Sunday, May 8, 2016

Meet the rider: Tom Schmidt # 646

Tom # 646 has ridden four of the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge’s 2011, 12, 13, and 14 but has no idea why “just the thing to do.” He heard about it from a friend in Ohio at his local Harley Davidson dealer. He remembers riding threw the Arkansas National forest late one night with Junie #383, Elvin # 664, and Brad # 709 but the deer were so thick you didn’t dare ride very fast. He remembers pulling up to a stop sign, looking off to the right and Junie saying “Hey look a Hoka Hey Hotel.” It was a post office. Perfect spot to sleep knowing the mail trucks would be there very early there was no concern we would over sleep.                   

The HHMC really made Tom aware of his limitations and found he was frustrated over following the directions when he was “running out of steam,” but has learned a lot from it. Making new friends and showing up at gauntlet drops to reunite with them has been enjoyable for Tom. One of his favorite roads believe it or not was that crazy CR22 with its hairpin uphill turns. He says “it really made sure you were on your game.” Seeing a sign that warned you of the 24% grade was another challenging yet exhilarating road. Just trying to find those roads again is a challenge in itself because the only people who know those roads exist are the locals. And that is one of the things Tom loves about the HHMC.

His best advice for new riders, don’t pack everything you think you’re going to need because you’re not going to need it all. Know your limitations and don’t try to ride beyond them. Rather than fund raising Tom prefers to dig down in his own pockets and plans on making a donation to thePine Ridge Area Chamber of Commerce.

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