Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Who Are You?

The Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge is a long distance, painful and unforgiving test of a rider’s abilities.  It is 20% physical ability and 80% mental stamina; your body, your mind and your spirit will be put to the test.  Every mile will work hard to break you.  The riders who participate in the Challenge all leave the starting line at the same time as a group, but that’s where the “group” part ends.  You must face this ride alone; even if there is a fellow rider next to you on the highway it is a solo ride.  From that point on it is an individual ride and each rider comes out of it with a different perspective.  With some, as they ride those endless miles, the inner barriers that have been built and the façade that has been created by life’s events come crashing down because, with the pain that comes with long distance riding, the ability to maintain that inner barrier, the strength needed to maintain that façade, cannot be sustained.  Others learn just how much pain they can endure and they discover the inner strength to continue when every fiber in their body tells them to quit.  Sadly others learn they may not have the stamina they thought they had.  Truly, the test is not, "Can you finish the ride?"  The real test is can you face who you really are.  Are you comfortable with who you are?  Can you face the world after the barriers and the façade come crashing down?
To state what a person might learn about themselves or discover about their abilities during this test would be speculative at best; each person is different.  Regardless of who you are, regardless of what you think you know about yourself, this endurance ride will be an education in self-discovery.  Chances are you will learn that the person you thought you were is not really the person you are.  This is not a bad thing; to learn the truth about yourself is what must happen if your true desire is to actually be the person you want to be, the person your Mother brags about.  Learning the truth about yourself is the first step; the hardest step.
Whether you finish the ride or not is not an indication of success or failure, what comes after is the true indicator and the results are dependent on you and your level of resolve.  Do you go forward using your new found knowledge, or do you crawl back in a hole and rebuild the façade?  Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.  The Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge is just the beginning of a long and very hard journey.  Hoka Hey 2016; Icimani.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Memorial Ride is Now History

If you find your name on the list of unfortunates who were not able to ride the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge Memorial Ride from Red Cloud, Nebraska to Hot Springs, South Dakota then the only thing I can say is you missed a pertinent piece of Hoka Hey history. Over 120 riders assembled in the Red Cloud, NE area and truly it was reminiscent of a family reunion. Many small communities, when invade by 120+ leather clad motorcyclist, might be concerned and might even act harshly towards these unknown riders. However the citizens and community of Red Cloud opened their doors and hearts to us and treated us like family. Businesses opened early and stayed open late to accommodate our needs—words cannot express the level of appreciation and gratitude.

The 505 mile group ride on the 31st of July went without a hitch and every rider rolled into Hot Springs without accident or incident. There were a couple of minor mechanical issues, but fellow riders stepped in to lend a hand and no one was left behind—everyone who left Red Cloud arrived in Hot Springs at the same time. We even picked up a rider in Ogallala, NE who had broken down and got him and his ride to Rapid City for repair—this rider was not part of the Memorial Ride, but he is now part of the Hoka Hey family. We made a friend that day and I feel it necessary to extend a shout out to Matt Wolf who went beyond what was expected, sat his own desires to the side, and ensured this rider and his ride got to his final destination. All that happened that day is a testament to the professional riders who were part of this great event. During this time old friendships were rekindled and new friendships were made.

On the 1st of August these same riders participated in one of only two sanctioned parades down Main Street Sturgis—which, in itself, comes with bragging rights.

Yea, I’m sorry, but you missed a great series of events that we would be hard pressed to duplicate.

To say Hoka Hey is a family is a gross understatement; I am proud to call these people family and friend.