E. B. Chester
Well, once again we are off on the adventure of a lifetime. Last year Travis Metcalfe and I rode the 2010 Hoka Hey Challenge which went 8,500 miles from Key West, Florida to Homer, Alaska. We arrived in 10 ½ days and finished 115th and 114th out of 800 starters in Key West. As the finishers between our finish and the leader were not tested to determine whether they had actually ridden the 8,500 mile route correctly there is at least a possibility that we actually finished closer to the leader than we know.
This year Judy Wagner, Travis Metcalfe and I are riding the “10,000+ mile” course. Based on last years “7,000+ mile” course which turned out to be 8,500 miles, this years course is probably around 13,000 miles. Who knows. (Actually, I do as Travis, Judy and I have pre-ridden the entire course earlier this year to test the route instructions but if I tell the truth, I’ll have to shoot myself). Last year we actually rode 9,100 miles so, as the course was 8,500 miles, we were dead lost for over 600 miles. Since we pre-rode the course, we should do better in the lost department this year.
Judy and I are riding the entire event this year. Travis is participating in the start from Mesa, Arizona and then jumping on the freeway and going back to his home in Reno and taking his wife Debbie to Sturgis. Following Sturgis, he is planning on re-joining Judy and I in Minnesota and riding the remainder of the route with us.
As usual, we have been riding a lot to prepare for the event. I got a new bike in February of this year and it now has around 20,000 miles on it. Our riding included a 2,150 mile Iron Butt ride which Judy and I made in 33 hours coming back to Phoenix from the east coast in May. We have been getting about 6 hours of sleep each night for over a month arising around 3am each day just to become acclimated to a low sleep regimen. We have spent untold hours preparing our bikes for the trip. Everything seems ready. We will see!
This event is the ultimate tortoise verses the hare event. I am not convinced that the fastest rider will win. I think its all about heart and stamina. It’s about one’s will to go ahead in the face of an overwhelming desire to stop or pause. We plan to travel about 850 miles a day and, depending on the actual length of the course, finish in about 16 days.
For those who don’t know us, I am a Harley-Davidson dealer in Phoenix, Arizona and Judy is a retired business owner from the Seattle area. Travis’ wife, Debbie, is the General Manager of our dealership in Reno, Nevada. We are quite a crew but we are rider’s riders. Travis is the best of us. He probably rides over 50,000 miles each year. We are an extremely compatible group. I have ridden since I was in high school and am a pretty good judge of motorcycle rider’s abilities. We three are well up on the ability scale. We love traveling on a motorcycle and enjoy each other’s company. We should be a factor in this event.
The event begins on Friday morning at daylight at Chester’s Harley-Davidson in Mesa, Arizona and travels through all 48 states and Canada to Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, the end of the road. Judy, Travis and I will be in line and off we go. The route contains some of America’s most iconic roads, bridges, byways and locations. A really epic ride through our wonderful country. We plan to ride around 850 miles each day in about 15 hours and rest a total of around 8 to 9 hours. We will probably not rest for a couple of days at the outset and when we get close enough to the end to smell the finish line. Everyone has 16 days to finish the event to become a recognized finisher. I think this will require about 850 miles a day. We will see!
I am going to attempt to write a brief email each day describing our progress. We have a tracking device on Judy’s bike which is available to show our progress graphically. This display can be viewed by going to the following link:
This link will be displayed in the main showroom of Chester’s Harley-Davidson in Mesa during the event.
Hoka-Hey —- It’s a good day to ride!!