and see if she wants to join him in 2020.

Considering most of his friends family he says they are his biggest supporters. He really doesn't know what to expect going into this but says the directions will probably be his biggest challenge.  Knowing the right equipment is important he feels he has his bike ready to take on whatever he may encounter on the challenge.

Muscular Distophy Association will be who Joe makes his ride for.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Meet The Rider Jim Herold #116

When asked what the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge means to Jim his answer "One hell of a ride." And since he is one of only 5 people who have ridden them all he should know. At 71 yrs. old obviously age is not a factor in this event just something he wants to do. The first HHMC Jim entertained the idea of how he was going to spend $500,000.  He heard about the challenge from a local dealership.

For him planning for the challenge was the biggest hurdle to overcome. Getting ready to start, what to wear, what to eat, figuring out what works best as far as how many hour to ride a day. The problem was not riding. He was planning on riding 22 hrs. a day and be the first one to Homer, Alaska. The directions the first year were the most difficult challenge faced in 2010 and it took him a year to get over the frustration. He keeps coming back although after every challenge he said he would never come back.

                 He loves when he is out and someone recognizes the HHMC patches or t-shirt and ask him if he really rode the challenge. They think he is a "hero." Although there is no prize Jim pushes himself the same way he would have when there was. This year he says he is going to try and take his time and enjoy this one. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Meet The New Rider Jim Brinkworth # 918

Reading, movies, photography, scuba dive, hiking and motorcycle riding are just a few things Jim enjoys doing. He started riding as a teenager but didn't care much for city riding. His best friend encouraged him to start riding long distance and he was pleased to discover that was something he really liked. He looks at the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge as "Good Medicine" a global, social event that challenges us and tests our resolved and endurance and also a "doing for others."

He heard about the challenge through a friend and found the outdoor part of the challenge intriguing. Cross country on a motorcycle on secondary roads made him think about what it must have been like for the early settlers to travel. Testing his abilities to work through adversity. Going into the challenge he knows this will be a learning process and knows that who he starts with may not be who he finishes with because everyone has their own style of riding and comfort levels.

Doing a trial run with the gear he intends on taking has been good advice he plans to follow and until  provoked never gave much thought about reading directions. His friends are looking at what he is attempting to do and think he may have lost his mind "but they just don't understand."

Jim will be raising money for WATER 4. This is a water pump company who gives people the tools to improve their lives by being able to inexpensively drill a well and have clean water. His church has supported them for a while and have been able to supply hundreds of new pumps.