My name is Jeff Hallquist rider #1082. The 2022 Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge (HHMC) will be my first one. I love riding long whether it be alone or with others. I feel if you can’t go out and burn through a couple tanks of gas it’s not worth throwing a leg over the saddle.
I’ve been riding for over 50 years and for the last 20 my riding has been on H-D Road Glides. I’ve covered roughly 500,000 miles and I like the most challenging rides. I’ve attained the IBA “Diamond” Mile Eater status having completed 100 individual certified rides including the Ultimate Coast to Coast, the 48 States Plus in 10 days, the 100 CCC, the Border-to-Border Insanity and the 50 CC Quest, just to name a few.
I like a challenge and riding with a goal keeps me focused on the prize; and the prize is finishing safely. I won the H-D Carolina Dealers Challenge in 2018 and won my age group in 2019. In 2020 I placed first in the RTE-X- America challenge. In 2021, I placed first in points in September and I’m in the top 3 for the year in America’s Ultimate Long Distance Riders challenge.
When I’m not riding, I’m boating along the inner and outer banks of Eastern North Carolina. My wife Kathy and I live on the water, and I enjoy crewing on racing sailboats as a member of Blackbeard’s Sailing Club. I also enjoy inshore and offshore fishing or simply rafting up with friends near a local sandbar and soaking up the sun, telling lies, and drinking a few cold ones.
The HHMC is a well-respected challenge and an obvious next step in my riding resume. It’s been said to be the “toughest”. While I’m competitive and hate to lose, I’m not attempting the HHMC with a goal of being first to cross the finish line. Rather I see it as a challenge that will make me a better rider and a better person. When I ride long, I reflect on my life, my family, who my friends are, and what comes next. Each long-distance ride adds to my perspective on life. I believe the HHMC will be an adventure that further opens my mind to having a greater appreciate for others.
Some people, who are not familiar with long-distance riding, ask how you can see and truly experience anything when riding 16-18 hours a day. They don’t realize that you see more and experience more than those who are sitting in a Cracker Barrel for hours on end. In the process of long-distance riding, I learn more about this wonderful country, the people in it, and more about myself. Creating new learning experiences while making new friends and bonding with the brothers and sisters of the HHMC while finishing respectably is my goal.
The fund-raising part of this isn’t something I naturally aspire to. Who wants to ask people, especially their friends, for money? However, contributing to the disadvantaged while completing the HHMC is a great way to raise awareness of those who are not as fortunate.
I’ve known about the HHMC since its beginning. I personally know a few people who have completed it, e.g., Kevin Blevins, Ken Andrews, Chris Hopper, etc., and I’ll listen to
all their advice. The best advice I have been given so far is to be safe and to come home.
Obstacles that I need to overcome include sleeping on the ground and using paper directions. Sleeping in a tent is not something I’m looking forward to. I’d rather be in a hotel getting a warm shower at night. How to pick where to pitch a tent at night is a bit perplexing for me. I plan to ask other experienced HHMC riders how they pick a spot and what to avoid. There are some who say, “let the newbie find out for themselves”. I appreciate those who are willing to share their hard-earned knowledge.
Riding without a GPS will be an added challenge. I’ll have to go back to my sports car club days when we followed paper Rallye instructions to get my head wrapped around this. I tend to be a speed reader with a bit of dyslexia. I’ll need to focus on the instructions to stay on course and not confuse my left for my right. I hate wandering aimlessly unless it’s on purpose.
Being prepared includes being in shape and having good equipment. I think I have both of those covered but I worry about breakdowns and getting proper rest. Excessive heat, and/or constant rain can be show-stoppers. I’ll spend as much time as I can on being prepared and I’ll remind myself to be patient and to be safe.