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June 29, 2013

FREE TO RIDE: Motorcycle culture is alive but evolving in Southern Indiana

(Continued)

> SOUTHERN INDIANA —

Wilkey’s still a fan of bike nights around the area — Kingfish in Jeffersonville is a good one on Tuesdays, but the biggest one in the area happens every Thursday at Texas Roadhouse along Dixie Highway in Louisville. And he’s twice taken to the road for trips that spanned thousands of miles and 26 of these United States. He smiles as he recounts a trip that took him into Canada via Detroit and back to the states through Maine, and shudders remembering the wicked heat of Needles, Calif., during a trip along the famed U.S. 66.

“Sort of like the Griswold family vacation, we saw every little thing on the side of the road,” Wilkey recalled.

The line between “bikers” and “motorcyclists” has blurred over the years. Once considered the scourge of the roads, motorcycle clubs are more likely to be found on cable television than in the crime briefs. Cruiser-style bikes were once considered the only game in town, but bikes built for speed are now accepted alongside their chromed cruiser cousins. And women? Once considered an accessory for the passenger seat, they’re now equals in the biker community.

Jacquelyn Scanlan, 33, of Sellersburg, may as well have been born on a motorcycle. She got her first 50 CC dirt bike when she was 10, and it wasn’t long after that that she was on a bigger bike with a bigger engine. Now she rides a 2005 Honda CBR1000.

“Things have changed. There’s not a big surprise when you see women on motorcycles anymore,” she said. “Now I’ve had people comment just because I have such a larger bike — 1,000 CCs is a lot of power.”

 

ROADS OF SOUTHERN INDIANA

Thanks to its hilly terrain and plenitude of backroads, Southern Indiana may just be the best place in the state to ride.

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