Junie Rose – Une Chalangeuse pas une survivante!
by USA2Ride (Eduardo Schneider and Julie Maioli) – The article on Le Soleil de la Floride from August, 25th. 2015 where with talk about a special friend and amazing Hoka Hey rider: Junie Rose!
Challenging our boundaries may come in many forms and many are the stories of people who decided to start riding a motorcycle with that purpose. Sure, leaving the safety of a car and gliding on two wheels between cars, buses and eighteen-wheelers will put anyone’s nervous system to the test.
But for one retired postal worker from Illinois, just riding over two wheels was not enough. In 2010, while sitting in a cancer center at the small town of Mattoon, Junie Rose read about the Hoka Hey Challenge, a 9,000 mile motorcycle ride from Key West, Florida to Homer, Alaska. The prize? Half a million dollars in gold. ” When my oncologist walked in I asked him if he thought I would be strong enough to do this ride. He said go for it, go live your life. Then handed me a hundred dollars to get things rolling”, she recalls.
For Junie Rose, that was just the begining of her story as a long distance motorcycle competitor. She joined the Hoka Hey pack in the years that followed, reaching the destination even if it was a little later than the rest of the riders.
Unfinished Business was how the Hoka Hey organizers named the 2014 edition of the challenge. Aptly, the name was giving another opportunity for those who couldn’t join or finish the innaugural ride four years earlier. A name like this could apply for many of the riders who didn’t finish the first Key West-to-Homer ride but for Junie Rose it was the perfect opportunity to actually finish what she had started in 2010. The chance to do it again and finish it was right in front of her. She named it Unfinished Unfinished Business.
However, on her way to the starting line in Key West, Junie crashed her bike and was out of the race. While Hoka Hey challengers were riding through the state of Florida, Junie was recovering in a hospital bed. Her dreams of completing the ride to Alaska shattered once again. But not all was lost.
A year later, body, soul and spirit recovered, Junie had the opportunity to try again. While the Hoka Hey Challenge took a break in 2015 to honor the fallen riders who passed away while riding the challenge, Junie Rose rode to the Keys and took off to Alaska. On August 18, 2015, Junie Rose reached Homer, AK and even though she did it a year behind everyone else, Junie is a winner. We can all beat the roads, the rocks, the sand, the bugs and the weather to complete an epic ride. Junie Rose beat all that five times. And cancer.