Our founder

Louise Scherbyn  (1903-2003)

One for All, All for One

   My interest in motorcycling started in the early 1920, when I sat on a 1921 INDIAN motorcycle which was owned by a lad who came to visit my sister. In 1924 a friend gave me my first ride in a sidecar. I was scared at first but I found it great fun. Years passed and I grew up. My husband bought an INDIAN CHIEF and again I enjoyed the fun of sidecar riding. By 1932 I loved riding so much my husband came to the conclusion that I would make a good driver. That scared me mainly because it was during an age when women drivers were almost unheard of, and especially around Rochester, NY where I then lived. Added to that was the problem of my reputation, as I was supposed to be a dignified lady, held a good position at Eastman Kodak. What would the rest of the office think of me on learning I was riding around the city on a motorcycle of my own? But soon people knew I was driving a motorcycle. The question on every Monday morning was “where did you spend this weekend?” They became interested and I kept my good reputation.

   Later I became an associate editor of one of America's leading motorcycle publications and I rode my INDIANS constantly (I had 3 of them) and I never had an accident. Back in the 1940's women riders increased and they began to take more interest in motorcycles. I believed there should be more activities for them and that there should be a world-wide organisation for all women motorcyclists. Why not unite as a body in exchanging ideas and opinions, problems and advice? And with this came the initial step of the founding of the Women's International Motorcycle Association. People said to me at the time this endeavour would be an impossibility. My love of the sport and my determination carried me on to make it a possibility and eventually a successful reality. With the help of every member and some wonderful friends, the W.I.M.A. has now grown today (1952) to be the largest women's motorcycle organisation in the world. And that, girls,is how it all began.

This is a quote from an article written by Louise Scherbyn on "BUZZZZ", 1952, USA.  

■  Louise herself travelled all over America and Canada on her INDIANS. She holds the distinction of being the first American woman to reach the far North - the Timagami Forest of Canada. This was in 1937 when many main roads were still made of dirt and gravel and were very rutted and rough. In 1948, Louise competed in a 720 mile enduro in Canada. This grand old lady spent her last time in a retirement home in New York and her last bike, a 1940 INDIAN and her prized collection of apparently over 350 toy motorbikes are in the INDIAN motorcycle museum, Springfield, MA, USA. She left a wonderful organization, and died on June 18, 2003.
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