Saturday, December 20, 2014

How Sash Got the 2015 Indian Scout

2015 Indian Scout
Sash on a 2015 Indian Scout, Petco Park, San Diego, CA
Many of you already follow my wife's blog, and therefore you already know that she got herself a 2015 Indian Scout.

Or perhaps best clarified, Indian Motorcycle International, LLC, a division of Polaris Industries, Inc., loaned her one of their pre-production, media-edition, 2015 Indian Scouts, for at least two months.

I make that clarification, because apparently, these pre-production, media-edition bikes are not exactly what will be delivered to buyers. I'm not aware of all the differences, but am told that among them is that actual Scouts will have adjustable foot controls for shorter/longer legs, and greater fuel range (I'm not certain what they'll do to increase that).

But for all intents and purposes, she's got an honest to goodness 2015 Indian Scout, for free, for at least two months, and more importantly, she's been saying she's going to get one going back to last August.

As the husband in all this, it's been quite an observation.

Sash was at the previous Sturgis Motorcycle Rally the second the bike was unveiled to the public. She had acquired a rather coveted media pass into Indian's "Reveal" event.  She got to chat with some big media names in the motorcycle industry, like Peter Jones of Cycle World, John Rogue of Bikernet, Cyril Huze of Cyril Huze, to name a few.

But she also got to meet executives at Indian.

It took a lot of follow-ups, a lot of persistence, along with demonstrating that we're good at blogging and social media, have a decent sized following, and are committed to working within the motorcycle industry. We submitted a written proposal, attended events where Indian executives would be, and it also helped that Sash and I had written reviews of the new Indian Scout on Biker News Online and and Women Riders Now.

I mention this because a lot of people have asked us how it is that Indian Motorcycles would loan one of their bikes to Sash for a couple of months, when most media people only get them for a week or less.

Well, persistence. A positive enthusiasm for the Scout. Being sashtastic. Won't take no for an answer. Being a woman. The last part has to do with Indian Motorcycles wanting to get more women riders over to their camp.

There's also a story about her father.

Sash remembers him telling her that he had always wanted an Indian Scout. He had told her about the legacy of the Scout. Considering he was a full-blooded American Indian, it seemed like a fitting bike. This was during the late 1960s and 1970s, and by then, the old Scout 101s were hard to come by.

But this isn't simply a story of a girl wanting to honor her father, or gain his approval through the afterlife. She really digs this motorcycle! Did I mention the review she wrote for Women Rider's Now?

And now with 35,000+ miles of riding across the country for nearly two years, as a newbie rider, she's ready to settle into a long-term bike.

That's what the 2015 Indian Scout means for her.

But I'm really just proud of her persistence and for believing that she'll make the impossible happen.

Finally, as part of our agreement with Indian Motorcycles, we've launched a dedicated website documenting Sash's ride on the Scout for the next couple of months... "Sash On A Scout"

This new website will also detail the impact Sash's father had on her new-found motorcycling passion.  She'll be riding the Scout to various places of her troubled youth, reconciling the past, while seated on the bike her father always wanted.

I hope you bookmark it, blogroll it, and share it with others. (it'll make us look good to Indian...)

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Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Answer to Life's Mysteries

the answer to life's mysteries
Where I feel most safe
Perhaps the only answer I've been able to arrive at, with respect to life's mysteries, is that there's never really any gain or loss.

That is, for every dollar earned by a man, a dollar was spent by someone else. Every apple that grows from a tree, water, carbon, sunlight, was taken. Even when we gain knowledge, it seems we forget something else.

The Universe never gives without taking from another.

After so many years of riding long journeys on my motorcycle, I've gained a certain amount of richness. I see how vast the world is, but at the same time I feel more small. I see how intricate our society is and am only more confused.

It's as if gaining enlightenment is really just becoming more humble.

Part of me sees solutions to the problems that plague us, but on the other hand, patching a hole in one place seems to open up a hole somewhere else. It's like when you take a pill to cure an illness, and you end up with side effects from taking the pill.

In the end, I can never seem to get ahead. It's always one step forward and one step back.

I'd rather just lay myself afloat and let the highway's current deliver me to the answer. The realization I am just one small human being on Earth, let alone during a very brief moment of time on this planet's history, could either have me hurried in a panic, or calm in assurance.

Salvation along the Church of the Highway has it's unique brand of enlightenment for someone who's spent a lot of time inside their head. I often believe that the sight of trees, mountains, and rivers is an assurance that I'll return to someplace more ageless than where I am now.

Others can toss dollars into a tithing basket, and others still can consume alcohol at a late night happy hour, but it's all the same church. It's all just people releasing control and letting the Universe take them.

In the end, there are no winners and losers. Everything we've gained is taken away. Even the knowledge learned from our existence is useless at that point. It's better to accept others as they are than to ask for changes. The best answer to life's mysteries is to let go, let things be, and appreciate what comes our way.

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Saturday, November 29, 2014

If Lewis and Clark Lived in Today's Age

Sash along US-95 South, Kofa National Wildlife Refuge, Arizona
Often times I can't help but compare myself to explorers that trekked across the mountains and valleys of America hundreds of years ago. But somehow, it seems that riding a motorcycle down paved roads is easier, safer, and more comfortable than the way men discovered these lands originally.

Yet, I still feel inspired at the sight of vast landscapes across the American frontier, just as they might have. I still become swallowed up into the fabric of flora, fauna as one of Earth's meager inhabitants. I think of Meriwether Lewis, documenting what he saw into his journals, and can't help but to see myself in the same way, as I write this blog.

But when I read the Journals of Lewis and Clark, I shake my head in wonder at how brave those men were. Even though I experience the same wonder of discovering new lands and new people, somehow what I'm doing feels a lot more easy.

Am I truly just a product of society? How much of myself is natural instinct, versus external influences, versus the DNA of my ancestry?

I watch this little girl named "Sophia", barely a year and a half old, reach for my smartphone and tap the buttons on its screen.  She only did so because the other adults in the living room were busy tapping the buttons on their smartphones too. As a little toddler, nature instilled her with the need to emulate adults. But instead of emulating skills basic to survival, such as digging up roots, or gathering tinder, she was building neural pathways critical for surviving in a technological age.

On the other hand, technological innovation is natural to human beings. It's our brains and hands that make us human, just like stealth and claws that make a cat, or flight and feathers that make a bird. And taking that into consideration, our brains can be influenced by other people, by our surroundings, and the current state of affairs we are in.

Sophia holds my smartphone
It also feels natural to me to open up my laptop, upload photos from my camera, and write a blog post. It feels so much a part of my nature to share it on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. But things like a computer, camera, and the Internet, are just tools we created to help us live in this day and age. They're really no different than the arrowheads, baskets, and flint rocks that people relied on in a more distant day and age.

I often hear that people today could never survive in the wilderness the way mountain men and explorers did centuries ago. I suppose that's true in that I didn't grow up with up the skills needed to survive in the wild. But that doesn't make me less of a survivor. Our brains were not meant to remain as hunter-gatherers. It wants to take on tougher problems.

That's why human beings built civilizations, engines, and computers. That's why laws get more complicated and why the red tape in Washington DC continues to roll. I think it's also why we have the current political system in the United States. All of these things usher in newer problems and variables for our brains to feast.

I like to think that Lewis and Clark wouldn't know what to do with a Bluetooth headset, Google Maps, or online banking.

Yet strangely, I find myself attracted to the beauty of a desert landscape or mountain range. I still love the quiet of a starry night. There will always be bit of Lewis and Clark in me, even though I don't have skills to deal with the outdoors.

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About Steve

San Diego, CA-based motorcycle rider who likes long road trips, old rustic bars, craft beer, and tough women. Can often be found where there's free Wi-Fi, writing about the mysteries of life. (Read more...)