Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Same couple, same bike, 60 years apart

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by Mouth, Nov 27, 2015.

  1. Indian Scout motorcycle and Roma couple prepare for annual toy run

    PHOTO: John and Ronda Finnigan on their 1944 Indian Scout. The couple still enjoys riding motorcycles after 60 years in the saddle. (Supplied: John Finnigan)

    PHOTO: John and Ronda Finnigan once rode the Indian Scout from Roma to the Sunshine Coast — a 1,000km round trip. (Supplied: John Finnigan)

    The Scout was the bike Mr Finnigan and his soon-to-be-wife rode all the way to the Sunshine Coast in 1955, a 1,000km round trip on some "interesting" roads.

    "There was a hundred-mile section of pretty horrid dirt road; I can still remember that vividly," Mr Finnigan recalled.

    "You'd have to be young and silly to do that."

    After 60 years, Mrs Finnigan remembers the trip too.

    We might have a few parts that need replacing. We're a bit older and wiser — and still in love.

    "It was rough. Our mothers were pretty worried, but we didn't fall off, and never have," Mrs Finnigan said.

    Not long after the trek to the Sunshine Coast, Mr Finnigan sold the Indian to buy other motorbikes.

    However, 20 years later, he contracted what he refers to as "old bike fever".

    "I set out to track that particular Indian (motorbike) down and discovered it had had four owners since me," he said.

    "[The owner] didn't want to sell it at the time, but seven years later, he did.

    "It was probably only nostalgia, but I still feel pretty good about buying it back."

    True love survives the bumps

    Even though riding as a pillion passenger brings a couple close physically, Mrs Finnigan said it had not always been romantic.

    "Marriage is a little like riding a bike; you just have to keep holding on," she laughed.

    "I'd sometimes get into trouble when I didn't sit still."

    But Mr Finnigan recalls things a little differently.

    "If Ronda didn't have her arms around me I'd stomp on the brake a bit so she'd grab a hold of me," he said.

    Mr Finnigan completed a full restoration of the Indian Scout in 2014.

    "It is in better condition now than when I bought it but the people might not be," he said.

    "We might have a few parts that need replacing. We're a bit older and wiser — and still in love."

    Riding for the next generation
    PHOTO: John Finnigan plans to lead the annual Roma toy run on his red Indian motorcycle. (Supplied: John Finnigan)

    Mr Finnigan owns six motorbikes, but has taken time off from restoring them to put the final touches on the fourth annual Roma Toy Run.

    Motorbike riders gather a month before Christmas in a procession of throbbing engines, to deliver toys to Anglicare.

    "It's only about three or four kilometres around town," Mr Finnigan said.

    "So we do the run, hand over the toys, and then if anyone is in the mood we'll go for a social run to a little town nearby."

    He said the number of participants in the rural toy run was down last year after VLAD laws were introduced.

    "The first year we did it we had 51 bikes," he said.

    "But then they introduced the anti-bikie laws and we got a lot less people. I think people were worried the police would have a problem with it.

    "But the Roma police are good. There's only one set of traffic lights in town and they help us all through it.

    "And when people see me take my helmet off they know I'm not any trouble."

    Riders are invited to assemble for the Toy Run at Bassett Park at 8am on Saturday, November 28, bringing unwrapped toys suitable for children up to the age of 17.

    Ref: Roma couple ride on after 60 years on Indian motorcycle
    • Like Like x 11
    • Winner Winner x 3