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Road tripping with mom

Jul 19, 2006


We all have a beginning and most of us are still close to the ones who were there. This trip is special to me because it let me confirm the connection that we all have to our Moms. I have to share my Mom with her husband, my siblings, a bunch of grandkids and of course the dogs. Over the course of years the vast majority of time that I have spent with Mom has been in family activities such as Birthdays, Holidays, and all of the other reasons families get together. At some point not too long ago, I came to the realization that I haven't been able to spend any serious one- on- one time with Mom since I was 4 yrs old. This is when my first sister came into the picture. This summer, my daughter’s graduation present was a 6 week road trip across the West. I encouraged Mom to join Sarah for a portion of the trip. This just fueled my jealousy as my daughter got to spend more one on one time with Mom in two weeks than I had in the last 20 yrs. My mom was reluctant to go, but raved when she got back. She had such a good time that she suggested we do our own “RoadTrip” so we could spend some quality time together. This is how Road Trip with Mom got started.


This Christmas Mom made a declaration that she wanted to learn how to ride a motorcycle. Her husband Jack had recently picked up a HD. She thought that it would be more satisfying to ride her own bike than ride on the back. I had mixed feelings about it but got behind her itch as she had watched me ride and expose myself to risk all these years. We talked scooters, bikes, equipment ect over the winter and she scheduled a MSF course right before we left. She wasn’t planning on riding her own on our trip but wanted to get the course out of the way.

OK we are doing a RoadTrip but the “W”s were begging to be answered. That being Where to go, When to go, What to go on. The first W as in What to go on was decided to be by motorcycle. We would do it this Spring and finally, the Hill Country became the Where to go. Mom left all of the planning to me but I did consult as the plans were coming together. Vehicle of choice was my 2004 Suzuki Vstrom 650. I gave her the option to hotel but she suggested camping as she said “lets camp while I still can”. Mom is 62, so I was surprised with her giving up bedsprings. I did promise showers every day. I am familiar with the Hill Country so the routing of the GPS took little time. I did lessen the daily mileage as I didn’t want her wishing for home on day two. After all this was her first bike trip. She had ridden a bit on Jacks bike as a passenger but had never been more than 50 miles at a time.

Me, Mom and the Strom


It was decided that she would come over to my house in Denton on Friday evening and we would get her packing situation under control. Mom and Jack arrived on time and we brought all of the gear inside to sort out. Before we did that, we all went to see my sisters house to check on the remodeling of the house. It was coming right along but we were getting hungry. Off to a local Mexican place for a plate of South of the Border goodness. Dinner was over and it was back to the house to say goodbyes for Mom and Jack. I had already given my family hugs and sent them off to a Franz Ferdinand concert. Back to the thinning of Moms stuff and finally the zippers closed on the saddlebags. It was getting late and we went to bed with the alarm clock set early.


Plan for today is to get up early and with the bike in the back of the truck head to Austin. I was pointed to Terry’s house in West Austin. Terry’s house is in an ideal location for truck storage and a place to take an overnight nap if need be. Im gonna say right before you rag on me for trucking the bike down, Im sorry but I hate riding bikes on the freeway. I prefer tilted horizons and riding on the edges of my tires instead of the center. I also like having a truck within a days drive of the trip in case something on the bike breaks or somehow I get broken. Now on with the program. We arrive at Terry’s midmorning and visit awhile before unloading the bike. The road is calling so we get the bike off the truck and put our gear on. I hand him my truck keys and I thumb the starter. Man that Scorpion sounds good. In gear it goes and we enter 290 traffic headed west.

First stop was to be Wimberley for a surprise lunch with my second cousin. Mom was excited about this prospect because she hadn’t seen her in a long time. Well, the surprise was on us. She was on her way out of town for a grandkid function. I gave Mom a I told you we should of called first look. Ok, Glenda was unavailable but my stomach was giving me plenty of attention. Turns out Mom is hungry too. We found a burger place and ordered up some cow on bread with potatoes in a basket. Turned out to be pretty good stuff. Reenergized with calories, we got back on the bike and headed west once again.

The weather was warm but cloudy and the new vented jacket felt pretty good. Traffic was not bad and we enjoyed our ride into Fredricksburg. We arrived at LadyBird Johnson Park and I pay for two nights rent for the sum of twenty dollars. Picking a nice spot was easy and we proceeded to set up the tent and unload the bike.

Lady Bird Johnson Park

Mom posing with the Strom

Setting up the tent

While we were setting up things, these vintage WWII training planes were flying all over the place.

There was plenty of daylight left, so we took the little nature hike that started just across the road. Turned out to be just the thing to stretch out the legs. We saw some pretty cool fauna and chatted on our long walk. The weather was warm but it in a good way. The trail wandered down to the waters edge and there they were…..fish. I have been told at times that I have fish on the brain. We saw bream, bass and some monster carp in the clear water. I did pack a rod on this trip and was hoping to break it out.

Mom on the trail

Butterfly playing in the honeysuckle

Mom liked this flower

After the walk, we decided to pick up some things at Wally World aka WalMart. While we were there, we picked up cups for our rum and cokes and some snacks. The Mavs game was on and we watched with the end of the game on the TV at the bank at the front of the store. There were several of us so we couldn’t cheer to loud for the Mavs this deep in Spurs country. Yes, Mavs won.

Downtown was hopping and we were hungry. We chose German and it wasn’t long before it was in front of us. The sausage was really good. I forget the name of the place. Starts with an A and its on the main drag. Full, we headed back to camp. We decided to pour a drink prior to bed. It was warm but breezy and sleep came easily.


We got up at the crack of 9. I sleep better in a tent than I do my own bed. Mom seemed to be sleeping just fine too. No hurry as I peeped outside and it was definitely overcast and pretty blah looking. Nevertheless, we poked out of our tent and got things going. My plan was to ride up to Llano for lunch at Coopers. On the way, we were going to do the Willow City Loop and on the way back, we were going to stop at Enchanted Rock.

As we got our gear on, I thought it might be a good idea to start off in raingear. Here is what Mom looks like in FrogTogs.

We leave LadyBird Johnson Park and make our way north. The sky starts drizzling but never really opens up. Willow City is always a nice ride and we take our time. Because of the drizzle, we never break out the camera. Now, its off to Llano and I am hungry. My appetite is doing the driving now and it isn’t long before we find this.


The Magic Pit

I explain the ordering procedure to Mom as we walk up to the pit. Her eyes get real big and says I gotta have a picture. Above is said picture. We grabbed some beef ribs, pork loin, and sausage. I really wanted a chop but I couldn’t eat the whole thing without taking a nap. We payed the man at the register and made our way to a table. I planned to get there by 11:00am and I am glad I did as the place blew up with customers. The line quickly extended the length of the building and more. We ate all of it and let out a button or two on the way out the door.

Back on the bike, we headed back south and soon arrived here.


Mom didn’t have the stamina to summit the chunk of granite so we admired the famous rock from the base.


Mom is into gnarly trees too.

Again, the weather is threatening, but never unloads on us as we make our way back to base. We hoped to see this man’s legacy.


Chester Nimitz

A very complete and amazing part of our history can be found in this building.

We walked up to the ticket counter where I tried to make good on my last visit’s mistake. Last time I was riding through here we came to the museum when it was under the Texas Parks and Wildlife management. I had forgot my park pass which would of made my visit free. This time I had my pass but the museum was not under the TPW banner anymore and I had to open up the wallet. Rats. The money is well spent. I am amazed at the personal content of the museum. Many thanks to the families that donate or lend their loved ones mementos. Hand drawn battle maps to letters from soldiers who didn’t make it home. I would say a complete history of the South Pacific can be had here. I do find it ironic that the museum is in a German founded town though.

We roam the museum for 3 hours and don’t get to all of it before the curators are running us out the door. We are reminded that are tickets are good for two consecutive days but this means little as we are headed to the feature attraction of the Hill Country in the morning. We leave the museum and spot a Subway across the street. We havent had anything to drink since lunch so we head over there. While we are there, we decide to eat a light early dinner. That means we split a Footlong meal while resting our butts. A customer comes in and starts hassling the staff. “Im from San Antonio and cant believe you have run out of tomatoes. That would never happen in San Antonio. How does that happen? Its just ridiculous.” Apparently, Ms. San Antonio is not familiar with small town logistics. The staff tried to explain that they have to guess what ingredients they need for the entire week and Sunday is the last day of what turned out to be a busier week than usual. Ms. San Antonio was not sympathetic at all. When she finally left, I went to fill my drink. I commented to the girl who was trying to explain the situation that she had my vote for Ms San Antonio to STAY in San Antonio next time. The girls thought it was funny.

Since this was Moms first trip, I made sure that I checked up on her comfort. She felt a bit stretched out in places but nothing Ibuprofen couldn’t fix. It was here that the MSF course came up. She had signed up for a course the week before we left. Long story short, she didn’t finish. DFWs first 90 degree day and she was in her gear paddling her bike around. The heat got to her and she found her limit and got off the bike. She regrets not having a long sleeve shirt on under her jacket as they would of let her continue but all she had was the jacket and a short sleeved shirt. The instructor said she could reschedule at a later date. She looked at me and said “I think Im content being a passenger.” She said after watching with all of the physical requirements of riding ones’ own bike that she just didn’t feel comfortable and didn’t want to be a hazard to someone else on the road. In ways I didn’t want her to give up but there was a big part of me that felt relieved. She is 62 and in physical reality has 10 yrs or so to ride. There is always a learning curve to motorcycling and to start at 62 made me worry. She understands my need to ride is passion based but admitted that her need to ride was as a hobby. We discussed that successful riding comes from repetition and that if she chose to ride, she should ride more than less. In other words, you cant drag the bike out 3 times a year and be proficient. She also thought it would be a good idea to let Jack have his own “thing” (bikes). Knowing her, she will still finish the MSF anyway. Now that was out of the way, all I had to do was finish the week without any drama. Uh, there is no pressure in getting your Mom back in one piece. Ive got a lot of people to answer to if it goes wrong.

We met a retired Navy guy coming out of the Subway and we chatted bikes for a bit. He was on a multi month ride and was here at a submariners reunion. He was riding a FJR 1300. He asked where the best roads were and I told him to head to places like Utopia and he couldn’t go wrong. He wished us well and we headed back to the Park to laze away the early evening.

I had to get at those fish so I uncorked the rod tube and assembled a spinning combo. Light was fading fast but I needed to stretch my legs.

Rigging up

Look at this monster!

Fishing turned out to be more fishing and less catching and I tried a couple of techniques and spots. I had asked Mom if she wanted to fish, but she was content to watch. We wrapped it up as it was getting to dark to see. In the dark, there wasn’t much to do but it didn’t matter as we were pretty wiped out. We both made calls to spouses and then called it a night……or so we thought.

The night got, uh, lets say exciting, in a big hurry. We were asleep dreaming of cobbler or something equally delightful when I felt a stiff breeze in my face. My tent has a rainfly with wings that act as a vestibule for keeping things out of the tent dry. I set up the tent with the prevailing south wind hitting the back of the wings. Around 1am I awake to sprinkles of water on my face. Uh oh, the wind has switched and it is out of the north. The wings were now scooping the wind and rain and forcing them into the tent. Within a stretch of 10 min, the weather turned ugly and violent. I had been in this tent in a big storm but it was sideways to the wind. Hey!, where did this hurricane come from? The rain was horizontal and the wind climbed into the 45-50 mph range calculated by my windsurfing senses. I knew the Strom didn’t stand a chance and she got lifted off her kickstand. I could see her on her side. Everything was getting soaked and I was doing my best to keep the fly covering the tent mesh. Mom was seemingly snuggled into her sleeping bag while the tent fabric popped and the tent tried to bend in half from the wind. I was remarkably calm, but the wind was getting worse. At this point I was glad that I didn’t set up the tent under any big limbs. I kept listening for the “train” and thankfully, it never came. I did elbow her and say we might need to abandon ship for the concrete block bathrooms for protection. She sat up and I enlisted her help in holding down the fly. Thirty minutes go by before the storm fury passes. I get out of the tent and go pick up the bike. Damage in the dark reveals snapped lever and broken signal. Ill survey radiator/faring in the morning. We bail the tent with my Absorber (synthetic chamois). There is a lot of water. Thankfully, the sleeping bags are full synthetic and still provide some insulation in their wet state. Things settled down and dried off to the best of our ability, we try to do the same and get some sleep. “Uh, what is that noise?” I hear water in a big way like a driving rainstorm. I look across the park looking for the squall line. That’s when I realize its running water. I set up the tent 30 feet from a ditch that was fast filling with flash flood potential. Great. Just Great. I inform Mom by waving my LED at the ditch. I make a mental mark of the water level and check on it every 5 minutes for the next half hour. The water tops out and as it drops, I drop off to sleep.


Grey dawn appears and I keep on sleeping. I hate packing a wet tent but there was no hope of drying it off with the weather we were having. I check on the bike. It had fallen on the right side and I found a bunch of dirt in the throttle tube, so we cleaned it out so I didn’t have permanent throttle settings. I taped up the broken off end of the brake lever so it wouldn’t cut my gloves. I also used electrical tape to reattach the bulb to the stalk. The fairing has a good scuff and Im wondering what my deductible is. I havent had a street bike touch the ground with anything but tires in 15 yrs. My dirtbikes hit the ground all the time. Sometimes Im attached and sometimes I am not. I am just thankful that the trip can continue. Mom is in her usual great mood and we continue the morning with hot showers before packing. I survey the damage across the park and all of the other campers made for their vehicles during the storm and there were several wrecked tents. Limbs and debris from rolling trashcans were strewn across the normally immaculate park. The places along the creek that I was fishing in had water in it that would be 10ft over my head. It was a roaring rush of coffee colored water now.

Bike loaded and we are headed to Leakey, home of the Three Twisted Sisters. As we pull out onto Hwy 16, the sprinkles turn into a real rain, that within 6 miles turns into stuff of the Amazon. Raingear is useless in these conditions and we are both soon soaked. There is really no where to stop so I press on. Rain backs off a bit as we get to Kerrville but starts up again on Hwy 39. This is usually a very scenic ride but its nothing but wet and grey. At the intersection of 39 and 83, I take a left and limp directly into Leakey. We are hungry now and decide something hot to eat would do us good. Mama Chole’s is busy but has room for us so we stop here. Lunch arrivals are fixing to leave so it isn’t long before we are the only ones there. We order big and eat all of it. The whole while our gear is dripping and making a pool around our table. I tip big and apologize to the waitress for the mess. Two guys on RoadKings come in and unzip their Darien Outfits and they are bone dry. I am jealous of the performance of the gear but my wallet would be bone dry if I bought one of those things. Lets just say if I had the money, it would be on the list of stuff to get. Mom says it’s a hotel tonight….no argument. I wouldn’t even if I wanted to and I didn’t.

We select a nice little place back off the road and the bonus is it is right behind the nicest laundry mat you have ever seen. I unload and carry the gear to the room. I take a quick shower and get into some dry clothes. I take all of our wet clothes and head to the laundry mat. I tell Mom to take a nice hot shower and relax. It is now late afternoon and the sun has not quite broken out but it is warmer and looks less likely to rain. Clothes and sleeping bags clean and dry is a good thing. Mom comes over and helps me carry everything back. I set up the tent and start wiping it down. It eventually dries and I roll it back up. We watch the TV and spend an inordinate time on the weather channel. Im bummed because of the forecast as I don’t want another day like today.

That is the back of the laundry mat viewed from the hotel.

These guys were all over the porch

We spent the evening in watching some of Moms favorites and eating Subway for a snack. I top off the evening with a couple of rum and Sprites. Sleep comes easy.


This is day two in Leakey and again we awake to threatening skies. Im really getting down as I try to figure out how to get out of the weather for the remainder of the trip as the forecast isn’t good for the rest of the week. I calculate the ride time to get to BigBend but it is really just barely doable as far as mileage. I promised my wife to limit the days to 200 so I didn’t wear my Mom out. I also knew that it would be 100 degree hot out there. Its almost lunch and I hadn’t made a decision other than load up the bike. In the end we decided to make a date with the Sisters.

First we headed over to here so we could set up camp.

The park was empty and for the first time I could camp anywhere I wanted but I ended up in the usual place that is on a hill. The other great looking places along the river looked susceptible to flashfloods. The clerk at the office and Mom had a great chat while I went looking for a campsite. I unloaded the bike in no time and the tent was up. We then went back to the main park area to check out the Frio River and the swimming area. It is always stunning and even more so that we had the place to ourselves.




We headed back east along 1050 hoping for a Utopian experience and we got it. The pavement was drying out and the temps were modest. Continuing east on 470 we enjoyed the curves while still looking for deer that are active all day in conditions like this. We teed into 16 and took a right looking for something to snack on in Bandera.

We found this.

We split a burger basket and both had desserts. Nice running DQ. Very clean and friendly. We geared up and headed back North on 16. We fiddled with the camera.

Intersection in Bandera.

I took this and liked it. Don’t know why.

We cleared Medina and turned west on our date with the Twisted Sister 337. As we turned west, the sun broke out on already dry pavement and my weather induced depression went away. Mom could be a professional passenger as she was a cornering diva right off the bat. In the rain and questionable traction I made nice big soft corner entry/exits but in the dry the entries where sharper and the exits were on the gas. She never tightened or fought the inputs. Like she had ridden her whole life. When we got back, I explained “chicken strips”. Ours for the afternoon were quite respectable. Like always, my rear tire is feathered a bit more than the front as I go into corners slow and on the gas on the way out. I have decided the Strom does not have near the brakes that my ZRX has nor the grunt. Im also learning to trust the Strom front tire. It has a considerably less width than previous bikes. We pull back into Leakey and take a break at the Frio Canyon Lodge.

Some twisty stuff.
My current desktop



Here is one of the locals on the fence outside the Frio Canyon Lodge.

Sister 337 was very nice but we hadnt met the other two. That would be 336 and 335. There was time so lets make it a double date. We headed north out of town on 336 and conditions were excellent. No traffic, no rain, no problem. We were soon tilting horizons and running up and down the hills. The scenery was easy on the eye and there was plenty of it. Sister 336 ended at 41 and 41 handed us over to the final Sister known as 335. None of the Sisters disappoint and I couldn’t pick just one to dance with. Each has its own flavor and flair. I did pay attention to those water over the road signs though. Livestock and deer are always hazards but Ill take my chances. Mom thought it was crazy when we passed sheep lying in the road. More than one deer had an ear turned toward the sound of the bike as we came around a corner. I told Mom that deer are pretty much fast cows and just as stupid when it comes to deciding which way to run. We kept a vigilant eye on the road and I kept speeds accordingly for the terrain.

More of the day’s ride





Mom was surprised at the zoo in the middle of nowhere. Im sure the animals are used to the motorcycle paparazzi as they were unimpressed by our cameras. Roos, impalas, giraffe, and camels are not your ordinary critter but they seemed to be making the best of their relocation to Texas. Maybe they snitched on some lions and had to be put in the Witness Protection Plan.

The Zoo





Turns out Mom is a pretty good action photographer and here are some more of her shots on our date with the Sisters.



This one is actually on Hwy 16 Medina to Kerrville

Rolling into town the bike was on empty as were our stomachs. No problem filling the bike’s needs, but for the human problem everything seemed to be closed up except Mama Choles. Guess where we ate. We both got something different and we didn’t leave a messy floor this time. I also noted that the lack of traffic was noticeable. This is the latest in the year that I have been and there were very few bikes. I don’t know if it was the weather both rain and/or the upcoming heat of summer that kept everyone away. In the dark, we slowly made our way south back to Garner where it was soon lights out.


The morning routine was actually becoming a routine. Today was overcast and a bit cooler. There was the threat of rain but what are you gonna do? We saddled up and I headed for the days route that would loop us west of Garner. The route started on 337 which is always nice. Camp Wood soon appeared and then it was north to Rocksprings via Hwy 55. We arrive just in time for lunch at the café. Mom chose a BLT and I asked for the lunch special. It was all good and then we tried a helping of the cobbler. It finished off a great meal. Mom went up to pay and the total was reasonable…………too reasonable as we later figured out that night that we didn’t get charged for the cobbler. The young lady got a big tip but it was a regrettable day for the bottom line of the café owner.

Getting back on the bike was easy as were in a rhythm. Is that how you spell that? GPS said south on 674, which like all of these ribbons, is a nice ride. This road carried us south to Bracketville. We grabbed some gas and unzipped some vents in our gear. The sky got blue and there was a dot providing heat. It had been a long time since we had seen our closest star but there it was for everybody to see. North out of Bracketville on 334 found us in more open country common to South Texas but we could see the Hill Country off in the distance. 334 met up with Hwy 55 where we made right and headed for Uvalde. Finally, we hit Hwy 83 and made our way north. It was late in the day and we were looking for the fastest way back to Garner. It was nice riding in the sunshine for a change albeit a bit warm.

We decide to go back to camp and hang out a bit before dinner. I want to fish in the Frio and while she chooses to read a book and take a leisurely shower. I make my way down to the river and its just me and a turkey making his way down the bank. He notices me but does not seem to care. I toss spinners at the water and a few fish find them attractive. I check my watch and make my way back so we can keep our appointment with dinner. Its always the food don’t you know.

While riding, we saw deer here and there but never more than two at a time but I knew there was a show that Mom wouldn’t believe. The herd in Garner is huge and an early evening ride to dinner exposed them. They didn’t didn’t disappoint as they were out in full force. Mom was impressed and was starting to understand that deer outnumbered humans in this area.

We made our way to town for dinner with Italian on our mind but our marinara dreams were smashed as they were closed. Off to Frio Canyon Lodge and they made good with their dinner special that was some sort of chicken pasta. Great food and a nice place with reasonable price. We sat and chatted late into the night.


We had lost a day on the original route due to the rain but we decided to double up today to get back on schedule. Camp broke and bike loaded we headed out. Days end should have us northwest of San Antonio at Guadalupe State Park. When we left Leakey, we headed east towards Bandera. This time we would traverse as much county dirt roads as possible. The road was slower but it gives you time to look around. Mom seemed to be enjoying it too. The skies were overcast but the wet stuff stayed above our heads. Things of note were some very large Spanish Longhorns in the open range just a few yards from the road. They stayed put and that made me happy. I don’t care what they say but DualSports need knobbies. I have two real DualSports (DRZ 400s/XT600) and gravel is not much of an issue. On the Strom, the weight of an added passenger and gear made things slower and demanded the rider be judicious. Packed dirt roads, no problem, loose gravel equals sketchy. Popping out on pavement, we headed into Bandera.

Backroads to Bandera

One of my favorite roads was coming up. The back way into Kerrville via Medina was a treat made even more excellent by the lack of traffic. Big fun on the twisties for sure. The road played out as we trolled into Kerrville looking for lunch. We picked PawPaws BBQ and it hit the spot. Back on the bike, we headed along the River on backroads.



We soon left the river and found ourselves winding through several open range county roads on our way to Boerne. Cattle and nice topography along with plenty of sunshine made for a great afternoon.



We finished up on pavement and arrived at our destination.

We head down to the rivers edge and take a short hike to visit some old fellas.





Bees at work

We admire the history these trees must have seen and wished them well before we made our way back up the trail. We set up camp in short order and find the showers. Boerne was dinner destination and we chose a nice looking local flavor.


We sat down outside on the porch and enjoyed the end of the day. We watched a 3 generation baseball game that was being contested on the front lawn. Its hard to say who won but they were having fun. Gramps can still play and that is all Ill say. Dinner was great and the apple pie topped it off. Stuffed, we made our way back to the nylon fortress in the dark. I kept speeds down as the deer were lining the roadways. The Deer Suicide Hotline looked to be overwhelmed.


Friday morning was like the rest except that it would be our last on the road. This made me sad because I could do this travel thing every morning. We broke camp and loaded up for the final time. We were making our way north to Austin with a scheduled lunch stop on the way. We made our way toward Canyon Lake. We opted for Skyline Dr to enjoy the views above the lake. Making our way down off the hill, we took River Road that winds along the Guadalupe. Usually, this road is clogged with water loving tubers looking to float the river. Today was different as the traffic was nonexistent and the only thing slowing us down was the speed limit which I paid little attention. Now for that Green Food.


Yes, the Grist Mill in Gruene was the lunch stop. It was 11AM and they were seating. Deck for two please. We gazed at the menu and Mom took the trout and I chose a chicken entrée. Both were as advertised and I also ordered the onion rings which are things of legend. It wasn’t long and the place was full of patrons. We lazed about enjoying the day but finally the road called. Thoughts of home were creeping in along with the longing for loved ones.

First we needed to take some pictures.




Look whats inside the flower

Mom likes the barrels

Back to Terry’s we go. This time via paved backroads. It was a nice ride back to west Austin. Amazingly, we are on schedule to beat the Friday afternoon traffic. As I am loading up, Terry comes home from work. He helps me finish up and I thank him for the use of his driveway for a week. The truck knows where we are going and it is a relatively quick trip home. My wife, Maggie, and Moms husband, Jack, are waiting for us. Mom and I had been denied Italian on the road so we finished the trip off on one more meal. This time it was our local Italian fav. As always, it was good, just like any time with Mom.


What a ride! Mom is the greatest. She never complained and kept a very positive attitude in even the toughest of times. The important thing is that we created a very personal and memorable experience for the both of us. I am so glad we did this. I was thrilled to show her what my passion on two wheels is all about. Not only is she a great Mom, but she is a wonderful person. Thanks for the memory Mom.


What a ride, indeed. My son and I have a "mutual admiration society" - we don't talk about it - it's just there. He did leave out a little of the humor - like there were several aborted attempts before I could get my leg up and over the two packs on the back of the the bike. I am vertically challenged and had to really stretch some things out to get the job done, but got it down well by Tues. As for the storm - when he said we might have to abandon ship I TOTALLY ignored him - then he yelled "Mom, can you hear me?" and my mind was screaming, "Yes, I hear you but no way am I making a run for it!" Ha! And then there was the other thing - call him "Son" not "Hon" lest people will think I have robbed a cradle.

Let me end by saying it was a great week that will not be forgotten and I am so glad he wrote this report to share with all of the cycling community but also it gives me something to keep the memory fresh and to share with all of the family and friends who might like to read about it. For all of you who think your moms would not do this - ask. You never know. My favorite saying of late is "A four letter word for love is TIME." Thank you for asking me to go and giving me your time, son.



Forum Supporter
Feb 19, 2007
Dude, that is totally freakin' awesome. My mom wouldn't get a on a bike for love nor money. Great story. :clap:
Feb 13, 2008
Great report and great ride with Mom. At Fredricksburg, Is the outside park still there with the old tanks and bombs and stuff?


Jan 20, 2004
Plano, Texas
Very nice report (and pictures!). It warms my heart hearing of your trip with your mother. I can tell you are both very close. It's very cool that you were able to have such a wonderful trip with her. Thanks for taking us along.
Jun 14, 2007
That was a great story. My mom wouldn't get on a bike either. Great route and pictures as well. Kuddos!
Aug 2, 2006
San Jose, CA
Fun report! That was cool to read about. Too bad that the weather didn't fully cooperate, but it looks like you guys had a good time anyways.

My Mom was deadset against me getting a bike, to the point that her and Dad bought me a car in college if I promised not to buy a bike (I kept that promise for several years... good'nuff). Later, I started showing them pictures of the trips Vic and I would take, and she started to get interested... took her for a spin on the VFR last time they were in town and she really enjoyed it. Now she's talking about getting her license, and meeting up on the west coast and taking a trip together. How times change... :-D


Nov 28, 2006
North of Weird
Bravo! I'm glad you and your mom are that close. Mine can't stand my bike yet accepts it's something I enjoy so that's good.

Again, great pictures-great trip!


Forum Supporter
Sep 6, 2007
Burleson, TX
What a awesome story! Kind of hard to read in places because of the tears in my eyes. What a bonding experience it must have as if Mothers and Sons haven't bonded already. I wish I could get my Mother to ride with me, but at 78 and with the back problems she has it is not likely. I see her several times a week as she lives right across the street from me. She will hear the bikes when we leave or come home, and I always call to let her know we are OK. She didn't like it much me having a bike, but when Kathy, my wife, got hers she stopped saying much about it. I think sometimes she is a bit jealous of us taking off going places and seeing the things we do. We always share our pictures with her.
I enjoyed reading your ride report very much and you had some great pictures.
Jul 19, 2006

Yes, the outside parts of the venue are still there. The Japanese donated a garden, and there is the walk that has all of the service plaques. I believe the Japanese tank and other stuff is still there too. We didnt get that far but it seems I saw it on the outline in the brochure.
Jul 19, 2006
Thank yall for taking the time to read this report and giving me some feedback.


Nov 28, 2006
North of Weird
Great report and great ride with Mom. At Fredricksburg, Is the outside park still there with the old tanks and bombs and stuff?
Yes, on the backside of the museum where they are doing rework, the old submarine, tank, aa gun and guide mast is still out back.

As of today:



Keeper of the Asylum
Feb 28, 2003

You are very lucky to have been able to do a trip like this with your Mom. It will never happen for me. Mom is much afraid of bikes, hehe. Doesn't even like ATV's designed as two seaters.

Dad and I used to ride together, but only local day rides. We can't both leave town at the same time because one of us has to stay and watch the office. However, I see both my folks everyday. Still, I don't really ever get to do the one on one thing with Mom for any serious time.

Texas T

Forum Supporter
Nov 7, 2004
Sun Lakes & Show Low, Arizona
My mom would do it in a heartbeat (just turned 74) but she physically can't any more due to some spinal issues. She rode a Harley full dresser back when I was just a tyke.

Congrats on a great trip and a great ride report.


Sounds like a great trip.

Man there's no way my mom would get on a motorcycle. My dad used to ride, but quit when his health was bad and he had constant fatigue. I think he's toyed with riding again now that I'm doing it and his health is better, but hasn't made any indication that he will. I'm trying not to put any pressure on him, he's got to ride his own ride, but I wish he would so I could have it to share with him. Amuses me that he has two motorcycles in the garage that he can't let go, yet seems to have no indication that he wants to ride.
Jun 2, 2008
What a fantastic trip to take with your mom! I look forward to the day when Ninja Boy and I can take a trip together, and then another one later with the new baby girl soon to arrive. :sun: Truly a memorable trip!
Jun 19, 2006
Denton, TX
Incredible opportunity Gene!!!

My Mother would never make this trip. (always hated motorcycles and still chastises me to this day for riding) She is also 80 years old and not physically able.

Haven't had one on one time with Mom since my Step-Dad passed a decade ago. (my brother moved in with his Mommy and must be included in every outing......)

I really envy you!!

P.S. The restaurant was likely Auslander's
Oct 12, 2008
Garfield, AR
Are you sure that's your Mom- she looks way too young to be your Mom!

My mother doesn't ride much anymore. She had a nasty wreck in her early 20's (over 100 stitches in her leg) while riding a dirt bike. My brother has gotten her to ride with him a couple of times, but not too far.

Great report, thanks for sharing.
Jul 19, 2006

That comment will make her day. There is 17 yrs between us if you know what I mean. Its not been the first time that people thought we were a "couple". She gets a kick of it and it gives me the creeps.