Ride 50 at 50 Part 3: Roll with the Hills

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The Official Ride of the 3 Amigo’s “Ride 50 at 50” has started, the anticipation is over and the wheels of those Indian Motorcycles are turning westward. It will take a day or two to calm those nerves and to get those 50-year-old bodies acclimated to the time-change. Also, sometimes the weather has different plans when it comes to riding, but as these motorcycles move you in one direction, a higher power is moving the weather in another. Hey, nobody guaranteed blue skies and 0% chance of rain.

Roll with hills and seek the horizon, as this is the stuff you’ve dreamed of.

It’s still early in this journey so if there is any advice I would give, it is to slow down. We often get in a big toot to get the ride started that we forget as to why we are riding to begin with. Let the trip happen and unfold and don’t let the little moments go unnoticed. Stop and think about what a great opportunity this is and appreciate it for what it is. Not every day will be perfect, but every day will be awesome. Point and laugh a lot while you’re at it.

So to David, Adrian and Andrew; Roll with hills and seek the horizon, as this is the stuff you’ve dreamed of. At 50, you’re almost over the hill anyway.

 

Ride 50 at 50 Part 2: This Just Got Real

Hands will be raised just like the laughter that will follow, and the memories will be born.

Adrian David Andy SFAs so the journey begins. It’s a simple concept, really. Pack a few things, jump on a plane, fly to America and rent three Indian Motorcycles. Once you land, it’s three weeks of riding highway 50 across the country with three of the best friends imaginable. Lot’s of 3’s here.

Nobody said it would be easy. Hell, even friendships can be hard at times, but adding the stress of where to stop and sleep and eat can just put each of you on your last nerve. Just remember, no matter how hard it is, every moment will be looked at and smiled upon once this epic ride is over. Hands will be raised just like the laughter that follows and memories will be born.

Adrian, Andrew and David are wheels-up on their way to America, and it’s about time. All of the anticipation and planning, logistics and doubts have all met in the intersection. This just got real. But soon you will find the rhythm of the road and I know the places and people you meet will bring it all together. Remember to breathe, but more importantly remember to put yourself smack-dab in the moment. Slow down and let this ride unfold into everything you want it will be.

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Please follow along on this ride of a lifetime. Three Amigos on Indian Motorcycles riding east to west on Route 50. It doesn’t get any better than that.

 

Indian Motorcycles – Every Story Needs A Hero

 

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I love a great story, one that takes me back to a world before my time. And as you know every great story has a beginning, a middle and some even have an end. But this story hasn’t ended yet. In fact, I think this may be just the beginning.

Indian Motorcycles is a great story, and as the story goes right now, it has me sitting on the edge of my chair. I’ve been a motorcycle guy for over 40 years. Growing up, my world revolved around everything I could get my hands on that could give me any information to what was going on out in the world of motorcycling. Living in the Midwest in the ’70s, information was a little slow to arrive, but when it did I hung onto each picture and every word. Yes, as in the printed word. We didn’t live in some futuristic world of instant information, video on a whim or hand-held telecommunication devices that kept us current with the media…you know, like socially. Magazines told us of what in the world was going on, and we liked it so much we saved them in stacks. For you folks living in the future, that means we didn’t “delete” them.

We are living in a period where we can witness the Indian Motorcycle story as it unfolds. We already know how the story began, and much like those folks living around 1901 when George Hendee and Carl Hedstrom put their collective heads together and started it all, those who followed it through the local newspapers watched it unfold in real-time. They were living through the era of racing board track, the beginning of the Isle of Man TT, World War I, and “Cannonball” Baker as the Indian story progressed through the ’20s. I’m sure around 1915 they weren’t sitting on the edge of their seats, but as news goes people will follow. No one thought they would ever see the end of the story in their lifetime. We often live our lives not thinking like this, but it’s still true today. What has happened in your lifetime that we take for granted, not thinking how many more chapters there will be?

Like any good book there are chapters where the reading gets a little dry. Around 1953 all production was halted and the company went bankrupt. With several attempts over the years to revive the Indian brand it was discovered to be harder than one would think. Deep pockets and big dreams can get you far but it takes more than that. It takes a hero to come in and save the day and that hero is Polaris Industries. A company with the know-how and the wherewithal to make it happen. The secret ingredient? I believe it’s the people. Just as George and Carl were the guys to kick it off, the people behind Polaris Industries have the passion and desire and more importantly – a track record to make it happen. The Indian Motorcycle brand is a story within itself, but the real story is its success. Polaris, quietly building Victory Motorcycles for years, shakes the industry up with the new Indian Brand. Not only did it garner worldwide attention, but as a side benefit, it pulls Victory Motorcycles into an even brighter spotlight. This story can only get better.

The Indian Motorcycle Brand has found a good, permanent home with Polaris. A rough and rocky road for many years, Indian can now be the Brand it so deserves to be. When you are passionate about something it’s easy to get excited about it. I’ve been a passionate motorcyclist for many years and it isn’t hard to spot the kind of enthusiasm building behind Indian Motorcycles. I know there is so much more to come and it’s happening in real-time for us.

How It’s Going to Be

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“I have seen the past and its future is looking bright.” There are certain events or objects we encounter that evoke a sense of where we came from and where we are going, and in the re-introduction of the Indian® Motorcycle brand, we have seen the past and it is truly the sign of things to come. So, is it possible to hold the idea of “days gone by” in your hand, and feel the same wind as it brushed up against those early riders of this iconic Indian® motorcycle? Of course it is. The Thunder Stroke™ 111 easily pulls you into the here and now.

Few brands have this kind of power. The power to move us physically and the power to evoke emotion. After all, it is those two elements that have caused hearts to beat faster and memories to be made. Memories that withstand time. Just like an old, dog-eared black and white photograph that speaks volumes about its subject; the stories, the people and the times, all in a single snapshot that only took seconds to create. That split second, when time stood still, has preserved the moment for all to see. Indian® Motorcycles were there. There when life was hard and the people were harder and on the verge of there own destiny, much like we are today. We take it all for granted, but as they lived in the early 1900’s things were happening and happening fast. They too, took it for granted.

We are no different from our predecessors. We seek the freedom and adventure that life brings to us every day, and we desire what the future brings – without giving up our past. The past that defines us and made us who we are; Enthusiasts. We “make history” each time we ride, only we aren’t aware of when exactly it’s happening. It just happens. Somewhere, someone is taking that memorable photo right now that will be looked upon by another generation and their reaction will be the same then, as it is for us today. A different time and a different place, telling stories of how it used to be. Or rather how it’s going to be?

I believe Indian® Motorcycles are here to stay. Over the years they have come and gone, much like a dream with hopes of “someday.” But today is that day. History has repeated itself and Indian® Motorcycles has a future derived from a time when pride, excitement and a passion was the main ingredient to ingenuity. Just like it is today.