Texas City couple enjoys hitting the wide-open roads
A.J. and Lynn Amato graduated from Texas City High School at the same time, but it wasn’t until their 15-year class reunion that they became more than friends and eventually married.
Now, the Texas City residents, with children and grandchildren living nearby, share more than just high school memories.
“We started riding our motorcycles together in 2002 when I got my first Gold Wing,” A.J. Amato said. “I’d been riding for quite a while and previously owned a Honda 175 and a Yamaha 500. I got Lynn interested in riding with me, so I got her a 1993 Honda Helix. Today, she rides a Helix CN250 that she uses around town, but for long highway trips, she hops on the back of my current Gold Wing GL1800 that I bought in 2014.”
The Amatos have taken nearly a dozen one-week runs over the years and have visited 18 states, making it a point to attend the yearly Gold Wing rally whenever possible. As members of the Gold Wing Road Riders Association, they have monthly meetings, and also meet weekly for breakfast at Kelley’s Country Cookin’ in League City.
Their biggest adventure thus far was the six-week, round-trip marathon on the Gold Wing to Nova Scotia and surrounding Maritime provinces two years ago.
“We went with another couple, riding about 300 miles a day so we could stop and sightsee along the way,” said Lynn Amato, who managed to pack everything they’d need into the motorcycle’s side trunk. “We spent the nights in motels where there is always a laundry, so you don’t need as many clothes as you might think.”
After staying in Maine for a week, the Amatos took a ferry from New Brunswick to Nova Scotia and marveled at the scenery, they said.
“We stayed in a bed-and-breakfast and took a sightseeing boat ride one morning and saw huge icebergs that were right up next to us — you could even see them cracking,” Lynn Amato said.
Although the couple they were traveling with did most of the organizing and mapping, the Amatos added their itineraries along the way, they said.
“It was more of a freelance trip,” A.J. Amato said. “We were just sort of freelancing along the way.”
They racked up about 8,500 miles on the Nova Scotia trip, but their yearly mileage for the Gold Wing is between 1,500 and 5,000 miles, they said.
They’ve traveled throughout the Midwest and most eastern U.S. states and have gone as far west as Colorado Springs, Colorado. One particular highlight is the Cherohala Skyway in southeast Tennessee and southwest North Carolina.
“It’s a beautiful 40-mile ride with elevations ranging from 900 feet to 5,400 feet above sea level,” A.J. Amato said.
But close to home, they’ve enjoyed some pretty darn good motorcycle rides, they said.
“We watch the calendar and do a full moon ride with the Gold Wing club each month,” Lynn Amato said. “We pick a spot and meet up with riders, and off we go. The Bluewater Highway between Galveston and Surfside is a beautiful route to see the full moon, but going across the Bolivar ferry is just as magical.”
Best lobster roll: Sunday River Brewing Company, Bethel, Maine.
Best charity ride: Nun Run in Houston for the Christus Foundation, which raises money for foster children.
Best places yet to see: New Mexico, Arizona and the Pacific Highway along the California coast.
Best runabout bike: The Helix with Lynn driving and A.J. on the back.