Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Meet The New Rider Kenneth Brooks # 902

Traveling on a motorcycle is what Ken does for fun. After spending way to much time in airports he has found his love for travel could come in very handy for the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge. In Alaska you can be a licensed motorcycle rider at 14yrs. old so that is when Ken started to really ride. He learned about the HHMC through the American Ultimate Long Distance Rider facebook page because there you find a lot of HHMC riders collecting points from memorials and other things. Ken loves a challenge so when he was hearing so much about no electronic navigation assistance and the physical challenge as well were what attracted him.

Kens wife and extended family are looking forward to following his event and encouraging him along the way. "Expect the unexpected" bad roads, night riding, bad weather but be nimble and "go with the flow." Change as change is needed.

Ken has a grandson who has Muscular Dystrophy so he will be working with his son-in-law and Kens-Hoka-Hey-Motorcycle-Challenge-For-MDA

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Meet The New Rider Pete Perry # 916

Pete has ridden most of his life but didn't buy a Harley until 2010. To him a warrior is "someone who fight at any means necessary but also embarrasses peace and doesn't give up."  He learned about the Hoka Hey Motorcycle  Challenge from his friend Tom and intended to do the 2016 event with him but couldn't get the time off work. He was told to expect to ride your own ride. Within Your skill level and whatever you can accomplish on a daily basis. Called the Gypsy by his friends because he travels so much he is looking forward to getting out there and riding to places he has never seen before.

His family has given him lots of encouragement and they are his biggest supporters. Looking for another side of himself he hasn't discovered, he believes diversity and facing the elements are something that builds character. Being himself and not going beyond his skill level is advice he found to be helpful.

Pete has four charities he is looking forward to supporting in his fund raising efforts. Pete's Hoka Hey Fundraiser

Monday, May 28, 2018

Meet The Rider Chicken Joe Connors # 842

My friends call me “Chicken Joe.”   I bought my first motorcycle in 1973, my first Harley in 1996. I ride more than most, less than some. Over the years I’ve ridden the Alaska Highway thirteen times, Run for the Wall, a rolling coast to coast event eleven times, made more than one Iron Butt run, and recently did the 50 CC Run. I’m closing in on 500,000 documented HOG miles.
Gene “Fly Boy” Adee, Rider #71 introduced me to the Hoka Hey Challenge. We followed him on the website and kept up with stories he posted. In 2011 we were again tracking the HHMC and realized riders were riding through our community. My wife and I went out along the roadside and cheered them on. We offered cold water, energy drinks, and snacks to the Challengers. In 2015, “Shepherd”  a pastor friend invited me to join him for the Memorial Run. I was hooked.

In 2016 I took on the Challenge. This year, I’ll take it on again. Each rider faces different personal challenges. I turned 70 in February – for me there are many physical challenges. I survived a mild case of polio as a child, which resulted in some muscle weakness recurring as I get older. I survived prostate cancer in 2002, a motorcycle accident in 2013, and continue to manage Diabetes diagnosed 26 years ago. Dyslexia creates frustration for me when reading the HHMC directions. A misread 5 or S often leads me off course.

The Challenge is also mental. If I get lost, will I find my way back? What happens when I break down? Will the diabetes keep me from finishing? What about animals on the road at night? (the cause of the 2013 accident.) I took inspiration from Fly Boy and Shepherd, and the other riders I met as we set out from California in 2016.  Early on I listened to the radio, but soon turned it off. Just me, the wind, and many blessed hours of listening to God. Through it all, I kept going. It was exhilarating to finally ride up under the “FINISH” arch with Beth there to greet me.
Hoka Hey riders are now part of my extended family. If someone calls and says let’s meet for a hot dog in West Virginia, I leave Texas and go for a hot dog! I appreciate Outpost Power Sports of Silsbee, TX and Cowboy Harley Davidson of Beaumont, TX for their continued support and Sponsorship.

Hoka Hey Challenged me to be a better rider, and a better person. If today is my day to die, I am ready. If not, let’s ride!

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Meet The New Rider Mike Martin # 911

Mike has been riding a motorcycle since 1971. He enjoys creating body art by tattooing.  Being Seal trained and spending  24 yrs. on a  Seal team,  physically he is ready to take the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge. He has been trained to deal with things that come along in the right way and helps others to handle adversity the best way possible. For him every day is a "Good day to Ride."

Reading about the HHMC while recuperating from an accident in 2011 and laid up for about a year,  several times the challenge popped up in his internet searches. It sounded pretty cool, but the prize money did not interest him.  He was more interested in the toughness of the challenge. Sleeping next to the bike, no electronic navigation, secondary roads. And by 2018 there was no prize money and that was fine with him. "Prizes bring in the hooligans and riff raff and people trying to be first and not always in a good sportsmen like manner."

At 68 he is looking forward to the spiritual part looking to discover more about himself. Mentally he has been reading about what physical gear will be needed and that eases his mind to know he will be ready for anything. Being encouraged by his wife helped him avoid the only obstacle he could see about doing the challenge.

As Mike goes into the challenge he anticipates being cold, wet, tired and getting lost but he expects to be able to work through all these adversities and see the finish line. "It will be awesome I am so excited to do this."

Special Operations Warrior Foundation, who follow fallen Veterans  children all the way through school, and Navy Seals Fund will be the non-profits who will benefit from fund raising efforts made by Mike SOWF  helps  them to get to the proper resources and assistance they need as adults.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Meet The Rider Mark Hopkins # 59

When not riding his motorcycle Mark is reading about motorcycles. He has been riding for 55 yrs. and in the 2010 Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge he rode 16,363 miles from his home in Chino, AZ and back. He learned about the HHMC in a Harley Davidson forum and the challenge of Florida to Alaska in two weeks sounded like something he wanted to give a try.  "Proving to himself he could still do it."

In the past Mark has concentrated his efforts to prepare for the challenge on his stead instead of himself and admits it was tough on his body. So with that in mind he has been focusing his preparation on himself. Building up strength and endurance on his new knee has been one of the  obstacles he has had to overcome. He would recommend to a new rider to take about a quarter of what you think you need, more money then you think your going to need and get yourself in shape physically.

Recalling a time in Mississippi when him and another rider came across each other and were lost and riding around all night makes Mark smile. "He went one way and I went the right way and as far as I know he could still be out there looking for the check point."  And the bear bait Gazebo in Alaska was another thing that always brings a smile to his face. He asked the attendant of a gas station outside Homer, Alaska  if it would be alright to sleep in the parking lot. She said with cars rolling in all night it would be safer to go sleep in the gazebo she pointed out. When he woke the next morning he saw the sign on the gazebo warning people about brown bear sightings. But when he did arrive there in Homer and his wife was waiting for him that was the best memory he has.

Not sure exactly why he keeps coming back for more his answer, "I like seeing Beth, she gives me a hug." He feels the HHMC is life changing and very rewarding. The money raised for all the different causes is another reason he feels like the challenge is worth his time. If he was King for a day and could change anything about the challenge he said he would not give the rider their coin until they finish. He gave his 2011 coin back because he didn't finish so he didn't think it was earned.

US VETS and the N8V Generation will be supported by Marks efforts. 

Friday, May 25, 2018

Meet The New Rider Marlin Veldkamp # 881

Kids and motorcycle pretty much fill all the free time Marlin has. Admitting he is still trying to fully grasp what the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge is he is pretty sure he wants to find out.  The draw of saying "I've done something like this. I've practiced and prepared and succeeded at something that sounds absolutely crazy." Those that know Fish are not surprised.  Riding with his friend Jason for many miles its more about the mental part in the game is his big hurdle. Researching tents, cots, gear all things needed to keep them is good shape to keep riding.

Although his Dad was not a fan of his love for riding, family support and friends are cheering him on because they know how bad he wants to do the challenge.  "Crazy but not surprising," is how those who know him would describe it. He is willing to do what is needed to get it done, figuring out how to tackle obstacles that are in his way and navigate that with dedication without considering failure, just make it happen.  Social media is how Marlin first read about the HHMC. He didn't think Jason would agree to doing it but was pleasing surprised when he said "Hell yes Let's Do This!"

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Meet The Rider Dave Lutes # 91

Dave is another of the Warriors who has entered all of the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenges. He read about the HHMC on a motorcycle forum. When he heard it was going to Alaska he looked at it as a good excuse to go back, because he had already done one trip up there. Plus if he was the first to arrive it would be "Like winning the lottery."  Sitting in a chair watching a lot of TV is how Dave's been preparing for the challenge. He is working on his sleep pattern trying to cut his sleeping down so it won't be so hard on the ride.

He has learned by experience that you really need to pace yourself. The first year the directions were difficult but being on the road as many hours as required really can ware you down. Getting lost can be frustrating especially when your tired and it makes it a lot easier to quit. Dave remembers one time where he decided to quit and rode about 50 miles before he turned around and head to the finish line.

Dave gets a chuckle when he thinks about the time he road into a two street light town out west and there was one group of HHMC riders looking at maps under one and another group huddled under the one at the other end of town doing the same thing. His favorite part of the challenge is the day he starts and the day he finishes. "You have to know Your limit." Being involved from the beginning every event now feels like a family reunion.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Meet The New Rider Louis Preciado # 917

Not only does Louis ride his motorcycle but he also spend time coaching softball, and the Boy scouts has been something else he does for fun. "So this whole thing is great, being out doors, sleeping next to the bike." He is going to do the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge himself although he did try to convince some of his riding friends. They are planning on keeping an eye on him with US Fleet Tracking. The tracker will be able to really bring to life his experience. Social media has been a large part of how Louis first got a taste of what HHMC was. Brad was caught up in some serious weather in Corpus Christi and mentioned the HHMC and Louis started following him on Facebook.  Forums on long distance events are loaded with HHMC and he kept tripping over Hoka Hey riders and had to find out what this was all about.

A warrior to Louis is someone who has heart, to help people and stand for what you think is right. Great Grandma being Navajo he is very passionate about the Native American people. So for him Hoka Hey has a very deep history. He says "it was like finding a family." HHMC riders are "like a friend you haven't talked to in a long time and I don't even know them." "ONE BIG NATION TRIBE."

 His family is planning on seeing him off in OK.  Loving  Louis's confidence, he asked "If I get to the finish line early, Do I have to hang around?" LOL He says "don't go into this thinking negative." Like a lot of HHMC riders they don't stop riding. This is just a little more challenging then a typical day out with friends but the question on a really LONG DISTANCE RIDERS mind is "Where to next."

Louis will be raising support for CHASA  . His Granddaughter has been diagnosed with CP.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Meet The Rider Chris Drake # 190

Chris is another of the five warriors who has taken on every Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge. Not a Harley guy, he actually went out and bought a Harley so he could do the challenge. His wife Sue who is his biggest fan, read about the HHMC in a motorcycle magazine and knew this was something he would love. She was right! The most attractive thing to Chris about the challenge was simple, "you ride, get up and ride some more."  The only obstacle that gets in his way is financing the ride. Without any electronics to distract him it gives him lots of time to think.

Chris had left the Decatur check point in the 2016 challenge with his riding buddy Terry when at around midnight  they could see lots of bugs flying around the street lights and a police office called out to them and said there were flies on the bridge they were about to cross. Okay, they had ridden in Alaska before where the mosquitoes are the size of hummingbirds so how bad can this be? Well there is something called  May flies and these slippery little buggers where a foot deep and both him and Terry started sliding and both ended up crashing on the bridge. It took both of them to pick up each of the bikes because the flies have an egg sack that made the bridge like an ice rink. Chris hurt his hand and his bike took a pretty good hit so him and Terry did some work on his bike and were able to continue on.

His favorite part of the challenge is the people he meets and the parts of the country you wouldn't normally see. The trials come but he always seems to find people who are willing to help. He remembers a time when he had a problem just after returning to the USA with a wheel sprocket and saw some bikes parked outside a bar. One of the patrons took him and his bike to his garage, helped fix it and got him back on his way.

His friends think what he does is "pretty cool."  They enjoy tracking him on the US Fleet Tracking site on the internet the HHMC has to keep up with the riders.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Meet The New Rider Kevin Blevins # 904

Beside riding motorcycles Kevin likes restoring old cars and is currently working on a 1929 model A Sport Coop hot rod. The  Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge was a ride he found while searching for long distance rides.  In the begin the 14 day challenge was what attracted him but after meeting some of the riders and learned about the passion and camaraderie they had for the challenge he decided "Okay I really have to do this ride." He really likes the fact that the finish is really all there is to gain in the challenge, no prizes.

Preparing for the challenge for Kevin is a lot more of what he has been doing except sleeping next to the bike. The idea of not taking a shower for so many days will be a struggle. The comfort level will be different and help with that spiritual part of the journey.

For Pete's Sake
is the nonprofit Kevin will be supporting. They send families of someone with cancer on a vacation to try and help them through those tough times. Working with this group has taught Kevin that "life is short even in the worst of times you need to find ways to get through it." 

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Meet The New Rider Kenny Brown # 896

Kenny loves to BBQ and had gained quite the reputation as a connoisseur of the grill. He has been riding since he was 5 yrs. old. He grew up on 40 acres where his dad would give him a gallon of gas and say "Be home before dark."  Everyone is asking him about the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge and he tells them he doesn't really know what he is getting into.  Some think he is crazy but he enjoys the idea of a challenge.

He believes you never know what the road may bring and wants to be prepared for anything. He remember bring a hammer and low and behold when a friend hit a deer he was able to pound out the dents so his friend could continue. It didn't take much to convince him the HHMC was a ride he has to do. He learned about the challenge last summer at a chicken wing night at the Amvets post when his friend Brian was sharing his experience and within 10 minutes he was ready to sign up.

Preparing for the challenge he has been losing weight, walking everyday, cutting out caffeine, and even cut back on his beer drinking. He know "mind and body needs to be the best it can be." He is ready for what ever mother nature throws at him.

Fund raising is something Kenny does through out the year. He gives where he sees a need.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Meet The Rider Garry Simoneaux # 619

For Gary this will be his fourth Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge. He rode 2011, 14 and 16. The 2011 HHMC took him over 20K miles door to door. When asked what HHMC means to him his answer "HEAVEN."  He heard about the challenge when he learned a police officer from Beaumont, Texas where he is from, was doing the 2010 challenge but it was taking off in a few days so he was unable to do the ride that year. 

In 2011 the first day Gary broke his ankle but rather than quit he went home and got his trike and rode all the way to Nova Scotia. Riding the HHMC has given him the confidence that he can do just about anything he sets his mind to, but Garry remembers the assistance he received after running out of gas when a pair of HHMC riders stopped to help him. He thought he was out of gas but come to find out he also had a issue with his clutch. Chuck and Richard took the time to tow him to somewhere he would get it fixed. That's what family does, help each other.

Finishing the challenge brings joy to his heart every time he sees the finish line. He has formed so many new friendships from being a participant in the challenge and would be okay with doing the challenge every year like it was in the beginning. His friends really don't understand why he would sleep next to his bike and put himself through all this but he says you have to do the challenge before you could possible understand.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Meet The New Rider Joe Mears # 913

Boys and their toys, that is Joe. He says he has everything you can think of other then a helicopter. He grew up around motorcycles so he can't remember not riding. He has been following the challenge since the beginning and what attracted him was bragging rights. This will be the first time his wife has not traveled with him on motorcycles. She doesn't want to be the reason he doesn't finish. Not crazy about the no hotel rule, she knows Joe is such a gentlemen that if she wanted to go home he would cave and take her home. She is going to let him do the ride himself and see if she wants to join him in 2020.

Considering most of his friends family he says they are his biggest supporters. He really doesn't know what to expect going into this but says the directions will probably be his biggest challenge.  Knowing the right equipment is important he feels he has his bike ready to take on whatever he may encounter on the challenge.

Muscular Distophy Association will be who Joe makes his ride for.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Meet The Rider Jim Herold #116

When asked what the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge means to Jim his answer "One hell of a ride." And since he is one of only 5 people who have ridden them all he should know. At 71 yrs. old obviously age is not a factor in this event just something he wants to do. The first HHMC Jim entertained the idea of how he was going to spend $500,000.  He heard about the challenge from a local dealership.

For him planning for the challenge was the biggest hurdle to overcome. Getting ready to start, what to wear, what to eat, figuring out what works best as far as how many hour to ride a day. The problem was not riding. He was planning on riding 22 hrs. a day and be the first one to Homer, Alaska. The directions the first year were the most difficult challenge faced in 2010 and it took him a year to get over the frustration. He keeps coming back although after every challenge he said he would never come back.

                 He loves when he is out and someone recognizes the HHMC patches or t-shirt and ask him if he really rode the challenge. They think he is a "hero." Although there is no prize Jim pushes himself the same way he would have when there was. This year he says he is going to try and take his time and enjoy this one. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Meet The New Rider Jim Brinkworth # 918

Reading, movies, photography, scuba dive, hiking and motorcycle riding are just a few things Jim enjoys doing. He started riding as a teenager but didn't care much for city riding. His best friend encouraged him to start riding long distance and he was pleased to discover that was something he really liked. He looks at the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge as "Good Medicine" a global, social event that challenges us and tests our resolved and endurance and also a "doing for others."

He heard about the challenge through a friend and found the outdoor part of the challenge intriguing. Cross country on a motorcycle on secondary roads made him think about what it must have been like for the early settlers to travel. Testing his abilities to work through adversity. Going into the challenge he knows this will be a learning process and knows that who he starts with may not be who he finishes with because everyone has their own style of riding and comfort levels.

Doing a trial run with the gear he intends on taking has been good advice he plans to follow and until  provoked never gave much thought about reading directions. His friends are looking at what he is attempting to do and think he may have lost his mind "but they just don't understand."

Jim will be raising money for WATER 4. This is a water pump company who gives people the tools to improve their lives by being able to inexpensively drill a well and have clean water. His church has supported them for a while and have been able to supply hundreds of new pumps.  

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Meet The Rider Billy Fultz # 736

Billy is another of the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge's returning riders and is definitely a serious rider. After managing to complete the 2014 HHMC from Key West, Florida to Homer, Alaska in seven and a half days proves he is no slouch in the saddle and knows what it takes to reach the finish line.  He heard about the HHMC in 2011 but had other commitments so 2012 was his first challenge. Initially when hearing there was a prize in the first two challenges that was attractive to Billy, but really the long distance endurance riding was what he was what intrigued him.  After riding the first event "it was in his blood."

Entering for the first time he knew he was in for a new adventure. Talking with other riders and just challenging himself to see if he could do it. Riding 36 hrs. straight the first year really made him realize what sleep deprivation was and reaching the finish line that first year he felt like a zombie. By 2014 he "was definitely on his game" he knew what to expect when it came to navigating the directions and how important sleep was. Instead of missing his turns by hundreds of miles and a bike loaded down with "crap" he fine tuned his ride and is ready to take on another challenge.

The single most difficult thing he encountered was a thunderstorm he and fellow Texas rider Terry rode through where he couldn't even see the front tire. So what keeps him coming back for more? "The family aspect of it and the love for long distance endurance riding."

Monday, May 14, 2018

Meet The New Rider Sean Winkler # 887

The Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge has been one of Sean's biggest goals he has set for himself in a long time. He feels the HHMC is not something a lot of people are able to do. His love for riding combine with a challenge of this magnitude, he plans on putting everything he has into doing the challenge. He has reached out to other HHMC challengers to get advice on what will work to make his ride amazing.  He has been working away from the comforts of home to make sure he has the financial backing he needs to accomplish this task.

Sean has received sponsorship from Illinois Harley-Davidson and the Carpenters Union Local 13  and Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters His friends are very encouraging and are not surprised that he would take on a challenge that asks the rider to step out of their comfort zone of electronic assistance with navigation or sleeping in a nice comfortable bed. This is something that is in his blood.

Animals for Awareness is a nonprofit refuge for wild life he plans to support. He will also be supporting The Three Rangers Foundation. Donations can be made at Sean Winkler Hoka Hey Rider # 887  Pay Pal Me

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Meet The Rider Rob Funk# 854

As a long distance rider the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge really seemed like something Rob wanted to give a try. Living up in Canada limits the amount of time you have to ride but he gets in as many miles as possible. Part of his biggest challenge was converting the miles to kilometers admits strangely enough, one of the tough things he encountered was seeing a bunch of dead rabbits on the road going through Arizona. He was hoping he had enough endurance to finish.  

Meeting up with Chuck on July 4th was a memory that always brings a smile to his face. They came through a town that was having  fireworks and decided to stop and watch them and Rob felt very special helping an American celebrate their independence day.  They ended up crossing the finish line together and he feels they encouraged each other to keep going and knows it's something he will never forget.  He wasn't sure he was going to come back for another challenge but after talking to his riding buddy Chuck he talked him into giving it another go.

Rob has a new outlook on life and feels the challenge has changed him for the better and even his family have told him that as well. He plans on packing a lot lighter this time but admits each event will have it's own challenge's so he isn't taking anything for granted.