Biker explores the Lone Star State
Cutting the motor and easing out the kickstand, Ivan Sims sat for a moment in the morning silence, gazing over the historic site of the Fannin Battleground. He imagined the soldiers fighting the Battle of Coleto Creek in 1836, eventually being driven to surrender before the overwhelming Mexican forces. Many of the men captured, including Colonel James W. Fannin, for whom the site was named, were later executed during the Goliad Massacre. Ivan had chosen this site as part of a four-day Texas Independence Trail Motorcycle Ride, and now he paused, impressed by the history of the place.
“The most memorable moment [during the ride] was my stop at the Fannin Battleground and the memorial monument at the grave site of Fannin and his men,” says Ivan, who chronicled the May 2013 motorcycle trip in his blog, The Texas Rambler. “It was very moving to learn the history of these men and their fate. [Other] highlights of the ride [were] the stops at Washington-on-the-Brazos, the San Jacinto Monument, the First Capital of Texas at West Columbia . . . , Presidio La Bahía at Goliad, and the Alamo at San Antonio. [I found it] very enjoyable relearning my Texas history as I visited these historic sites.”
Some years earlier, Ivan wouldn’t have imagined himself exploring Texas on two wheels, much less sharing those adventures with the reading audience of a blog. He’d always loved riding, but after he started a family, “more important responsibilities kept me from it.” When he and his wife, Janet—whom he describes as his best friend—became empty-nesters, Ivan rediscovered his love of riding and bought his first touring motorcycle, a 2000 Kawasaki Vulcan Nomad. Today, Ivan owns a 2008 Honda Goldwing, considered the Cadillac of touring motorcycles, and he enjoys exploring his home state with his wife and other “riding buddies.”
“Janet and I are lucky to live in Texas, and even luckier that we have the Hill Country at our back door,” Ivan says. “Texas is large and offers many interesting and exciting possibilities for places to ride. Our favorite places to ride are the Big Bend area and the Hill Country. Though we’ve ridden many places in Texas, we’ve only scratched the surface. Being retired is not about sitting around dreaming about things you’ve done or wished you could do. It’s about doing. I love traveling by motorcycle and blogging about it.”
The Texas Rambler
Photos on location provided