Homer Alaska - News

Homer Hoka Hey riders closer to Wyoming



As of Thursday afternoon, none of Homer's six Hoka Hey riders have been reported checked in to Rock Springs, Wyo., the third checkpoint in the 7,000-mile Hoka Hey Challenge. Several Hoka Hey riders came into Rock Springs this morning about 8:30 a.m. — over 100 hours since the race started at 6 a.m. Sunday in Key West, Fla. The leaders are now headed to the next checkpoint over 1,000 miles away in Missoula, Mont. Rock Springs is about 4,200 miles into the event.

As of about 3 p.m. today, rider Alex Sweeney's Spot satellite messenger showed him at Shiprock, N.M. Other riders are Todd Cook, M.B. Cody, Bob Petersen, Jesus Trejo and Eric Wickre. Chris Story with Radio Realty reported Cook also was into New Mexico this morning.

The Homer News caught up with rider Jesus Trejo on the road in western Oklahoma a few hours from the New Mexico border about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday evening. In a cell phone interview, he said he's put close to 3,000 miles on his 2010 Harley-Davidson Road Glide.

"It's been interesting. It's not like I envisioned," Trejo said. "It's been like a scavenger hunt following these directions."

The Hoka Hey routes have been on secondary county and state roads. Some riders have complained of confusing directions. Some road signs in Alabama and Georgia had been vandalized and removed. Riders don't know the next leg of the challenge until they get to a checkpoint.

Trejo said he had to do some backtracking. He's been sleeping where he can. Tuesday night and Wednesday morning he rode until 4 a.m., stopping to sleep at a Wal-Mart parking lot in Mountain View, Ark. At another point he got dizzy and rested under a tree at a farm.

"I had to pull off the road it got so frickin' hot," Trejo said. "I don't have a jacket on. I'm still warm. Hot, actually. The sun beating on you, man. Some of the guys I've seen are looking pretty thirsty."

"I'm looking forward to finding a lake or a creek I could jump in," he added.

Hoka Hey east coast organizer Beth Durham, now headed to Rock Springs, said temperatures have been reported cooler further north. Trejo said last night he planned to ride during the night to stay cool.

He said he hoped to connect with Sweeney somewhere along the way. With a lot of twisting roads and truck traffic, it's been hard to stay with other Hoka Hey riders, Trejo said. It's all he can do to stay focused. He's trying to get back to Homer by June 29 and has to be back at work by July 5.

"It's interesting. I'm really glad I'm part of it," Trejo said. "I've been enjoying myself."

Michael Armstrong can be reached at michael.armstrong@homernews.com.