One man and one motor riding together on two wheels and a dream: to become the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge “Ride from the Pacific to the Atlantic” champion.
Stone Ridge resident Dave DuBord, 54, a father of five and owner of Angela’s Pizza in Lake Katrine, will be strapping on the riding chaps to roll across the 48 contiguous states with 700 other riders on his customized Harley-Davidson 2003 100th Anniversary Edition Fatboy.
He and his rivals will be racing for a grand prize of $250,000 and starting the engines to depart Phoenix, Ariz., at exactly 5:43 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 5, with the finish line in Nova Scotia.
The hardcore Hoka Hey motorcycle challenge is an endurance ride only open to Harley riders tough enough to be in the saddle more than 18 hours a day to complete the challenge on time. Last year’s run took participants along a prescribed route of back roads, trekking across mountain ranges, 33 Indian reservations, 25 national forests, eight deserts and six national parks. Routes travel secondary roads with directions revealed at a series of specific checkpoints. The event guidelines prohibit the riders to use GPS units (paper maps only) and speeding infractions and require contenders to sleep outside throughout the entire race. No modifications may be made to the gas tank (must be 6.2 gallons or less) nor are the riders permitted to bring additional fuel cells or cans. The bikes are inspected to ensure there’s working odometers. Special GPS tracking units are outfitted on each bike for the race officials to keep tabs on riders. In the event of any contention among winners, riders may face both a drug test and polygraph.
DuBord is most excited about the fact that the Hoka Hey ride will be filmed for TV. Race organizers signed an agreement with Academy Award nominee David Roma, of Amor Factory, to produce a feature-length documentary on the August 2011 event with the riders. DuBord, a charismatic and playful joke-maker covered in colorful tattoos, skull rings and chunky silver jewelry, feels his personality will be a shoo-in for the show. Roma is responsible for TV shows “Snoop Dogg’s Father Hood,” “Hogan Knows Best,” and the “Miami Ink” franchise that is in its third spin-off. Roma also produced the documentary film “Gasland,” nominated for an Academy Award in 2011.
DuBord, the sergeant-at-arms in the Freedom First service-oriented bike club, has already packed his bags and bike and sent them westward, including among his packs: duct tape, zip ties, two cans of Fix-a-Flat, tire plugs, ropes, road flares and electric cord. “I don’t even know why I brought electrical cord — I don’t even have anything electric on my bike,” DuBord mused.
He admits that he is going balls to the wall for this race and insists that the prize money will unquestionably be his. “I’m going to be in Canada with my passport, my bike and the winning money,” he joked. “There’s no telling if I’m coming back.” DuBord added that in the event he returns, he has plans to sit back in style by returning home in a limo to count his winning money in comfort.
DuBord, whose personal theme is Superman — he has a tattoo, cell phone cover, necklace, T-shirts, two logos on his bike and even underwear — has boiled it down to 20 hours of riding a day to make first place. “I am going to cover 1,000 miles a day,” he said. “I will be on all back roads so figure 50 miles per hour by four hours is 200 miles. I’m breaking this trip down into 200-mile increments.”
To shave off unnecessary time-wasters like eating and sleeping, he has packed scores of 5-hour Energy shots, protein bars, beef jerky and tent poles with tarps to shelter him and his bike from the elements while he catches some Z’s between energy drinks. Bathroom breaks won’t be trouble, he added, considering that he will subsist on a “binding” diet and even be using a “Texas catheter” used by many truckers, for his urine.
“I think there’s riders on this trip who think they’re dedicated, but they’re not,” said DuBord, who is in fact so determined to win that five months ago he quit smoking cigarettes cold turkey, after enjoying a 35 year-long habit, and stayed quit. He also sold $100 raffle tickets to friends to raise money toward his trip — entering the race alone cost $1,000. DuBord says that everyone who bought a raffle ticket will be refunded their $100 when he returns with the winnings, and he will pull one person’s ticket with whom to split 10 percent of the winnings.
DuBords’ wife Lori is supportive. “Go for it honey — you got this,” she said to him in a show of support; however, she did ask to take an additional insurance policy on him. “You know how you just know when something’s right?” DuBord questioned. “That’s how I feel about doing this.”
“Dave’s theory is no negative energy,” said longtime friend and riding buddy Bobby VanBoise — “Superior attitude; superior state of mind.”
In the event that the fuzz does get all up in DuBord’s grill, he has some tricks in his saddlebag, among them a PBA card, a photo of his police officer son in uniform and a $100 bill.
What’s DuBord doing with the winnings? Will he be packing the Harley and pointing it to Disney? Investing in the restaurant, said DuBord. “We’re investing it in the house,” said wife Lori.
To track DuBord as he makes his epic journey, visit usfleettracking.com and enter firstname.lastname@example.org using the password 610.