Reprinted with permission from Ride Texas magazine, Spring 2022 issue
Words by Julie Nordskog Andrews
Reprint with permission from Ride Texas magazine (Winter 2021 issue).
By my count, a total of 14 women have completed the 10,000-mile Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge (HHMC)– ever.* Four of these women have completed two or more challenges.
To give an idea of the magnitude of the accomplishment, 949 riders in all have made the attempt. Hoka Hey hosted challenge rides in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2018. A rough sketch of the playing field over time shows: approximately 100 riders participate per challenge, and, although results vary from year to year, about one-third successfully complete the ride as “Finishers.”
To qualify as a Hoka Hey Finisher, a rider must follow a set of written directions provided at each checkpoint (about 2,500 miles apart) without the aid of GPS. The route is different every year, and riders do not know in advance where they will go. If the rider deviates from instructions, she must return to the point where she got off-route and begin again. In addition, riders must sleep outside next to their motorcycles for the duration. The total ride is approximately 10,000 miles.
The 2018 challenge began with 13 women riders, representing the largest number of women riders to enter a Hoka Hey Challenge. Seven women successfully crossed the finish line, and, of these, five were first-time riders. I was fortunate and honored to be counted among them.
Finally, the Hoka Hey is not a race. It is about finishing, no matter how long it takes. How long did it take? Well, as one of the last to cross the finish line, it took me 21 days. The fastest to finish the route did so in 10 days (with little to no sleep, I might add). But a fair average for time to complete the 10,000-mile route would fall in the range of 14 to 16 days.
Here’s a bit of wonky math: if 350 riders in total (give or take) have completed the Hoka Hey at least once, then women represent 4% of those finishers. And that is elite company.
The full list of past challenge participants and finishers is available on the Hoka Hey Challenge website. The next Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge will take place in 2020.
*Note: These are my observations and estimates only based on the information available. The are not official Hoka Hey Challenge numbers. Rider statistics were not recorded for the inaugural ride in 2010.
I recently shared the following in response to an Instagram post from @empoweringwomenriders (#followthosegals).
Sometimes you have somewhere to be with no ifs, ands, or buts. In those times, when you find you absolutely have to ride your motorcycle in the driving rain (pun intended), take extra precautions.
- Trust your gut. If it looks like rain ahead, then stop and put on all the gear before you get dumped on. Because soggy boots suck.
- Slow way down. It absolutely does not matter how fast the cars are going. Just get in the slow lane, if there is one, and/or throw on your flashers (and leave them on) and wave the cars past.
- Increase your safety distance by a lot and don’t let anyone tailgate you. (See previous tip.)
- Ride in cars’ tire tracks if possible.
- Never trust a puddle.
- Do not slam on the brakes.
- Rough weather can stress you out and wear you down. Take a coffee break. You deserve it.
These are only a few pointers from my experience. Here are more detailed articles on the topic:
While not rain-specific, I want to stress the evermore critical nature of protection in the rain: wear all the gear, all the time. #atgatt #helmet #nobrainer
A closing point: rain gear and weatherproof gear can differ significantly. What you wear and/or wish to carry on your bike will depend on your needs. Read this gear guide for product specifications:
What experiences have you had riding in the rain? Which tips would you add to the list? 🏍🖤
@twistedthrottle @motoress @visordown @gearpatrol @klimwomen @denniskirk
***10,000 Meals for 10,000 Miles*** campaign. All July BADASS patch sales go to Julie’s Hoka Hey fund for donation to #FeedingAmerica.
Buy one $5.50 patch, feed 100 people!
Get Your BADASS Patch Today: https://facebook.com/commerce/products/1730103200438091
FREE SHIPPING with Discount Code HOKA HEY.
With @FeedingAmerica, and a matching partner grant, just $1 will provide 20 meals to hungry families this summer.
THANK YOU for making this all possible. #BeTheChange #EndHungerInAmerica
I’M GOIN’ FOR IT. If I told you I have a chance to ride the **Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge** starting July 15- and I need a hand to be able to do it-
would you be willing to pitch in $5 or $10 bucks?
Cost to ride 10,000 miles in about 2 weeks: $2,200
(that includes an est. $1,000 in premium gas alone)!
A few juicy details:
* We do not know the ride in advance. Nope. Nada.
* We are not allowed GPS. Gulp….h..e..l…p. LOL
* We sleep outside next to the motorcycle, every night.
* We cannot deviate from the route or speed. Yeah, they know! We have a personal tracker on us. Sigh.
I also hope to make this ride personally meaningful, with your help, by raising additional donations to @FeedingAmerica to provide ***10,000 Meals for 10,000 Miles***
That’s the Dream. Motorcycles, miles, meals. Hell, yeah!
If YOU can pitch in, or want to learn more, click below.
And THANK YOU. Because Women Ride Their Own!
P. S. Everybody asks, “Why?!” Because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. It’s a chance to be among a handful of beautiful, strong women riders (out of 100 riders total) to represent … well, ALL of us beautiful, strong women riders! And it’s a chance to do Good. Can’t stop, won’t stop.
#hokahey #motorcycle #adventure #longdistancerider #mileage #getoutside #exploremore #motocamping #womenridetheirown