Sunday, May 22, 2022

Meet The New Rider #1082 Jeff Hallquist

 

 


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. 


 

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Meet The Returning Rider # 972 Mike McLeod

 


#1 How many Challenges have you entered?  How many have you finished?
    This year will be my 2nd Hoka Hey Challenge.  I rode in 2020 and finished on Day 13.  
#2 Have you experienced a change in your riding style since riding the HHMC?
    I am definitely better at carrying less!  All-Weather Riding Gear is a great investment as it allows a better transition between sudden weather changes.
#3 Do you feel better about your confidence, are you more likely now to tackle the tougher roads or did you come into this a badass?
    Now after experiencing the challenge for myself, I am much more confident in what the ride requires of ME.  I know what essentials I need and don't need in order to make this journey.  
#4 What would you pass on to a new rider about your experience with the Challenge and advice that would help them?
    It can not be overstated: IT IS NOT A RACE - RIDE YOUR OWN RIDE!  You will get turned around and make wrong turns.  Trust your gut!  And when you are finished, you will have some awesome stories!  This next thing, I am telling myself along with you.....STOP and take pictures of your journey!  
#5 How hard was it to fund raise? 
    People love hearing about the ride, organization, and that all money raised goes directly to your fundraiser!  
#6 Why do you want to ride again? 

    With always being so busy, it is great to break away, disconnect from the hustle & bustle of daily life, and experience the beautiful scenery of our great country.  Last time didn't go as planned with riding with my brother, so hopefully this time we will be able to cross the finish line together.


 

Meet The New Rider # 1081 Lionel Ramos


I am a native Texan born in San Antonio in 1966. I have been married for 31 years and have three kids and one grand-daughter. I have a Bachelors Science and a Masters in Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas in San Antonio. I was commissioned in the Air Force in 1989 and served 20 years and retired as a Lt Colonel. I currently live in Falls Church, VA and work for a defense contractor.

I have been riding motorcycles since 1994 and got my first Harley, 2003 Fatboy in 2003. I started riding locally and have been very active in my local Harley Chapter, Fairfax HOG. I started my love for long distance riding in 2013 when I rode to the Sturgis Rally. Really enjoyed the freedom and I was hooked. In Dec 2016, I started my dedication to consistently riding long distance by doing at least one IBA certified ride per month (and still doing it, 60 months so far). I have built up a great long-distance resume to include: Diamond Mile Eater level (over 100 IBA certified long-distance rides), 50CC, 100CCC, Two Trifecta BBGs, One Quattro BBG, Lap of the South Gold, I-40E2E Gold, I-10E2E2E Gold and many others. Next, I started doing long distance rallies to include: Heart of Texas 20/21, Iron Butt Rally 21, and Senior Butt Rally 21. I have also been active with Tour of Honor since 2017 where I enjoy riding to remote locations across the country in search of military memorials. As part of my long-distance riding, I really enjoy riding to local mom & pop restaurants across the country. I enjoy spending time with family and friends without whom I could not participate in this sport. For them I am truly bless! Also, enjoy cycling and craft beers.

I am intrigued with the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge mission/objectives and being a part of the Hoka Hey family. I talked with several HHMC finishers and enjoyed their stories and what to experience the Challenge myself to build my self-awareness and enrich, empower, and unite my life. As part of the challenge, I am looking forward to raising awareness and funds for my charity, Jill's House.

Jill’s House is a Christian Non-profit organization that provides families raising kids with intellectual disabilities with short-term overnight respite care in the DC metro area and around the country. I learned about this organization through my FHOG chapter and have been supporting them since 2010. Donation are being accepted via a secure site Here!

My expectation is to complete the HHMC within the 12 days with long days of riding and taking care of my body, mind, and soul. I am expecting to ride “My Ride” and keep to my pace as I experience the landscape across the country. I expect to continue my long-distance journey as I discover and build upon the strengths and limitations of my body, and mind during long-distance challenges.

 

The best advice I have been given for the HHMC is “Ride your Ride” and focus on what you are doing during the challenge. In order to complete this challenge, you need to plan and prepare your motorcycle, body, and mind before you get to the starting line. HHMC is similar to a marathon and you need to pace yourself for the full 10-12 days if you are you going to complete it.

I don’t have any major obstacles for this challenge since I have been riding long-distance consistently for over the last 5 years. I had to overcome a lot of obstacles and learn to deal with them with a positive attitude and mission focus to complete the objectives. Some of the things I learned was to be efficient at gas stops, I used to take 15 minutes per gas stop and now I average between 3 to 8 mins. Also, I learned to plan my food for the entire trip and ensure getting the proper amounts of protein and hydration. Another thing was to plan the proper tools for most minor repairs on the trip since you have limited space for tools, food, and clothes. I learned to make sure you take care of your body with proper food and hygiene to maintain your endurance riding long distance for multiple days/weeks.

  

 

I heard about HHMC during some of my IBA rides and rallies a few years ago and starting researching the challenge to make sure I understand the challenge before I applied.  Over the last two years, I have met some of the best riders and consider them to be my “brothers in arms” in long-distance riding.  I really enjoy the camaraderie within the Hoka Hey Family and would like to continue building my relationships with other great riders.


 

Friday, May 20, 2022

Meet The Returning Rider # 967 Jon Meadows

 

My name is Jon Meadows aka Tripod. I am rider #967. I have entered one Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge back in 2020 and I finished the challenge in 6th place. I had such a great time that I just had to reenter in the 2022 Challenge. Since the 2020 challenge my riding style has not changed much since my first Hoka Hey. I still push my self and feel 1k mile days are the best. I plan on taking this year's challenge one day at a time. This year I feel a lot better about tackling the challenge and more confident going into the 2022 Hoka Hey after finishing the 2020 in 10 days. Now that I know what to expect I plan on doing 2022 a little different. I have found out what works and what didn't. I have also changed some of my gear to better help me on the next challenge. 
I am still a new Hoka Hey rider even though I finished the 2020 challenge. So the only advice I would give to new riders is just ride your own ride and don't get to upset when you make mistakes because they will happen and try to find a charity that's close to your heart. I am not a very good fundraiser but I try. I like to raise money for organizations that help children because they can not help themselves. I get my local dealership, Harley Davidson of Kokomo to sponsor me and a few of my favorite taverns put on rides to raise money.  I will be riding for Bridges Outreach.
I want to participate in the 2022 Hoka Hey because I loved the adventure I got from the previous challenge! Not knowing where you will end up or what you will see. Trying to figure out places to sleep. Meeting new people that think your crazy when you explain to them what the challenge requires. Pushing my self to my limits and trying to push past them but always trying to remember where my wall is and stopping before I hit it. 
The Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge is a very tough ride! You are doing multiple days where some days you can only get in 800 miles while other days you can grab a lot more. Anything can happen. Thank God I did not wreck while competing in the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge! I came close to hitting a few deer and ran off the road into a ditch when I dozed off once but the bike never went down. If this challenge is done correctly it will push you to the point where you find out who you are as a person and a rider. I know it did me! 
I am definitely looking forward to seeing all my Hoka Hey family. 

 

Meet The New Rider # 1080 Rob Lunn

 


I grew up in Minnesota and started riding when I was 15. My first motorcycle was a Yamaha Twin 100 that I bought from a friend without my parent’s knowledge. I didn’t even know how to shift gears but learned pretty quickly before I drove through a red light. I rode Hondas for many years after that taking trips with friends all over Minnesota. My last Honda was a 1977 CB 750 four which I kept on the road until 2006. It was a workhorse for me. After moving to Vermont in the early 80s’ I rode those winding mountain roads of New England for thousands of miles.

In 2013 I bought my first Harley, a Road King, and joined the local HOG Chapter riding all over New England. In 2015 I bought my first CVO. My CVO whom I called Red, took me all over New England and the east coast. After raising a family and putting my kids through college I started to plan what I wanted to do with my life to go somewhere where could ride more than in the short riding season in Vermont. I now live (I should say I am retired) in Santa Fe, New Mexico where I can ride year-round and still ski in the winter. (I am a National Ski Patroller) I now own a 2020 CVO and I’ve ridden all over New Mexico, made multiple trips to Arizona, Colorado, and Utah, been to Sturgis, and to Texas which included a HOG Posse ride from El Paso to the Canadian border in Montana this past summer along to other points in the South-West.

I have a longtime Harley friend who has ridden the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge twice. We’ve logged many miles together including a 24-hour 1000-mile loop of New Mexico and a mini-Hoka Hey of 475 miles set up through our local dealership. It was because of this friendship I learned about the Hoka Hey and she encouraged to take on the Challenge. I attended the Rendezvous in Sequin Texas in May of 2021 and met and rode miles with many great new friends I met. I am looking forward to the 2022 challenge, seeing new sights and meeting more Hoka Hey family. 


 

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Meet The Returning Rider # 965 Roger Clark

 

Hi, I’m rider #965 Roger Clark I’ve ridden motorcycles off and on my whole life. Mostly dirt bikes until a twenty year hiatus from riding. Then a couple different bikes before I was introduced to long distance riding and the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge

I really haven’t even had much time to ride this year. I’m in the process of closing down a business that I started almost twenty years ago and starting a new job for a similar company. Part of my on boarding was an agreement that even though I’d only be about six weeks into my new job I would need a couple weeks off in June. 

My wife and I have six children from seven to twenty eight. 

This will be my second Hoka Hey Challenge. With any luck it will be the first one I complete. 2020 I had a difficult time and bailed after Santa Fe. I did everything I said I wouldn’t and the challenge got the best of me. This time around I will pack lighter and try to maintain some sort of a sleep schedule. I always tend to try to ride at night and made the mistake of riding straight through two nights in a row and had trouble sleeping in the Texas heat. I’m really looking forward to riding this year. I hope to be able to relax a little and enjoy it more this time and not worry about what others are doing.

Meet The New Rider # 1079 Dr. Dave Ferruolo


 Dr. Dave started riding motorcycles when he was 15. He purchased a defunct Honda 450, rebuilt it and away he went. He had his motorcycle license before he had his drivers license, and although he started out on crotch rockets, he transitioned to baggers in his early 30s.

 

  Dr. Dave has always had a thirst for excitement and adventure as well as continually learning and growing and evolving as a person. In his teen years he got his excitement through skiing and competing in martial arts competitions. After high school he enlisted in the military and became a Navy SEAL.  His high speed, adventurous life continued after his military service. Dr. Dave continue to compete in martial arts, learning MMA; he continued his passion for extreme skiing, scuba diving all over the world, mountaineering, and of course riding not only his horses but his motorcycles. 

 

His thirst for constant improvement saw him through over a decade of schooling to become a psychologist. Dr. Dave continues to work as a psychologist, owning a counseling agency, as well as being the president of a Navy SEAL veteran 501(c)(3), Forever Frogmen.  Dr. Dave enters the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge as a way for him to continue to challenge himself mentally, spiritually, and physically, to see the country as it was meant to be seen.