Saturday, March 12, 2011
We moved but your thoughts were not forgotten!
Our old blog had complications so we decided to move to this location but wanted to keep our older comments alive. Here are comments from prior riders, just a taste of what is to be experienced in 2011.
Don’t be one of those who say “I wish, I had done that” make it happen for yourself, listen to that voice in the back of your head saying ” I can do this”, and be part of something bigger then you ever expected. Ever thought you wanted to climb Mt. Everest, well less people have successfully finished the Challenge, then the thousand that have scaled to the roof of the world. Challenge riders have been called a lot of things from elite to hardcore, these only begin to scratch the surface of a Challenge warrior spirit, there are not enough words to describe these warriors, it has to be expereinced to understand the feelings of facing the Challenge.
I was a rider in the first Hoka Hey. I was unable to finish, it will haunt me the rest of my life that I was unable to finish. It was the hardest decision I have ever made to stop and return home. It was also the most amazing ride I have ever been on. I guess what I’m trying to say is that even if you don’t cross the finish line it will be the most unbelievable ride you well ever be associated with in your life. I made new friends, I saw amazing things, and not all of it was the scenery. I saw people react in caring and helpful ways to there fellow riders. I went to the home of a man who for the most part distrusted the white man, and was fed and offered shelter. I don’t have words to describe how it is to ride the Hoka Hey other than life changing. It changed my life, there are not too many days that go by that I don’t think about my time on the Hoka Hey. There are not too many days that go by that I don’t think of riding the Hoka Hey again.
Jim and Beth, I simply want to say thank you for the most incredible experience of my life. I simply do not understand the negativity. When I see and hear the negative comments being written and said about the HokaHey I am disappointed and unable to understand the nature of it. The cost of entry ($1,000) was a cheap entry fee to spend two weeks with others who were on the road with the same goal. I got exactly what I expected no more and no less. At the meeting before the race Jim said that it was not a race but a challenge and it will break you both physically and mentally….it will take you to places you have never been. I got more then I could have ever imagined from the challenge. It certainly took me beyond what I thought was possible and I am sorry for those who were unable to have the same experience that I did. For me it was never about the money only about the ride. God bless you and know there are those who love you for the gift you gave us.
Jim and Beth, I want to congradulate the both of you on undertaking and completing an event for us riders unlike any I have seen organized before. I only wish I had experienced the journey. Hopefully, the 2011 challenge will see me there. Dealing with complainers and complaints will only strengthen your resolve to excel and help correct any issues they brought forth for the 2011 event. Peace and God Bless
Jim, Beth and the rest of the team. When I met you in Daytona and signed up I knew it would be the ride you said it would be… and it was. Even though I finished with the others in injured reserve and didn’t qualify, I am MORE than pleased with the experience of being in the ORIGINAL Hoka Hey. I told you I would make in at any cost, so I couldn’t quit. Thank you for giving all those who showed up in Homer, the chance to be ‘the point’ on this worldwide event. To accept a challenge that only those who don’t fear the unknown would take – and push to the end.
Your destination in life depends on the journey, Your legacy is also determined by that journey. Choose well. Every choice has its circumstances. Destiny lies before us, all will ride out but not all will finish. Ride hard, to finish is the prize.
Hoka Hey !!!
I salute you and everyone involved.
It’s me, Sam Jeppsen, that knucklehead from Arizona who rode his 03 rigid mount Sportster in the 2010 event. I just got your drawing, my certificate and your letter in the mail. Just wanted to drop you a note and say thank you. To you, to Jim and the entire gang that made the 2010 possible. It was a dream come true for me and the event was far more than I had ever hoped it would be. I had no illusions of ever winning and I was not willing to ride to win. The gold for me was the ride, the adventure, the scenery, the people and the memories. It was an event I still find myself thinking about, now 6 months later. As others said it was life changing for them; it was life changing for me too. I’ve ridden some fine rides Beth. I rode the entire Baja Peninsula, the Mexico mainland to Guatemala to British Honduras, through the Yucatan Peninsula around the Gulf of Mexico and back to Phx. AZ. and I’ve ridden the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) 4 times now. All on 2 to 5 week motorcycle adventures where I did as we did here; slept out all along the way.
But this ride, the Hoka Hey 2010, was like no other ride I have ever taken. The continuous getting up and moving on, the day to day challenge, the incredible scenery and the comradary of the other riders and the crews you put together, the constant cheering us on by; you and your crews, caused continuous spikes of exhilaration and adrenalin inside me. Those spikes came daily, even hourly. The rush of emotions that coursed my veins as I literally became Jim Bronson (1970 TV series–Then Came Bronson) has never left my mind. The feeling of being so different than any other rider I passed by, then or now, was so unexpected, yet so thrilling and it remains thrilling even to this day.
I am a Hoka Hey Rider and that makes me different than any other rider in the world except those that rode in the 2010. Many riders can speak of their great Iron-Butt rides where they knocked out 1000 or 1500 miles in a day or so on a freeway, or a great motorcycle adventure they took. But only the Hoka Hey Riders can speak about the longest-biggest-hardest and most grueling iron-but ride in the entire world; The Hoka Hey. Where the riders rode back-roads, rural routes and secondary highways, sleeping out as they went for thousands of miles. Who can tell of a ride such as ours? And where can we go where our great tale will be less than someone else’s?
It was a 13,500 (+/-) mile ride for me by the time I got back to Phx. Arizona. A 26 day motorcycle adventure. Thirty-two days if I count the 4 days it took me to get to Florida and the 2 days I spent there before the ride. I left with 42K miles on my Sporty and came home with 55K miles on it. I won’t give you any of the totals, as you have plenty, but I will tell you I had two different people stop and wake me up as I was sleeping alongside the road and ask me if I was okay. I guess I did look pretty funny! I just got off my bike and laid down on the pavement or dirt alongside my bike and slept. Helmet and all, and a few hours later I got up and rode away. I had people come up to me and talk to me at almost every stop I made. In Vernal, Utah, I had a gal ask me, “Are you one of those guys that is riding to Alaska?” In Wasilla I had a guy and his wife pull alongside me on their bright and shiny blue FL and ask if I was going to stop to eat. I didn’t understand what he meant or why he asked me such a question, so I told him I was a Hoka Hey Rider on my way to Homer. He said, “I know. I just want to know if you are going to stop for something to eat.” I realized then he knew who I was and wanted to visit with me. On the Seward Highway I had a guy on his brand new red FL pull alongside me and honk and give me the thumbs up. Near the Portage Glacier turn off, I had another gal give me a beautiful smile and say, “You’re one of them, aren’t you?” Bursting with pride, my yellow Hoka Hey bandanna hanging around my neck, I tried to contain my emotions as I smiled back and simply replied, “Yeah, I’m one of them.”
People knew who we were Beth. In the states and in Canada and in Alaska, and we didn’t have to say anything at all. Several times I had people who knew about the Hoka Hey just stop and talk to me. For me to be a part of that, left me with a feeling I cannot fully explain or put into words. Six months later, I still have people ask me about the ride and they cannot believe I rode in it. In a few months I’ll be 60 and they can’t believe I was part of the Hoka Hey. My children made me a DVD out of my pictures and put it to music. That DVD has gone to all my family and will be part of the legacy I leave them. My 18 grandkids still talk about it and in their eyes and in the eyes of those I work around, they often say things that create an image of me similar to Jeremiah Johnson. I am still receiving things from this ride I had no idea I would ever receive—and I never even went for the money! I just went for the adventure!
I will be forever grateful Beth, to all of you who worked so hard to put this together. You guys were there for us all the way and you never tired. You guys worked your butts off to make this really memorable for all of us and it was. You were always up, always positive, always had a smile and an encouraging and kind word for us. Big Jim Red Cloud was a treat to meet and meeting Chief Red Cloud will be an honor I will always cherish. You fine folk are some of the best I have met.
The few that complained painted a picture that all complained. That’s simply not so. They just got the press. The vast-vast majority of us received far more than we ever expected and are still reeling in the spotlight of being a Hoka Hey Rider. Don’t listen to the complainers, don’t give them a thought. Chances are they would have complained no matter what. The ride was incredible and the adventure was fantastic. That was the best 1000 bucks I ever spent and it was cheep for what I got for it. In fact, I have long forgotten the 1000 dollar entry fee, but have not, nor will I ever–forget the adventure and memories I got for it.
I’m a Hoka Hey Rider. No one can ever take that from me and no one can ever top me. Some may take longer rides, even more grueling, but none but a Hoka Hey Rider can say I was part of the longest-largest-hardest and most grueling motorcycle ride in the world–except another Hoka Hey Rider. To any that are teetering on going on the 2011, my words to them is; go! Go! Go and live the dream! You will never forget it and you will never be sorry.
You guys are the best, Beth. Thx so very much. If you’re ever in Arizona, stop in. You and your fine family will always have a place to stay. And as I was welcome at Chief Red Cloud’s table, you will always be welcome at mine.
Su amigo siempre (Your friend always)
Sam from Arizona.
Beth and Jim, what a ride and adventure. It is still a blur in my mind. From the time I left home in Wrightwood, Ca. until I returned I logged 22,000 plus miles. Met some wonderful people and fellow riders. A couple that without their help I would not have finished. I really feel that the ones that are doing the bitching are doing it because they found it harder than they expected and could not finish. I never went into this with winning on my mind. I simply wanted to complete the challenge in the allotted time or less and come home safe. This I did. I was #183 and finished #140. I couldn’t ask for any thing more. I had a lot of people following me on their computers and with their support and an ALL MIGHTY GOD I made it home safe. Thanks again for your support and efforts you all put into this ride. I’ll never forget it.
HOKA HEY AND MANY MORE.
I’ve decided to ride the Challenge – 3 countries, 10,000+ miles and an uncertain roads… only known from checkpoint to checkpoint; the 2011 Hoka Hey. At a 60 years and counting, I am excited, having a blast already planning and making out packing lists and dreaming of deserts, mountains, getting lost in back country, and the camaraderie of the road.
And it is impossible to not share that excitement with others, it spills out of me despite my best efforts to keep it in control – under wraps – secret. And there is the rub. But when I do share, It amazes me how many of my fellow ‘bikers’ are down on this epic adventure;
“Read the blogs, man, it’s a farce….”
“That’s crazy.. do you know they plan on dipping down into Mexico? You ain’t coming out alive from there”
“They just want your money… just take a vacation and travel the lower 48 yourself.. why pay those people when you know they won’t pay the prize money anyway..”
“Racing on public roads is not only dangerous .. its illegal!”, and blah..blah…blah.. it goes.
I can’t help but wonder..’what is wrong with these riders?’. If you’ve never been on a bike, well then I might understand. What’s the old adage “If I have to explain it to you….”
It is evident to me I need this.. not just desire it, but have to have it. At this point and place in the time of my life a soul searching readjustment is gripping my very being. It is not the money – neither the cost of doing it , nor the carrot of prize at the end, it is The Challenge itself that calls my name. The time on the road, the uncertainty, the hardships, the bonding with both my bike and myself; there is a spiritual awakening ahead, of that I am certain if I am certain about little else. Those of my fellows travelers who have found a bond with the roads know this, it cannot be explained to those who have never spent days on their chosen stead, or fought the harshness of nature, or been stranded with a broken bike – eventually fixed by a heaven sent messenger in the disguise of an old weather beaten farmer, until the experience becomes an analogy for life itself. You damn it and bless it. It is bone jarring misery and breath taking beauty all in one; blended together until you finally realize that you cannot appreciate the one without the other.
I wrote a note about The Challenge on a motorcycle site I visit of supposed adventure bikers. And the negative comments took me by surprise. I had to ponder about it a while. Why did this challenge make my blood race and inspire me so much? Finally I answered back – and thought I’d share here my words with you; you who are thinking about joining me.
“There will always be those who chose the easy path of criticism and complaint over action and involvement. Being faced with the adventure and challenge of a lifetime either infuses you with excitement and awe, or scares you shitless.
The latter will hide their fear in a mountain of excuses and fault of others; never facing the demons within that seem to boil over into a shady distrust and fear of those who answer the challenge of the unknown.
Go ahead and write your blogs, ruminate over the unfairness of the world, and the flaws in every endeavor, while those of us who still have a pair ride.
Life is always a choice, to turn right or left, give in or fight, live or die.
Dig deep in yourself my fellow ‘bikers’ – which type of person do you choose to be?”
Mike Hervey – Alaskamike