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  1. #1
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    riding with my slower girl friend

    I think this has been covered before , but could not find the thread.
    I am 65 my girl friend is 55 and she is irked that she cannot keep up. I don't know if she is just not putting out the effort or truly has a problem. She is in great shape, a runner and a 5 mile walker on days when we don't ride.
    So yesterday we rode 25 miles and I was constantly turning around and waiting on her. we were in bed last night and she said she was sorry she was a bit *****y on the ride, but it is just getting to her that she cannot keep up with an old fart.
    I know I can just slow down and ride on the big rings but darn it I like to go fast.
    Any suggestions that I could pass along to her to help her keep up.

  2. #2
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    How often, and, how far, do BOTH of you ride. That could be the whole problem.....

  3. #3
    Senior Member dguest's Avatar
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    I had the same problem when riding with my wife, that thread was earlier this year, but I ended up letting her take the lead and was behind her encouraging her and helpfully easing her pace towards faster speeds. After about a month of this she developed a pace that has been great. If I take the lead she has no problem keeping up and there are now times when she has the lead that I have to push my own pace to keep up with her.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Whatever direction your relationship is headed, a tandem will get you there quicker.

  5. #5
    tcs
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    Quote Originally Posted by billycarnival View Post
    ...We were in bed last night and ...
    Whoa. TMI.

    Quote Originally Posted by billycarnival View Post
    Any suggestions ... to help her keep up.
    There's a solution used by cycling couples for the last 110 years. Here. Or here. Or here.

    tcs
    "When man first set woman on two wheels with a pair of pedals, did he know, I wonder, that he had rent the veil of the harem in twain? A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Typewriter Girl, 1899.

    "Every so often a bird gets up and flies some place it's drawn to. I don't suppose it could tell you why, but it does it anyway." Ian Hibell, 1934-2008

  6. #6
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    Uh, have you ever thought it wouldn't go better if you slowed down and enjoyed the ride? When she is ready to ride faster she will.

    Suggestion... do your ride before riding with the girlfriend. Go out and do 30 hard and then come back and cruise with the girlfriend. Or use a mountain bike with wide knobby tires. Better work out for you but hard to go faster.

    This really shouldn't be about you but about riding together and doing an activity as a couple. That means compromise. And I guess a tandem would solve your problem (provided she is a trusting girlfriend. Riding as a stroker can sometimes be scary).
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  7. #7
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Everyone has a limit that they just cannot exceeed. May be distance or speed- but I take it that she is new to cycling. It does not matter how fit she is- unless she is bike fit- She will not be as fast as an old F*rt that has been riding a few years.

    So perhaps a change to the way you ride with her is in order. Ride along side her and chat- If she can still talk comfortably- put a bit of pace on. If she is talking with taking breaths every couple of words- slow down. Do not start a ride fast as the competitive spirit from running will make her keep up with you but then she will get tired very quickly.

    Then there is the bike. Well maintained? Right tyres at right pressures? Brakes rubbing? or is it just 20lbs heavier than yours?

    If you want the girlfriend to be able to ride with you- Get her skills up- Get her bike better maintained and suitable for the ride- and even more- get yourself in tune with her.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member rodrigaj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billycarnival View Post
    we were in bed last night and she said she was sorry ...that she cannot keep up with an old fart.
    I know I can just slow down... but darn it I like to go fast.
    Any suggestions that I could pass along to her to help her keep up.
    With a bit of editing this thread is hilarious

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    I know some couples enjoy riding a tandem, but riding for XX miles looking at some guy's ass and having no control over anything is not my idea of a good time.

    I don't think it's reasonable for you to expect her to ride 'fast' if she is just starting. You might try some group rides to help her develop skills.

  10. #10
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    I only ride with fast girls.

  11. #11
    Senior Member az_cyclist's Avatar
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    What is your average speed? Also, is there a club in your area that has regroups (as opposed to a no-drop or keep up if you can)?

  12. #12
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    Get yourself a single speed or a fixed gear bike and gear it very low. You'll get a great work out and she'll be able to keep up with you. Guaranteed.
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  13. #13
    Ride Daddy Ride Jet Travis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
    and even more- get yourself in tune with her.
    If you make the effort in that direction, I'd bet you'd be happily surprised in all sorts of ways.
    "Light it up, Popo." --Levi Leipheimer

  14. #14
    Ride Daddy Ride Jet Travis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadfix View Post
    Get yourself a single speed or a fixed gear bike and gear it very low. You'll get a great work out and she'll be able to keep up with you. Guaranteed.
    Along those lines, I often take my wide-tired touring bike or mountain bike while my female riding partner takes her carbon fiber road bike. To further weigh me down, I carry all the food, tools, tubes and other gear. It works out pretty well. Clearly, you may want to ride your go-fast bike on your own or with faster riders.
    "Light it up, Popo." --Levi Leipheimer

  15. #15
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    You best bet is to agree to meet at certain points...I mean really agree (the both of you). Other wise buy her a Powertap and a Trainer and then you can be mad at her from leaving you in the dust....


  16. #16
    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    Nicely done, rodrigaj!



    I also let her go first. Sometimes the need for speed builds up in me, and I tell her that I'm going to go fast for a bit, and I'll wait for her. Works well.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VolGirl View Post
    I know some couples enjoy riding a tandem, but riding for XX miles looking at some guy's ass and having no control over anything is not my idea of a good time.
    That's a common misconception.

    When we ride together I see a stretch of road ahead that's about 3' wide. My wife is the one who watches the scenery off to both sides and tells me when I need to look up to see something interesting. Other tandem couples that we've talked with tell us the same thing.

  18. #18
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    I'm surprised that nobody has suggested the obvious: n+1. Get the GF a faster bike or get yourself a slower one. No matter how many bikes you already have, none of them are suitable.

    Problem solved!

  19. #19
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    I've been thinking --- I know, scarey!

    Buttttt,,,,, We've been married for 40+ years ---- and I wouldn't even consider riding away from her!

    I appreciate it when she decides to go for a ride with me ----- just chalk it up, and go fast when you are in different company.

    This advice is really worth giving serious consideration to.....MHO

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
    I'm surprised that nobody has suggested the obvious: n+1. Get the GF a faster bike or get yourself a slower one. No matter how many bikes you already have, none of them are suitable.

    Problem solved!

    Whoa!! I thought you were going a different direction at first. Since you didn't I will.....N+1, get a faster girl freind for those fast rides and keep the slower one for the leisurly rides.

    Actually the wife and I solved this issue with a tandem. She likes looking at guy's butts, though ours is a recumbent. You can also follow the advice given earlier and just follow her. Pick a low gear and pedal your tail off.

    Happy Trails

  21. #21
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    I admit I have a twisted view of things. When I started riding the best rider in the club (social, not racing) was very smooth and a very easy wheel to follow. Also a pretty good mechanic. I took a bit from him and take pride in being able to provide a good wheel to follow and being able to help weaker riders back to a group.

    But it can be frustrating when a rider will not try to get back.

    In your case it sounds like your girlfriend is more than willing to try.

    Spend some time riding side by side and paying attention. Perhaps she is doing something wrong. Hard to guess what, but only psuing down of wrong gearing come to mind.

    Then try having her stay on your wheel.

    Perhaps try to have her keep your wheel for 5 miles and then slow and ride side by side for a while. It will be work for both of you to have her hold your wheel. Remember if you drop her it is more your shortcoming than hers.

    Once you can do this for 5 miles you can try for 6, then 7...

    Oh and pay attention to when she starts to lose your wheel, or drop back. Perhaps there is something, like climbs or turns where she loses distance and after a few sort of gives up.

  22. #22
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Slow down. The point of those rides is to enjoy doing things together. And as with love, it's accepting her for how she is.

    Stay on the smaller rings and don't wear out your knees of course. If you want to go fast, ride alone or with faster friends.

    If you want to ride with her, then that's what you should do, ride with her. Let her ride in front. That will build her up because she has to lead, and makes it easier for you to stay with her.

    That or you just have to agree to ride your own rides and you stop and reconnect at pre-agreed upon points. Of course if you're doing that, are you really riding together?
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  23. #23
    old but fast
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    when my wife first started riding, she was slow, thought it was just because, (in my best sexist attitude) a women, well once I got her fitted to a proper bike that all changed. Now the issue is keeping up with her.

    That said, if your GF is really interested in riding, make sure she has the right tools. My wife even works with a coach during the winter to keep her ability sharp.

    It great to have your lady along on a group ride and see them all look perplexed at who this women is that just won't go away.

  24. #24
    Broom Wagon Fodder reverborama's Avatar
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    I'm not sure how much of it is general fitness... I'm 50 and my wife is 32. She can't keep up with me at all on a bike -- and that's me on a 1980 Fuji sporting a Shimano 8-speed gear hub and her on a QR 20-speed Tri-bike. The distance doesn't matter - 5 miles to 50. She can't keep up.

    But if you talk about running... I wouldn't be able to keep up with her for 2 miles.

  25. #25
    Sometimes knows stuff. rmfnla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VolGirl View Post
    I know some couples enjoy riding a tandem, but riding for XX miles looking at some guy's ass and having no control over anything is not my idea of a good time.
    Especially if she refers to him as an old fart!
    Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...

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