Women Who Ride the Hoka Hey

Enduring America’s Toughest Motorcycle Challenge

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About the Book

The Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge is an endurance ride that takes participants across the United States. Riding 20 hours a day or more for 7–12 days straight, they traverse back roads, brave dangerous conditions and battle mental and physical exhaustion.
Fewer than 10 percent of participants are women. They take on the challenge and they excel!
Chronicling the journeys of 14 women who participated in the Hoka Hey (Lakota for “Let’s do it!”) from 2010 to 2013, this feminist cultural analysis relates their often harrowing stories of life on the road and draws comparisons to women in other sports.

About the Author(s)

Abagail Van Vlerah earned degrees from Saint Mary’s College (Notre Dame, IN), University of Wyoming, and Bowling Green State University. She lives in Indiana.

Bibliographic Details

Abagail Van Vlerah
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 212
Bibliographic Info: 19 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2019
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9585-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3611-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Preface 1
Introduction 3
Motorcycle Culture 4
A Brief History of Women in Motorcycling 5
1.  The Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge and Sport 11
The Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge 12
Motorcycling as Sport 37
2. On the Problematic Nature of the Hoka Hey 42
Problems with Ethnographic Research 43
Motorcycling, Sport and Masculinity 45
Motorcycling and Whiteness 49
Native American Ties and Cultural Appropriation 52
Jim Red Cloud Durham 64
2010 Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge 65
3. An American Girl: The Women of America’s Toughest Motorcycle Challenge 69
Eula “Junie” Rose 71
Tristica Kendall 74
Sheila Hoehn (and Trixie) 76
Carla Dubois 77
Kristin “Jersey Pearl” McKelvey 79
Bryana Mason 80
Kelly Quinn a.k.a. Throttle Girl 81
Debra Langley 83
Wendy Battles 84
Jane Bixby and Schatzi Brown 86
Debby Pearson 88
Eden Mailloux 90
Sherie Newell 91
Abby Van Vlerah 92
Conclusions 97
4. Feminist Ethics of Care and Intrinisc Motivation 98
5. I Can do Anything: Finding Empowerment Through the Hoka Hey 119
6. She’s Got Bigger Balls Than Most Men, They’re Just on Her Chest: Gender, Identity and Change 142
7. I Cried All the Way Home: The Difficult Reality of Leaving the Road 167
Accidents and Wrecks 173
Personal Health and Safety 174
Familial Duty 177
Conclusion 185
Chapter Notes 191
Bibliography 197
Index 203

Book Reviews & Awards

“An interesting and instructive read…The entire book is well-written and informs the reader—men and women alike—as it raises awareness too.”—SAH Journal