Author Topic: The Abernathy kids - the early motorcycle tourers !  (Read 2336 times)

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  • Offline MattR   gb

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    Offline MattR

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    The Abernathy kids - the early motorcycle tourers !
    on: February 10, 2017, 12:26:21 pm
    February 10, 2017, 12:26:21 pm

    I saw this story on MCN back in January but it's actually part of Indian Motorcycles "Be Legendary" campaign. I don't really have any interest in Indian motorcycles but thought this story amazing.

    The picture above was apparently taken in 1913, when two brothers rode an Indian motorcycle from Oklahoma to New York. However,at the time Bud (Louis) was only 14 and Temple 10. They had bought  an Indian Motorcycle with the money earned from riding on horseback adventures across the USA.

    The brothers’ first horseback adventure was from Oklahoma to New Mexico aged 9 and 5. Their father, a US marshall and friend of Roosevelt, came up with the idea saying they needed to “toughen up”.

    On July 10, 1909, (eight years after Indian Motorcycle was founded) the brothers Bud and Temple saddled up their horses (called Geronimo and Sam) and set off for Roswell in New Mexico – alone.

    A year later in 1910, the two young Abernathy kids set out from Oklahoma again, but this time headed for New York where they would meet Roosevelt who was returning from a hunting trip in Africa. This adventure had huge media attention with the entire nation country following the brothers in newspaper reports.

    When the brothers arrived in New York City on June 11 1910 they were greeted by a crowd of several thousand people (and their father Jack Abernathy).

    For the return trip back home to Oklahoma, the boys bought a Brush Motor Car and drove home, once again on their own.

    A further year later, in 1911, they accepted a challenge to ride horses from New York City to San Francisco in under 60 days. The rules stated they couldn’t sleep or eat indoors during the entire journey and there was a $10,000 prize if they succeeded. Sadly, they were two days late.

    Despite missing out on the $10,000 prize money, the pair had earned a fair sum from their notoriety and they bought an Indian motorcycle. In 1913, they rode it together from Oklahoma to New York (Bud was 14 and Temple 10). Their stepbrother Anton went along with them too.

    Their ride to New York on the Indian was their last documented adventure. Louis grew up to become a lawyer and practice law in Wichita Falls, Texas. He died in 1979. Temple worked in the oil industry and passed away in 1986.

    Quite an amazing story I thought, can you imagine that happening today! I guess one reason I quite liked the story was that as a teenager I set off on my tiny 250 and spent 8 months touring europe, camping all the way! And no I wasn't rich, I hardly had any money but I had a great adventure. It also taught me a lot and I've been lucky enough to travel much of the world since, but back in 1913 it must have been quite a trip for those lads.


  • Offline lowflying   au

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    Offline lowflying

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    Re: The Abernathy kids - the early motorcycle tourers !
    Reply #1 on: February 18, 2017, 08:46:48 am
    February 18, 2017, 08:46:48 am
    Great story. Of course nowadays you'd be a negligent parent if you let your boys have this much fun. They'd take your kids into public care.

    In my city, most parents don't even let their kids walk to school.