Monday, March 28, 2016

Meet the Riders: John Levins #735

John Levins #735, from Panama City Beach, Florida learned about the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge from his childhood friend and riding partner Eric Buskell #733. John rode his first Challenge in 2012. The death of his father earlier that year was the impetus as John says, “it inspired me to get out of my comfort zone and go ride.”

John had a turn of bad luck during his second Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge when he hit a deer in British Columbia in 2014. His injuries were severe enough to end his Challenge there instead of the finish line in Homer, AK. The end of John’s 2014 Hoka Hey ride was not the end of his story. John was medevac'd out of British Columbia to Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane Washington where his Aunt Sandie Kessler, head of operating nurses, helped him through surgery and later cared for John in her own home for another week before he flew back home to Panama City Beach, Florida.

He loves pushing himself out of his comfort zone and getting off the beaten path. He feels more people friendly than in his past and believes he has gained a new family in Hoka Hey. An eye opener for John is something he calls “road doping,” John explains it is a feeling you get after long hours/days of riding, “where you are in the middle of nowhere and people who aren’t there are cheering you on.”

He suggests new riders take their time and enjoy the ride. Try not to get frustrated and have the experience of a life time. Southern Iron Kustoms in Panama City Beach, Florida is sponsoring John for the 2016 Challenge. The Muscogee Indian Nation’s rural relief project in Bruce community near Panama City, Florida is John’s charity of choice.

John is looking forward to the 2016 Challenge & says he wouldn’t skip riding any of the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenges if possible.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Meet the New Riders: Brian Edwards #838

Brian Edwards, #838 from Chesterfield, Michigan, is focused on why he wants to ride the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge, “I want to be one of the elite long riders, I want to push myself as far as I can.”  His longtime friend & HHMC Pro Long Distance Rider Mitch Matzek, #104, encouraged him to take on the Challenge. Brian’s enthusiasm could be considered contagious because he has already convinced two other friends to sign up for the 2018 Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge.
Although he has ridden other motorcycles for many years, Brian has been a Harley Rider for 10 years & will be riding his 2010 Streetglide in the Challenge.
Wolverine HD is my sponsor this year & has helped me with my fundraising efforts.” Brian’s chosen charities are the Amvets Post 29 in Mt Clemens, Michigan and the Vets Returning Home nonprofit located in Roseville Michigan. Between the euchre tournament, fund raising dinners and other events, Brian has already exceeded his fundraising goal of $10,000 and continues to raise money for his chosen charities.
Brian is very excited to take on his first HHMC and has realized that although he could just write a check to support these organizations, asking others to get involved and sharing the reason for his efforts has been very rewarding

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Meet the New Riders: Daniel Neathery #856

Daniel Neathery #856, from Natchitoches, Louisiana, learned about the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge in 2012 when his employer, Renegade HD, was an official HHMC Check Point as the Challenge came through Alexandria, Louisiana. With some encouragement from Chuck Marble #85 and sponsorship from his employer, Renegade Harley Davidson, Dan is able to participate in this year’s Challenge. 
Seven years ago & a month after getting married, his wife encouraged him to purchase his first Harley. Seven years later he has a new 2016 Road Glide to take on the 2016 Challenge.

His efforts to raise funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has become a collective effort by local clubs, HOG chapter events & other local community organizations. Donations can be made on their paypal  account!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Meet the Riders: Eric Buskell #733

Eric Buskell # 733, from Panama City Beach, Florida, is an experienced Challenger with the 2012 and 2014 Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenges under his belt. He first learned about the event after reading about it in Full Throttle Magazine. The finish line was his most memorable moment of each of the rides. He felt like he pushed himself to get there and finds it very rewarding. It gave him the confidence he lacked to get out on his own and ride. He says, “Now I’m a guy who can go out into the world by myself.” In the 2014 HHMC, his riding partner, John Levins # 735, was injured in Canada and Eric was required to go on by himself. Getting to Alaska really boosted his confidence.  One of his scariest experiences was waking up to a police officer and a drawn gun in his face. Once the officer was satisfied with his explanation, Eric was allowed to go back to sleep. By then he was wide awake and rode on.
Smelling the breath of a moose in the Rockies and riding through Glacier National Park in Montana are two of many exceptional moments Eric experienced.  Through the rides in 2012 & 2014, Eric learned how much he had missed in the past when travelling by interstates. Since his first Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge in 2012, he enjoys the twisties and back roads at every opportunity. 
When asked if he made any new friends he said, “They are much more than friends, they are family.”
The nonprofit, Paws and Claws is a passion Eric looks forward to supporting as he rides the 2016 Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Meet the New Riders: Abby Clabough #846

Abby Clabough rider #846 has wanted to do the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge ever since she heard about it. Talking with Heinz Spielvogel #332, and following his journey and then talking to Junie Rose #383 finalized the desire.  She had to do this ride. She considers herself somewhat of a “motorcycle psycho” and after retiring a softail and purchasing a new road glide thought, “How could you have a new bike and not ride 20k to break it in.”  Doing the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge this year for her is a “dream come true.” Being an avid rider, loving to just shoot across country for the weekend with her very supportive boyfriend and teaching a motorcycle safety class has helped Abby prepare for this event. She is well aware that anything can happen on the road. She loves the idea of sleeping next to her steed and looks forward to saving the money most spend on sleeping (at a hotel)  “A little scary but I think I will get use to it.”

First Gear and Bikers Choice have been supportive of Abby’s plan to ride the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge and have provided some gear for her to test. Abby is raising money & support for A Women’s Shelter in Greeley, CO. who deal with domestic violence. It is not always a popular subject to deal with, but Abby is helping in her community. She also loves the chance to support the Pine Ridge Area Chamber of Commerce with entrepreneurial efforts to create a strong economy for the people who live there.  if you want to follow along as Abby gets ready for her Hoka Hey Challenge, she has a fantastic blog at