Warriors“Hoka Hey!” was shouted as the legendary Sioux warrior Crazy Horse rode into battle. The meaning was interpreted to be something similar to "This is a good day to die!", meaning he was going to give everything he had in the battle ahead, even if it meant death.
Six men and women have planned a battle of their own for 1000 riders to participate in; a battle of the elements during a 7000 mile ride that will test the stamina, courage and determination of every man and woman on the journey. The idea came from Jim Red Cloud after a close friend and riding buddy passed away. He and other friends had often talked about a ride such as this one, and he didn’t want anyone else to pass on without ever experiencing such an epic journey. Jim’s vision is to hear a thousand warriors yell, “Hoka Hey!” before they ride into battle.
The event was originally scheduled for August of this year, but due to the flailing economy and many riders finding themselves in financial duress, the fees were refunded and the challenge was rescheduled for July 20, 2010.
With up to a thousand battle cries of “Hoka Hey!” riders will begin this epic journey in Key West Florida and will cross the finish line in Homer, Alaska. Half a million dollars in Alaskan Gold lies at the end of this journey for the rider that finishes the 7000 miles in the shortest time, tracked by a chip that each rider will have on their bike as they pass over the start and finish lines.
Just like in battle, there is no prize for second place.
Riders will have to follow a detailed route which is enforced through checkpoints along the way. They are expected to stay with their bikes day and night, regardless of the conditions. This includes sleeping, although lean-tos and tents are allowed. Drug screening will be used to make sure the winner isn’t using amphetamines or methamphetamines to help him along the way.
On top of the expense of the ride itself, a $1000 entrant fee must be submitted with the application although it is refundable if your application is rejected for any reason. Veterans can go to the Web site and apply for sponsors to assist them with the entrance fee.
A portion of the proceeds will be donated to multiple charitable organizations, which include those that assist veterans, Indian reservations, and people afflicted with Multiple Sclerosis.
To keep the challenge fair, the event is open to air cooled, V-Twin Harley-Davidson™ motorcycles only. Custom bikes may qualify but certain modifications (e.g., fuel cells) may not be permitted.
Riders are expected to report to Key West a couple of days before the ride begins in order to get registered and to have their bikes inspected for the ride’s specifications.
What type of riders are they looking for? Beth Durham, Director of Operations and the wife of Jim Red Cloud had this to say, “We want to ride with people of integrity; people who stand for something in their lives; people who have sacrificed for their family, country or honor. We are looking for people who have ridden all their lives as well as people who just bought their first bike; people with the heart to take up a Challenge like this and believe in themselves enough to try it; even if they don't make it all the way to Homer - at least they have the grit to try.”
Asked about women participants, Beth was proud to report that, so far, 15% of the applicants are women and they are expecting at least 150-200 on the ride.
She went on to say that riders are participating for many different reasons; some to honor the passing of a loved one, others for charity, and some just for the personal challenge.
If you think you meet that criteria and want to apply, don’t wait too long. They will stop taking applications when they reach the one-thousand rider limit. If you want to know who you will be riding with, check out the Hoka Hey Blog. To see what charities are benefitting from the ride, to read more about the ride, and for the actual application requirements, check out their website at www.hokaheychallenge.com.
LadyMoto Content Editor