Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Memories From HHMC 2011 Rider 645



     Rolled 100mph out of hell into Yosemite in the middle of the night, gave a hooker a ride for some directions heading into San Francisco, camped with some brothers beneath a bridge in downtown 'Frisco, met a buffalo magnet in CA, (love u Carla DuBois), bounced off a guard rail on the Pacific coast, fell out of my hammock when my dad, (who had just passed away), sounded off with his daily Rise and Shine announcement near Redwood National Forest, heard war cries on Hwy 12 in Montana, froze my arse waiting for the gates to open to climb Beartooth Summit, embraced and lifted by nephews, nieces, a sister, my mother, and brother at an outrageous early hour in Milwaukee, WI when I thought I was finished, Fired upon shattered windshield knocked out two front teeth in Las Vegas, New Mexico, met a brother from another mother Jeff Isham and whooped it up at Barbarossas Bar and Camp in TN, felt the earth move from an earthquake on the E Coast, had fun getting lost in New York City, paid $12 for a pack of smokes in Nova Scotia, chased home looking at a hurricane in my rear view mirror, and too many other memories to mention living in the dark recesses of my brain to one day awaken me in the middle of the night when am old and gray to remind me to Say GOT DAMN WHAT A RIDE!!!!! Hoka Hey!


Rider 645, Hoka Hey 2011

Unfinished Business - Rider 618

From Rider 618

I have to say, connecting with the Hoka Hey Family has changed my outlook on the world. Riding in the Hoka Hey Challenge is more than a long distance challenge; it’s a moving experience that has set deep emotional ties to a group of people I don’t even know.

I became involved three years ago as a rider (618) thinking that winning the challenge was the goal. I spent many hours on the course, sometimes with other riders in view, and other times spending hours alone. During these times I knew it was about something other than winning, at least for me. I was unable to finish the course on my motorcycle that first year, but knew I had to be at the finish line for the other riders. I drove my truck to the finish to show support and raise awareness for the Indian Nations that the Hoka Hey Challenge is all about.

I have not been able to separate myself from the family of riders and supporters of the Challenge from that time on. I was unable to finish the second year due to a thoughtless driver that chose my side of the road instead of his own. The Spirits that watch after the Hoka Hey riders and the prayers of the Warriors, allowed me peace and the will to continue into the third Challenge.

I completed the third Challenge with the comfort of many of the family members that I only know by the Warrior symbols we display on our iron horses. I was blessed to be asked to the services for Chief Red Cloud and was honored to be there. I spend my time talking to others about the Challenge, the plight of the Indian Nations we traveled through, and the courage of the Native people I have met along the way. The emotional and spiritual connection made along the way will far outweigh any other symbol of completion.

To those who disagree with the purpose of the Hoka Hey Challenge, I ask that the next time you travel through a National Forest, you take a moment to thank the Native American that were forced to give up their home, land, and way of life as they knew it. Look into the true reason the Hoka Hey Challenge should be part of your life and lend a helping hand wherever needed.

Thank you,

HHC Rider 618

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Attitude of Thanksgiving

The Thanksgiving season is upon us.  However, Thanksgiving is not a date on the calendar; it is an attitude.  When you complain about your lot in life do you do it in the comfort of your own home?  When you talk to a friend about how horrible you have it do you do it on your new iPhone?  While watching TV on your flat screen plasma do you sulk about the things you do not have?  When you complain "on-line" do you do it with your very own computer?  Do you complain because you have to get up in the morning and go to work?  Are you seeing a trend here?
If you have these things (computer, iPhone, house, job, TV) and you are not happy then you have no concept of what poverty is.  If you place your happiness in the acquisition of material things then you have missed the point of life and will never find happiness.  If your “thankful for” comments include these things (computer, iPhone, house, job, TV) then again, you are missing the point.
Some of the happiest people I know have nothing because they do not place their happiness in tangible objects.  Their happiness is based on those things that, apparently, elude many of us.
Be thankful for the things that matter; health, family and freedom.  Do not strive to acquire material things; strive to attain honor, integrity and compassion.
It is who we are that matters, not what we have.  This was said best by Chief Red Cloud, Chief of the Oglala Lakota of the Sioux Nation.

“I am poor and naked, but I am the Chief of the Nation.  We do not want riches, but we do want to train our children right.  Riches would do us no good. We could not take them with us to the other world.  We do not want riches.
We want peace and love.”
Chief Red Cloud (1822 - 1909)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage month.  I guess it is good that a month is set aside to honor Native Americans but I would submit if we do not honor the Native American every month then we have fallen short of our obligations.  The trials and level of oppression suffered by the Native American cannot be measured.  I challenge you to name a treaty signed in good faith by the Native American that was not broken directly or indirectly by the Government of the United States.
It would be impossible to repay the debt we owe.  Subsequently, I do not believe the Native American expects this debt to be paid, but they do want to be recognized as valued citizens and be acknowledged for the efforts they put forth that advanced this nation.
Before contact with Europeans the Native Americans had cities larger than many of the European cities of the time.  They had functional sanitation systems when Europeans were dumping chamber pots into the streets.  In Europe, while the rich feasted and the poor starved, the Native American successfully created a culture where all, from the very young to the old and inform, were well cared for.  The Native American had complex forms of government; the Haudenasaunee People’s Confederacy (Iroquois) served as a base line for our Constitution.  Even today, 70% of the worlds crops originated in the pre-European Americas.  Native American women were equal to their male counterpart a thousand years before European women began to fight for their equal rights.  I think it important to add here the Native American women did not have to "fight" for their rights.  Surely the first European settlers would have died that first winder were it not for the charitable efforts of the Native American.  The list is endless.
Without the endeavors of the Native American this country may very well have fallen years ago.  Notably the Native American Code Talkers; many are aware of the Code Talkers of WWII, but many are not aware that the “Code Talkers” were implemented in WWI.  In 1917 the 10,000+ Native Americans who served in the Expeditionary Force were not considered citizens of the United States; their native language considered obsolete.  However, within 24 hours after the Choctaw Code Talkers sent their first message during WWI the tide of battle turned and the U.S. drove the Germans out of Foret Ferme, France?  The implementation of the Choctaw language as “code” was so great that all 18 Choctaw Code Talkers were promised medals for their valor and ingenuity; but medals were not given when promised and only in 1986 were the families of these brave men finally recognized with much deserved citations by the U.S. Government.  In 1989 the French Government followed through with honors by presenting the “Chevalier de L’Ordre National du Merite” which is the highest honor the French Government presents; equal to the U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor. 

Much of history has re-written the fact that it was the Native American who invented the calculator, the calendar, pyramids, rubber, kayaks and many natural medicines in use today can be traced back to the Native American.  Native Americans invented the wheel, snowshoes as well as 12 writing systems.   Again, the list goes on and on.
Over the past 200 years the great nations of the Native American have been reduced to patches of land in some of the worst and most inhospitable areas of the U.S. due to lies, greed and deceit.  Paying tribute is only the first step; join Hoka Hey in our efforts to rhelp ebuild the Native American Heritage.
Pay tribute where tribute is due.

Friday, November 8, 2013

To Our Veterans

The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 a cessation of hostilities was declared between Germany and the Allied nations.  The Great War, the war to end all wars had ended.  And, as they say, the rest is history.  All who walked away from that war, both veterans and the families of the thousands that never came home, believed they had actually fought the last war.  Sadly, we know that to be inaccurate.

Thousands upon thousands of American Soldiers have fought and died in armed conflict since that day in 1918; and it continues today.  This is neither the time nor the forum to discuss the virtues or evils of war, but it is the time to honor those who willingly stood in harm's way as well as those who still stand in harm's way.

Only those who have served and who have walked in that valley of death that is a war zone know the true cost of service.  Fighting for our country is part of what we do, but the true purpose for our efforts while in that valley is to fight beside and protect the brother and sister who serve with us.  I salute my brothers and sisters who have stood and are still standing in the line of fire.

Take a moment this week and seek out a veteran.  No words need be spoken - no pat on the back is required, no grandiose jesters please.  Just a nod of the head and a quick shake of the hand to let the veterans know they are still appreciated and their efforts have not been forgotten.

You can also Sponsor a Veteran for the Hoka Hey Challenge.  Sponsoring a Veteran tells them and their family that they have not been forgotten and that their service is appreciated.  As a business, if you sponsor a Veteran, your logo will be prominently displayed on the Veteran's motorcycle throughout the challenge.  For more information go to Sponsor a Veteran.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Dark Days Are Coming

     As much as we try to force our will on the seasons we will never be able to eliminate the cold months and adverse road conditions of winter.  Some, based on your location, are immune to such horrible things.  However, for those of us in the nether regions, we stand at our window and stare in disbelief as the first snow flake gently falls to the ground.  We hear it laughing at us as it passes by the window pane.  We defiantly stare it in the face and quietly whisper, "you suck."  We mope around the house with no direction or focus in life.  We seek counsel from our friends in an effort to gain from them a sense of understanding - why is the happening?  You think, "Perhaps if we band together as we do in the summer we can survive the dark days."  But they are in no better shape than you; pitifully staring at the walls with no chance of happiness.  We walk to the garage and console our ride; we assure it that the upcoming storage is not due to any infraction of the rules; it is not being punished.  We assure our faithful partner that those things that do not kill us make us stronger.  We remind it that life as we know it has not ended, just put on hold for a short time.

     OK, a little melodramatic there so we'll stop.  However, winter is coming which means our rides are going to get stuck in a corner of the garage for a few months.  This is the time to prepare our motorcycles for storage.  We'll not get into how to do that; most already know how.  If you don't know how to winterize your ride then the ever-popular Google search will prove helpful.  Gas, battery, tires and oil will all need a little TLC; a good cleaning and coat of wax maybe.  The more you do now the less you will have to do on the first good riding day that will come in a few months.

     Winter is the perfect time to change tires, brakes and filters.  Maybe a paint job is in order.  Preventative maintenance will keep you upright and riding next season and provides a barrier between you and an unexpected breakdown.  The most important thing to do is not spend money un-necessarily... you need to tuck that money away so you can use it during the 2014 Hoka Hey.

     Several initiatives are in the works for the Hoka Hey Family and we will be asking assistance from some of you.  In fact, we have enough "irons in the fire" that we can give every Hoka Hey Rider a small project to do during the winter; that is, if you are a willing warrior.  Route planning, marketing, spreading the word, fund raising, pictures, short stories, videos... just a short list.  If you want to be a part of what we are planning then please contact us.  You will not regret it - the winter will not be wasted.

     Oh yea, one last thing.  Don't let anyone stack boxes on your ride or use the handle bar grips as a cloths hanger.  Your ride has feelings and it too is suffering during the dark days.