Findlay's Road Ride

$5,015 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 79 people in 40 months

The story of a young man on a 1400-mile solo ride struck a special place in my heart years ago. Now, 100 years later I’m working to recreate his journey, which has become an ambitious adventure of my own.

This story will speak to everyone who has ever swung a leg over any type of motorcycle and I hope will inspire all riders!

On a cold summer’s morning in 1916, Charles K. Findlay unknowingly began a journey through time. Charles was just 16 years old the morning he fired up his 1916 Indian Power Plus and headed north. He had planned the ride to the minute and raced over macadam, dirt, mud, mountains, streams and rivers to meet his goals. What he didn’t plan on was that his expedition would capture my heart and whisper to my motorcyclist-soul to tell his story to the world. As a record holding Iron Butt Rider, I relate to a well-planned and executed timed ride. Also as a rider that doesn’t hesitate to take street bikes down a muddy forest roads or to the Arctic Circle or across creeks, I feel a kindred spirit in him. His youthful swagger and humor are charming and his exuberance is contagious.

Excerpt from the diary of Charles K. Findlay:
“The story of the trip from Montgomery, Ala -to-Abington,Va. -via- Atlanta ,Ga Spartanburg, SC Charlotte, NC Winston-Salem, NC Roanoke, Va 859 miles in 43hr.35 min On a 1916 Indian motorcycle By Chas K.Findlay.

Thur. June 8th 1916 After looking over the motor, filling the tanks and strapping on the baggage the nite before.

Baggage consisted of raincoat and gal. of oil I was ready to go as soon as i was dressed. I put on my riding suit was already dirty and greasy so you can imagin what I will look like at the end of the 859 miles. I cranked off at 5:20am I was leaving Montgomery behind me. 5:45”

For the past few years I’ve been working with two of his distant relatives, 1915, 1916 and 1919 Automobile Blue Books, countless historic topographic maps, historic soil maps, rail road maps, libraries, universities, historical societies and museums to recreate his journey on roads that he could have ridden. By connecting the places and using the descriptions he offers in his 1916 diary with roads, ferries, bridges and towns that existed in 1916 or before, I’ve created a route that will very closely mimic his. Of course there is no way of knowing the exact roads he rode, but I believe I have done all due diligence with regards to research. I’ll capture the spirit of his journey and do honor to his memory.

In 2016, I’m buying a 2016 Indian Scout and on June 8th, 2016 I’ll recreate his ride 100 years to the day on a bike 100 years newer and write his story from the saddle. It will include recreating the ferry ride across the Savannah River via pontoon boat because his crossing is now under Lake Hartwell.

I have even found what might be the very LAST copy of the movie he watched in Chattanooga called “The Captive God” with John Hart. at the George Eastman Museum. I’m currently working with Ashley McCue, Executive Director of The Tivoli Foundation to see if we can show it in Chattanooga, TN 100 years to the day

My friends and fellow riders, here is where I need your help.
Steve, my husband, and I have been carrying the financial burden of this passion to re-create the 1916 Indian ride for years. I cannot tell you how difficult it’s been at times.

Please give what you can to this worthy and amazing adventure and please share on social media and in forums. Every dollar helps, as does helping to spread the word! 

Your generosity is greatly appreciated as together we make this dream a reality!

Thank you ever so kindly and please check back often…there will be more to come soon…

Follow Findlay's Road on Facebook

Ride with joy,

Gwen “Shogs” Phillips
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Findlay's Road made the Newnan Times Herald this weekend!
Please give what you can to further this historic ride!
Gwen “Shogs” Phillips
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I have GREAT news!!!

Someone I've never met IRL but has been a great advisor and E-friend has stepped up and volunteered to drive the support vehicle for the entire length of the ride!

Thank you Arye!

So the current plan is that he’ll arrive here in Harrisonburg at our home on 5/31/16 or 6/1/16 and we’ll depart for Montgomery, AL the following day.

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Someone asked if I had bought the bike yet, this was my reply.

No. Buying the bike is the easiest thing I've got to do, and about at the bottom of the list.

I never got any SAG support, so now I need to make arrangements for drop shipments of shirts, card, handouts and PR folders.
To that end I had to buy this a PayPay Here card reader.

I'm still working on the logistics of coordinating critical meetings with people such as the men giving me a "ferry" ride across Lake Hartwell (one in GA and one in SC), the 5 persons who have given me permission to ride across their private property and several others.

Also, my 478's USB ports failed and I cannot upload maps, so I just found one today over on the LD list.

Next, I need to convert all the routes for Google Earth and Garmin then clean them up.

Oh, and I still and struggling EVERY single day to find THREE remaining places from his diary!

Emails I need to send looking for information include Davidson College, Barrow County and Duke University and 5 historical societies.

I still need to acquire $1,000,000 special liability insurance so that I have physical access to the grounds of Huntingdon College to start the ride.

I'm still fighting tooth and nail for a venue to show the silent film "Captive God" in Chattanooga on June 3rd. (100 years to the day that Charles saw the film)

I'm currently talking with my credit union about an unsecured loan to pay for the ride + buying a new bike.

I still have to talk with the city of Gantt SC about permission to have access to a gates section of original road.

I need to make a trip to the Library of Congress for maps.

I still need to access this, which will require a trip to Kingsport, TN. >>

I need to F/u with Ingalls Ferry land owner and relative about meeting and interview during the ride.

I must somehow come up with the money to form a proper LLC with the 3 relatives of Charles with whom I've been working with.

And so much more...

And I STILL don't have any clue if I'm doing anything right.
I feel so overwhelmed.
I'm getting 5-6 hours of sleep a night/day.

I'm doing stupid amounts of caffeine to stay awake for research followed by alcohol so I can sleep fast and working full time. Life is too short, what the hell!

I feel that my WHOLE life has lead me to do this ride and write his story.
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Thank you all for your belief in my project and the worthiness of bring Charles K. Findlay's story to life.

Tomorrow I'm heading to Richmond,VA to dig through maps that have not been digitized.

There are some big gaps in the route I'm still trying to fill.
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Terry Phillips Foster
40 months ago

3 of 7

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$5,015 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 79 people in 40 months
Created January 7, 2016
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30 months ago
Ian Schmeisser
35 months ago

Thank you for visiting us, Gwen!

Pat Pfister
35 months ago
Scott Atchison
35 months ago
Thomas Siebert
35 months ago

Hope this helps.

Steve Powers
36 months ago
Don Calcote
36 months ago
John Doyle
36 months ago
36 months ago
Cameron Pforr
37 months ago

Admire your dedication. Get her done!

Terry Phillips Foster
40 months ago

3 of 7

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