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.