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.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Meet The New Rider Henrietta Stands- Nelson # 906

Henrietta has only been riding for 4 years but since she started riding she hasn't let anything get in her way. For her the word Hoka Hey is a greeting. She learned about the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge from a rider who participated in several challenges and she has been following his different events. The attraction for her is seeing the country and sleeping outdoors. She loves camping and being outside.

Her family and a bike group she hangs out with, are her biggest supporters. Planning to eat well and sleep when tired and NO SPEEDING are the three things she knows will make this ride a success. Henrietta will be the first Indigenous Lakota Woman to ride the challenge after growing up in Oglala, South Dakota on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation. She wants to ride this event for Conscious Alliance which is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to supporting communities in crisis through hunger relief and youth empowerment.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Meet The Rider Tom Suzor # 853

As a retired fire fighter Tom enjoys the time he has to spend now going to the theater, attend concerts and traveling but mostly he likes to ride motorcycles. But the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge has become an addiction. Tom rode in the 2016 event but admits he was very intimidated by the challenge, but hide that from everyone including himself.  He had expectations of running the course to the finish line but that did not happen. "It took me months to get over that."

He is preparing this time to build up his confidence and knows now what it's going to take included nutrition and navigation to make the finish line in 2018. He admits there are things he never could have know without his first attempt. Support from other riders was something Tom felt was one of the reasons he got as far as he did. He feels the HHMC is an elite group he wants to be a part of.

Once his friends get past the notion  he is completely nuts they think what he is doing is awesome. "Until you ride a HHMC you can not fully understand what the HHMC is." Its something you have to earn because it is not easy, bringing you to your knees. "Check your ego at the door."

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Meet The New Rider Gary Ellis # 891

After hearing about the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge he forgot about it then saw someone with a HHMC t-shirt on reminded him he needed to see what that was. He is looking for something to break up the monotony of the same old things he does every day and "needs something else." In preparation for the event he went out and got himself a new knee, making sure he is ready first. Making sure the bike is ready has been a focus trying to think of everything he would possible need.

He is pretty confident he has what it takes to do this challenge. His biggest supporters are his coworkers who think he is crazy for doing the challenge but will be following him on the tracker.

He plans on helping the Miami Valley BACA to raise money for abused children. 100% of what is raised for the cause gets used for the cause. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Meet The Rider Russ Janzan # 843

Riding a motorcycle to Russ "Is a freedom you don't get doing anything else." This will be his second Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge. He spends a lot of time in Italy where he calls his second home. He started riding when he was young when an uncle of his introduced him to an Indian motorcycle, but didn't get real serious about it until he retired. He learned about the challenge from HHMC rider and board member Eric.

After a serious wreck last year Russ is fully recovered and looking forward to getting to the finish line for the first time. He learned the hard way to check with the powers that be about the rules in 2016 thinking he had to get to the finish line by the end of the road party to be qualified as a finisher.
Having a little bit of a competitive nature, he went into the challenge as something that set the bar a little higher then he had ever tried to reach before. He believes you can skate and get by or excel.

 "I actually thought I was going to be one of the top ten riders" but missed a turn that sent him 500 miles out of his way changed that. With a core group of riders in Florida he always has a family to ride with and share meals with and looks forward to riding with some of this in the event coming up in July.

Russ will be riding for the Wounded Warrior Project


Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Meet The New Rider Gareth Morgan # 915

With his motorcycle being his only means of transportation Gareth loves riding. When not on his bike he like to spend time at the beach diving and fishing. Spending at least 8 to 10 hrs. on trips have helped him train for the event. Pushing himself to be consistently riding and stay in the saddle as long as possible. With Florida rain all the time when he plans a ride he does not cancel just because it's raining. And although he tells his wife she doesn't have to go with if she  doesn't want to she is a trouper like he is and gears up. "The more experience I get the better." He is not one who is going to quit when things get tough.

Reaching out to purveyors for sponsorship he has as a chef has been helpful in providing funds for the event. He has started a web sight and has had a great reaction on social media. People want to follow him on his journey. He hopes to see the country in a way he has never seen it before. Meeting like minded people and form friendships with people he has something in common with.

His Dad was the first person he told about what he was going to this summer and at first his Dad  thought he was crazy, but now will be spending the time before the event with Gareth riding in Tennessee and North Carolina to get more experience in the twisties.

 He plans to ride for the Wounded Warriors Project because he has friends who have serve our country and struggle with PTSD.After running in to Adam Sandavol and Scooter and hearing what Adam has to say about the project motivated him to do something. He loves the freedom he has and is thankful for the ones who gave of themselves. It has taught him to really valley life.

Gareth has created a web page of his own for you to follow and find out more about him and his challenge. Cruzin 4 the Cauze

Monday, May 7, 2018

Meet The Rider Matt Klebe # 752

Matt has ridden in 3 Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge events after already loving the challenge of a long distance ride and actual thought the HHMC would be easy but admits maybe not. He read about the HHMC in a HOG magazine before the 2010 event and the 2011 event went right past his house. So Matt decided to try the ride because he like the idea of riding, sleeping, repeat.

With the 2012 HHMC being his first challenge and it only being a few thousand miles Matt thought he would have no problem finishing the challenge. Ends up it was a lot tougher then he thought but did make the finish line in New York.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Meet The New Rider Eric Sprague # 879

This is a man who lives the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge life style. Traveling for months at a time sleeping next to his bike, "the way it should be." Riding, navigating without GPS, sleeping next to his stead are not a problem at all. He expects to see the finish line without concern for what that will take. He has been riding for 52 yrs. and has done it all. The longest ride he has ever done was 3 months where he never saw the inside of a hotel.

The experience of the HHMC brings thoughts of a brotherhood. He heard about the HHMC from a fellow Floridian and HHMC rider Chris. Eric knows this is not going to be easy but loves a good challenge. The only obstacle he has found is raising the money to do the challenge. Most of his friends are HHMC riders and they are encouraging him to do the event, the rest of his friends think he's crazy.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Meet The Rider Jimmy Milas # 848

Jimmy is one of the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenges returning Canadian riders who rode his first event in 2016. Others consider him adventurous. "I'm not scared to go somewhere I've never been." Hearing about the HHMC way back in 2011 when some of his friends mentioned and then running into a HHMC rider on a ferry who told him more about it. Starting out a little nervous in 2016 he forgot to fill up his bike before the challenge. But as these trials sometimes do he ended up connecting with a seasoned rider who help him calm his nerves and helping him to successfully reach the finish line as the 18th person across.

Preparing for the challenge can sometimes be difficult in Canada because of the weather. Maintenance for the bike can be an obstacle he has had to overcome. He ended up having to deviate up into New Brunswick in 2016 to get a new tire. That cost him 17 hrs.

In 2016 he thought he was going to just race through the country but that wasn't much fun. He plans on taking the time to stop and have a good meal each day and not riding the challenge so much at night. Converting mileage to kilometers was a constant battle and road signs are different in the US then they are in Canada hoping he won't make as many mistakes as he did in 2016.

Jimmy's friends think he lost is mind but his nephew wants to do the challenge one day.