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July 26, 2010

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Formal complaint filed against Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge
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Ruth Brown Journal Staff | Posted: Friday, July 2, 2010 7:00 pm | (18) Comments
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A formal complaint has been filed against the founders of the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge after some participants began to question the credibility of the event.
Jeri O’Barr filed a complaint with the State of Florida’s attorney general regarding the Hoka Hey Challenge’s organizers.
The challenge, which began June 20 and is scheduled to end Sunday, was organized by Beth and Jim Durham of Hot Springs. Jim Durham also goes by the name Jim Red Cloud.
The Hoka Hey challenge is billed as a 14-day competition in which riders travel 7,000 miles from Key West, Fla., to Homer, Alaska. Riders paid $1,000 each to participate. The first one to make it to Homer without cheating and can prove that they stayed on route was told they would win a grand prize of $500,000. The Durhams said a portion of the money collected would go to selected charities.
The formal complaint made to the Florida attorney general’s office will be transferred to the South Dakota attorney general within the next two weeks, according to information specialist Shannon Knowles, with the Florida attorney general.
In her complaint, O’Barr says that “the organizers refuse to give us a number registered to ride but I have heard somewhere between 500 and 750. There were supposed to be tracking devices on the bikes … that did not happen. There was supposed to be a film crew for a reality show. I never saw a crew in Key West before the start … but I hear that there is a team en route.”
O’Barr went on to say in her complaint, “My husband would have never chosen to support this event had he known, up front, what Jim Red Cloud’s real agenda was.
“I am speaking out, against much ridicule.”
Participants and their family members have begun to question how legitimate the organization is and if any rider will actually win the $500,000 grand prize.
“I have never in my life been a part of anything so disrespectful, and I am appalled at the whole situation,” said O’Barr, whose husband, Ricky, is riding across the country in the challenge. “My husband said he had never seen anything less professional.”
Toni Schultz, whose husband was participating in the challenge but dropped out before finishing because of frustrations with the directions and maps riders were given, said she contacted the South Dakota Attorney General for answers on the challenge’s legality.
“The attorney general office said they have no regulations to regulate how Jim (Durham) does this challenge,” said Schultz of Clarksburg, Pa. “Right now, no crime has been committed, but if he doesn’t pay out that prize money, then that would be a crime.
“It makes me wonder … what we can do to hold this man accountable for what he has done,” she said.
After three phone calls and two e-mails, neither Beth nor Jim Durham responded to the Journal’s attempts to contact them nor commented on the reactions of what challengers and families of the challengers have said about the organization and its founders.
The day before the start of the race, there was a question-and-answer session hosted by founder Jim Red Cloud to provide riders and their families with answers to any questions they may have on the challenge.
“We sat down with every rider, and the first thing that Red Cloud did was say, ‘Some people have called me a cheat and liar,'” O’Barr said. “He went on to talk about what honor and integrity he had, she said.
“But then he stood up and said, ‘I did lie to you, I used you to get you (the riders) here,'” O’Barr said.
He is a self-proclaimed liar, O’Barr said.
Other people at the meeting in Key West thought that Red Cloud was extremely rude to everyone.
“My thought at the meeting was that Red Cloud had just intimidated everyone in this audience, and now, people were scared to ask questions,” Schultz said. “I really didn’t appreciate his swearing and the foul language and absolute disrespect he showed us in Key West.
“He treated us like garbage and it absolutely blew me away,” Schultz said. “He said to us ‘I used you (the riders) to get money because my people (on the reservation) needed water.'”
Schultz said that all of these riders paid thousands of dollars to participate, and she thought they deserved to be treated with more respect.
To hear him come right out and admit that he had used them to get money “was shocking,” Schultz said. “He was very abrasive.”
One man who was considering entering the challenge said he decided against it at the last minute because he thought the whole ride was untrustworthy.
“Jim Durham got really upset with me when I suggested that he put the prize money into an escrow account,” said Jim Puckett, who is the organizer of the Not Superman Rally, a motorcycle challenge and scavenger hunt. “I suggested that he put it into a bank, and he went berserk at the idea of it.”
An escrow account is held by a third party, usually a bank, to holds money in trust to make sure that it goes to the proper person. In this case, that person would be the winner of the $500,000 prize money.
Puckett said that Durham accused him of having “inside information.”
“I came to the conclusion that it was highly unlikely that it was a legitimate organization, and it didn’t smell right, so I decided not enter,” Puckett said.
Some participants were upset by the fact that Red Cloud said that the riders would be warriors as part of the vision that he had. The vision claimed that 1,000 warriors would travel to seven of the sites of the biggest massacres of Native Americans in the United States and collect their dead souls.
“I think he’s entitled to his religion, but he has no right to turn this challenge into a religious agenda,” O’Barr said. “He never spoke of anything but his vision of collecting the dead souls of warriors. It’s unacceptable; … that is not what we paid for; we paid for a motorcycle race.”
“I think he’s blowing a bunch of hot air,” said Donna Kramer of Ohio, whose brother, Michael Novak, is riding in the challenge. “Jim is trying to make himself more Indian than he is to scam people. I don’t believe any of it, and none of it makes any sense at all.”
Puckett questioned the legality of the challenge because he believes that the challenge is “essentially a race on public highways.”
“With a prize of a half-million dollars, people are going to speed like crazy,” Puckett said. “They keep calling it a challenge, but really, the first one there is the winner. … That is pretty much the definition of race on public roads. That’s illegal.”
Multiple people said that they are concerned with how the organizers have changed the rules at the last minute.
O’Barr said that she was concerned with how riders were told when they registered that all of the motorcycle riders would have tracking chips on their bikes, and then at the last minute were told that they wouldn’t.
“What are their rules even? … It seems like they are bending the rules a lot,” Kramer said.
Before the challenge, Beth Durham told a Journal reporter that “the terms and conditions and required rules are outlined in the applications.”
“At the meeting, we were trying to figure out what we were allowed to do and not allowed to do so that we wouldn’t get disqualified,” Schultz said. “People kept asking the same questions, and he just got frustrated and wasn’t any help in clarifying rules.
“He had no right to be frustrated with us when he was the one that changed the rules and we were the ones that paid for this,” she said. “If anyone had the right to be frustrated it was us.”
Some people are concerned about whether any of the money raised will actually go to the charities that the organizers promised it would.
“Technically, if you don’t specify the number you plan to donate, you could give $10 to each charity and still keep your promise,” Puckett said.
Beth Durham said before the challenge that although Hoka Hey is not a registered nonprofit organization, the Durhams do not plan to make a profit.
“We will use some of the money to pay for expenses in the challenges, but I don’t have the cost to organize the event,” she said. “All proceeds left over will go to charities.”
“To find out the veterans’ charities could be bogus, … that’s just wrong,” Schultz said. “Many of the riders, including my husband, have an emotional connection to the meaning of being a veteran, and I will be so angry if that money doesn’t go to the charities we were promised.”
“It’s a great disappointment that it has been so disorganized,” Puckett said. “I am quite surprised by how truly disorganized they are, and people are now picking up on that.”
Contact Ruth Brown at 394-8329 or ruth.brown@rapidcityjournal.com
Posted in News, Local on Friday, July 2, 2010 7:00 pm Updated: 5:27 pm.

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July 26, 2010

Holla! a good day today. Heading to San Antonio tomorrow for the anniversary party. Jeff and I have a meeting with a Korean company. We’ve met before. I would love to visit Korea.
There is a promoter from Vietnam that wants to hire some of the girls. She always waits to the last minute. A lot goes into sending the girls and bouncers to these events

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July 24, 2010

Good Luck Emily from OKC! She is auditioning this coming week for American Idol. She has an incredible voice.

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July 23, 2010

I have been in Oklahoma City this week! Yeah one year anniversary. What a good looking staff! Some very pretty girls plus some male eye candy as well for the ladies. The staff gave me a handmade crown royal quilt. Beautiful and so soft! But the gift they gave to Kevin is hysterical . They gave him this gorgeous golf bag. None of us know if he playa golf. At the end of the night, Kevin was in charge of making sure I got home safe. We started walking with his golf bag and out of nowhere a guy driving a rigshaw came. I said Kevin we have to take this! ” Lil this is America, I will not get in a rigshaw!” of course he got in but what a sight we must of been in the rigshaw at two AM with the golf bag!

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July 20, 2010

Lee, Kevin , and I went to Lauderdale this weekend. Tommy has officially doubled the numbers! After analyzing the situation I realized the main problem was that the old manager just didn’t buy into the Coyote Ugly concept. You can’t train the staff when you wont uphold the staples that make us great! Kevin, Lee, Tommy and I held a staff meeting/ bartending class. It went very well. I am so pleased with the energy there. Now the search is on for a dynamic manager that can hold the fort after Tommy leaves!
San Antonio kicked ass last night

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July 15, 2010

Man I am stressed out today. For the last week my nephew has been in town so Jackson and I have been showing him a good time. I have so much work to do so he left today and I feel a bit overwhelmed. Why do I fucking need to get my fingerprints done for every liquor license? Why does every god damn piece of paperwork have to get notarized? Such a pain in the ass!!
On a good note I got a nail in my tire and it was covered by warranty so I got it fixed for free!! I finally won one!

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July 14, 2010

Someone has requested that we host their wedding. How funny. Well for the right price anything ispossible. Jeff is hoping this leads to Ba Mitzvahs!!

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July 13, 2010

I want to give a shout out to Tommy. He is GM of OKC and now I have him in Lauderdale trying to help. OKC is doing great. He really has turned that bar around and Lauderdale had one of their best Saturday’s in a while!!! Plus on a personal note, its so nice to have such a hard working guy on our team. He will pick up and go when we need him. Such a team player. I am so proud of him!
Denver, San Antonio, OKC , and Austin rocked last night!!!! I love that!

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July 8, 2010

My sister and nephew wanted me to take them to Pensacola Beach. We got here last night. This morning there were tons of people in the water and there was only a swim advisory in affect . I let the kids go in the water. When they came out their swim trunks were covered in oil! That’s it no more beach. So sad. All the poor marine life. Man is ruining this planet! Please Obama stop acting like a lawyer and be the president!
Watching blue angels practice. Just finished an alcoholic bushwhacker drink before my conference call!

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July 6, 2010

Nashville rocked July 4 th!! Most of the bars did awesome . Nice way to get back home! Ready to work. Interesting stuff going on. We have a second meeting with a Korean company. Tons of possible locations. Rock on!

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July 3, 2010

Bob Hotchkiss , who I consider one of the Coyote team, just passed the finish line in Homer Alaska! I am so proud of him. He just called us and said he did a wheelie across the finish line. Bob is hard core . He met my guys around the first checkpoint and rode with Kevin through Canada. Tomorrow he is going to send me a picture of himself and his Coyote tshirt at the finish line. I am teary eyed knowing he made it! Congrats !!

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July 2, 2010

Kevin lasted til Grand Prairie, Canada. He called said that his tire was fucked up and his rim was bent. So the end of the line for him. I have been surfing the net and have seen so many negative things about the Hoka Hey people. Next week i will tell you my thoughts!
We hit the mother load here! We went camping through NonTypical Outfitters. They treated us like gold. Horseback riding, fishing, hiking. Food was outstanding . Just awesome. Well today we hadn’t booked a hotel and had finished camping so we were trying to find a motel by the airport . Diane from non typical outfitters non chalantly says ” we are watching our friends place. You are welcome to stay there.” oh my god this place is unbelievable . Go to http://www.wyomingshangrila.com . We just saw 3 deer on the lawn. Awesome!

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July 2, 2010

I am ready to come home! Jackson Hole is one of the prettiest places in the country. Very very expensive. Real estate guides have houses for 29 million . Really, who has that kind of money?
Trey and I went camping in Badger National Forest for 2 days. We went horseback riding in the mountains. After two days of being in terror white water rafting and atv’ing , I finally found something Trey was terrified of ! He was paralyzed with fear going on these tiny paths up the mountains ! I won one!

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