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Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge

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Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge
Race details
Date June 20 – July 4 2010
Region Key West, Florida to Homer, Alaska
Discipline Motorcycle road rally
Type Harley Davidson motorcycles only
Organiser Jim Durham AKA Jim RedCloud
v • d • e

The Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge was a 7,000 mile + (11,000 km) road rally style motorcycle race across that began in Key West, Florida on June 20, 2010, and ended on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska on the Fourth of July weekend 2010. The participant that reached the finish line in Homer in the shortest amount of time will win the equivalent of $500,000 in gold. Entry in the event was limited to the first one thousand persons to sign up and all riders were required to ride Harley Davidson bikes with air-cooled V-twin engines. No water cooled engines or trailers were permitted. The exact route was revealed to riders at a series of checkpoints, event organizers have stated that it was comprised mostly of secondary roads as opposed to major highways, and riders were not permitted to sleep indoors along the way. According to the race organizers, the name “Hoka Hey” is a Lakota phrase meaning “it is a good day to die” and was the battle cry used by Crazy Horse and his warriors.[1] A production company was reported to have been contracted to film the rally using chase vehicles and helicopters,[2] but was not seen at any time during the event [3] Some residents of Homer were somewhat alarmed by the prospect of a thousand bikers, their families, and observers arriving in their town on an already busy holiday weekend, and new regulations were put into place by the Homer city council requiring event organizers to help cover any expenses incurred by the city in relation to the event, such as extra police and sanitation. Similar regulations have been passed in other towns that have hosted such events. In contrast, at least four local residents entered the race.[4] After participants crossed the finish line, many joined a gathering about eight miles east of Homer in an uncompleted subdivision outside the city jurisdiction.[5]

[edit] Race progress

Less than twenty four hours into the event there had been three separate crashes involving Hoka Hay participants on the same stretch of highway. One man had to be airlifted to a hospital due to multiple leg fractures.[6] Numerous riders complained that the maps they were given did match with the actual roads, that signs marking the routes were missing, and that the rules governing the race seemed to be engineered to make it impossible for anyone to claim the prize.[7] Hoka Hey organizers acknowledge that the directions were difficult to follow and reminded riders that they have always said they “would not just GIVE the prize money away.”

Six days into the event participant Charles C. Lynn died in an accident in Wyoming [8] when he lost control of his bike and crashed into a drainage ditch. He was not wearing a helmet.[9]

Eight days into the event riders Frank Kelly and Will Barclay crossed the finish line in Homer simultaneously [10] with a total time of 190 hours and 20 minutes. The two men stated that they did not wish to get into a dangerous “road duel” and so they resolved to cross the line together. Race officials insist on a battery of checks before declaring a winner, including drug testing, checking for speeding tickets during the event, and even a lie detector test. However, Frank Kelly was disqualified from winning the prize money by not traveling all of the prescribed roads on the route so Will Barclay was viewed as the potential winner of the event.

On July 1, one of the challengers struck and injured two bicyclist on the Parks Highway who were training to participate in several triathalons. The cyclists sustained several injuries[11] and the challenge partcipant, Vik Livingston, sustained serious injuries including a punctured lung and was hospitalized.[12] Livingston was observed not to have applied the brakes at all before the crash, which is consistent with accidents involving drivers that have fallen asleep. Alaska State Troopers collected a blood sample for testing [13]

On July 2 a formal complaint against the race organizers was filed with the Florida Attorney General‘s office, against event organizer Jim Durham, also known as Jim Red Cloud, alleging that the event was fraudulent and that Red Cloud had admitted to the riders that part of the purpose for the event was to raise money for water wells and infrastructure reservations. Red Cloud did not communicate directly with the press or the riders during most of the event.[14]

On the thirteenth day of the event approximately 110 riders had arrived in Homer, including several female riders and at least one husband and wife team.[15]

On July fourth, participant Kenneth J. Greene died in a crash on the Glenn Highway, which was not part of the proscribed route of the race. Ken was apparently aware he would not win and was taking a shortcut. He was not wearing a helmet and was ejected from his bike in the crash and declared dead at the accident scene.[16]

Despite repeated claims that a winner would be declared and the prize money awarded at the Fourth of July event in Homer, no winner was declared and no prize money was evident. Event organizers claimed that they were waiting for potential winners to take polygraph tests and that the prize would now be awarded during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.[17]

During Jim Red Cloud’s address to the crowd at the Fourth of July celebration, it was revealed that the Hoka Hey Challenge would be run again in 2011, but would have a very different route. At least two riders got married at the end of the event, including one rider who had special dispensation for his fiancé to ride with him the entire trip.[18]

Will Barclay passed a polygraph test which was administered by the International Investigative Group Ltd. [19] on July 28th and was officially recognized during a ceremony at the Broken Spoke Campground on the 11th of August.

Publicists for the Hoka Hey 2010 characterized it as a success despite the various problems.[20]

While an independant source has paid to put water in one home on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, the 8 charities named on the event website are awaiting the reckoning of accounts before they will receive any funds. Proceeds from the entire 2010 event includes money from the entry fees, merchandise and production. Currently, the film production is in editing and will be made available to TV networks in the coming months.

During the award ceremony at the Broken Spoke, organizers announced that they would hold another Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge and it would run from San Diego, CA to Nova Scotia starting on August 20th, 2011.

[edit] External links

[edit] References

  1. ^ Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge organizers visit Homer Michael Armstrong, Homer News, 9/25/09
  2. ^ Hoka Hey organizers firming up event plans Michael Armstrong, Homer News 4/7/2010
  3. ^ Unexpected challenges in endurance motorcycle event Clutch and 6-25-10
  4. ^ Homer Man Gearing Up For Hoka Hey Aaron Selbig, KBBI AM8903/3/2010
  5. ^ Hoka Hey will gather at Stone Step Naomi Klouda, Homer Tribune, 2/24/2010
  6. ^ Crashes a “Let Down” At Hoka Hey Start Aaron Selbig, KBBI AM890, 6-22-10
  7. ^ “A Lot Of Angry People” On Hoka Hey Challenge, Says Homer Rider Aaron Selbig KBBI AM890 6-28-10
  8. ^ Troopers investigate fatal accident 6-27-10
  9. ^ Man dies in motorcycle crash near Douglas William Browning, Star-Tribune, 6-28-10
  10. ^ First two Hoka Hey challengers finish in Homer Kelly, Barclay cross line together Michael Armstrong, Homer News, 6-28-10
  11. ^ Another Hoka Hey motorcyclist killed during raceFairbanks Daily News-Miner 7-6-10
  12. ^ Hoka Hey motorcycle rider hits two cyclists in Interior Alaska Tim Mowry, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner 7-1-10
  13. ^ Alaska State Troopers Press Release 7-1-10
  14. ^ Formal complaint filed against Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge Ruth Brown, Rapid City Journal, 7-2-10
  15. ^ Over 110 Hoka Hey riders in town Michael Armstrong, Homer News, 7-1-10
  16. ^ Alaska State Troopers Press Release of Monday, July 05, 2010
  17. ^ Hoka Hey Founder Responds To Criticisms Aaron Selbig KBBI AM890 7-1-10
  18. ^ Hoka Hey Challenge not over yet Michael Armstrong, Homer News 7-7-10
  19. ^ [1]
  20. ^ Who won the Hoka Hey? Sean Pearson, Homer Tribune

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