In the Fall 2021 issue of Ride Texas magazine, get inspired by women leading charitable events, fundraisers, and non-profit organizations in the motorcycling community.
Featured in this article:
- Ride the Wind; and
I’m thrilled to share news of the new RIDE TEXAS Magazine Women’s Editor, Julie Nordskog Andrews, a.k.a. #Squirrel. This is a new position, not just a new person! #womenridetexas
The Spring 2021 issue was also the debut of photographer, Lily Snodgrass. Check out her beautiful photos featured in “Finding Your Tribe.”
Don’t miss columnist Lucinda Beldon’s article on “Modifying an RV for Motorcycle Adventures.” Long-time contributor Carol Smith explains the differences between bike sharing and rentals.
If you have a lead on a great story or information about female-focused motorcycle events around Texas, please reach out to email@example.com
I learned to ride in the mid-90s on a 1972 Harley-Davidson Ironhead but didn’t know may other riders back then. Basically, I spent a few years operating a motorcycle. I gave up riding for a time when I become a mom. In 2015, I resumed riding, seriously this time, and became active in the women’s motorcycle rider community online and at women’s riding events. It was at one of these events I met Junie Rose. Junie has ridden every route of the 10-000-mile Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge since it began in 2010.
When the opportunity arose for me to ride the 2018 Hoka Hey, I saw it as a great way to inspire women riders to do more of what they love and challenge their limits. I’m grateful to the entire crew at Taboo Harley-Davidson in Alexandria, LA, my 2018 and 2020 HHMC sponsor, for opening this door to me and supporting women riders in general.
In 2018, online fundraising and BADASS patch sales (see link on right-side margin of this page) covered ride costs and Feeding America donations to provide “10,000 Meals for 10,000 Miles.” Feeding America is a top-rated, national non-profit network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs. After the ride, I mailed a BADASS patch to every female HHMC 2018 Finisher.
Riding the 2018 HHMC on stock 2014 Dyna Glide was a challenge in every sense of the word, but I finished. Yes, in 21 days. Let’s just say it hurt the Dyna more than it hurt me. And it did hurt riding all day every day, sleeping outdoors next to the bike, navigating the route (and getting lost) without the aid of GPS. I’ve since taken a hard look at everything I could have improved on that ride. Which was…ya know, everything.
In preparation for the next Challenge, I’ve search obsessively for the best riding solutions. I’ve asked many riders and industry experts about riding gear and aftermarket parts. And I’ve been lucky to form friendly relationships with the people (who cheerfully answered endless questions) at Legend Suspensions, J&P Cycles, Klock Werks, Law Tigers Texas, Wolfpack App, Denali Electronics, and Twisted Throttle.
In addition, Ride Texas magazine and J&P Cycles’ Countersteer blog have given me opportunities to share some of what I learned. When not riding, I’m writing about riding. Or obsessing over how I’ll make espresso on the HHMC.
This year, I will ride fully equipped and finish in fewer days. I’ll be on my ’19 Road Glide with, first and foremost, upgraded suspension and lights. Better windshield, lighter helmet, all-weather riding suit, waterproof boots. Better coffee setup.
For 2020, I doubled my charitable goal to provide 20,000 meals with Feeding America. Sales of BADASS patches, BADASS stickers, and BADASS magnets will launch February 2020 on Facebook and Instagram @womenridetheirown and @hokaheyrider942.
About two weeks prior to the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge, I was advised by the Taboo Harley-Davidson‘s service department technicians that I might consider upgrading my suspension. I was on a stock Harley-Davidson Dyna Glide, and my route on would take me on approximately 10,000 miles of back roads. Well, I responded, I really didn’t have time remaining for that sort of thing. And…hmmm…I wondered why.
In explanation of my ignorance, I am from the Southwest. I had no real concept of road conditions after the snow melt. I subsequently learned what “ice buckles” are. And I often found myself riding slalom around potholes. And potholes filled with water? They’re nearly invisible. But you knew that. There were, in short, a great many rough road hazards.
Rather quickly, I came to understand the importance of having good aftermarket suspension and shocks. Those bumps and the occasional pothole took a serious toll on the bike. In addition, that kind of jarring ride over several days also will wear out a rider. For long distance riding, it’s important to consider not only the wear and tear on the bike, but also your own aches and fatigue.
The truth is stock suspension did not cut it.
I will summarize by simply saying I pounded that poor bike, and myself, into the ground. I have since replaced the Dyna with a touring bike, a 2019 Road Glide. I love it and I’m determined to protect it!
Although the touring bike handles much better than the Dyna, I discovered I just don’t weigh enough for the stiff stock suspension on the Road Glide even when it’s dialed down. It’s pretty clear H-D had a bigger guy in mind as their common denominator. I suspect this is an issue for many women on touring bikes, because we are generally shorter and lighter than the average male rider.
Before making an investment, however, I do my homework. I spoke with the technicians at Taboo Harley and also a trusted local shop called Xlerated Customs. I then called Legend Suspensions, as they were recommended to me both by motorcycle techs and distance riders. I explained my challenges.
Wow, what a great company! The person I spoke with at Legend consulted with their technicians and got back to me with a full explanation as well as recommendations. They addressed my concerns and even offered to let me try different solutions. The happy ending to the story is I’m going to meet Legend Suspensions in Sturgis next month and plan to install new suspension and shocks this year– well before I do anything crazy like ride the Hoka Hey again.
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.
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
From July 16 through August 6, 2018, I participated in the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge, a 10,000-mile ride winding throughout the U.S. As part of this endeavor, I launched a social media campaign not only to participate in the ride, but also to raise funds to provide 10,000 meals with Feeding America. The campaign tagline was “10,000 meals for 10,000 miles.”
I’m proud to say we doubled our initial goal. Funds raised by the “Hoka Hey Y’all” campaign will provide hungry families with 20,000 meals.
How were we able to achieve this? I say “we” because more than 70 individuals contributed to the campaign– and some donated multiple times. I cannot thank everyone enough!
First, I researched non-profit organizations to identify one that could best leverage our donation dollars. I learned of Feeding America, a national, non-profit organization with top-ratings from Charity Navigator. Ninety-eight percent of donations to Feeding America goes to programs. This level of efficiency is exceptional in the non-profit world. Furthermore, Feeding America can produce 10 meals for every dollar donated.
I then scoured the Feeding America website to determine the various ways to donate funds and otherwise support their cause. There I discovered a matching grant from a Feeding America partner (Tony Robbins) that will give the organization an additional dollar for every dollar donated. By leveraging this matching grant, each of our donated dollars will now produce 20 meals. Wow!
Finally, I sought to maximize participation in the fundraising campaign by using multiple online platforms. These were: Facebook, GoGetFunding, and Instagram. I was careful to research these platforms to incur the least amount of fees possible. I encourage everyone to do his or her own research on fundraising platforms at any given time, as terms may change.
No matter how one slices it, the recipient of electronic funds transfers will pay fees. Payment processing fees are rolled into the percentage a given fundraising platform will retain for its services. The use of a platform does facilitate and lend legitimacy to online fundraising campaigns. At the same time, it is important to know just how much in flat fees and/or percentages will be retained for platform services and to calculate whether these deductions are justifiable fundraising costs. Some platforms may retain as much as 15 percent of funds received. My goal was to keep costs below five percent.
On the back end, I established a dedicated PayPal account to receive funds for fundraising sales of #Badass patches and from individuals requesting to donate directly, while still paying applicable fees. PayPal processing fees are presently 0.29 percent plus $0.30 per transaction. Finally, I opened a dedicated bank account to accept and easily track fund transfers. I made sure this online bank account was free of charge. In short, I wanted to keep the gap between gross donations (before costs) and net donations (after costs) to a minimum.
Of the platforms used, Facebook provided me with the broadest reach, in large part because I had an established network of followers and group memberships. Some of my posts were about the fundraiser and others strictly about the Motorcycle Challenge, but all created branding and name recognition surrounding the campaign.
Other recommended best practices for social media fundraising include:
Finally, a contributing factor to the success of this fundraiser was the modest request for donation dollars: $20, $5, $1. My message was that every single dollar counted and was deeply appreciated. After all, one dollar would provide 20 meals! Any contribution was significant, and this made giving do-able for individual donors.
If you have additional tips or questions about online fundraising, please share them!
***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 packed and ready for the 10k-mile Hoka Hey. The ride starts July 15th from Medicine Park, OK. I am Rider #942. If you want to follow the ride, I will post a link to the tracker on my bike before we start.
My Hoka Hey sponsor @tabooharley Taboo HD in Alexandria, LA gave my bike a full tune-up, new rear brakes, new tires. And fixed a cylinder oil leak (thankfully still under warranty). Overnight. Love these guys and gals!!!
It always seems to rain on the ride home from Louisiana to Texas. Oh, well. You know what they say, “If you don’t ride in the rain, you don’t ride.” I’m ready! Dry bags, rain gear, latex gloves, tarp, umbrella. Yup, umbrella.