So anyway, I'm very comfortable riding on the streets as a moderately regular commuter and all that. I don't tend to ride at night very much though unless I'm stuck out somewhere.
Last night, my wife had to make a quick trip in to work (we don't have a car and it's a 30 minute walk). I'd run some errands earlier in the day on my bike and I guess that was on her mind when she said she'd ride her bike in.
Suddenly, I got very worried. It was night time, her bike was a target special POS, and she hadn't ridden a bike in over a year, rarely had on our city streets, and never at night. Hunted down my reflective hi-viz vest, clipped a PB superflash onto her helmet and put my Magic Shine front and rear lights on her bike while pumping her tires and giving her bike a quick once over. Figured I'd make her as visible as possible.
She asked me if I was nervous about her, and I said no because I didn't want her to think that all the riding I do in lots of traffic is something she should be nervous about, but yeah, I was worried. In part, because one of the sections she rode on is an area I don't like to ride (and where I arrived shortly after an accident in which a cyclist died ~18 months ago on my way home).
Also, there was the fact that I do a lot of road riding and know how to work with cars safely. I've tried to pass some of that on to her when we've ridden together, but that just doesn't happen very much (not at all now that we have a baby).
Apparently, the traffic was very light because of the lateness of the hour and she didn't have any problems, but man was I nervous.
So is it a double standard if I'm not too concerned about myself doing certain things, but don't want my wife to do them? I don't know, I felt wrong somehow about being nervous about her riding when I'm not nervous at all about myself (though actually, I might be a bit nervous about myself for my first full on night commute - which I bought the magicshine for but have never actually done).