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Old 10-17-05, 12:18 PM   #1
clbtraindriver
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Should I just give it up?

I thought i would get some opinions on a few things. Last spring i bought a dept. store bike just to ride around the "hood" with my kids and have some fun. Then over the course of the summer I realized cycling was fun and stress relieving etc...so i started doing short rides(15miles) during my lunch break(which was exausting at the time!) I have since bought a great lightwight road bike, riding gear, computer and am putting in close to 200 miles a week now. I want to join a club and do some long rides,charity rides, even thinking about the "Ride The Rockies" The problem is that my wife thinks I am to old (I'm 35) to start getting into cycling, and gives me no support. I've tried to get her into it,explaning the benifts of the sport but to no avail. In fact she laughs at me whenever i put on my gear to go for a short ride!(she says i look like a dork!) So what'ya think, am I to old to start cycling? Should I flush the idea down the toilet?

The second problem i have is that the only "free" time i have to cycle is at work between shifts, i work "split shifts" which gives me between 3 and 5 hours of "free" time, which i usually ride between 25 and 40 miles along the platte river trail in Denver. My days off are during the week, so i brought up the idea of "making time" to ride 1 day a week,on my day off, by taking our 4 yr old to grandmas or daycare to stay for 4hrs or so to get a long ride in. My wife thinks its selfish and really dont approve.

Anybody else in a situation like this? If so, how do you "make time" to ride and how often do you ride when you have a family?

Thanks
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Old 10-17-05, 12:27 PM   #2
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I started at age 51. I too look like a dork. It takes up a couple hours per day. My wife, however, supports my chosen exercise program. I guess I'm lucky.

Your problem certainly is not your age.
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Old 10-17-05, 12:30 PM   #3
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35?!?!?! TOO OLD!?!?!?! I DON'T think so!!!

I'm 38, and in my type of cycling, I'm just a baby ... often one of the youngest ones out there.

Take a look at this site:
http://www.randonneurs.bc.ca
It is the BC Randonneur site. Randonneuring is ultra-distance cycling.

Browse around and scroll down to the Paris-Brest-Paris link:
http://www.randonneurs.bc.ca/pbp/main.html
The Paris-Brest-Paris is a 1200 kilometer event, held every 4 years since the late 1800s. Participants have to do the ride in 90 hours or less, including ALL breaks ... including eating, sleeping, and everything.

From there, click on the PBP 2003 - Some Stats link, and then the Various Statistical Summaries link:
http://www.randonneurs.bc.ca/pbp/sta..._stat_sum.html

OK, now scroll down to where it says:

PAR TRANCHES D'AGE des INSCRITS (age distribution of registrants):

.....< 20 ans 3
de 20 30 ans 141
de 30 40 ans 600
de 40 50 ans 1470
de 50 60 ans 1503
de 60 70 ans 432
.....> 70 ans 35


Yes, that says that out of the 4184 participants, 3440 (82%) were over 40 years old.

Now you tell me if you're too old.
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Old 10-17-05, 12:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clbtraindriver
I thought i would get some opinions on a few things. Last spring i bought a dept. store bike just to ride around the "hood" with my kids and have some fun. Then over the course of the summer I realized cycling was fun and stress relieving etc...so i started doing short rides(15miles) during my lunch break(which was exausting at the time!) I have since bought a great lightwight road bike, riding gear, computer and am putting in close to 200 miles a week now. I want to join a club and do some long rides,charity rides, even thinking about the "Ride The Rockies" The problem is that my wife thinks I am to old (I'm 35) to start getting into cycling, and gives me no support. I've tried to get her into it,explaning the benifts of the sport but to no avail. In fact she laughs at me whenever i put on my gear to go for a short ride!(she says i look like a dork!) So what'ya think, am I to old to start cycling? Should I flush the idea down the toilet?
Are you dead yet? Then you aren't too old to start riding! The Denver Bicycle Touring Club has a lot of geezers (people way older than me and I'm way older than you ) that can ride my worthless butt into the ground! Some of them are pushing 90 pretty hard and they still ride. I did a 800 mile unsupported tour this summer with my 19 year old daughter (who got her butt kicked ) and the only thing bad I got out of it was a wierd suntan.

No. 35 is not too old to start. Ignore your wife and think of the joy you give her for laughing at you. If she doesn't want to ride...well that's her problem. Tell her that you ride because you want to stay around long enough to be a burden to your children.

Quote:
Originally Posted by clbtraindriver
The second problem i have is that the only "free" time i have to cycle is at work between shifts, i work "split shifts" which gives me between 3 and 5 hours of "free" time, which i usually ride between 25 and 40 miles along the platte river trail in Denver. My days off are during the week, so i brought up the idea of "making time" to ride 1 day a week,on my day off, by taking our 4 yr old to grandmas or daycare to stay for 4hrs or so to get a long ride in. My wife thinks its selfish and really dont approve.

Anybody else in a situation like this? If so, how do you "make time" to ride and how often do you ride when you have a family?

Thanks
I put my kids in trailers when they were very little and took them for rides. When they turned 4 we put them on the back of a tandem. Riding on a tandem with a kid is a very special time. My oldest was an animal and loved to go fast. My youngest is a story teller and would bend my ear for hours. Riding with them ranks amoung my most prescious memories. If you wife doesn't like you taking them to daycare, take them along.
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Old 10-17-05, 12:38 PM   #5
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Get rid of her.

(Just kidding. That was a line from a golf movie ...a pro complained to a supporter/sponsor about trouble with the wife. The sponsor simply said, "Get rid of her.")

Actually I'd say get a Burley and carry the kid with you on the day-off ride. The wife may actually get interested enough to try it out herself and come along. A problem I had initially was that the family went too slow. I just loaded myself down with burleys and trail-alongs on a singlespeed so that I got a good workout going their speed. Now all my kids are fast and the young ones love to go biking with me. (Older ones are teenagers and, by definition, hate their parents)
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Old 10-17-05, 12:44 PM   #6
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And the tandem idea is a good one also. My wife hated the idea of biking. I rescued a tandem from a neighbors garbage, restored it, and now it's a favorite ride for wife and daughters to join me. My 12yr old daughter likes to point out that, when we're on the tandem, everyone without exception that we pass waves to us and simles.
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Old 10-17-05, 01:11 PM   #7
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Whatever you do, don't give up. You aren't too old for it and you are in the same situation as I am. Myself, I'm almost 31. My wife has come to acccept the fact that I ride and have a harem of almost ten bikes out in the garage. What I do is most of my rides are at night, after everyone else is asleep, daddy goes out to play for an hour or two. Also, when I work the day shift, I go in early and ride for about an hour. We just had our second kid a month ago, I was off of the bike for about a week and then just would go at night when he slept between feedings. The key is to still take care of your "Honey-Do" list and she has nothing to complain about. Also, she won't be laughing much long when you get into crazy good shape after all the riding you'll be doing.

Just because you have a family is no reason to neglect yourself. If you do things that you love to do, you are a happier person and easier to love, yourself. At least it's a healthy obsession.

You Dig?

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Old 10-17-05, 01:12 PM   #8
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I was 44 when i started.

My wife laughed at me every time i put on lycra and bright shirts for a ride. She used to make lots of comments about it.

I then lost 30 lbs, I used cycling to stop smoking, Im in the best shape in my life, and i have abs that i can see like in the ads

My wife no longer makes silly comments.
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Old 10-17-05, 01:41 PM   #9
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Been there in that situation clbtrindriver. Just keep in touch with the wife on how much is too much riding. I wouldn't give it up unless it recks the homelife.
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Old 10-17-05, 02:04 PM   #10
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I dropped out of college before the mandatory Psych 101 but even so I recognize a cry for help when I hear one. Traindriver is way too reflective and phlegmatic to really think his age is his first problem. Most of us but wives especially IMO hate paradigm shifts. I hesitate to speculate on anyones personal stuff but it sounds to me like the classic fear that hubby is out to improve himself out the door is behind the sabotage of his efforts at taking his cycling to the next level. From your wife's standpoint TD you have training heaven on earth already now you want even more time/distance from her and your children. Why? Is it escape? Medicating with lactic acid? Maybe you really just have the bug and honestly want to see how far you can go. Not unreasonable IMO other husbands have gotten much more than that with no problemo but you will need the support system behind you. Your first problem is really how to fix things at home. Do you guys have a day when you are both off together? If not, you should. Probably some counseling. Really, it's that serious. You are young enough that if this is the dynamic that is prevailing it can only get worse unless there is a conscious decision to move toward something more loving and supportive. Good luck.

H (divorced and better (and worse) for it.
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Old 10-17-05, 02:59 PM   #11
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An interesting thread. I'm 38 and started riding really seriously three or four years ago, just about the age of the OP. At the time we were childless and we'd always been pretty indpendent. Also we worked different schedules so it was no big deal to go ride for 2 or 3 hours after work.

When Mrs. Caloso was pregnant I made sure that she knew that she came first. I would make sure all the chores were done before heading out for a long ride. I always let her know where I planned to ride, stayed within a one-hour radius, and kept the cell phone on (it was a high-risk pregnancy and we had to be prepared for early labor). I also remembered not to make jokes about her weight gain as I was losing weight.

After the twins were born, I dialed back on the really long rides, but I kept up the mileage by riding to work everyday and once a week on a long group ride. Since our kids are really good sleepers, I was able to get in some early morning riding: I'd get up at 5:30, ride a 20 mile loop, and when I came back upstairs, I'd have 2 warm bottles and be ready to change diapers. And occasionally I'm able to do a special event like a charity ride or a local race. My advice would be to make sure she understands that you're still the committed husband and dad. And make sure that you're around to look after your 4-year old when your wife wants some "Me Time" for herself.

Stress the physical and mental health benefits of riding a bike. And how much better a husband and dad you are when you're physically and mentally fit.

Finally, take advantage of every mile you can. Ride to work if you can; if you take a car trip with the family, think about taking your bike and riding home or vice versa; get fenders and lights so the weather won't be a factor.

Good luck clbtraindriver! It's a tough balance, but it can be done!
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Old 10-17-05, 03:11 PM   #12
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surely living in denver your wife must realize how popular cycling has become. when i was in the area last i was tons of people riding around. it's not just a mindless hobby. you've got to talk some sense into her, man.
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Old 10-17-05, 03:56 PM   #13
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WHOA ! Stop right there. Listen to that inner voice that's talking to you before you make the same mistake(s) I did.

Years ago I purchased for my wife, 3 (now 4) different bikes to find one she would cycle with me. Turns out she never learned to shift and hated having to exert herself i.e.sweat ! I hung up my bike at age 31. Tried alpine skiing with her for several years, she hated the downhill exhilaration. I even purchased 3 up sized jetboats in as many years to find the one she'd boat in. I sold boat number 3 with 250HP, just last week. She hated the speed.

So I sat in the damn bar. Phuny, she hated that too !

Twenty years later, with the help of a good bike-bud and I'm back cycling again at age 51 and now with a vengeance. I've logged 5,500kms. (3,438miles) my first season with the help of a flex work schedule.

You have the best time to ride too. Mid-day, during the week, at least in my area, traffic is always lighter during the week than the weekends.

I'm having the best time. I'm out by myself in the fresh air. No kids. No wife. NO worries. No sweeter feel'n !

Buddy............. go ride that Gawd-Damn bike all you want.

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Old 10-17-05, 04:13 PM   #14
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Your wifes female,
I rest my case
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Old 10-17-05, 05:05 PM   #15
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Man! You guys have gone and done it now. I'll have to go home now and tell my wife that she isn't smothering me enough emotionally and then she'll want flowers and dinner and all that other stuff because she knows how accommadating she is towards my "habit". And then she'll get a big head...again! And the next thing you know I'll be weeding the garden or painting the house or some other odious chore and not getting to ride my bike!

In all honesty, she has put up with my bicycling for 25+ years and even participated in some of it. Although she does get perverse pleasure out of my injuries! Road rash hurts a lot more when someone is laughing at your stupidity
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Old 10-17-05, 05:12 PM   #16
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It doesn't look like you have an age issue nor a time issue. Instead, you have a marital issue. Probably many if I had to guess. Your wife does not sound very supportive. If she was truly interested in your happiness, she would be more supportive. I would tell her how important it is to you and see how she responds. I have a feeling it won't matter, but give it a go.

My wife makes sacrifices all of the time to allow me to ride. She even does her workout early (often as early as 3:30 AM) just so she gets home in time to watch kids and allow me to ride before work. She also takes the kids to school 3 days per week so i don't have to worry about being back early enough to take them.

The other 2 days i take them for her but i still get to ride usually, just not as long. Between spending money and taking time out for cycling, my wife could easliy get mad. She doesn't. I have told her how important it is too me and she wants me to be happy.

I also think i am a lot more pleasant to be around on days when i get to ride!
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Old 10-17-05, 05:15 PM   #17
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Divorce her.
She sounds horrible.
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Old 10-17-05, 05:52 PM   #18
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I always like to throw these examples out there when someone brings up the age issue...

Kent Bostick made the U.S. Olympic team at the age of 43....after beating the reigning world champion(who was 27) in the individual pursuit during the Olympic trials.

Amy Smolens writes...
"1996 Olympic Trials Men's Individual Pursuit Final. Mike McCarthy vs Kent Bostick. McCarthy was 27 years old . He raced for and had been supported by the US National Team and had their pricey state-of-the-art "Superbike" - a clear favorite. Bostick was approaching 43, racing for Team Shaklee, not the highest budget team - a clear underdog if there ever was one. The enviable job of cameraman Scott Ogle and me was to supplement the actual race coverage by shooting the coaches giving the racers splits, getting the reactions, etc. We spent most of the time on McCarthy's side, with US National Team coach Craig Griffin, since McC was the prohibitive favorite... but as time went on and Scott and I looked up at the split times on the scoreboard we had the sense we were in for a big upset. At one point we looked at the scoreboard, looked at each other, and tore across the infield as fast as we could to the other side. Bostick's coach, Mark Whitehead, was going absolutely nuts yelling splits to Kent... As you probably know, Bostick pulled the huge upset and was as excited as a kid in a candy store about finally qualifying for the Olympics after all his years of trying!! It was an electric moment for me and Scott, and was actually one of the most exciting sports moments I've ever experienced."....Amy Smolens

Kent is still racing and winning Master's races...now in his 50's.

P.S...I'm 37 and plan to do my first master's nationals in 2006....going for a podium in the time-trial.
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Old 10-17-05, 06:20 PM   #19
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Ditch the wife. If she asks why, tell her she's too old.
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Old 10-17-05, 06:21 PM   #20
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Go to the 50+ forum. A lot of those guys took up cycling seriously after 50 and it was a renaissance in their lives. I took up cycling again at around 37 and let it slip away. Fast forward to me being about 50 pounds overweight, very out of shape, and with knee joints so bad I could hardly walk.

At 54, last May, I took up cycling again (that's when I had two torn ligaments in my knees and could barely walk). Also took up weights, some running (I know it's not the best thing you can do with your knees), yoga/stretching, etc. Now, 40+ pounds lighter, I can do things I haven't been able to do for years. My knees are sturdier than they have been for over a decade. My upper body strength is good enough that I can outdo most much younger than me. My life is reenergized to the point where I am reborn.

My biggest regret is that I gave it up in my mid-30's. Then, I wouldn't have to go through all this crap just to restore myself. Never again!!!
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Old 10-17-05, 06:27 PM   #21
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Ride if you want. You get one shot at life......don't f$%k it up. Get your kids involved with riding with you. If wifeys gonna b!tch about it, ride longer. That way you and the kids don't hafta listen to it.

Good luck man....
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Old 10-17-05, 06:53 PM   #22
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If you stop riding, you will immediately realize that isn't an option.

Any change is funny among friends, partners, spouses. It isn't just about the bike. And, it isn't just about the gender. She may just be sharing concerns and these are often in the form of her fears. Once she sees how happy, healthy, and energetic you are, it will be a moot point. She will forget she even mentioned it.

Find a riding group quickly. They can give you the social support you need. Many of them have get-togethers for the spouses also . . . and if you can take the kids with you or schedule some kind of 'spa time' for her (or something not sure what) . . . eventually she might find she has time to pursue some kind of interest of her own.

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Old 10-17-05, 07:25 PM   #23
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I started riding at age 58 in March, 1998. I did the Ride the Rockies (on a mtn bike, no less) that June.

I bought a road bike the next January and did the RTR again in June 1999.

I have done several centuries and now ride about 150 miles per week, at age 65.

My wife is extremely supportive and loves to ride herself. She is 67.

You are almost too young to be a rider!

The 50+ forum is filled with stories similar to me.

Many, many of the RTR riders are in their 50's, 60's, 70's and one guy in his 80's.

Your wife needs to get educated. Have her read this thread and the 50+ forum.

I also do a lot of weight lifting and power walking)

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Old 10-17-05, 07:54 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tekhna
Divorce her.
She sounds horrible.
Na. To much paper work. Plus what I'd have to pay in lawyer fees could by a really sweet bike.
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Old 10-17-05, 08:05 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyccommute
Na. To much paper work. Plus what I'd have to pay in lawyer fees could by a really sweet bike.

Touche-although it sounds like you already have a decent bike!
Get on of those DIY 99 dollar divorce kits!
On a more serious note, I would imagine that your wife might be expressing some insecurity about her own health and weight, etc... vicariously through her snide comments on you actually doing something about it. My girlfriend did something similar when I started getting serious about eating and living well, now she is coming back around. I am trying to see if I can get her on a road bike, don't know how well that will work but it is worth a shot.
Speaking of paperwork, anyone want to write my paper for me on Glenn Loury's "Anatomy of Racial Inequality"? Because I really would like to go to bed!
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