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Old 06-13-10, 02:03 PM   #1
tenzing211
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riding with spouse

I like to ride, and my wife likes to ride, but she seems to get angry when we're out on a group ride. I am at a loss. Should we just not try to ride together anymore? Is it possible for married folks to ride together? HELP!
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Old 06-13-10, 02:06 PM   #2
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Angry at what or who?
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Old 06-13-10, 02:21 PM   #3
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Maybe you should take this question to the Tandem forum.

It's been said that wherever you are headed in your relationship, you'll get there faster on a tandem!
Communication is of paramount importance for tandem couples.

My wife/stoker and I have been riding a tandem for ten years.
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Old 06-13-10, 02:33 PM   #4
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It's been said that wherever you are headed in your relationship, you'll get there faster on a tandem!
Yup.

I think that if your primary objective is to ride together a tandem is great - you always arrive at the lunch stop together. If you have other objectives that are more important to you, like maintaining a certain average speed or keeping up with a particular group of riders, a tandem might create a whole new set of things to argue about.

Mrs. Grouch and I have been riding tandems together since 1976. During that time we've seen several couples go each way.
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Old 06-13-10, 02:56 PM   #5
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We rented a tandem once. I liked it, but she didn't, didn't like being able to do her own thing. Even though with a tandem she can go a lot farther than on individual bikes. So on group rides, she'll do the 10 mile route, I'll do the 40.
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Old 06-13-10, 08:05 PM   #6
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I haven't done a formal survey, but based on what I have seen, 95% of couples that ride together just ride their own bikes. A tandem sounds like fun to me, but given that my wife isn't interested in riding, period, it's kind of out of the question.

So clue us in here. Does "Group Rides" mean the hammerfest from hell, or an assortment of people meandering down the road or does it mean a charity ride or what? Does she get mad because everyone else is slow or because she gets dropped or because y'all holler at her or what? There's lots of potential issues that could come up. Anyway, if this is the group ride as in a paceline situation, don't be afraid to go on different rides where y'all can do your own things, especially if you like different speeds or distances.
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Old 06-13-10, 08:12 PM   #7
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Have you asked your wife why she gets angry?
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Old 06-14-10, 07:13 AM   #8
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On tandems, do you ever see the wife lead and the husband follow?
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Old 06-14-10, 07:25 AM   #9
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My wife claims she likes/wants to ride, somehow, she never does. She has a brand new (Mar 2009 with <100 miles now) Day 6 comfort bike that she chose and said she wanted, In the time she took to put under 100 miles on her bike. I have put over 2000 miles on my Xtracycle.
She also has a mountain bike, and a mixte Shogun, I have never seen her on either of them.

Shout out to the OP, glad to see another Mainer here.
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Old 06-14-10, 07:38 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by tenzing211 View Post
I like to ride, and my wife likes to ride, but she seems to get angry when we're out on a group ride. I am at a loss. Should we just not try to ride together anymore? Is it possible for married folks to ride together? HELP!
When you say "out on a group ride", do you mean with other bicyclists? Or just you and your spouse?

Because it is the former, then maybe your spouse doesn't want company, and wants to ENJOY you all by her/himself!!
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Old 06-14-10, 11:33 AM   #11
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On tandems, do you ever see the wife lead and the husband follow?
That is done on occasion. The typical bike has the larger frame in front; in the typical couple, the male is larger, so you wind up with the standard arrangement most of the time. (And there's also some social aspects here, which is why the bike is built that way in the first place.) If they happen to be the same frame size, they can swap out. If the male uses a smaller frame size, you could reverse the arrangement easily. Otherwise, you'd be looking at a custom bike, or some of the tandem recumbents.
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Old 06-14-10, 11:47 AM   #12
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I like to ride, and my wife likes to ride, but she seems to get angry when we're out on a group ride. I am at a loss. Should we just not try to ride together anymore? Is it possible for married folks to ride together? HELP!
More detail needed. What is the problem with riding in groups?
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Old 06-14-10, 11:48 AM   #13
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Divorce?
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Old 06-14-10, 12:03 PM   #14
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On tandems, do you ever see the wife lead and the husband follow?
Not unless they are very close in weight. In the Tandem couples I know, it's really that, rather than gender bias. If the one with the handlebars is significantly outweghed by the one without them, coordinating steering and lean gets difficult.

This might also explain why the frames tend to be smaller for the stoker.

My wife and I tried it, with her as pilot, because she's smaller than I and would get a better view. We ended up really struggling with coordinating lean with steering input.

More precisely, we got into a series of wild oscillations that almost had us taking out mailboxes on both sides of the road.

Very flipping funny in retrospect, but at the time it made things a little, uh tense...
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Old 06-14-10, 01:34 PM   #15
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Angry at what or who?
Well if his riding is anything like his posting, I'd get angry too!
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Old 06-14-10, 02:05 PM   #16
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Let me clarify things. We do not own a tandem, just road bikes. I tend to ride more than her, so our abilities are not the same. The Sunday morning group ride is a 25-40mile excursion at about 17-19mph. She struggles to keep up, but I am content to stay at her pace. She feels I am taunting her at times, or else is not satisfied with the route we choose, the road conditions, the weather, the hills, etc. There are some in the group who will hammer, but for the most part it is a casual group ride.

Cycling can and should be a lifelong activity for all. I would like to ride with my spouse, but feel I'm "getting in trouble" when I do. Its almost to the point of just riding separately. Is this a metaphor for other bad things?
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Old 06-14-10, 02:11 PM   #17
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It sounds like you just need to stay away from group rides. You seem to be willing to ride at her pace. Maybe let her pick the route.

How long have y'all been married?
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Old 06-14-10, 02:30 PM   #18
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Sounds like the best solution is to ride with only the two of you and have her lead.
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Old 06-14-10, 02:35 PM   #19
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Let me clarify things. We do not own a tandem, just road bikes. I tend to ride more than her, so our abilities are not the same. The Sunday morning group ride is a 25-40mile excursion at about 17-19mph. She struggles to keep up, but I am content to stay at her pace. She feels I am taunting her at times, or else is not satisfied with the route we choose, the road conditions, the weather, the hills, etc. There are some in the group who will hammer, but for the most part it is a casual group ride.

Cycling can and should be a lifelong activity for all. I would like to ride with my spouse, but feel I'm "getting in trouble" when I do. Its almost to the point of just riding separately. Is this a metaphor for other bad things?
Why not do some rides with your spouse - let her set the pace / route, and other rides where you do your own thing and she doesn't join you? You don't need to be riding together every time you go out.

Or, join the Sunday Ride in the morning, come home - take your wife out to Lunch, and head out for an mid-afternoon ride with her at a more relaxed pace?

Or, do the Sunday Ride every-other week alone, and on alternating Sundays, have it be the "you and wife" day.
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Old 06-14-10, 02:43 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by tenzing211 View Post
Let me clarify things. We do not own a tandem, just road bikes. I tend to ride more than her, so our abilities are not the same. The Sunday morning group ride is a 25-40mile excursion at about 17-19mph. She struggles to keep up, but I am content to stay at her pace. She feels I am taunting her at times, or else is not satisfied with the route we choose, the road conditions, the weather, the hills, etc. There are some in the group who will hammer, but for the most part it is a casual group ride.

Cycling can and should be a lifelong activity for all. I would like to ride with my spouse, but feel I'm "getting in trouble" when I do. Its almost to the point of just riding separately. Is this a metaphor for other bad things?
Why would she come back to a group ride if she didn't like it?
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Old 06-14-10, 02:52 PM   #21
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Well, if she's anything like me...
I would find a slower group. I don't like riding with my husband, even if he's on his mountain bike with knobbies that are under inflated, he still goes faster and has more endurance than I do on my road bike and it's frustrating, even if he goes my speed. He's supportive and nice about it, but when you're struggling and in pain and see other people just tooling along with no problem it can make for grouchy. I wish it wasn't that way, but I'd rather ride by myself. I can't take the constant commentary and coaching. (Do you talk to her? For some reason it's particularly infuriating to me... even if it's honestly meant to help or encourage, it sometimes is taken as taunting.) She'll enjoy riding much more if she's comfortable, and doesn't feel like she's holding people up. When she's been doing for a while, and improves, and starts to enjoy it, and it doesn't make her angry, she'll hopefully be more amenable to pushing and struggling.

I do however enjoy pacing him on a bike while he's running. It's a little slow, but I get time to check out the scenery. I also pace him on a motorcycle while he's pedalling. These things work because I don't feel inferior. I feel supportive and useful.
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Old 06-14-10, 02:54 PM   #22
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It's been said that wherever you are headed in your relationship, you'll get there faster on a tandem!
Bahahahaa.... We've always said that if we ever tried riding a tandem, we'd have to pedal it directly to a therapists office.
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Old 06-14-10, 03:09 PM   #23
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If she wants to do a group ride, perhaps she should find one that's more her speed. You can do yours and she can do hers. Then you can do other rides together without the pressure of a group. If she's just not that into group riding, she can stay home Sunday morning or ride solo or with a friend. If she doesn't like the group ride and doesn't want you to go either, then you have a problem. Perhaps, as suggested by others, you can go every other week if you can both live with that.
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Old 06-14-10, 03:12 PM   #24
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My wife is a pretty decent/strong rider, 18.4 best average on a 42 mile flat ride riding my wheel but I avoid club rides. We were invited to ride along but big head macho members quickly to took the pace up to 26 then laughed in her face after she dropped of the pace at 24. I've found that most clubs are all ego, not all cause I do know a couple of good groups but too many.

I myself encourage the wife to ride as much as possible, anywhere 3000-4000 per year. But I do all my tough rides, climbing during the week then save the weekends for riding with her on the trail (40-60 mile rides). Usually joined by a few friends here and there but I stay at the front to control the pace, avoiding sprints, accelerations etc.. I make it good for her and if the rest don't like it, they're free to fly!

My wife is more important than any club.

One of our weekend rides

[video=youtube;fEZsRNc9Mk0]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEZsRNc9Mk0[/video]

We also have a tandem. So if she starts to struggle ridewise, I put her on the back and spin her legs back into shape! Also great for them 40 mph windy days!

[video=youtube;lf2UIbgMmeM]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lf2UIbgMmeM[/video]
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Old 06-14-10, 03:25 PM   #25
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Well, if she's anything like me...
I would find a slower group. I don't like riding with my husband, even if he's on his mountain bike with knobbies that are under inflated, he still goes faster and has more endurance than I do on my road bike and it's frustrating, even if he goes my speed. He's supportive and nice about it, but when you're struggling and in pain and see other people just tooling along with no problem it can make for grouchy. I wish it wasn't that way, but I'd rather ride by myself. I can't take the constant commentary and coaching. (Do you talk to her? For some reason it's particularly infuriating to me... even if it's honestly meant to help or encourage, it sometimes is taken as taunting.) She'll enjoy riding much more if she's comfortable, and doesn't feel like she's holding people up. When she's been doing for a while, and improves, and starts to enjoy it, and it doesn't make her angry, she'll hopefully be more amenable to pushing and struggling.

I do however enjoy pacing him on a bike while he's running. It's a little slow, but I get time to check out the scenery. I also pace him on a motorcycle while he's pedalling. These things work because I don't feel inferior. I feel supportive and useful.
tenzing211, this is some valuable insight! Use it wisely.

Thanks, truckstop for sharing this with us. Great post (I will keep this in mind while riding with my daughter).
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