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Old 09-16-08, 06:40 PM   #1
dguest
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Riding with the wife

Well as stated before I am new to cycling, well at least its been a few years since I was 15. Here are my questions to all the guys who have been riding a lot.
1st My wife tried for years to get me to ride, I finally broke down and decided to get back into about 2 months ago.
My concerns are I have a faster pace than my wife but I do not want to run away from her and leave her in the dust. I am afraid if I do she will loose interest and not continue.
2nd because of this I have been riding behind her and encouraging her to push her pace a little. So far this seems to be working and when she gets on a climb it seems to give her incentive to make the climb. Her pace has picked up from an average of 6.2 mph our first ride 2 months ago to 9.6mph on a 20 miler sunday.
My concern is we do not have anyone else to ride with since we live in a very rural area and I want to continue to push her pace like I have and hope that we get to an equal pace someday.

I can not tell you what my normal pace would be, all I can tell you is I do not feel pushed by the pace we have been travling and feel I could do more.
what are your suggestions, Have any of you had this problem,
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Old 09-16-08, 07:13 PM   #2
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When you really want to push it and test your limits, ride solo. Then you will have the patience to ride with your wife and gently encourage her.

I don't know your ages, physical condition or the type of bike you're riding, but I think your wife could aim for 12 mph, at least, for a 20-miler. Once she reaches that level, she'll be getting a taste for what it might be like to go even faster and push a little harder. But, give it time. It takes a while to get into shape and condition the legs. Women can be remarkably strong riders when they put their mind to it. In fact, many of the women in the club that I sometimes ride with drop me like a hot potato, specially on the hills. So be careful what you are creating or she'll be waiting for you at the tops of hills.
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Old 09-16-08, 07:48 PM   #3
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Been there, done that, got the T-shirt.

The answer is spelled T-A-N-D-E-M. We're on our 4th one. We started riding tandem bikes together in 1976. Today our leisure activities tend to be tandem bicycle oriented. We've made some enduring friendships tandemming. We have dinner nearly every Friday night with two other couples who we met while tandemming. We met one of the couples in the middle of a bike ride in 1980 and have been good friends since. One of our daughters owns a tandem with her husband and used it for their honeymoon trip.

Respectable quality tandems can be expensive but, if bicycling together with your sweetie is an objective, a tandem is definitely well worth the money. PM me if you're interested in more information about getting started tandemming.
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Old 09-16-08, 08:19 PM   #4
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Practice spinning behind her. Shift into a very easy gear and try to spin fast (120-130 rpm) behind her.
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Old 09-16-08, 08:32 PM   #5
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I'm not quite sure I understand. Is she going as fast as she feels she can go. Or is she going as fast as she is comfortable going. I mean 6mph is pretty slow, and although she has managed to get her speed up to 9mph she still needs to push it a little more for any kind of benefits. As was said before you could ride twice, once with her and once without her. But I would like to know why she is determined to go as slow as she is. She doesn't have to be speed racer but a steady speed of 12mph would be much more beneficial.
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Old 09-16-08, 08:44 PM   #6
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My wife hates it when I ride behind her, she rather I do my pace, and then wait for her, allows me to do some sprints, or what I usually do is shift to higher gear and work a little harder on the hills and needed.

Another trick, (learned by accident), set a rear brake pad to drag, provides additional friction and prevents you from the advantage of coasting. Actually had a damaged cable and on occasion that left rear pad would not release, making some rides a work out.

Last year when she returned to riding, she was keeping pace, about 13 - 15 mph, through November. This spring she started well, averaging 12 mph on our rides was not difficult. Then about 90 days off, because of surgery, I still rode without her, (about 400 miles doing 8 - 10 miles each evening). Then when she was Ok'ed to ride again, the first few rides were a struggle for her, 7 - 8 mph the norm, and then after a week, maybe two, she was keeping pace. Now we are doing our normal ride again each evening, and still knowing she is pushing her self to stay pace, but trying.

I have different bikes, with a couple geared higher, she can not stay pace, so when I am riding with her, I select the similar bike (Specialized Crossroads Sport), and work the gears so I match her cadence.

While she was down I discovered how much I enjoyed her company on our rides, so I will drop down to keep her close

PS: another trick she employed last summer, was a trailer, attached to my bike, and we would swing by and retrieve one or two of the grand kids before bedtime, add 80 lbs, and sticky rear brake pad, she would still cruise along, and wonder why I was having trouble keeping pace.
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Old 09-16-08, 09:00 PM   #7
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My experience is go ride hard for a while, then arrange to meet up with the wife and spin along at her pace to recover from your hard effort. Trying to get her to ride a pace she doesn't want to or has no interest in is doomed to big time failure and hurt feelings.
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Old 09-16-08, 09:03 PM   #8
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Ride ahead and circle around and come back.

If I pushed my wife to increase pace, etc., she would stop riding. When I ride with her , we ride by her rules.
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Old 09-16-08, 09:18 PM   #9
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Was she riding long before you started, or did she start with you?

Depending on how long she's been riding, and her physical condition when she started, her legs may still be weak and she's trying to take it easy and not push.

Or, she may be like many women who don't push themselves athletically. Maybe she's just out for the fun of it and couldn't care a lick about speed.
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Old 09-16-08, 09:41 PM   #10
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You need to seperate your need for speed with your desire to ride with your wife. Go out and hammer before or after. Ride with the woman of your life and enjoy the company, the smells, the conversation and your your situation. Remember many don't have your options

If it gets tough, ask yourself: Would I rather be with this woman, or without this woman? Then proceed based on your answer.

BTW, I love riding behind my wife. It's a great view.....
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Old 09-17-08, 05:35 AM   #11
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[QUOTE=Cone Wrench;7484184]When you really want to push it and test your limits, ride solo. Then you will have the patience to ride with your wife and gently encourage her.

I don't know your ages, physical condition or the type of bike you're riding, but I think your wife could aim for 12 mph, at least, for a 20-miler.
I am 50 and my wife is 53, We both are not in the shape we should be, I am 5'11 and 195 my wife is 5'8 and 190. We both started riding at the same time, Her job currently is very sedentary and mine is now, But a couple of years ago I was in good shape, While I was still in government work I was the commander of the the sheriff's office special response team, so we had a regular work out regiment. Now that I have left Government work and work in the corporate setting I sit behind a desk "investigete" they call it and so I have not done anything as far as exercise in the past 3 years.

So far she seems to be encouraged by my pushing her from behind, on the few occasions I do run up from and we get some sepration I will see her off the bike and pushing on a climb, but if I am behind her she stay on the bike for the entire climb no matter how hard.

The entire idea of riding was hers and she says she is enjoying it and is always wanting to out riding.

As far as what we ride, We both have Big box mountain bikes currently, but have ordered fitness hybrids from a LBS, Hopefully they will be in this weekend or next.
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Old 09-17-08, 06:46 AM   #12
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+1 for the tandem. It will allow you to push your limits and your wife will be able to keep up with no problem. Try to avoid coaching your wife until she no longer likes to ride. Tandems are a great shared experience that are under recognized and under utilized. The first few rides may be tricky until you sort out the balance issues but after that are a blast. My wife thought I had lost my mind when I bought urs 4 years ago. We now go on rides up to 50 miles together. You can talk to each other while riding and neither of you will be waiting at the top of the hill for the other.
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Old 09-17-08, 07:55 AM   #13
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As far as what we ride, We both have Big box mountain bikes currently, but have ordered fitness hybrids from a LBS, Hopefully they will be in this weekend or next.
What kind of terrain do you ride? Chances are those cheap mtb's weigh a lot. You'll certainly have an easier time on the hybrids. When I went from an inexpensive hybrid to a pricey road bike it was like dropping 20lbs of weight. If your only riding on pavement one thing you could try is to go from the knobby tires on the mtb's to slicks.

As for riding together, I just ride ahead and wait when I'm riding with Linda. She's often not that far behind and can keep up or pass me on the flats. The hills are another story. I'm not a great climber but can do a slow and steady 6 mph on a long climb. Linda often has to stop and start. Not a big deal. I get a couple of minutes extra rest at the top. As your wife gets in the miles, her speed and climbing ability will improve.
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Old 09-17-08, 08:15 AM   #14
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[quote=dguest;7483965]
2nd because of this I have been riding behind her and encouraging her to push her pace a little. So far this seems to be working and when she gets on a climb it seems to give her incentive to make the climb. Her pace has picked up from an average of 6.2 mph our first ride 2 months ago to 9.6mph on a 20 miler sunday.
My concern is we do not have anyone else to ride with since we live in a very rural area and I want to continue to push her pace like I have and hope that we get to an equal pace someday.[quote]

It's not realistic to match pace. My wife and I solved the issue many decades ago when we started jogging. We start out together and go at our own pace.

We backpacked that way, hike that way, canoe that way and now we ride that way. If it's an unfamiliar trail (mountain biking), I'll wait at the tricky sections. We do up to 60 mile road rides (she'll do less) and often she's on one trail and I'm on another in places like Tsali and Tanasi/Ocoee.

It's unfair and unnecessary to force one person's pace on another in our opinion. It reduces performance and the fun factor to the lowest common denominator. It reduces the enjoyment for both as the slower rider is under pressure to ride too hard.

My wife has gained confidence to ride on days that I don't. We've spent a lot of time in the woods and riding in rural areas over the last 40 years and so far nothing's ever gone wrong. In that vain, I use puncture resistant tires on her road bike. She knows how to change a tube, but I think a road bike tire is just too hard for her. On the mountain bike, she'll have to walk out or walk until I can get there. We've both walked out after non-repairable failures, so we ride with plenty of daylight left.

Since about the last 5 years, cell phone coverage has improved dramatically in the less populated areas where we spend most of out recreational time. Verizon coverage is amazing at least in the South East. We check-in with each other now every hour or so.

Obviously, it's a temperament issue and our approach won't work for every couple. It's also politically incorrect for many.

Also, maybe a fifth of the folks I meet on the trails are woman often biking alone. Not all are young either. So it's well within their capabilities. I also get passed by some.

I have to add that I always outfit her as well or better than me. That's very motivational for her. I drool over her current moutain bike which cost us nealy $3000 to put together. She has 4 solo canoes, I've only got 3!

Al

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Old 09-17-08, 08:23 AM   #15
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The answer is spelled T-A-N-D-E-M.

Absolutley the best answer. My wife and I bought a new Tandem in July and are having a blast!
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Old 09-17-08, 10:40 AM   #16
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Well it looks like she is going to get to ride with out me for a week or so now, I was at work today and slipped on a step. Now got the foot in a cast for a severe sprain of the right ankle. I guess her pace will be much faster than mine this weekend.

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Old 09-17-08, 11:13 AM   #17
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The answer is spelled T-A-N-D-E-M.

Absolutley the best answer. My wife and I bought a new Tandem in July and are having a blast!
Have to agree but watch out for when the Stoker overtakes you.

Have a Tandem but the wife won't ride it. Have to find some other Brainless fool to ride with me.
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Old 09-17-08, 11:23 AM   #18
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Stapfam, I assume the wife doesn't read Bike Forum.
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Old 09-17-08, 11:36 AM   #19
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Sorry to say, but TANDEM is not always the answer. I know it works well for lots of couples, and I think that's great. But it didn't work with my wife.

I should add that I'm an experienced tandem captain, and all of my previous stokers were quite happy with the way I captained the various tandems I've ridden. But not my wife.

She told me that, really, it's a control issue and she doesn't like being on a bike when she's not in cotrol. Okay, I said, how 'bout you be the captain then? No, she didn't want to do that either. So we returned the tandem (Santana, not that it matters).

Her solution? She rides at her pace, I ride at mine. On double centuries she often starts an hour ahead of me, and finishes an hour (or more) after me. My point to all this is that every couple has to find the solution that works for them.

Hearing about others solutions can be beneficial in terms of sharing ideas (and that's one of the things that makes this forum great!), so maybe this will be helpful to you. Unlike the OP and his wife, we are both experienced riders, me with 40+ years and my wife with 30+.

Obviously, your milage may vary!

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Old 09-17-08, 11:56 AM   #20
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Well.......

I have just the oposite problem than the rest of you.

I'm a noob and my wife is a long time cyclist. The problem I have is that she really doesn't want to push me to keep up with her. Since we started riding, she has always trailed me and ridden at my pace.

We last rode on Saturday morning and after we rode, I told her that I wanted her to start leading and force me to keep up with her pace.

She's 18 years my junior and is afraid that I won't be able to keep up. So, I told her "Lead, and look around once in a while to see where I am." "If you've dropped me, just slow down and I'll catch up."
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Old 09-17-08, 12:13 PM   #21
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Stapfam, I assume the wife doesn't read Bike Forum.
You haven't read the reports on some of my rides then- If you had- Any sane person would prefer not to ride the Tandem with me.


And on the Tandem- They are not for everyone. If possible- find a hire shop to see if Tandems are for you. If they are not- Then it a good way to a very quick divorce.

Attachment is of one of my "Occasional" Co-riders after only 35 miles offroad.
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Old 09-17-08, 02:58 PM   #22
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I follow Dnvr's idea. Let your wife ride at her pace. Ride with here some of the time then sprint on ahead, turn around and come back. You will go farther/faster than she does and still share the ride.

By the way, this works just as well when its my 27 year old son sprinting on ahead of me and coming back to see if I'm ok......
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Old 09-17-08, 03:14 PM   #23
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I have a dual problem. My pace is considerable faster than my wife's. So I end up doing just what dguest does. Ride behind her, and push the pace a bit. I try to keep aware of how she is doing, and trying to be encouraging. This, along with her competetive nature has resulted in an increased pace for her. My second problem is that she is terrified of riding on the road. She will only do MUPs. So, I end up doing my own training on the road, at whatever pace I want, and join her on the MUP's a couple times a week for more (for me) leisurely rides. Seems to work for us, as her enthusiasm for riding keeps growing.
Just wish I could get her comfortable on the road.
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Old 09-17-08, 10:42 PM   #24
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Tandem!
At ages 75/73 we still ride 100+ miles a week on our custom tandem.
Been riding TWOgether for 33+ years and over 220,000 miles.
Yup, still happily married after 'only' 53 years!
Pedal on!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 09-18-08, 10:16 AM   #25
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Just wish I could get her comfortable on the road.
Ever consider a Road 1 course from the League of American Bicyclists? It might be fun for both of you. Here's a link for some in MA.
http://www.bikeleague.org/cogs/resou...=21&submit.y=9

[edit: Just noticed the ones currently scheduled in MA are two hour sessions. I was thinking of the full 9 hour course.
http://www.bikeleague.org/programs/e...rses.php#road1 ]

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