This ride report is taken from my wife’s emails she sent back to her coworkers and family as we travelled. I have filled in some blanks and added the photos but otherwise it is a pretty complete report from a gal who said she would NEVER get on a motorcycle. The report will follow but to set the story I need to give some background so bare with me for a bit.
My story is not a lot different from a lot of others. I had ridden bikes for years but as the family was being raised they slowly slipped into the background. On top of that my wife had absolutely no interest. Many times I would say “when the kids move out lets get motorcycles and go travelling" and the answer was always the same. "Absolutely NOT!" She would never ride on one let alone drive one.
Well I had talked her into running and she said she would never do that either so I just let it be…..for now.
When the kids grew up and started living on their own I decided that I would like to get a bike again. I had always wanted a Harley Sportster but a fellow at work was selling an older Honda 450 Nighthawk so I settled for that. Little did I know how significant getting the cheap Honda was over an expensive Sportster.
I was just looking for something to take the pinch out if the gas bill and maybe satisfy my old desire to get a bike again so picked it up. The Honda ran nice and I used it but a couple of my friends were also getting bikes and they were getting more dual sport style bikes. It became very apparent that I was not going to be able to go the places they were going on that Honda so over the winter I got myself a nice used Kawasaki KLR 650.
It was what I thought to be the perfect bike. It could take me to work, got great gas mileage and could head out on the highway at the drop of a hat. That summer someone mentioned taking a trip out west. I thought no way we are taking those dirt bikes all the way out there so just to shut them out I said "if we go we have to go to Yellowstone". My wife and I had gone there 10 year previous and it was beautiful. To my surprise everyone agreed and after much planning we headed out west. That trip was the clincher. It was 2 weeks of fabulous, the scenery, and everything was just perfect.
All I could think about as we travelled was “How can I get Denise (my wife) to do this?” I mean, I like my buddies, but Denise and I travel well together and I thought if I could just get her to try maybe one day we could do this.
When I arrived home I started planting the seed. I told her that travelling with the guys was fun but I really would want her to come. It was also around this time that a few of my friends wife’s were also either talking about getting bikes or had actually got one. She finally relented and a few weeks later I found a nice lowered KLR that would fit her perfectly.
We spent the remainder of that fall with her riding around the local golf course parking lot learning how to drive a bike. She admitted that it was kind of cool and the next spring took a riding course and we took a few nice little trips with all of our friends. It was a fun way to spend the summer days and evenings.
I was set to retire a year down the road and had it in my mind that my retirement gift to myself was going to be a nice new motorcycle to travel with. My wife still had to work for 5 years so she would just use her KLR until then.
I had a short list of bikes, the Suzuki VStrom, Honda Veradaro, or a BMW F800 or 650GS, One cool snowy November day while on a trip to the city I walked into the BMW dealer and sitting in the window was a new F800GS 30 year Anniversary edition. I was set to retire in one year after working 30 years full time and I knew karma was set. I was going to own that bike. They actually had 2 bikes there on sale and the other one was a nicely loaded Blue F650GS. My wife was at another function so when I went to pick her up I said "I had found the bike I wanted" lets go look at it. We had some time to kill so we drove over to take a look. As we drove over I casually mentioned that the F650 and to my surprise she just said oh ya in a positive sort of way. Long story short we walked out of that dealership with seriously less money that we walked in with but we had 2 of the greatest bikes we could afford and I was estatic.
I immediately began secretly planning a trip. It would be basically the same trip I had taken with the guys and close to the trip we had so enjoyed many years ago. I planned it (and an alternate route in case of bad weather) out and laid the plans out to her and to my surprise she said OK "let’s do it". "We did not buy those great bikes to sit in the garage, lets get some kilometers on them!"
We picked up the bikes in March.
There was still snow and ice so we trailered them home
I had retired just a few short weeks prior and had taken a trip around Lake Superior with my friends. A few days after returning Denise and I headed out on what could either be the end of or the start of a fantastic relationship with my wife, me and motorcycles. I will let Denise’s stories (with some of my input to fill gaps) take it from here.