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June 29, 2013

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

(Continued)

> SOUTHERN INDIANA —

“It’s just being more free.”

 

FREE FOR ALL

“I would say a biker is someone who’s in search of freedom, who enjoys being outside, being outdoors,” said Derek Korte, the purchasing and preowned inventory manager at CC Powersports in Clarksville. “They enjoy being active, but they like being in control of something other than a car. A motorcycle gives you an amount of freedom where you’re kind of open-air, no cockpit around you and you’re just kind of cruising, man.

“You feel the wind and you feel the noise of the motor, and you feel all of this excitement and passion.”

CC Powersports is the largest motorcycle dealership in the Louisville metro area, and at one point billed itself as the largest in the Midwest. CC Powersports’ bread and butter is the Japanese bikes that Bartley is partial to (Hondas, Yamahas and Suzukis are all sold there), as well as American bikes like K & M and Victory/Polaris. Korte has seen all types of riders come through his showroom.

“Everyone has a different agenda when they want to ride,” Korte said. “Everyone has different schedules and obligations. For some people, it’s rain or shine and I’m riding everywhere I go. And then some people, their riding and their daily commute is their enjoyment. They ride to work and from work and they enjoy that. That gives them a little bit of release.”

Ray Wilkey, 46, of Jeffersonville, straddles that line. He used to be on the road nearly every day on his cruiser, sporting black T-shirts, the Harley-Davidson shield and leather boots. Now he’s down to two or three times per week, but his passion for the road hasn’t left him.

“It just washes away everything,” Wilkey said. “Any stress, any bad day that you had, it’s gone once you get on the motorcycle.”

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Students of Ms. Kitzmiller's first grade class sing and dance in the gymnasium at Grant Line Elementary before heading to their classroom to begin the school year Thursday morning in New Albany.

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