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Old 06-17-11, 07:00 AM   #1
DnvrFox
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Riding Happily With Your SO - Suggestions and Ideas

Do you ride with your SO?

Please share any suggestions or ideas for making that a pleasant, enjoyable experience for both of you?

Any hangups or points of disagreement? How do you work through that?
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Old 06-17-11, 07:10 AM   #2
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It's easier for me to keep at her pace than it is for her to keep at mine; so we usually ride on flat paved bike paths together. The only hangups are when she thinks that she's slowing me down. I try to say things that I would want to hear from a stronger rider than myself. I enjoy riding together much more than by myself.
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Old 06-17-11, 07:32 AM   #3
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Please share any suggestions or ideas for making that a pleasant, enjoyable experience for both of you?
She rides one way and I ride in the opposite. Pleasant and enjoyable for both.
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Old 06-17-11, 07:38 AM   #4
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One word, tandem. I am a reasonably fast rider who likes to pound hills, she doesn't. I like going no less than an hour, she wants no more than 20 minutes, if she is the one pedaling. Compromise is the tandem, I go as hard as I want, she sight sees, then, when I am 20 minutes from getting back, she kicks in to haul my collapsing carcass the rest of the way.
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Old 06-17-11, 07:52 AM   #5
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I ride the mountain bike and she rides her road bike. The effort and pace are pretty much equalized.
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Old 06-17-11, 08:04 AM   #6
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I almost always ride with my wife. Luckily our speed, distance and terrain preferences match so we don't have any problems. We are not speed demons - no hanging on each other's wheel. We ride at a moderate pace, even leisurely based on some folks here (13-15 mph), typically 20 - 30 miles.
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Old 06-17-11, 11:48 AM   #7
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I ride with my wife. Just this year she started getting into riding again. She got a flash bike on sale, so she is all set. Right now she is a bit worried about slowing me down. I get out in front and pull. She can be really tenacious so sometimes I misjudge her and pull away. I listen to the inner demons who are telling me that I am not riding hard enough.

As far as distance goes, she is a good distance rider as am I. We both think that 25 miles is a short ride.
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Old 06-17-11, 11:55 AM   #8
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My SO has some significant health issues right now so his conditioning is very poor. This frustrates him because he was at one time an extremely fit person and strong and skilled rider. My biggest challenge is encouraging him to get out and do something; anything. If I can't get him on a bike, then how about a hike or a walk or even just taking the cameras out and taking shots - something!

If and when I get him riding, I just hang back and let him lead the way. I don't complaint or mention the speed, the time, the route, nothing. Right now I am truly happy just getting him out. I miss his company on rides and will do everything I can to help him get back into riding again. It's not about my ego but his and I am just happy to be supportive. RIght now its just about being together and enjoying something we both love.
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Old 06-17-11, 12:02 PM   #9
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One word, tandem. I am a reasonably fast rider who likes to pound hills, she doesn't. I like going no less than an hour, she wants no more than 20 minutes, if she is the one pedaling. Compromise is the tandem, I go as hard as I want, she sight sees, then, when I am 20 minutes from getting back, she kicks in to haul my collapsing carcass the rest of the way.
Pretty much the same thing here - we have very different riding styles, I like to use it as exercise. She enjoys sightseeing. Our most successful rides together are on the tandem, and involve stopping for lunch at a nice place. She sits on the back, pedals when she feels like it, rings the bell to greet passers-by and takes pictures.
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Old 06-17-11, 12:39 PM   #10
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I agree that a tandem is very nice for this, but you do have to learn how to work together on it. We bought a tandem a week after we were married (28 years ago) and still have it. It doesn't get ridden much anymore though; my wife has had two hip replacements and has a hard time mounting the tandem and is quite leery of falling and damaging her hip.

Several years ago I bought her a Raleigh Sports 3-speed with a step-through frame so we could ride Lake Pepin together, and that has become her preferred ride now. When we ride our 3 speeds together I feel no compulsion to go fast, and probably couldn't even if I wanted to.
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Old 06-17-11, 12:41 PM   #11
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Much of it depends on who you are as individuals. My S.O. is pretty easy to deal with. She has anxiety about riding with group because she doesn't feel she is "good enough." But, when we ride together we just ride at whatever pace keeps us together and interested. We are fairly equal on hills (she may have a slight advantage), I am a lot quicker on the downhills (thanks to my weight "advantage" and experience at speed on my Ducati) and I'm stronger on the flats. After a good downhill I spin until she's with me and on the flats I spin rather than try to crank up wheel speed. It works well for us.
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Old 06-17-11, 01:46 PM   #12
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Right now, due to some medical issues, Nora goes no more than 10 miles. She rides a Trek hybrid, and we ride at HER pace. I figure this is her time for riding fun. I ride behind her so I make sure I don't go too fast and "get away."

She would not like a tandem, as she would be afraid of injury to her two replaced knees, and of aggravating her osteoarthritis she has in her spine if she fell. She does great on her Tek, enjoys our 10 mile rides. Frequently I will then ride another 20 after we get near our home and she continues home and I go for alonger and faster ride. That is fine withher.

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Old 06-17-11, 02:03 PM   #13
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Sometimes I ride with my wife and our kid. The wife is comfortable cruising along 7 to 10 mph while I am more comfortable at a faster pace, but when we're together the slowest ride sets the pace and we all fall in line with it. Me? I'm just glad that they're out with me, so it's all good. I've got other solo rides to kick up the pace and the time before our kid begins to think it's "embarassing" to ride with the parental units is short, with the tween years now upon us. So it's all time that I treasure and store up in my heart and memory.
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Old 06-17-11, 04:12 PM   #14
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Back when my wife was physically able to ride we rode both Tandems and single bikes.

On the single bikes I would ride at her pace and we both enjoyed the opportunity to ride and explore our little corner of the world together.

On the Tandems...I was the Captain and she was the Stoker and that was the way she liked it. The pace was gentle and again we both enjoyed it immensely. Passers-by often asked "Who's working harder?" and we always instinctively pointed to each other.

Prior to her 1991 diagnosis we always rode single bikes and she rode like the wind and I worked hard to keep up with her, but those days are a distant memory now.

I dream of getting her back on the EZ Tandem for short four or five mile jaunts but it will probably never happen due to the M.S.

To all of you who are able bodied couples I implore you to just ride together as much as you can. You never know when it will all be history.
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Old 06-17-11, 08:37 PM   #15
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Early on, we rode together a lot, including one self-supported trip from Atlanta to NH to Milwaukee. Eleven years ago, I was riding a lot more than her ---> we figured out that a tandem would equalize us, so we got one and it was great! I still ride a lot more, but when we ride together, it's almost always on a tandem, and I find that I am unable to ride away from her.
Got a 'bent tandem this year, so it's even better than ever. Working together to learn how to ride the thing, particularly starts from a standing start, has been a relationship-building exercise, for the most part. Riding more together this year than in recent years.
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Old 06-17-11, 09:25 PM   #16
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We met in pancake-flat Davis twenty-eight years ago. She learned to draft and all was good (at 6'1", 190 lbs. I provided a great draft at 27 mph). When we rode to the beach (often) I just took it easy on the hills and enjoyed the sights. On tours I would carry the bulk of the gear and take naps at the top of long hills; at day's end she was exhausted and I felt like I hadn't done anything. Everything got better in 1989 when we bought a tandem. We had it built so that she could be captain if she wanted; she did and I have rarely left the stoker's saddle. One of the few times she let me captain was when we had a headset failure somewhere east of Kamloops; that wasn't much fun. Now when we tour she ends the day feeling great and I am beaten, which is good. I remember one year on a dirt road about an hour from where we intended to camp we stopped for a break. She bounded off to explore a cave while I curled up into a ball of exhaustion. We still laugh about that.

Lenny is right on with his advice to ride together as often as possible. I would just add that it is good to remember which is more important: having fun together or riding in some particular way. Some folks seem to have a different answer than I do.
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Old 06-17-11, 10:04 PM   #17
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Been rding TWOgether on tandems for 230,000+ miles.
Seems to be working out OK . . . so far!!
Pedal on!
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Old 06-17-11, 11:20 PM   #18
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I ride with the wife. I am a much stronger rider than she is, but I enjoy the heck out of riding with her so I bottle the inner beast when we are together and we ride side-by-side on the MUP, or I ride behind her on the roads - either way I let her set the pace. She knows to ride whatever speed she feels comfortable, and if she feels like stopping, we stop. In a strong headwind I tuck her in behind me and pull her along. I want riding to be a good experience for her - not a sufferfest.
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Old 06-18-11, 05:16 AM   #19
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My wife rides about once a week - she is primarily an "around the block" rider. She made her decision a long time ago that fitness was a lesser priority so if I want her to ride with me it is her ride, not mine. I am fine with that, I just keep hoping for the day she will change her mind but in the mean time I just enjoy when we do get out together.
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Old 06-18-11, 01:06 PM   #20
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She isn't a "rider" but we have some folding bikes and for her the location and being together are big draws. Oh, and we bring the dog.

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Old 06-18-11, 06:23 PM   #21
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My SO has some significant health issues right now so his conditioning is very poor. This frustrates him because he was at one time an extremely fit person and strong and skilled rider. My biggest challenge is encouraging him to get out and do something; anything. If I can't get him on a bike, then how about a hike or a walk or even just taking the cameras out and taking shots - something!

If and when I get him riding, I just hang back and let him lead the way. I don't complaint or mention the speed, the time, the route, nothing. Right now I am truly happy just getting him out. I miss his company on rides and will do everything I can to help him get back into riding again. It's not about my ego but his and I am just happy to be supportive. RIght now its just about being together and enjoying something we both love.
Pam, you're just a great friend! I'm sure that helps him as much as anything else does.

I've found with Mrs Road Fan that being considerate of and responsive to her needs and she to mine are the keys. When one of us needs a stop, for water, a saddle adjustment, a nose blow, or whatever, we just do it and stay together. When one of us has extra energy and wants to try for 10 mph up the PITA hill, we just do it. I can tell by watching her, and vice versa. If one of us gets too far ahead, we keep an eye out to make sure we're ok.

You probably know about the book "Younger Next Year." I wonder if that would help him find some more motivation?
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Old 06-18-11, 06:37 PM   #22
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My wife will not ride in traffic so we ride together only on bike paths. She has improved over the past 3 years from 2 miles per ride to 30 miles per ride. I ride her pace most of the time and we just enjoy the ride and talk. Sometimes she will notice that I have an 'itch' to go faster/farther and she will send me off for a little bit. Mostly we just stay together. In the beginning I always stayed right with her and made sure she knew I was thrilled that she was on a bike with me.
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Old 06-18-11, 06:51 PM   #23
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Do you ride with your SO?

Please share any suggestions or ideas for making that a pleasant, enjoyable experience for both of you?

Any hangups or points of disagreement? How do you work through that?
I haven't this year, but I have determined a few things:

The slower rider sets the pace.
The more tired rider sets the distance.
The least fit rider sets the terrain.

Yeah, I know that means on together rides, I ride slower for a shorter distance on a flatter route then I do on solo rides, but those together rides are not meant to be training rides, they are intended on doing something together. When your both busy, that becomes something special.....
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Old 06-18-11, 07:08 PM   #24
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How funny. I just got back from a 62 mile ride with my wife. I wouldn't ride nearly as much if we didn't ride together.
She's a great rider. She peddles like a metronome and is assertive in traffic. On some days I stronger, on some days she is.

What I have to do is not bug her to draft. It's just outside her comfort zone. That means we don't do fast group rides together, even though she could.

Advice: Get a take-a-look mirror. Even though they're fred-o-licous, they are great. You can peek back to see if you're dropping your sweety and she'll never know your constantly checking for her. I'll bet me sweety does the same thing to me on her strong days, but I can't tell.

Life is good.
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Old 06-19-11, 06:03 AM   #25
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This from The Black Bear Bicycle Tour Registration form.

The riverside community of McKiniey is 56 miles from Grayling. Teams of two riders can combine their total elapsed time to Oscoda One rider rides to McKinley and tags the second rider who rides into Oscoda {place better rider YOUR WIFE on the first leg** This is a great option to have your car get to Oscoda.
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