Will Barclay The Midnight Rider
Hoka Hey 2010 Winner
By Koz Mraz, Photography by Rusty Childress
Will Barclay won what may be considered the most demanding motorcycle ride of the decade. The Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge tasked riders to 8,500 miles of secondary roads from the Florida Keys to Homer, Alaska. Although he started dead last, Will crossed the finish line almost a full day ahead of the pack winning the half-million-dollar payoff. It took him 194 hours and only 10 of those hours his wheels weren’t turning. Hoka Hey once again challenges riders to another epic ride and Will is the man to beat. What’s his secret, what makes this 51-year-old private jet pilot so indomitable?
Not gonna let ’em catch me, no Not gonna let ’em catch the Midnight Rider
I had the good fortune to meet up with Will at Chester’s Harley Davidson in Arizona, launch point for the second Hoka Hey on August 5, 2011. “I had been training for Hoka Hey unintentionally,” Will states. “I enjoy motorcycling the Himalayas and India solo on my Royal Enfield and regularly encounter every possible scenario. At 18,000-foot altitude you develop stamina and endurance. When it’s time to stop, I just pitch a tent, sleep a few hours, and continue on. There are no road signs so an intuitive sense of direction is critical. As a pilot, I ride between flights so timelines keep me focused and unrelenting, Hoka Hey was a natural.” Sleeping several hours a night for days on end may be natural for Will Barclay but I dare say serious contenders beware. Typically he wouldn’t even take his helmet off, just lay down for 30 minutes and recharge. The bar is set and riders from around the globe will partake in what may become the world’s most famous motorcycle ride. With Harley-Davidson as this year’s sponsor and Barclay the man to beat, participants had better step up their game. When I ask what he’s doing to prepare for this year’s Hoka Hey, he replies, “Come by tomorrow and we’ll chat for a bit.”
By Koz Mraz
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