2011 Hoka Hey nears its Exhaustive Conclusion

September 1 2011

The 2011 Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge, an event organisers claim is the ultimate test of a rider’s warrior spirit, is reaching its dramatic conclusion.

An endurance race of unimaginable scope, this year’s Hoka Hey was a 16,000 km journey from Mesa, Arizona, to Sydney, Nova Scotia. Participants had to trace their way through 48 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces before reaching the coveted finish line. For many, the lure of a first place prize that included half a million US dollars and a new Harley-Davidson motorcycle was enough to outweigh the hardships such an endurance run would include. With such high stakes up for grab, competitors had to adhere to exacting rules and were kept honest by controls such as checkpoints along the route and GPS tracking devices on their motorcycles. Leaving nothing to chance, Hoka Hey organisers also subjected those who finished at the forefront of the challenge to drug tests and a polygraph lie detection session.

The most motivated of the competitors turned out to be Floridian William Barclay. Incredulously, winning this year was a repeat of his achievement in last year’s Hoka Hey. Having crossed the finish line in Cape Breton first, Barclay was quoted as saying that this year’s event was the ride of a lifetime because it encompassed a large number of famous touring roads.

Finish line of the Hoka Hey Motorcycle ChallengeNot every rider experienced Barclay’s smooth ride. One rider reportedly survived two crashes during the course of his ride, and was then turned around at the finish line because he didn’t follow the correct route during the final leg. Despite a broken shoulder and hand from his accidents, the rider persevered and re-rode the final leg to complete the challenge. Another rider apparently hit an elk, but also continued the ride despite a broken nose, a stitched-up forehead and a motorcycle held together by duct tape. To add insult to injury, unfortunate timing resulted in many of the riders being forced to ride through the storms that churned in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

This year’s iteration of the Hoka Hey was only the second time the event has been held. Incidentally, “Hoka Hey” is claimed to be the battle cry of Lakota tribesman Crazy Horse; although you would have to be as crazy as a horse to undertake an endurance run of this magnitude on a motorcycle, there is a humane aspect to the event. When creating Hoka Hey, its founders wanted to raise public awareness to the plight and challenges faced by the Native Americans in South Dakota.

The 2011 Hoka Hey started on August 5, 2011 when 225 motorcycles rumbled away from the start line. Although Barclay was the first to see the finish line on August 19, since then another 64 riders over the past two weeks have managed to complete the ride. As of September 1, six riders are still on route to Sydney, each struggling in their own way to complete an ominous challenge they undertook four weeks ago.

For more information – or to sign up for the 2012 Hoka Hay – visit the event’s official website at: www.hokaheychallenge.com.

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