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…