Saturday, June 30, 2018

Meet The Rider: Mark Childers # 805

I became aware of the Hoka Hey Challenge in 2010 on a flight from Seattle to Miami. One of the riders was on the jet and explained what he was about to attempt. I couldn’t imagine “why” and thought he was crazy. I didn’t even own a motorcycle at that point but what I thought was an insane adventure stuck in my head.

We lived in Alaska at that time and for the next few summers my wife and I would ride to the lower 48. When the 2014 Hoka Hey “Unfinished Business” route was announced my son Josh and I decided we would ride and finish it.

Sleeping outside is something I enjoy. Running long distance sled dogs in Alaska gave me plenty of practice doing that, however sleeping on the ground in the wilderness is a quite different than sleeping on the ground at a 7-11. It only took a couple of nights before Josh and I would happily dismount our rides and go to sleep quickly on the asphalt, dirt, grass or picnic table.

Never a fan of groups or organizations that tell me how or where to ride, the Hoka Hey Community is much much more than that. The men and women are true warriors and the best riders and people in the world. Several veteran finishers were very helpful to us offering advice and tips. They WANTED us to succeed.

My son and I had many experiences on this adventure. Hallucinations happen. I discovered I can ride while totally asleep, although I don’t recommend it. Some of the best feelings I’ve ever experienced occurred. Some of the most breathtaking and beautiful sights were witnessed. Yes, it is life changing and you might just view everything differently afterwards.
My favorite piece of advice came from warrior Roger Buis and it is also practical in everyday life...”1) Change your socks and drawers daily. 2) Use “Anti Monkey Butt” powder liberally and 3) Don’t sit on your nuts.

I am riding for the “One Spirit” program for Native American Indians.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Meet The New Rider (Chipkid) Parisi # 943


 I recall reading about the first  Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge online, years ago. Back then it seemed totally out of my league, as I hadn't been bitten buy the bug yet.  I've been living off my bike full time, traveling the country and working on the road when needed, so it often feels like that's all I do. I enjoy visiting National Parks, National Forests (where I camp most nights), and monuments. I like spending time with friends, meeting new people, and experiencing other people's realities for short periods of time, while on the road. I enjoy visiting and reading historical marker signs. I also blog as a hobby.  What about the HHMC made you want to ride? The challenge. The desire to see if I've got what it takes to be among the elite. 
 How have you been preparing financially, physically and mentally for the challenge? I have plans to try to raise some funds for myself and a charity, but have been very good at procrastinating on both.  Right now I'm working  my 8th motorcycle rally this year (Laconia) to keep gas in the tank of me, and my bike. Physically, I've been getting back to doing more long distance days, as those have been shelved, now that I live on my bike. Mentally, I've just been telling myself that I can do it.

 Have you had to over come any obstacles to do the challenge? I need to overcome the financial obstacle. I'm living on about $12k a year, nowadays, so what used to be a couple days worth of work (in my old life), is now a huge chunk. Have you been sponsored by anyone for your ride? (Yourself) Not yet, but inn looking. A few people have offered some money, including a fellow participant, but I need to get going on asking for pledges and sponsorship. A donation of tires, oil changes, or anything would be appreciated.



My Family are your biggest supporters!



 Have your received any support from local dealer or community? I've yet to ask. 

 What is the single best piece of advice you have been given about the challenge? Don't overdo it, and rest when needed.... and bring plastic sheets to laminate the directions. 

What do your friends and associates think of your participating in a challenge like this? They think I'm nuts, but know it's right up my alley. 

 Why do you think the challenge is a worthwhile event? Because, to me, it's the ultimate test of mind and body for a motorcyclist, as because it raises awareness for many good causes. 

Tell me about your charity? I'll be raising some money for the Patriot Guard Riders. They provide flag lines at military funerals and other related events. I've been a member for 10 years and know that this modest amount will help and not just be a drop in the bucket.

Follow me on my blog page The Great American Road Chip

Meet The New Rider Julie Nordskog Andrews # 942

I LEARNED ABOUT THE HOKA HEY MOTORCYCLE CHALLENGE  FIRST FROM JUNIE ROSE, WHO WAS A SPEAKER ON
THE “SHE-ROES” PANEL AT THE LACE, GRACE & GEARS RALLY 2017.

2. Other than ride motorcycles what do you do for fun?
HANG OUT WITH MY 14-YEAR-OLD SON.

3. What about the HHMC made you want to ride?
I WANTED TO FACE THIS CHALLENGE WITH OTHER WOMEN RIDERS.

4. How have you been preparing financially, physically and mentally for the challenge? (1) 
I’VE BEEN LOOKING DOING SIDE JOBS. (2) I STARTED A “$5 FUNDRAISER” ASKING FRIENDS TO PITCH IN WITH TWO GOALS: FIRST TO HELP COVER SOME COSTS OF THE RIDE AND, THEN, SECOND, TO DONATE   ANY FUNDS RAISED BEYOND COST TO THE CENTRAL TEXAS FOOD BANK. (3) I’M GOING TO TRY SELLING “BADASS” PATCHES ON FACEBOOK. (Around mid- June.)

5. Have you had to over come any obstacles to do the challenge?
MONEY TO COVER THE COST OF THE RIDE, TIME AWAY FROM MY FAMILY, TIME OFF WORK

6. Have you been sponsored by anyone for your ride? (Yourself)
YES! TABOO HD IN ALEXANDRIA, LA SPONSORED NOT ONLY THE ENTRY FEE, BUT ALSO A FULL TUNE UP AND A NEW SET OF TIRES.
DOZENS OF FRIENDS, MOST OF THEM (BUT NOT ALL) WOMEN RIDERS HAVE PITCHED INTO MY ONLINE FUNDRAISER. A SUPER FUN SIDE EFFECT IS THEY'LL ALL BE WATCHING CHEERING ON ALL US WOMEN RIDERS IN HH THIS YEAR. (I’VE PROMISED TO POST REGULARLY IN FACEBOOK.)

7. Who are your biggest supporters?
MY WIND SISTERS!

8. Have your received any support from local dealer or community?
SEE ABOVE.

9. What is the single best piece of advice you have been given about the challenge?
RIDE YOUR RIDE.

10. What do your friends and associates think of your participating in a challenge like this?
THEY MOSTLY THINK I’M CRAZY AND DON’T WANT ME TO DO IT. BUT, THEN AGAIN, THEY DON’T UNDERSTAND BECAUSE THEY DON’T RIDE.

11. Why do you think the challenge is a worthwhile event?
BECAUSE IT IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO INSPIRE OTHER WOMEN RIDERS TO CHALLENGE THEIR LIMITS. AND BWCAUSE IT IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO RAISE FUNDS TO HELP STOP HUNGER WITH CENTRAL TEXAS FOOD BANK. (JUST $1 DONATED BUYS 4 MEALS.)

12. Tell me about your charity?
CENTRAL TEXAS FOOD BANK IS THE LARGEST FOOD BANK IN THE REGION, SERVING OVER 20 COUNTIES. IT IS A 501(c)3 AND MEMBER OF THE FEEDING AMERICA NETWORK.

I will need you to include a link to your non-profit gofundme page or whatever you want me to add such as a web page.


AS I NOTED THE ONLINE FUNDRAISER IS TO HELP COVER HH COST AND ANYTHING DONATED BEYOND COST OF THE HH RIDE GOES TO CENTRAL TEXAS FOOS BANK. 
SO I SHOULD EXPLAIN THAT IM ACTIVELY DOING OTHER THINGS TO RAISE FUNDS (EXTRA JOBS, PATCHES) AND AS I RAISE THOSE FUNDS I COUNT THEM AS PART IF THE CAMPAIGN— I’M TRYING TO SEND AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE TO CTFB.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Meet The Rider Kurt Kvennjorde # 789

2013 Challenge, 2014 Challenge, 2015 Memorial Ride, 2016 Challenge, 2017 Hillbilly Hot dog,  Riding the  2018.
 
Kurt was born in Drammen, Norway 1962 has three Children 1985, 1988 & 1989, with my soulmate Rita Helen. In addition to two fantastic grandchildren.

 

In 2001 I left Norway and went to Houston TX and founded a company RigNet Inc. Texas is where I first started to Ride Harleys, every weekend I rented a bike and was Riding from Friday afternoons to Monday Mornings, In 2002 I Purchased a Fat boy 100 years anniversary gold key edition. Unfortunately, shortly after I must go to Singapore, I shipped my bike to Norway with Texas Titles on, and kept it in the basement collecting dust for a few years

 

In 2006 I was living in Qatar, I was CEO of RigNet MENA in addition to Global CTO for the company. The only focus in life was chasing the “Benjamins” Always in a Suit and Tie. Chasing the next contract and new markets.

 
I was on a short visit in Norway in September 2006 and had a flight back to ME early the next day, I went into the basement where I had my Fat Boy and got a new idea, within just half an hour I had the Bike out of the living room, a small bag on the saddle, and started Riding toward ME and Qatar.
The trip took me 10 days, from Stavanger, Norway to Doha, Qatar. This trip was the first extreme biker journey of my life. I left Norway with Texas plates on the bike and no other documents of ownership or insurance for the Bike.
The thrill and challenges of this trip getting the bike through numerous border crossings made me finally feel real alive again.
I was in capital Damascus in Syria, and had not used any GPS on my trip so fare, as I had a meeting in 2 days I was now in a hurry to get back to Doha Qatar, so I punched in Doha Qatar on the GPS and started Riding, it was only one snag by with using the GPS, that I figured out a little later when I was in Iraq and had accidentally passed a border crossing on a small dessert road.
The shortest route from Damascus to Doha was through Baghdad Iraq, through Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, and Not through Jordan and Saudi Arabia as expected. The adrenaline Rush it gave me , when I had survived and was unhurt after a trip through Syria into Iraq back to Syria, into Jordan and through Saudi Arabia riding with Texas plates on the bike can’t be explained.
For all the years after 2006 to my first Hoka Hey in 2013, I was riding my bike wherever I was traveling, I had the passion for riding, but I was always riding alone, as no one I knew could do the long-distance riding in the areas I was riding.
I participated at my first Hoka Hey in 2013, did not know nothing what was coming, and it can’t be explained in any way, I think everyone participating will give different answers.
The thrill of been taken to unknown territories, and the uncertainty of what you will meet around the next bend in addition to coping with all this mentally over a long period of time is what really make me feel alive.
After my first Hoka Hey in 2013, it started to grow on me, I just didn’t want it to end, just wanted to continue riding.
When back in Norway, I immediately decided to ride again, and it has become the passion of my life riding The Hoka Hey Motorcycle
Challenges where I have found something special.

Meeting up with a fantastic team of other riders and organizers that have the same passion for extreme riding as myself.
HOKA HEY. 

Kurt will be riding to raise funding for Educate a Child

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Meet The Rider Frank Edgar # 849

Traveling on and off road, internationally and in the US is something Frank does in his spare time and when he can he bring the motorcycle into the travel, so hearing about the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge and all the traveling he would be doing it sounded like a great extreme adventure. "There is no such thing as can't. The only failure is NOT trying!" The rides that were "some day" are NOW.

Focusing much more on nutrition and endurance this challenge Frank is using what he learned in his previous event what works best for him. His fondest memories are actually on the side of the road with fellow riders who stopped to help each other. The finish line focus gets less important and the reward one gets when they take the time to stop and help another is priceless. As crazy as his friends think he is, but at the same time would love to have the drive to do this, encourage him to keep doing what he is doing.

He feels he learned more in 14 days about himself  on the challenge than in years of day to day life  as a person, for him it has been a huge spiritual growth moments that go on the whole time your riding.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Meet The New Rider Jon Garcia # 926


 I heard about Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge through my father-in-law who will be partaking on this journey with me. I love to hit the gym, read, and spend time with my wife and daughter. I served almost 8 years in the military and found my love for riding while serving. My father in law is also a United States Marine and it is one of his dreams to finish the HHMC. We share a few things in common our bond in the military, love of his daughter, and the love of riding. This journey is about finishing together and the spiritual journey.

 How have you been preparing financially, physically and mentally for the challenge? I have been putting extra cash away each month to help prepare financially for this journey. Physically I have been spending a good amount working on my core and taking rides to prepare my body for the long ride. Mentally, the HHMC will be a time I can throttle back mentally. I am a full time student and this ride will be a refreshing time where I can focus on the road and not a textbook. The biggest obstacle that I had to overcome is finding the time to focus on the ride. School dominates my time and finding moments to prepare for the trip has been difficult.


My biggest supporter is my wife she has been on my side the entire time. I couldn’t have done this without her. The best advice I received about this trip is slow is fast and fast is smooth. Meaning not to try and finish the race in one day but take our time and enjoy the challenge. My friends and associates are supportive but also say all the time “better you than me.” I learned how to live with very little and survive arduous situations during my time with the Marines. I will relay on my survival skills to make it to the finish line.

 I believe this event is a worthwhile program because it gives riders an opportunity to be challenge and overcome obstacles. This is as much a physical challenge as a mental and spiritual one and each mile is traveled in the name of worthy causes.  

 (Hoka Hey Motorcycle Charity Challenge) In January of 2017 Bill's sister-in-law, Terri and 17 year old niece, Margaret Wickel were tragically lost in a senseless accident. Margaret had Down Syndrome and they were both members of the Fun Coast Down Syndrome foundation.  This foundation included many activities including the Down Right Dancers which Margaret participated in and loved. This organization was designed to provide support, education and resources to individuals and their families with Down Syndrome.  During their memorial service the gravity of love and commitment of this organization toward Margaret and Terri was overwhelming. The HHMC is not only an opportunity to ride our "Steel Horse", which we love to do, but to challenge us to do something greater.  This once in a lifetime ride will take us on a 10,000 mile journey through some of the most beautiful parts of our country. During this ride, we will not be partaking in the finer things in life. We will be sleeping under the stars next to our bikes, not in hotels, experiencing the discomfort that will be a constant reminder of ONE of the many reasons why we are riding.

Meet The New Rider: Sam Humphrey # 924

Restoring his 1885 Victorian home including the yard is what Sam does for fun in Helena, MT. when he isn't riding his motorcycle. After spending 4 weeks in Germany riding over 6K miles, sometimes he just gets on the bike and doesn't stop. His friend Mark mentioned the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge to him. After learning the challenge was an endurance ride against himself, more about "actually doing the riding and pit myself against the weather and roads and not about how many miles I put on," he decided this was the next thing to try.

"Eat right, stay hydrated, and keep your mind focused on what your doing" to see some of the United States I haven't seen and being in a group of people that have a like interest in long distance riding is something he is really looking forward too. His friends already know he is over the top when it comes to riding so they will support and encourage him along the way. Good eating habits have been encouraged by his loving wife.

One Heart Warriors  help get youth involved in the community and make a difference right at home and Sam is asking friends for pledges on his challenge to continue the work there riding per mile he looks forward to getting lost. (OK I made that part up) but definitely has the finish line in his sights.


Monday, June 25, 2018

Meet the New Rider: Roger Johnson # 922


Roger will just have to open his garage door to start the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge this year. He and his wife Kim live in Medicine Park, OK. Although he has had the experience of flying he took on motorcycle riding as something a little more affordable and found the difference amazing. The thrills and smells of a two lane highway did not compare to seeing things from up in the air.

He learned about the HHMC from her wife who worked at the Wind River Harley Davidson and met Blackie when he came into the dealership to see if they would be interested in being a check point for the 2014 event. They followed the event religiously and entertained the idea of doing it themselves. They had become "Hokaholics."

He feels like he understands what he is asked to do but he anticipates a lot of unexpected things. Which are hard to plan for but is confident he can overcome the obstacles he may encounter. "Cool but crazy" is how his friends would describe the endeavor his is planning to concur. Putting together everything he is looking for in a motorcycle challenge and adding the benefits to the nonprofits is the whole package.

 Donations to support the Heartland Lab Rescue and Sooner Golden Retriever Rescue can be made on either of these links adding a special note for Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenger Roger Johnson. Or mailed to SGRR P.O.Box 57139 OKC., OK 73157-7139


Sunday, June 24, 2018

Meet The Rider: James Fish # 836

Reigniting his desire to ride a motorcycle in 2010 he decided to incorporate drill team riding and really learned how to handle his motorcycle correctly. So riding the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge was not something he felt capable of doing. By 2016 and under the guidance of Capt. Bob, fellow drill team member, he felt ready to give the challenge a try. Bob described this as a solo venture to Jim and he was sold. He prefers to ride with one or two people at the most with the minimal amount of gear.  Jim wishes the event was annually but understands what goes into planning an event such as the HHMC.

He hooked up with Bill and Wendy and Indiana Jim for quite a few days during the 2016 event and really learned a lot from them because Bill has done all the challenges and Wendy has done all but one. They have worked out a system that has them successfully arriving at the finish line. He had a time table to be back to work so he really found a great team to learn from and was in the middle of the pack of riders at the finish line.

His Girl friend is his biggest fan, encouraging him to "Go ride." He believes that good planning is important and the safest way of doing things helps her know Jim is doing his best to stay safe. He also learned that not all HHMC riders know where they are going after following the lights of a motorcycle for twenty miles down a gravel road before realizing they were lost too. One of the draw backs he found was missing the beauty to make the miles at night.



Being a personal challenge is what is so attractive for him. The only person you are competing with is yourself. You have to start out completely committed.

 

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Meet The New Rider Dave Fournier # 900



Camping and exploring being out in the woods and add a motorcycle into the equation sound like a perfect combination to Dave. So once he had his epiphany moment he found out he really like long distance riding. Wanting to test his limits and the advice he has been given by other Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge riders, Dave wants to take that desire to challenge himself against this event and put those things into practice. "Figure out who you are what you are and ride your ride."  Participating in other things such as the tour of honor has been giving him some ride time. 

Motorcycle riding keeps Dave smiling and is in his blood. Replacing medications with motorcycles has been his experience, now that he has wind therapy, he doesn't need the meds. Finishing the challenge under his own power as the rules are stated so as not to cheat himself out of a clean finish and clear conscious are the expectations he has for himself.  Riding a ride about integrity with integrity.   "Otherwise you're just paying $500 for a route."

Lots of motivated supporters, planning on following the progression to see if this might not be something in their future bucket list. But for now living vicariously through  the computer screen, checking daily if not hourly on the progression of not only the ones they know, but the struggles of other riders who they feel like they know. Forming friendships, even if they are on Facebook for now, they still feel like family.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Meet The New RIder Debbie Hierrezullo # 933




1. How did you hear about the HHMC? 
Thru the long distance riding community.  I was curious who all those dudes were wearing Hoka Hey rockers on the back of their leather vests.  I was in awe.
2. Other than ride motorcycles what do you do for fun?
I enjoy spending time with my two sons, Tony who is 13, and Jake 12.  I love going camping in our 30 ft. RV.  And I work part-time at Cycle Gear selling motorcycle gear and accessories.  
3. What about the HHMC made you want to ride?
The challenge of it and the camaraderie. Riding the Hoka Hey will be my "vision quest", and I want to prove myself that I can do it.  I want to be part of the Hoka Hey community because I earned it.
4. How have you been preparing financially, physically and mentally for the challenge?
Physically,  I have been losing weight and eating healthy.  I want to be comfortable on my bike so I just changed out my handlebars so I have a shorter reach to reduce fatigue in my shoulders and back. I have been taking long rides to condition myself. I bought a used tour pack and have been researching and gathering up items I will need.
5. Have you had to over come any obstacles to do the challenge?
Basically, just my schedule, where my boys will be while I'm away, and budgeting.
6. Have you been sponsored by anyone for your ride? (Yourself)
No.
7. Who are your biggest supporters?
Lori Rocco,  my wife.
8. Have your received any support from local dealer or community?
No.
9. What is the single best piece of advice you have been given about the challenge?
"Just get out there and do it.", and learn to read a map and directions.
10. What do your friends and associates think of your participating in a challenge like this?
They don't get it.  Some think it's crazy.  But, they do wish me well. 
11. Why do you think the challenge is a worthwhile event?
Riders get to prove to themselves what they're capable of, and the Charities benefit.
12. Tell me about your charity? 
I have chosen the Treatment Advocacy Center. 
The Treatment Advocacy Center is a national 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating legal and other barriers to the timely and effective treatment of severe mental illness.
I believe mental illness has gone unchecked in this country for far too long and people who suffer from mental illness need and deserve treatment without any barriers. 
Treatment Advocacy Center

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Meet The Rider Mike Barnak # 31

Mike lives in Honolulu, HI. and loves to ride motorcycles. In 1979 he flew to Hawaii after the lumber industry he was working in became a National Forest and the he no longer had a job. On his way to Vietnam in 1966 he spent an hour in Hawaii and decided then he would come back and when he did he stayed. Sailing catamarans and working on tug boats are just a couple things he likes to do. He wants ride his motorcycle in all the lower 48 because he has Alaska and HI. covered.

He stumbled on to the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge on the internet and was sold immediately after reading about it. It reminded him of his experience with marathons.  Preparation was a little more involving because Mike has to ship his bike to the states. With a broken wrist he road three hard days from Gillette, WY to San Diego,CA. so he wouldn't miss the shipper send the bike back in 2014. With 90 miles of road you really can't train long distance riding but he feels pretty confident he has what he knows it will take to ride this challenge. He will ride from CA. to Medicine Park and get his saddle time in.

"Questioning your sanity at about day three where you are arguing with yourself and wanting to quit,  is when you need to take a break, get some rest and look at it after you have slept." Riding the ALCAN was very unnerving for Mike because fuel was very scars.  "All You have to keep you company is your CD player and the gas gauge."  Mike finds riding therapeutic, and filling that bucket list of riding every state is his physical therapy.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Meet The Rider Tom Pylant # 221

Melbourne, Fl. Grandpa and involved with children after retiring several times Tom spends his free time trying to stay retired. Tom bought his first Harley Davidson in 1979. But it wasn't until the first Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge that he went his all time longest miles in a trip of 23,200 miles.  It only took him 11 days to get there but it took two and half months to get home.

He learned about the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge in 2010 from a friend at a HOG chapter meeting. After talking at length with Jim Red Cloud at Destination Daytona Harley Davidson during bike week he signed up immediately.  All back roads and going from Key West, FL. to Homer, AK sounded great but then Jim had compared the challenge to a vision quest and that had Tom's attention. He talked about bringing good and bad spirits through the reservations we rode through. "Seeing the country in a way that's impossible to see any other way."

It has taken Tom quite a while to make friends with his new Tri-glide.  After almost taking out the landscaping at the dealership the first time he rode his new three legged stead he realized he has to learn a new way to ride. The good will of so many people who have followed Tom in the HHMC to make sure he was covered for the up coming event has been amazing for him to experience. His very understanding wife who never knows when Tom pulls out of the driveway when he will return is his biggest supporter.


Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Meet The New Rider: Kim Johnson # 921


Kim found the "randomly running amuck" of the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge riders to be fascinating. So much so she just had to give it a try. Kim lives in Medicine Park , OK. Blackie stopped in to the Wind River Harley Davidson in Lawton, OK and was telling her and the dealership about it and they ended up a check point for the 2014 HHMC.  She became a "Hokaholic." Wind River Harley Davidson is proud to have Kim riding for their dealership in our Sponsor a Rider Program.

Kim has never been camping. "I'm kind of a sissy but not really." She finds mentally preparing more than physically is the way she needs to plan. But other then that she feels like the rest of the challenge should not be that difficult. The thought of having a tracker on the bike is a comfort for Kim as well.

For several years Kim has been riding for an event called the "Breast ride Ever," where girls in OK. TX. and AR. rode for breast cancer and with about thirty riders the first they donated $35K, WAY TO GO GIRLS.

Pretty determined to "get it done," She just wants to finish. Thinking this through she has decided she can enjoy this without sacrificing the finish for it. Riding with her husband and long time friends she is pretty confident she can do this but really what she is looking for is "Wind therapy," looking for a spiritual quest.

Kim is helping raise money for the new aquarium that is going to be built in Medicine Park and also

Monday, June 18, 2018

Meet the New Rider Rod Cohen # 930

 "Rock" is a South East Texas transplant from clear across the planet in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem.  Though he's been an American for almost 25 years, his origins are more than evident the minute he opens his mouth.  Don't let his size and stature fool you...although he's trained to kill with his bare hands, he rarely does, and as long as you can decipher the thick accent, you'll see that he's full of stories of life's great adventures.  Rock tracked fellow Hoka Hey rider #842 Chicken Joe Connors through the 2016 challenge, and decided that if that old coot could finish it...so could he.
 
  
    Rock's biggest supporter is his true love and sidekick, Mamacita.  He rarely lets her out of his sight, as will be truly evident during this year's challenge.  Mama contemplated riding her own bike this year, but Rock knew the only way he could guarantee crossing the finish line before her, was to put her on the back of HIS bike.  He will admit, that it's a huge asset to have Mama on the road with him, "It's nice..." Rock says, "to have someone pump the gas while I go take a whizz..."
 
 
   When Rock is not deep sea fishing offshore, or hunting for gold in the jungles of Guyana, he's at home in Sour Lake, Texas, still rebuilding from Hurricane Harvey, and teaching his 100 lb black lab Chico to change the oil on the Road King.  Long distance riding is nothing new for Rock, and he's hoping the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge will lead him thru at least one of the five states he's got left to conquer in the continental 48.  Though sleeping outside may seem like an inconvenience, the biggest challenge for this big Israeli is going to be sticking to the route.  He's been known to follow the wind, and get lost wandering down a country road or two.
 
Rock is being sponsored by Russ' Ocean State Harley Davidson.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Meet The New Rider: Cathy Sahli # 925

In 2010 Cathy was in Key West, Fl for her birthday and met a bunch of Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge riders and following the event and riders on social media. Doing long rides by herself brought back something she knew was in her all along. When the challenge took place in previous years she followed so obsessively on the US Fleet Tracking she couldn't work.

Just because she is a new rider doesn't mean she is new to the HHMC or long distance riding.  Cathy has been around the event from the beginning but never looked at it as a ride for her until she started meeting more riders. Doing things that built more confidence she knew this was something she  wanted to try. She started riding when she was 13 in PA. in the woods and on dirt roads. Her friends made a track they would ride on right by her Grandmothers house.

Building endurance by doing more long distance riding has helped and gathering her gear has been the easy part. Where she feels she needs to practice is the whole sleeping next to the bike.  Keeping gas and bathroom breaks short and waiting until the end of the day to stop for a bigger meal are ways she gets the most out of her daylight. I'd call that day light savings wouldn't you?

Completing the route is Cathy's goal. She remembers a time riding to Alaska, riding in the rain for 10 straight days. "Quitting is not an option."  She likes to live life on the edge and doesn't mind a little excitement and is looking forward to what the challenge will bring.



Saturday, June 16, 2018

Meet The New Rider Rene Marquez # 905

For a guy who has only been riding eight years Rene has been everywhere. He called his interest in riding a midlife crisis. Starting off road then on to street riding. He saw a banner in Reno, NV. that started his interest in the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge, but finding a rider who had gone from Argentina to Alaska and following him on social media add his interest in long distance riding. Gabe encouraged him to give the challenge a try so to prepare for it Rene rode from Argentina to Alaska himself.

He and his wife do a lot of iron butts, his first Harley was purchased in September 2010 and now has 461,000 miles on it. Since learning about the HHMC he has gotten on more secondary roads and camping for multiple days. Camping all the way from TX to AK. He is pretty confident about his success with the challenge and isn't planning on taking risks and take the extra time to be safe.  He loves to try new things and for him it is an adventure.

He especially likes all he is learning about the core common desire to take on an adventure like this. The people who are doing the HHMC are the kind of riders that "as soon as you meet them you know you have something in common."  He has met so many people out on the road he now calls family that when they are in his area they sleep at his house, eat at his table, as he did when he was on the road from Argentina.





Meet The New Rider Kenneth Knight # 885


Starting out on a mini bike at 7 years old Ken has been riding most of his life. When he learned about the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge it sounded like something he wanted to try. Three day treks to see his daughter in Boston and a couple trips to Fairbanks, AK has given him the confidence he will need to make this a success. The long distance riding is what is attractive to him.

Getting the bike serviced and looking into camping gear are a couple things Ken filled his winter hours with preparing for the challenge in July. His friends know this is something he would love to do even though it may not be for them. Others think, "Why would someone want to do something like that, they don't understand." He loves the bragging rights he will be earning. His daughter is very supportive of his endeavor and his friends will be following him through the event. "I just want to see if I have it in me to do it."

Meet The Rider Charles Butler # 782

Riding for Charles started as a teenager and although he took a ten year break from riding coming back was not difficult at all. Long distance riding is what you do when you live in Wyoming. He learned about the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge on the internet when a friend sent him a link.  Hearing about the "uniqueness" of the challenge with things like two lane roads,no hotels and no gps  are what attracted him. He calls it Mountain Man Style riding.  "It may have been the half million dollar prize for a minute too."

His bike is always prepared for a HHMC so he says he could leave today. His friends are very supportive and encouraging and ride other events with him. He says the HHMC to him is like the Tour De France, "right up there at the top of the food chain." LOL  His goal is to be a finisher this year, "am I willing to into this what it's going to take." He knows there are only a hand full of riders who will attempt and successfully complete the challenge.

Charles remembers a time in up state NY in the 2013 challenge when it was raining so hard they took refuge in a car wash. Thinking they would order a pizza while they waited out the storm the pizza place wouldn't deliver to a car wash so they went to the package store next store and had it delivered there.  He continues to stay in contact with other riders from the event on social media.

Celebrating his 60th Birthday this year he has a motto "Don't just make it a good read, make it a good reread!" He doesn't want to be one of those people who at 70 says I should have done that instead would rather say I did that!!!" He is looking forward to what's next. This is not a competition its a challenge.

Charles will be supporting Freedom Service Dogs during his ride.