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Archive for the ‘Crazy Horse’ Category

Riders Depart Key West, FL - Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge

How about riding 500 miles a day for 14 days straight and then each night sleeping on the ground?  For some it’s just the kind of thing that makes it onto a “bucket list” and they’re ready to go.  For others it creates a moment of pause.

Endurance riders sometimes engage in endurance events known as rallies. Rallies take on a multitude of formats, differing in duration (anywhere from 12 hours to multiple days) and type of road.

That was the situation yesterday for about 1000 riders at the start of the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge.  Riders left Key West, FL., exclusively on Harley-Davidson motorcycles headed for Homer Alaska.  Grueling ride?  Absolutely!  But, the challenge has the added benefit for the rider who travels the 7,000 miles first — they’ll win $500,000.

According to urban legend the term “Hoka Hey,” means “It’s a Good Day to Die” in Sioux. In reality this is a corruption of the intrepretation.  The reason people think it means “it’s a good day to die” is that the Lakota Sioux leader Crazy Horse famously shouted to his troops “Hokahey, today is a good day to die!” It meant something more like “Let’s go men, today is a good day to die!”

At any rate, the challenge is billed as an annual once-in-a-lifetime challenge where the contestants’ mettle will be tested.  Co-founders Beth Durham and  Jim “Big Jim” Red Cloud describe the Hoka Hey Challenge not as a speed race.  It’s about endurance.  Besides John Ryan holds the record for a continent crossing where last year he performed a crossing in 86 hours and 31 minutes.  The Hoka Hey contestants pay a $1,000 entry fee. They can have their miles sponsored for charity, much like a marathon.The route will span two countries, over more than 62 mountain ranges, 33 Indian reservations, 25 national forests, 8 deserts and 6 national parks. The daily routes are secret until each morning during the 14 days. The first checkpoint is somewhere in Mississippi.

I don’t know if this is the “Olympics” of all endurance rallies, but none-the-less good luck riders!

UPDATE: June 28, 2010 — According to reports out of Homer, AK, Frank Kelly, of Prosperity, S.C., and Will Barclay, of Highland, Fla., rode under the finish banner on the Homer Spit after finishing the Hoka Hey Challenge this morning (Monday).  The two men who’d only met on the road made a pact in Fairbanks when they left the last checkpoint about 3:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon: they’d finish first together.  Kelly, 34, works for AT&T and Barclay, 50, flies corporate jets. Kelly rode a 2009 Harley-Davidson Road King Classic and Barclay a 2008 Electroglide Classic he bought three weeks before the race — his first Harley ever.  Congrats!

UPDATE: July 7, 2010 — Allegations of fraud and questions on the legitimacy of the organization and winner payout prompt the first legal complaint.  Formally filed with the State of Florida’s Attorney General against the Hoka Hey Challenge and its organizers Beth and Jim Durham of Hot Springs, South Dakota. Jim Durham also goes by the name of Jim Red Cloud. More information about the complaint HERE.

UPDATE: August 3, 2010 — Excellent interview with Will Barclay, the winner of the endurance race HERE.  H-D should do a commercial and leverage this guy!  A shout out to Quick Throttle Magazine for making it available!

Photos courtesy of Hoka Hey web site, Andy Newman and The Citizen.

All Rights Reserved (C) Northwest Harley Blog
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native_americanLike many of you I have rolled through the Black Hills of South Dakota with the wind in my face…

Whether a weekend warrior eager for a brief interlude of escapist revelry or it’s a way of life — I think all would agree that rolling through the “hills” offers up an incredible experience.  From rolling plains to majestic mountains — sometimes you have to pull over just to take it all in.  It’s not only a magical place to visit because of its beauty, but also because of its “roots” to the Native Americans who live there.  Most are Dakota, Lakota or Nakota people and known collectively as the Sioux.  The Sioux nation traces its roots to the  “Oceti Sakowin” (Seven Council Fires) and traditional stories place the nations birth in the Black Hills where customs hold the forces of nature as holy.

Having lived in “NoDak” during a more violent time, I’m reminded of Anishinabe decent, a person from the Dakota/Lakota Nations who has been imprisoned since 1976.  His name is Leonard Peltier.  Peltier is serving two life sentences for the deaths of FBI agents Jack Coler and Ronald Williams during a June 26, 1975, standoff on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

I previously blogged about Leonard Peltier HERE and the significance of the song “Sacrifice” from the album “Contact from the Underworld Red Boy” by Robbie Robertson.  Peltier was convicted in Fargo, N.D., in 1977 and recently was denied parole after having a full parole hearing for the first time in 15 years at the Lewisburg, Pa., federal prison where he is being held.  Some feel he is an unrepentant, cold-blooded murderer who executed two FBI special agents and has neither accepted responsibility for the murders nor shown any remorse.  However, others feel the FBI had no substantive evidence in the trial, essentially framed him and he has unsuccessfully appealed his conviction numerous times.

Leonard Peltier

Leonard Peltier

For many Native Americans, Peltier’s imprisonment has come to stand not only for unjust violence waged against Native Americans but also for the theft of the life of a man who has handled his 33 years in jail with dignity and grace.  If you take the time and look deeper into Peltier’s legal situation — compare the 64-year olds poor health and then contrast it with the recent “compassionate grounds” release of the Lockerbie bomber — one can only assume that the public outrage likely didn’t help his chances in the parole hearing.  His best chance now of getting out of prison alive is to receive a pardon or clemency from the president of the U.S.  However, that is unlikely, as Mr. Obama would rather spend time reaching out to Muslims and celebrate Islamic holy month by hosting a Ramadan dinner than address the plight of Native Americans.  To be fair, Mr. Obama did present the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Joe Medicine Crow — High Bird in Washington last month.  Photo HERE.

I’m not on a mission to convince anyone of Peltier’s guilt or innocence.  Remember, this all started with a song and I’ve not turned activist fighting for the overturn of the U.S. constitutional court rulings that affirmed the confiscation of Native American lands.  I’m a motorcycle enthusiast who enjoys the Black Hills and appreciates the freedom to take in a week of open roads.  There is more information related to freeing Peltier HERE or if compelled, you can write him at:

Leonard Peltier
#89637-132
USP-Lewisburg
US Penitentiary
PO Box 1000
Lewisburg, PA 17837

Lastly, in doing the research for this post I run across Arron Huey.  A photo journalist with images that are truly captivating of the Pine Ridge Indian reservation.  His work was featured in Perpignan at the last Vis d’Or Photojournalism Festival.

Photo courtesy of  LDOC and Travel South Dakota web site.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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There may be no better place in America to take in and capture the stunning contrast of scenery than at a biker rally.  Sturgis bike week kicked off today.  Sure Sturgis ‘08 is a new year, with new bikers, but it’s the same soul where bystanders can take in a mix of style and metal.

I was reminiscing about Sturgis and while sitting behind the ‘ol MacBook I was looking for some Rally news, photos, videos…something from Sturgis to connect while I wait until our 105th Anniversary departure.

What luck?!  Last year I remember clicking on webcams for road reports and realized I can be there…”virtually”!

As a photo hobbyist, the best site is the webcam on Sturgis Bike Week site.  There is also Web wolf, Rally Daily, Deadwood from the SD Public TV, Mt Rushmore, Crazy Horse, and all the associated Wyoming highway cams HERE.

The Sturgis Bike Week site offers hi-resolution cameras in multiple locations.  And when I say hi-resolution, it is most impressive with a zoom feature.  I did a “page scrap” of a random hi-resolution webcam photo and you’ll notice that in the close up of the gal on the sidewalk you can nearly make out the face of the guy who is a reflection in her sunglasses.  Wow!  It’s stunning that webcams are capturing this kind of detail.  It would be easy to run license plates while sitting in an air conditioned room…in another state

I updated the camera and captured this photographer walking across the Sturgis main street.  When zooming in a person could nearly make out the type and size of lens he has on the camera.

This is pretty good image quality for a webcam.  Makes me wonder how many people know there picture is on the internet…whether they like it or not?

Photos courtesy of Sturgis Bike Week Webcam.

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crazy horseOn Wednesday (August 8th) we rode through Deadwood/Lead and headed up to Crazy Horse which was about 45 miles away. The weather was terrific.  Blue sky and mid-80’s.  
tunnel on 16AWe met others in the Posse in Mill City and then entered the Crazy Horse Memorial.   From there we headed to Mt Rushmore on 16A.  This road is slow going with a lot of turns, but has spectacular views of mountain side, Buffalo and then picture postcards of Mt Rushmore in tunnels. 
group mt rushmore
After Mt Rushmore we headed for Rapid City for an Air Conditioner break at the hotel.  We had a brief stop over at Rapid City Harley to exchange a part purchased the day before then back to Sturgis for a drive by. 
full throttle
We headed out to the Full Throttle Saloon and took in the happenings at the pit.  After a while we headed back to Spearfish.

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