Getting the Wife to Ride With Me on My Motorcycle

Janet at sunset in Terlingua, Texas ’07

Getting the wife to ride with me on my motorcycle was a dream of mine for some time. It took a while and it was well worth all my efforts.

Thirty four years ago Janet took her first ride with me on my motorcycle. We rode over a hundred miles that day and night and we had a great time. It was sort of our first date. Afterward Janet told me she was afraid to ride motorcycles!!! So I was asking myself… why did she accept my invitation to ride that day?  You can guess… Janet and I have been married for 34 years. To make a long story short I gave up riding just before our oldest daughter was born 2 years later. I didn’t resume riding until our youngest daughter graduated from high school.

Before buying my 2000 Kawasaki Nomad in June of 2001 I mentioned to Janet that I wanted to buy another bike. Her reply was, “You should… you never buy anything for yourself.” That started the ball rolling. After doing a lot of research I bought the Nomad so we could take trips together.

I found a good deal on the bike and picked up the new bike and rode home. Upon arriving home I announced to Janet I needed her to take me to the dealer to get my truck. Janet was a bit surprised even though I had talked about buying the bike for some time. I explained that it was a touring bike so we could take trips together, but Janet announced… “I’m not riding on that thing”. I tried to explain, I didn’t buy the bike for myself but for us…  Her fears of riding were still there after all those years.

I still had my dream of us riding and touring and I wasn’t going to give up on that dream. I didn’t make a big deal out of it but from time to time would mention us riding together. It eventually started a dialog about that possibility. Janet expressed her concerns and what it would take to get her riding. Most of her fears came from riding with her first husband who scared the heck out of her. Janet’s first condition for riding was that I get some riding experience after not riding for so long. I didn’t mind that since I knew I needed that already. Eventually Janet would take short rides and see how I was handling the bike and how she handled riding. These were baby steps but I think they were necessary steps for Janet and me. The rides became longer and longer.

My buddies and I had talked about riding to Big Bend (500 miles away) in the spring of 2002. I wanted Janet to go but she wasn’t willing to ride that far with her being the only wife going. When talking to my brother about going my sister-in-law showed some interest and her and Janet started talking. They said they would go if the other would come along. I guess you would say the rest is history.

Because I was so afraid this ride might be Janet’s first and last long ride, I tried to plan everything to the last detail. We learned a lot about what and what not to do on that trip. There were a lot of things we could have done better. The biggest mistakes were trying to do too many miles each day, changing the trip plan and not checking for road construction on the route. In spite of the mistakes we did have a great time and Janet is still riding and enjoying our trips.

I know we aren’t the only ones out there who have been down that road and possibly some of you are there now. Let us hear about your stories.

Ride safe and we will see you down the road somewhere…

11 responses to “Getting the Wife to Ride With Me on My Motorcycle

  1. Way to go, Janet! (And way to go, YOU, for bringing her into it so thoughtfully.) 🙂

  2. My wife too has a fear of riding. although when we were younger she would not hesitate to jump on, 30 years down the track she isn’t so willing. Were I currently live is 130km (80miles) from the next closest town so it is only around town here that she will ride.
    In a couple of months we are moving back to South Australia and the area has a lot to offer riders and there pillions. Lots of short rides on good surfaced roads. Dozens of wineries and cafes within 30 minutes ride.
    I’m very much looking forward to it and gradually extending our ride as she gains confidence.


    • Hopefully your wife will get to enjoy it again… I am so blessed that Janet rides with me.

      It sounds nice where you are moving… I so wish I could ride OZ again. It’s a great country for many reasons. The people being number one.


  3. Nice article(story).

  4. When my husband bought a harley, I explained that riding was not my thing and If he buy it I would not be on it. After he bought it he would hint around for me to ride, but I said no. Well one day I gave in only for a ride around the block. A week later I went just a tad farther. About a month later I agreed to go a litter more farther and told him to briefly try the highway. It was late at night. He is a very safe driver. But I just don’t like it. Now six months later he hinted that two couples were riding with their husbands to Fredricksburg where the scenery is fabulous. I saw it in his eyes and hesitantly agreed to go along. Only until I shared with an avid biker rider at work did I find out the ride was four and a half hours away. The coworker suggested that we trailer in. I told my husband and he agreed. The next day he said he started asking different bikers and that all ride and never trailor. Husband called and said that we would ride. I feel he should be more understanding of my concern of the length of this trip but he does not want to compromise. I feel he should at least allow me to car ride behind them and enjoy the bike ride once we reach Fredrickberg. Please respond we have started arguing about this and am I about to tell him that since he is acting this way. I will never ride.

    • Hi Carrie, I’ve been out riding so I’m just getting to answer.

      I can only speak for myself here. Janet doesn’t ride with me all the time. I love having Janet ride with me more than anything and it dissapoints me when she can’t or won’t ride for whatever the reason. I know I could press the issue and maybe badger her into going but as the saying goes “if mama ain’t happy nobodies happy”.. I just want for us both to enjoy the ride.. I know there will always be a tomorrow… I sincerely hope y’all are able to work this all out. There is always tomorrow…

  5. Thank you for your kind words. I hope we can work it out.

  6. I think after spending my life not taking a risk of bodily injury, then going to school later in life to develop a skill, and having a skill that requires the use of my brain and appendages, taking that risk to ride on a moving object with no restraint or airbag is more than what I able to fathom. I think my husbands choice to buy a motorcycle in his 50’s, having a hobby I couldn’t even hope to enjoy is incredibly selfish.
    And I have ridden on the back of a bike with my father years ago. Hated it then and he wasn’t even driving fast. The problem I have now is not doing something together, once again.

    • Hi Else,
      If that is how you feel then you shouldn’t ride. I was lucky that Janet thought my riding again was a good idea and I was lucky she and I was was able to work things out with her riding.

      I hope you and your husband can come to terms on this.

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