Writer's indulgent flashback:
When I was a little girl, maybe 4 or 5, there was a Suzuki dealership right behind our house. And I mean on the other side of the fence. Sounded like giant metal mosquitoes. Our neighbor had a hole in their fence and we- my younger brother and a gang of others under 4 feet tall- would go over there, crawl through the hole, climb on a big mound of dirt and watch demonstrations. These were Evel Knievel days and we did not have to catch the action on a black and white Zenith.

It always ended like an episode of The Little Rascals because that big mound of dirt was also a huge ant bed and we would come home screaming and had to get stripped and hosed off in the front yard. Several pictorial images are stored in my brain: Mother trying not to get her cigarette wet while spraying my Garanimals, my brother covered in pink Calamine lotion for days, and the utter sense of freedom and joy in those helmeted riders making all that noise on the other side of the fence.

James and Melinda Williams bring a sense of freedom to motorcycle enthusiasts with their year old LLC, Texas Motorcycle Adventures. They specialize in Motorcycle Vacations with a selection of rental Adventure Touring and Sport Touring bikes that hug the pavement but can also handle low water crossings and dirt with ease. (More Ewan McGregor in "Long Way Round" than Peter Fonda in "Easy Rider.") Motorcycle wanderlust is heeded with familiar names like BMW, Kawasaki, and (Yes!) Suzuki.

While James grew up with motorcycles and tours the US when he gets the chance, Melinda's introduction to the industry was through her career in motorsports marketing. Texas Motorcycle Adventures is a marriage of business and passion.

"A big draw that makes us unique is that we deliver the bikes directly to the airport or hotel," James says. "Just a handful of our customers are from Texas. A lot are from Canada, the UK, Australia, even Romania. Most are from the North West and North East during the winter months because it is cold and ugly there and we have this beautiful Texas weather."


James notes that a different person returns the bike than the one who picked it up. "Before, they are in vacation mode- very efficient. After a few 230 mile a day routes they are more relaxed, a little gruffer. They need to shave. They are very happy."

Of course they are happy. Texas Motorcycle Adventures takes care of the details as well as providing the bikes. They can loan riding gear at no additional charge and offer a GPS with preloaded scenic routes for the all-most-but-not-quite free spirited adventurer. Testimonials call James and Melinda "honest, efficient, flexible, professional and kind."

The Williams' are pretty happy, too. (Seriously. They are just happy, pleasant people.) Their entrepreneurial spirit is making dreams come true all around.

Writer, present day:
Gassing up the minivan on HWY 46 near the Loop by all that construction. A Suzuki Vstrom is at the next pump, its aluminum frame glistens in the sun. They head west in a fiery blaze and I head to the grocery store. I want to go with them. I want to be free on the open roads of the Hill Country. I need to give James and Melinda a call.

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