Indian Riders
Header image



Motocycle Club
Indian Motocycles - you can't wear them out                                  Indian Motocycles - built to last
A Narrow Escape


Aynho  21 May  2005  

Alan  Ford owns, and lives on, a fantastic narrow boat.  It’s christened  Indian Scout’  and is moored at Aynho, just north of Oxford .   He had kindly charged Sybil with forming a small group of suitably narrow-minded club members to enjoy an afternoon’s cruise along the Oxford canal.

So, on  21st May,  Mike & Sybil, Anita & Peter, Tony & Linda and Ron & Val  made up this somewhat motley crew and were all alongside by 11.15am awaiting orders from Captain Ford.

Well, it was then decided, in true Indian Riders fashion, that food was the main priority of the day so it was straight back into the cars for a 20 minute dash to The Plough at Bidicote. This is a 14th Century inn that served up some excellent fare. Several of our lot chose the fish – maybe in keeping with the watery excursion ahead.  The service was a bit slow but we enjoyed that as it gave us the opportunity for a good natter around the table.   

Well fed & watered, we  headed back to Aynho and around 2pm it was

All aboard the ‘Indian Scout  (what a magnificent name for this craft – full of romance and adventure). For some of us it was a first time on a narrow boat and we were amazed at how many home comforts are stowed

on board this vessel.  At approx 60ft long by 7 ft wide, the boat provides Alan with a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and a lounge complete with TV, HiFi and a gorgeous iron stove, it’s flue disappearing through the roof, to keep it all warm and cosy during the winter months.  

So, now all familiarised with the layout, although most of us are still confused as to which is Port or Starb’rd and Fore or Aft, the Indian Scout cast off and gently progressed to her max speed of 3 mph (or should that be Knots, Captain ?)  

The tranquillity of it all is amazingly becalming, the soft throb of the engine serving only to cosset us all in this graceful motion through nature and peace.  The world seems to slow down to a gentle tick-over….time to look up, look down, look around, see everything  - slowly. 

The canal, although man-made, has long since developed a perfectly natural look with leafy banks supporting all forms of wildlife – a pair of swans glide by – I don’t think we can keep up with them!

Narrow escape 1.jpg (373550 bytes)

All aboard

Narrow escape 10.jpg (304492 bytes)


Narrow escape 11.jpg (288007 bytes)

Nice View

Narrow escape 12.jpg (431707 bytes)

Say cheese

Narrow escape 2.jpg (397574 bytes)

Land lubber

Narrow escape 3.jpg (307937 bytes)

So Quiet

Narrow escape 15.jpg (288219 bytes)

Eye, Eye SkipperT

Narrow escape 14.jpg (369554 bytes)

Is it raining?

Narrow escape 13.jpg (398274 bytes)

Where's the microwave?

Narrow escape 5.jpg (398113 bytes)

Feeding time at the zoo

Narrow escape 9.jpg (375546 bytes)

Ahoy there!

Narrow escape 8.jpg (394429 bytes)

Mind the paintwork

Narrow escape 7.jpg (469496 bytes)

time for afternoon tea

Narrow escape 16.jpg (257609 bytes)

Jump?  no way

narrow escape 17.jpg (454071 bytes)

This is how you do it.

We make our way up the canal, the weather, far from being warm as forecast, is decidedly chilly and most of us are inside the boat. Alan is outside on the tiller at the rear (stern even) and a couple of brave souls are outside up front.

Hey, what’s this coming up? – it’s our first lock. Alan, Tony and the ‘hardy’ Anita(shaming us blokes) leap off the boat and run ahead to the lock.They crank the winch round and open the gate to let the Scout in, close the gate behind us, let the water reach the correct level, then open the front gate – through we go – then close the gate behind us again – easy !       

We  were to go through a couple of these locks , quite happy to leave all the cranking to the aforementioned team – mainly because the weather had deteriorated from a bit chilly to downright freezin’. Here we are nearing the end of May and we’re getting hailstones to boot!  

As we approached the final lock, the weather suddenly improved dramatically, the sun shone and we could all go up top and enjoy this beautiful location in all it’s glory. This secluded lock has it’s own lock-keepers cottage with – no gas, no electric, no road even -   the folk who live here have a small boat to ferry them a mile or so down the canal to the nearest road where they leave their car. Still, if it’s privacy you want then this could be the place for you.

We all disembark here (see, we’re learning all these nautical terms already) and enjoy a stroll along the tow-path. Linda buys a couple of second hand books from the lock-keeper’s stall and Sybil rightly suggests

It would be a wonderful spot for a picnic.Val is still busy trying to recover from her hypothermia !  

Back aboard, Alan does a 3 point turn thingy in one of the turning inlets provided and we lazily head back to Aynho – arriving sometime after 6.

Now, we all know that riding your Indian  is perhaps the best way (beclothed, anyway) to relieve the stress and strain of this life, but if you fancy an alternative to get away from all the humdrum, then I recommend this as an excellent ‘narrow escape’ from it all.  

From all the scurvy crew, our grateful thanks for a super day to Alan and the intriguing Indian Scout – God bless you and all who sail in you

Ron Wells  Narrow escape 4.jpg (418894 bytes)


Back Button             


Indian Motocycles - you can't wear them out                                  Indian Motocycles - built to last  
Disclaimer:  Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided, neither the Indian Riders Motorcycle Club, it's officials or any individual shall in any way be liable for loss, injury or damage resulting directly or indirectly from reliance of such information.  The inclusion of adverts  does not mean  that the advertisers are in any way endorsed by Indian Riders Motorcycle Club or it's officials.  Any disputes or claims must be taken up with the advertiser.