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  1. #1
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Need Advice from those with Married Kids

    Dear 50+:

    Is it proper cycling etiquette to invite my daughter's boyfriend out for a ride????

    My oldest daughter is not long out of college and has been in and out of relationships. Just a hunch but her current steady might just be the one......While the relationship is in its infancy there are a lot of indicators that would suggest something more permanent might be in the mix.

    He's really a nice young man and I don't want to run him off but it's important to see if he's proper material for my daughter. Plus there's nothing like a nice ride on the roads to get to know one another.

    After all, I have a bike that would be a perfect fit for him. I would really, really try and behave on the ride and not do anything mischievous.........like hammer up the hills, ride behind him like I was having trouble keeping up or stretch it out just a few miles too long???? But he is at least half my age and was a 4 year cross country and track star at a major university so I'm sure he wouldn't have any trouble keeping up with this old fella.

    So 50+, what advice can you offer?

  2. #2
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    A bike ride is a bike ride.
    Ask him what he thinks.
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  3. #3
    Gone DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Remember bicycling muscles and aerobics are different than running. We have had numerous tales of folks going from running to bicycling and getting wiped out. I had the same phenomenon when I started swimming. One length of the pool did me in.

    I wonder if it might be appropriate to ask your daughter if she would mind your asking the fellow?

    ". . . but it's important to see if he's proper material for my daughter."

    I see this as a red flag!

    This is your daughter's decision, IMHO.
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 12-27-08 at 07:22 AM.
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  4. #4
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Sure, ride with him if you want to. I don't have a daughter, but my stepson's stepdaughter is like a granddaughter to me. I have ridden with her boyfriend a number of times. He's 17, looks a lot like President Obama, and rides a BMX bike. He rides that little bike 60 miles or more almost every day! I think I'm the first person he met who's as crazy about bikes as he is. Our rides have been fun and we're kind of like friends now.

    You know, jppe, if your daughter decides to stick with this guy, you're stuck with him too. As the older and more mature party, you probably should try to make him feel comfortable and welcome in the family. It would mean a lot to both him and your daughter.
    Last edited by Roody; 12-26-08 at 08:46 PM.


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  5. #5
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    There is nothing wrong with inviting him for a ride. Showing him up, on the other hand, would be considered bad form. And don't take it as a bad omen if he isn't into cycling. If he is the one, you'll have years to convert him.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Velo Fellow's Avatar
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    While hopefully and probably things will go well, there may be a dynamic here as old as the species....something about winning the daughter away from the father. From folktales to Shakespeare, well-meaning fathers are ritually overcome as their daughters are spirited away. A simple bike ride might become a joust.

    But, more likely, you'll get a chance to really meet one another, be informal, realize the other person is just fine, and maybe find an occasional riding partner for (if he is the one) family gatherings, Thanksgiving day rides, etc.

    Beside, think how much fun you'll have anticipating how nervous he'll be before the ride. You might lower his tire pressure a bit-- just to handicap his youth.
    The aging cyclist may not get faster-- but he does get slower at slowing down.

  7. #7
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    With both my daughters- I invited their boyfriends out for rides. They already had bikes so no problems. I rode offroad and they had mountain bikes so I took them out on some serious terrain. Well they were a lot younger than me so they could take it. Several of them declined and one or two I never saw again.

    But one of them- Who eventually became my Son-in-law, realised that this was good and bought a sensible bike within 6 months. He still rides a bit but not enough and has turned into my occasional Tandem Partner. We get on like a house on fire but the daughter regrets it.

    Apparantly we get on so well because we are alike. She now says that he has learnt my sense of humour- has the same moods as me- and it is like living in the same house as her dad again ocasionally.
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  8. #8
    Surf Bum
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
    We get on like a house on fire but the daughter regrets it.
    Exactly. I say leave the boyfriends/husbands alone and let the daughter decide if she really likes them or what. Most likely, the least interest they show in her family, and even her, the more she'll like the dude. Women are weird like that.

  9. #9
    Senior Member rodrigaj's Avatar
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    Let the kids work it out on their own.

  10. #10
    cycling fanatic Ken Brown's Avatar
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    Once they are engaged or married, perhaps. Very dangerous thing to do now.

  11. #11
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    Invite the guy for a bike ride. It would be a good way to get to know him and for him to get to know you. Also, it will be a good way to get some miles in.

    No one in this family, except for yours truly, rides bikes anymore; however, during the Thanksgiving trip, I invited son, daughter, and daughter's boy friend to go shooting with me. We all went and had a good time. I got to know boy friend a little better, and I'm glad we all went together.

    Boy friend had his own pistol. To his credit, he was safe and responsible with it, and seemed to be a straight-up guy. The old man smoked him, however as did the daughter with the old man's pistol. Boy friend had a good sense of humor about the whole thing, so we all had a good time. Thus far, he's approved.

    Smoking the boy friend on the bicycle would be a different story. If you do that, then he's by himself, and you're by yourself, and you would lose the camaraderie, which is, I believe, what you are seeking. Just do a low-key ride, and ascertain and accommodate his abilities, i.e. stay together and get to know him. You may develop respect for each other.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    ". . . but it's important to see if he's proper material for my daughter."

    I see this as a red flag!
    That's what I think too.

    By the way, if you didn't have some pretty serious misgivings you wouldn't have felt the need to ask. I think that's pretty perceptive on your part.
    Last edited by Retro Grouch; 12-27-08 at 08:52 AM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member BillK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    ". . . but it's important to see if he's proper material for my daughter."

    I see this as a red flag!
    Me three. On the other hand, there's nothing stopping you from inviting BOTH your daughter and her boyfriend out for a ride. That way you'll have company when he leaves you in the dust.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member dorosz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jppe View Post
    Dear 50+:
    He's really a nice young man and I don't want to run him off but it's important to see if he's proper material for my daughter. Plus there's nothing like a nice ride on the roads to get to know one another.
    I've four daughters which probably disqualifies me entirely, but I think taking him for a ride is fine as long as you have a way to get the bike back and the forensic evidence can't link you to his disapperance!
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  15. #15
    Slow Moving Vehicle Jean Beetham Smith's Avatar
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    I would hold on inviting him on a ride, wait for him to invite you. Perfectly fair to let your cycling passion be known, but let him make the first move. I was still commuting to work when my son and GF (now wonderful DIL) bought their house and got involved in developing a MUP to the beach. They invited us on one of their rides, and we were then able to share those group rides. We don't ride together a lot, but really enjoy the rides we do share. It takes a while to establish those relationships.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jppe View Post
    Dear 50+:

    ......While the relationship is in its infancy there are a lot of indicators that would suggest something more permanent might be in the mix.

    it's important to see if he's proper material for my daughter.

    So 50+, what advice can you offer?
    35 years ago my "Girl Friend" heard many complaints from her folks that I was not proper material for their daughter. We've been married for over 33 years and our marriage has weathered many serious crises that tend to end marriages such as serious illnesses of a spouse, deaths of children, seious illness of children, financial woes etc. We're glad she ignored her parent's well intentioned but wrong advice.

    My advice as the father of a 23 and two 19 year old daughters, stay out of her love life. You've raised her, now it's time for her to put all the principles you've taught her to use living her life. Step back , there'll be plenty of time to share what's important to you with this fellow after your daughter has decided what direction her relationship with this young man will take.

    Just my opinion of course....

    Happy Trails
    Last edited by cranky old dude; 12-27-08 at 09:37 AM.

  17. #17
    Don't mince words Red Rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    ". . . but it's important to see if he's proper material for my daughter."

    I see this as a red flag!

    This is your daughter's decision, IMHO.
    ITA.

    Our daughter came home w/her BF of ~2 yrs. He rides in the city. We invited all the kids for a ride, a flat, easy 10 mi. to a bike-friendly coffee shop and home. Son declined, daughter declined, BF accepted. In borrowed clothes, on a borrowed bike, he braved the chill, the unfamiliar roads, and his possible-future-in-laws and rode with us.

    First we wanted to grill him on his intentions. We tempered that with the idea of just letting him know we're looking out after her. Finally, we decided to just ride and see what came up. Ultimately it's her decision, not ours, to keep him or let him go, and we'll abide by that. If this boy is the one we'll have years and years of rides and we'd rather they be pleasant.

    BTW, we behaved ourselves -- taught him some basic drafting skills, kept the ride and pace easy, and bought him the beverage of his choice at the coffee shop. While we still don't have the answers we want about him, we know not to interfere. And we know he's not afraid to put himself in uncomfortable situations.

    Good luck, jppe. It's a tough place to be, wanting to suss out your kid's possible lifemate without causing strife. I vote for a regular ol' bike ride, and let the conversation go where it may.
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  18. #18
    Semper Fi qcpmsame's Avatar
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    I stay out of the kids love lives but my daughter's boyfriend invited me on a ride first. We had known each other for around 8 months when I got my C'dale and he obtained a Trek. We do family rides around the area we live in with the clear, open and rolling roads. It is a great way to get to know each other. I would not use the rides to judge him however. He has too many positives to let riding make the decision. To each his (or her) own.

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  19. #19
    Senior Member fatdad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jppe View Post
    Dear 50+:

    Is it proper cycling etiquette to invite my daughter's boyfriend out for a ride????



    After all, I have a bike that would be a perfect fit for him. I would really, really try and behave on the ride and not do anything mischievous.........like hammer up the hills, ride behind him like I was having trouble keeping up or stretch it out just a few miles too long???? But he is at least half my age and was a 4 year cross country and track star at a major university so I'm sure he wouldn't have any trouble keeping up with this old fella.

    So 50+, what advice can you offer?


    Admit it, ya just wanna drop his young behind...

  20. #20
    www.ocrebels.com Rick@OCRR's Avatar
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    I have two sons, and neither daughter-in-law likes cycling. One is afraid of it, the other merely dislikes it. Both of my sons still ride, one is trying to get his wife (via their kids) into cycling, the other doesn't give it much effort.

    Still, you never know. Since I didn't have any daughters, my advice does not apply to the OP!

    Rick / OCRR
    Last edited by Rick@OCRR; 12-27-08 at 08:37 PM.

  21. #21
    Gone DnvrFox's Avatar
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    All of this discussion reminds me of a movie possibility, certainly starring Chevy Chase as the dad!
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  22. #22
    Senior Member wrobertdavis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jppe View Post
    He's really a nice young man and I don't want to run him off but it's important to see if he's proper material for my daughter.
    This is the wrong reason to invite on a bike ride or anything else. You can do nothing positive and probably a whole lot of negative by thinking you are going to have something to do with your daughter's decision for a life mate.

    My daughter dated a real loser seriously, but my wife and I kept our mouths shut and our noses out of it. She figured it out on her own, ditched the guy and ended up marrying a really great guy.

    By the way, why not ask your daughter how she feels about your riding with her boyfriend?

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  23. #23
    Never trust a smiling dog
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    If I were a non-cycling young man just getting to know a girl, I wouldn't ride with her father. If he offered to take you on a cross-country running date (to check you out) would you accept?

    In this case "look at it from his perspective" applies.

  24. #24
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacificaslim View Post
    I say leave the boyfriends/husbands alone and let the daughter decide if she really likes them or what. Most likely, the least interest they show in her family, and even her, the more she'll like the dude. Women are weird like that.
    Don't know whats wrong with the younger set. They get mixed up with all kinds of creeps. Some of which took some persuading never to appear on my doorstep again.

    Many years later and Seeing what both my daughters finished up with--I was right. Two great daughters and two great son-in-laws.
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  25. #25
    Senior Member MNBikeguy's Avatar
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    Find a remote area to ride and if need be, you can off him and make it look like an accident.

    Seriously, I agree with the others. At your daughters age this is not the time for "guy inspection measuring up." You've done your job Dad. Get to know him, not necessarily on "your turf". (bicycle).
    If she were in middle school, I'd be singing a different tune.
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