Couple Turns Hobby Into Popular Public Attraction
Story and photos by David Norris
For a motorcycle enthusiast, the road is more than a means of travel, it’s a destination. It’s a place where problems fade away and hope is found with every passing mile. For this special group of people, a steady engine hum, two wheels on the ground and the open air have healing powers that can’t be found inside a car or an SUV.
BEC members Allan and Debbie Johncock spent most of their married life traveling the world by motorcycle, experiencing those healing powers together. In 1984, they logged 60,000 miles traveling the U.S. on a Honda Gold Wing. The experience changed their lives forever.
“There’s a special bond you make with other riders,” said Debbie. “We met so many great people that we became friends with and are still friends with today.”
Once, on a trip to Australia, they found their love of motorcycles went beyond riding. While visiting Allan’s hometown of Adelaide, they came across a British-made 1927 Birmingham Small Arms motorcycle. It was a thing of beauty. They bought it and sent it back home to Texas, realizing this was just the beginning of a newfound passion. For the next several decades, they collected dozens of vintage motorcycles from different parts of the world.
The couple eventually moved from the Houston area to Vanderpool, bringing their collection of bikes with them. Originally, they used their property in Vanderpool as a place to store the motorcycles, but word soon got out and people began stopping by for a look. Two years later, they made the decision to turn it into the Lone Star Motorcycle Museum.
“We wanted to give it a try,” said Debbie. “We decided it would be fun to share our collection with other people. “
The museum turned into a popular stop for travelers, both on two wheels and four. These days, people come from all over to see the collection. Debbie said it’s an unforgettable experience.
“It’s like stepping into a time machine. Bikes aren’t made like this anymore,” said Debbie. “They’re beautiful pieces of art. You don’t even have to be a motorcyclist to enjoy them.”
The collection consists of nearly 70 bikes with brands from around the world, including BSA, Norton, Denson, BMW and Harley-Davidson. Visitors get an up-close look at everything the old bikes had to offer, as well as a sense of connection with bikers from times long gone.
The museum sits off Highway 187 in Vanderpool, a short distance from Highway 337, better known as one of three Twisted Sisters highways. Together with TX 335 and TX 336, the Twisted Sisters are known for their many twists and turns. The 100-mile ride draws motorcyclists from all over the country and runs right through Vanderpool. Debbie said anytime there’s a ride, the museum is a popular stop.
“You’d be surprised to see how many people are excited to see how well we’ve kept up these old machines,” said Debbie.
Debbie and Allan are both retired, and their days of riding are behind them. This collection gives them a way to look back and remember the good times they had together. Whether the people who come to see the museum are riders or not, they hope they’ll see the same beauty, and maybe leave with a better understanding of why so many others throughout the years have come to love the ultimate destination known as the open road.
Posted: 11/3/2021 2:11:16 PM