Start Your Legend Series: Nancy
My legend has just started, this is my first season riding and the Scout is my very first bike! I am a mother of 3 adult children 18, 20 & 27. And with their lives all taking off into all directions I needed to pick one of my own. My longtime guy has been a rider all his life and mostly owns/restores vintage bikes like his 1947 Chief, but he bought a Chieftain a few years ago so we could do some 2UP riding together. We put lots of happy miles on that bike in comfort but I always found myself wanting to ride my own which he encouraged. This spring, I finally decided that I would take an MSF class, get my license, and get a bike. My sister also wanted to do the same so we took the course together and saddled up on some 250cc trainer bikes to get it done. The learning curve was steep at first but we both passed easily and walked away with our licenses.
With the official legalities behind me, I needed a bike. I considered a lot of options, used and new. Mostly cruisers - everything from Triumph Bonnevilles to Harley Sportsters but in the end, the Indian Scout was the perfect fit for me despite my small size(5'4" & 110#). Every time I sat on one, it just felt like home despite it being almost 560 lbs. I could flat foot it and easily reach all the controls, the riding position was incredibly comfortable and with the low-slung engine, it balanced perfectly without feeling tipsy. I was worried that I was choosing too much bike but was assured that I’d quickly outgrow a small bike and would probably be looking to upgrade after my first riding season so “buy once, cry once” became my mantra.
Before getting out on the road I had figured that most of what I needed to know I had learned in the parking lot MSF course and for the most part it was, but the streets are different and you quickly realize that your learning has just begun. Luckily, I had a seasoned rider ready to help coach me through it. We purchased some helmet headsets and I quickly became familiar with counter-steering, defensive riding techniques, hand signals, and how to expect the unexpected while still having fun. I just passed the four thousand mile mark and I try to ride every single day. So far I’ve ridden every state in New England, been on group rides, experienced a full fledged Hippie convention by way of dirt roads in the Green Mountains of Vermont, and have seen more sunsets and beautiful countrysides than ever before in my life. Plenty of dead bugs too!
Words cannot capture the feeling I get when I come across a rolling, twisty road that I’ve never ridden before - but when I pick my line, roll on the throttle, hear my pipes bark and lean into the turn, all I can do is smile and marvel at how this Scout somehow feels like an extension of me. I now know why riders want to change out their pipes. I now know why riders get irritated when they can’t ride, and I can no longer imagine a future that doesn’t include an my Indian Scout in it. I’m lucky to have great female mentors in the Indian family to look up to like the Van Buren sisters who rode cross country 100 years ago on Indians and Esta Manthos who rode all 50 states on Indians, collected them all her life and then donated them all to the Springfield Museum instead of selling them off. I’m truly inspired by their grit and determination and I cannot wait to make my own history!