Monthly Archives: July 2012

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…

How This Blog Came To Be

How This Blog Came To Be

This blog came to be quite by accident.

I have a friend who has made some bad life choices and is now serving a 40-year prison sentence. He has been there for 23 years. I had lost contact with him until 7 years ago. When I found out about where he was, I wrote a letter to him thinking I would help him get himself back on the right path. He entered prison with an 8th grade education but in prison has completed his doctorate and is now an ordained minister and ministers to his fellow inmates. Actually he has been more of an inspiration to me than me to him. Over the years we have written many letters. Some of them were about the many motorcycle trips we have taken. He has enjoyed reading them as much as I have enjoyed writing them. They have been a great escape from his surroundings.

Afterward, I would email the trip stories to people who went on those trips with us and to other people who liked to hear about our motorcycling adventures. As a result several suggested I might do more to share these trips with more people. Years went by and I thought about how I might do just that. I had several false starts. My daughter Kristy has started a couple of blogs. I thought I might give blogging a try. I was ‘hooked’ on blogging, before I knew it. I have received many nice comments and suggestion which has encouraged me even more. So as long as I continue to enjoy blogging and y’all continue to read them we will see where this will take us.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing our world with us. Please take some time to say hello and share your world with us. And finally, please share my blog with everyone who might be interested.

We Have Moved…

Our blog was, previously located, at If you are a former follower of that blog you may want to bookmark this new site ( If you arrived here via a search engine or link to you were  redirected here to this new site. Redirection, after a year, will be discontinued so you will need to make a note or bookmark this site so you won’t lose us in the bit bucket.

We made this move because this is a self hosted site that should give us more flexibility and control of our blog. We are still learning about blogging and we are in a steep learning curve. We will continue to bring our readers stories about our motorcycle trips, riding tips, travel information and more.

So please take some time and have a look around. This is just a little of what you will find…

  • The “Motorcycle Touring Logs” have many of the motorcycle trips we have taken over the years. We have many more trips to added.
  • In “Riding Tips” we share many of the things we have learned over the years. We continue to learn better, smarter ways to ride, pack and plan our trips.
  • Under “Miscellaneous” we share general information about us, motorcycling and travel.
  • Under “About Us” is about… us… duh. We will update this as time goes by.

So… keeping checking back with us from time to time and see what we are up to. And please take a moment and share your experiences by leaving a comment or two. We love hearing from y’all and finding out that we are not alone in our enthusiasm of motorcycling, touring and travel in general. Even if you don’t ride a motorcycle, our trips can just as easily be done by car or however you want to get there.

We hope you have enjoyed your time here and y’all come back now…

Ride safe and we hope to see you on the road somewhere.

Ivan & Janet

P.S. Please share this blog with all your friends… Thanks…

Riding Two Up With Your Best Friend

Riding Two Up…

Riding two up with your best friend is always fun. “A dog is a man’s best friend” and in this case ” A biker is a dogs best friend”. His owner enjoys his company enough to take him everywhere. There was a lot of thought and effort put into bringing him along for the ride… Right down to building a special carrier to a doggy motorcycle helmet and eye protection. Obviously this doggy is enjoying his ride and obviously he has ridden many times and will ride many more times…

When we saw this, Janet had to get a picture. A picture is worth a thousand words…

Janet and I have seen so many things like this while traveling. It amazes me what bikers will bring along with them. I’m sure you have seem similar things. Please share them with the rest of us. Leave a comment…

About Us

Everything you wanted to know about us… the Texas Rambler motorcycle travel blog and more.

Have you ever driven past a road many times and wondered where it went, never venturing beyond that thought? When traveling by motorcycle it seems that you always make the turn and travel that road, not knowing where it may lead. That’s the allure of riding. It is always an adventure. You are out there in the elements, feeling the sun, wind, heat, cold, rain and smelling all the smells along the way. Spring flowers, food cooking, rain in the distance etc. all the out-door smells… yes, skunks, dead animals etc. too. Some of the most beautiful scenery we have experienced has been while traveling by motorcycle. Over the years we have taken many motorcycle trips. Friends have asked that we share these trips with everyone who may be interested. Thus the start of this blog. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do sharing it with y’all.

Janet & I (Ivan) have been retired since June 2002. We try to travel as often and cheaply as we can. In 2000 I bought a Kawasaki Vulcan Nomad and renewed my love of motorcycle riding. In 2009 I bought a Honda “Goldwing” with all the options except the airbag. The Goldwing is the Cadillac of touring bikes and we love touring on it.

Many of our trips we have taken have been on the motorcycle but we have taken many other trips also. My main interest is motorcycle touring but we will also share our other adventures here also.

Over time we have learned many things that have made our trip more enjoyable and we will share those tips with you here. Keep checking back for all the updates.

Have fun and be safe,

Ivan & Janet

P.S. Please, take the time to subscribe so you don’t miss the latest post or if you know someone who rides and might be interest please email them a link.