Saturday, January 28, 2012

Changes for the Good

As we get out and speak with people about this year’s Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge, we’ve gotten a very positive response to the changes we’re making to the event.  Everything from the prize structure to the shorter distance and the fact that we will be keeping the route entirely within the U.S. have gotten a lot of support from the potential riders we’ve met out on the road.

As many of you know, nobody took home the prize money from the 2011 Challenge but, even though the 11 contenders from this year’s event were disqualified for various rule infractions, the skill and determination of these Challengers is without a doubt what puts them in the category of the World's
Most Elite Long Distance Riders!  Unfortunately though, there could be no official recognition for finishing placement and – with the exception of $100K paid to reimburse the contenders for the inconvenience and expense of their trip to AZ for interviews & polygraph tests – no money (or motorcycles) was awarded in 2011. 

As a direct result of having a prize structure for finishing placement, there has been a misconception that the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge was a speed race and this opinion has taken the focus away from what the event was intended to be.  The Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge was intended to not only test a rider’s stamina and endurance, but their mental capacity to follow directions and adapt to any situation.  In fact, the exact length of the routes and the number of participants were withheld for the sole purpose of keeping the riders guessing. 

In order to return the event to this original objective, we have removed the incentive for speeding by not offering to recognize finishing placement.  The prize money will be fifty percent (50%) of the money brought in through entry fees split equally by all riders that arrive at the finish line within a window of time, having followed the driving directions we provide and having hit all of the checkpoints.

An additional benefit to this approach is that, by removing the incentive for riders to speed, the organization will have no need to police their speeds with GPS or polygraph tests this year!   In order to be eligible for a share in the purse, contenders will simply have to certify that they did not receive a ticket for a moving violation during the course of the event. 

These changes were brought about with the hope of bringing the focus back on the ride.  This puts riders in competition with the road, their bike and their own demons –  NOT in competition with the other riders.  Riders will learn their own strengths and weaknesses.  They will face fear and will have to determine if they have the courage and resolve to push forward.  In the past, many of our riders searched deep within themselves and found the strength to persevere when they thought they had nothing left to give.  The majority of our participants measured up to our expectations and we salute them – whether they made it to the finish line or not. 

We are offering you a Challenge in 2012 and we intend to deliver. 
Anything else is just a race.