Thursday, June 21, 2018

Meet The Rider Mike Barnak # 31

Mike lives in Honolulu, HI. and loves to ride motorcycles. In 1979 he flew to Hawaii after the lumber industry he was working in became a National Forest and the he no longer had a job. On his way to Vietnam in 1966 he spent an hour in Hawaii and decided then he would come back and when he did he stayed. Sailing catamarans and working on tug boats are just a couple things he likes to do. He wants ride his motorcycle in all the lower 48 because he has Alaska and HI. covered.

He stumbled on to the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge on the internet and was sold immediately after reading about it. It reminded him of his experience with marathons.  Preparation was a little more involving because Mike has to ship his bike to the states. With a broken wrist he road three hard days from Gillette, WY to San Diego,CA. so he wouldn't miss the shipper send the bike back in 2014. With 90 miles of road you really can't train long distance riding but he feels pretty confident he has what he knows it will take to ride this challenge. He will ride from CA. to Medicine Park and get his saddle time in.

"Questioning your sanity at about day three where you are arguing with yourself and wanting to quit,  is when you need to take a break, get some rest and look at it after you have slept." Riding the ALCAN was very unnerving for Mike because fuel was very scars.  "All You have to keep you company is your CD player and the gas gauge."  Mike finds riding therapeutic, and filling that bucket list of riding every state is his physical therapy.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Meet The Rider Tom Pylant # 221

Melbourne, Fl. Grandpa and involved with children after retiring several times Tom spends his free time trying to stay retired. Tom bought his first Harley Davidson in 1979. But it wasn't until the first Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge that he went his all time longest miles in a trip of 23,200 miles.  It only took him 11 days to get there but it took two and half months to get home.

He learned about the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge in 2010 from a friend at a HOG chapter meeting. After talking at length with Jim Red Cloud at Destination Daytona Harley Davidson during bike week he signed up immediately.  All back roads and going from Key West, FL. to Homer, AK sounded great but then Jim had compared the challenge to a vision quest and that had Tom's attention. He talked about bringing good and bad spirits through the reservations we rode through. "Seeing the country in a way that's impossible to see any other way."

It has taken Tom quite a while to make friends with his new Tri-glide.  After almost taking out the landscaping at the dealership the first time he rode his new three legged stead he realized he has to learn a new way to ride. The good will of so many people who have followed Tom in the HHMC to make sure he was covered for the up coming event has been amazing for him to experience. His very understanding wife who never knows when Tom pulls out of the driveway when he will return is his biggest supporter.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Meet The New Rider: Kim Johnson # 921

Kim found the "randomly running amuck" of the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge riders to be fascinating. So much so she just had to give it a try. Kim lives in Medicine Park , OK. Blackie stopped in to the Wind River Harley Davidson in Lawton, OK and was telling her and the dealership about it and they ended up a check point for the 2014 HHMC.  She became a "Hokaholic." Wind River Harley Davidson is proud to have Kim riding for their dealership in our Sponsor a Rider Program.

Kim has never been camping. "I'm kind of a sissy but not really." She finds mentally preparing more than physically is the way she needs to plan. But other then that she feels like the rest of the challenge should not be that difficult. The thought of having a tracker on the bike is a comfort for Kim as well.

For several years Kim has been riding for an event called the "Breast ride Ever," where girls in OK. TX. and AR. rode for breast cancer and with about thirty riders the first they donated $35K, WAY TO GO GIRLS.

Pretty determined to "get it done," She just wants to finish. Thinking this through she has decided she can enjoy this without sacrificing the finish for it. Riding with her husband and long time friends she is pretty confident she can do this but really what she is looking for is "Wind therapy," looking for a spiritual quest.

Kim is helping raise money for the new aquarium that is going to be built in Medicine Park and also

Monday, June 18, 2018

Meet the New Rider Rod Cohen # 930

 "Rock" is a South East Texas transplant from clear across the planet in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem.  Though he's been an American for almost 25 years, his origins are more than evident the minute he opens his mouth.  Don't let his size and stature fool you...although he's trained to kill with his bare hands, he rarely does, and as long as you can decipher the thick accent, you'll see that he's full of stories of life's great adventures.  Rock tracked fellow Hoka Hey rider #842 Chicken Joe Connors through the 2016 challenge, and decided that if that old coot could finish could he.
    Rock's biggest supporter is his true love and sidekick, Mamacita.  He rarely lets her out of his sight, as will be truly evident during this year's challenge.  Mama contemplated riding her own bike this year, but Rock knew the only way he could guarantee crossing the finish line before her, was to put her on the back of HIS bike.  He will admit, that it's a huge asset to have Mama on the road with him, "It's nice..." Rock says, "to have someone pump the gas while I go take a whizz..."
   When Rock is not deep sea fishing offshore, or hunting for gold in the jungles of Guyana, he's at home in Sour Lake, Texas, still rebuilding from Hurricane Harvey, and teaching his 100 lb black lab Chico to change the oil on the Road King.  Long distance riding is nothing new for Rock, and he's hoping the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge will lead him thru at least one of the five states he's got left to conquer in the continental 48.  Though sleeping outside may seem like an inconvenience, the biggest challenge for this big Israeli is going to be sticking to the route.  He's been known to follow the wind, and get lost wandering down a country road or two.
Rock is being sponsored by Russ' Ocean State Harley Davidson.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Meet The New Rider: Cathy Sahli # 925

In 2010 Cathy was in Key West, Fl for her birthday and met a bunch of Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge riders and following the event and riders on social media. Doing long rides by herself brought back something she knew was in her all along. When the challenge took place in previous years she followed so obsessively on the US Fleet Tracking she couldn't work.

Just because she is a new rider doesn't mean she is new to the HHMC or long distance riding.  Cathy has been around the event from the beginning but never looked at it as a ride for her until she started meeting more riders. Doing things that built more confidence she knew this was something she  wanted to try. She started riding when she was 13 in PA. in the woods and on dirt roads. Her friends made a track they would ride on right by her Grandmothers house.

Building endurance by doing more long distance riding has helped and gathering her gear has been the easy part. Where she feels she needs to practice is the whole sleeping next to the bike.  Keeping gas and bathroom breaks short and waiting until the end of the day to stop for a bigger meal are ways she gets the most out of her daylight. I'd call that day light savings wouldn't you?

Completing the route is Cathy's goal. She remembers a time riding to Alaska, riding in the rain for 10 straight days. "Quitting is not an option."  She likes to live life on the edge and doesn't mind a little excitement and is looking forward to what the challenge will bring.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Meet The New Rider Rene Marquez # 905

For a guy who has only been riding eight years Rene has been everywhere. He called his interest in riding a midlife crisis. Starting off road then on to street riding. He saw a banner in Reno, NV. that started his interest in the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge, but finding a rider who had gone from Argentina to Alaska and following him on social media add his interest in long distance riding. Gabe encouraged him to give the challenge a try so to prepare for it Rene rode from Argentina to Alaska himself.

He and his wife do a lot of iron butts, his first Harley was purchased in September 2010 and now has 461,000 miles on it. Since learning about the HHMC he has gotten on more secondary roads and camping for multiple days. Camping all the way from TX to AK. He is pretty confident about his success with the challenge and isn't planning on taking risks and take the extra time to be safe.  He loves to try new things and for him it is an adventure.

He especially likes all he is learning about the core common desire to take on an adventure like this. The people who are doing the HHMC are the kind of riders that "as soon as you meet them you know you have something in common."  He has met so many people out on the road he now calls family that when they are in his area they sleep at his house, eat at his table, as he did when he was on the road from Argentina.

Meet The New Rider Kenneth Knight # 885

Starting out on a mini bike at 7 years old Ken has been riding most of his life. When he learned about the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge it sounded like something he wanted to try. Three day treks to see his daughter in Boston and a couple trips to Fairbanks, AK has given him the confidence he will need to make this a success. The long distance riding is what is attractive to him.

Getting the bike serviced and looking into camping gear are a couple things Ken filled his winter hours with preparing for the challenge in July. His friends know this is something he would love to do even though it may not be for them. Others think, "Why would someone want to do something like that, they don't understand." He loves the bragging rights he will be earning. His daughter is very supportive of his endeavor and his friends will be following him through the event. "I just want to see if I have it in me to do it."