First, let me be clear. Admiration and respect to all riders/challengers/warriors who participated to the Hoka Hey Challenge, reaching or not the finish line in Homer, Alaska. They have exceptional memories to share for the rest of their lifetime. Prayers for the family who lost one of theirs (at least 2 fatalities have been announced) and for all those injured on the road (6 are reported to be still in hospitals). As of today, some riders are still on the road. Most already in Homer seem mostly satisfied with the Challenge, or I should say, are jazzed up with their own accomplishment.
But it takes nothing away from the riders to ask who won and where is the prize money? And during the 4th July festivities with the riders in Homer it was said…that no winner will be announced until Sturgis Bike Week. Again a decision in contradiction of what was announced by the Hoka Hey organization and that will feed even more the controversy that started before all riders left Key West, FL on June 20th.
Some of you will form their own opinion on the facts already reported in my former posts with some not making judgment until Sturgis Bike Week to see if the $500,000 prize will be or not awarded. I just post 3 new facts that will not make the controversy disappear, quite the opposite.
First, a legal complaint has been 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. You can read about the object of the complaint by jumping HERE.
Second, because I consider that some comments may be too important for being left buried among the hundreds already written below my former posts about this Hoka Hey Challenge, I re-publish, as received on Saturday July 3rd, 2010, a comment posted questioning the claim made by the challenge organizer Jim “Red Cloud” Durham for being who he claims to be (I accepted to remove the statement following a request by its author on demand of her family).
Third. Today, another person named Gloria Begishe is also publicly challenging on Facebook the lineage that Jim “Red Cloud” Durham is claiming.
“People should look into his “family history. I’m a Lakota, I am from Pine Ridge, He claims two medicine men from my tribe as his grandfathers. I know one of the family he claims, and they have never heard him, met him, or seen him. He claims to be adopted by Oliver Red Cloud… not hard to get needy people to adopt you. This man is not doing anything for “his family” besides using their name sakes. I’m glad everyone is having fun, but this man is using other people’s family and history to create an image for himself. I, for one, would LOVE to see some proof of his lineage…. I can prove who my grandparents are, can he? his man seems to be a waste of resources. If he were lying about the family he was born too, why wouldn’t he be lying about other stuff… I brought this man to the attention of my grandfather. He laughed. “People say a lot of things to fool others into giving them their monies. They come to our culture because they have none of their own.” -Lakota Elder. If you are reading this James Durham (I don’t give a rat’s ass who adopted you, I will never refer to you seriously as Red Cloud, you didn’t earn that name), there are people who want to know whether or not you are their family. If a blood test is necessary, they will be willing to pay for one. Don’t care what this man is doing, just wish he would leave my culture out of it! Gloria Begishe God damn part time indians… with fake natives like this around the world. Understand why some people are racist”
Those riders present in Homer, AK participated to a parade and to 4th of July festivities. Eric Wickre of Homer, the first hometown rider to arrive at the finish line of the inaugural Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge is one of the upset riders. He found nobody to greet him at 3:30 p.m last Monday. He admitted he had skipped the last four checkpoints in the 8,500-mile race from Florida because, he said, “I pretty much figured the whole thing was a scam.” Wickre complained to the Homer Tribune newspaper of a dangerous start, reckless bikers, bad maps and missing route markers. Others state, without any tangible proof until now, that the intention of Jim Durham is to disqualify under multiple pretexts all those who arrived on time before July 4th, a way to escape paying the $500,000 grand prize. Legally, I am told that no crime is committed if the prize is given away as promised by the organizers. But if deceiving practices are used not to award any prize, the South Dakota Attorney General will pursue. The Hoka Hey organization has until Sturgis Bike week to declare and reward a winner. To follow…
And after the facts, the craziest rumor coming from Homer, AK. “Anyone who would claim the $500,000 prize would have to submit himself to an interview with an agent of the FBI, and if lying one time, would be disqualified.” Any person, including Big Jim “Red Cloud Durham”, who would make such a statement is completely out of his mind because the FBI is never going to interview any participant about their ride. It’s not their business. They would only investigate the organizer if justified. I am telling you, The Hoka Hey Challenge is getting weirder every day…
Added July 5th, 2010 at 9.10 pm EST: And now a possible offer of “Reimbursment” to all participants! To escape litigation? (Hoka Hey Challenge. 13084 Greg Drive, Hot Springs, SD, 57747. Phone: 605/745-6527)