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  1. #1
    Senior Member danr's Avatar
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    Getting your spouse into cycling

    Well, I just purchased a Giant Sedona DX for my wife. We just returned from our first ride together.

    I have to give her credit. She braved patches of hard-packed snow and ice, along with 23 F (-5 C) temps.

    Although I was in 39-23 the entire time, I had a blast.

    But, she is a little timid. Like many people, she is afraid to ride on roads with cars. Most of the way, she opted to ride on the sidewalk, where she encountered the snow patches.

    Anyone have advice on breaking a new cyclist in? She's not a bad rider. She can ride a straight line. In addition, I always pick more rural roads to ride on.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Does the perfect bike really exist?

  2. #2
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    I am interested in this thread because I have the same problem. I bought her a bike,it didn't work.. Like to buy her a touring bike, so we together will go on a tour, I know she would really enjoy..
    I will give her credit, with her family health history- she has started going to the gym and using a couple of their overall fitness machines. Meanwhile, often I ride her bike about town..
    Think best start might be to take her out-when she is ready- to sparsly traveled roads and end up at locations like the beach, or somewhere nice. Anxious to see what others have used. Maybe hypotomism might help.?

  3. #3
    Burn-em Upus Icephaltus Gojohnnygo.'s Avatar
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    If she is riding at temps of 23F and riding in snow she will have no problems riding the road when spring gets here.MORE POWER TO HER.
    Sick BubbleGum

  4. #4
    Bike Shop Girl Arsbars's Avatar
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    Give the ladies time, if they aren't athletically ones to go out and charge the bull give them time. Most don't have the ego kick of going out and kicking butt the first couple times they ride.
    BikeShopGirl.com : Helping women find their way in cycling
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  5. #5
    member Yo MikeOK's Avatar
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    You guys should know by now, you should never get your wife imto biking. It's kinda like fishing, if she likes it then she will want to go. If she wants to go sooner or later you will not want to go. Besides, how are you going to ogle the pretty girls in spandex when your wife is there with you?

  6. #6
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    You really want to get your wife into biking??

    Read what you just wrote??

    I have to give her credit. She braved patches of hard-packed snow and ice, along with 23 F (-5 C) temps.
    Think about that for a few minutes. Are you sure you weren't subconsciously trying to discourage her??

    How about waiting until a beautiful 65 degree warm day, pack a picnic and have lunch under a beautiful tree?

    Come on!!
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    dnvrfox is right, dont put the focus on the cycling, focus on a destination, a coffee shop or something, make it a date, be romantic, if she has a good time wherever you go she will begin to associate cycling with a good time, and perhaps one day she will bike for bikings sake, put the bike away till next spring because now what she associates with biking is cold, fear, and being out of control, good luck

    Temp1

  8. #8
    Slow Moving Vehicle Jean Beetham Smith's Avatar
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    I have the opposite problem, getting my husband to cycle with me. The big hang up for him is that I'm faster, and my bikes are more comfortable for me than any he had ridden. For him a recumbent made sense, and I always ride my hybrid with 24 inch wheels when we ride together. I also tend to load my panniers to slow me on the hills. We only ride together on nice days, for distances Dan is comfortable with (10 to 20 miles), preferably in low traffic times, and there is always food involved! Dan accepts that I cycle like he sings (he's a barbershoper) and we both need time for our hobbies. We both try to be supportive of each others' avocation.

  9. #9
    human velocipedio's Avatar
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    My partner is a cyclist, so getting her out on the road isn't a problem. We were hoping to do a celebratory cyclo-cross ride on Mount Royal for her birthday if the weather cooperated... but it didn't cooperate.
    when walking, just walk. when sitting, just sit. when riding, just ride. above all, don't wobble.

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    Cycling irregularly since 2002

  10. #10
    Sprockette wabbit's Avatar
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    Geez, you guys- you have to turn cycling into a DATE? Isn't anyone into, like, FITNESS??? Why not bribe her with a diamond ring???Yeesh! Or tell her it's good for her inner thighs or something! Do women really need to be bribed to get on a bike?
    You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. That's great...if you want to attract vermin.

  11. #11
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Originally posted by wabbit
    Why not bribe her with a diamond ring???Yeesh

    Do women really need to be bribed to get on a bike?
    Hey, great idea - the diamond ring thing. My wife also thinks it is great. Hadn't occurred to me.

    I don't think of a date as a bribe. Funny that you should. I think of going for an enjoyable ride with my wife as a fully pleasurable activity. I love doing a 15 mile ride, having lunch or a picnic and a return, and so does she. We combine food, fitness and enjoyment all in one package!!

    Is your dating life a little rough right now
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 12-07-02 at 03:17 PM.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  12. #12
    Very Senior Member MikeR's Avatar
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    I don't think that I will ever turn my wife into a REAL cyclist. She likes to do other things for fitness.

    But here's the real problem. I got her a bike. She insists that she be able to touch the ground, flatfooted while staying on the saddle. She has short legs, so this requires that the saddle be All the way down. When she rides, it looks like she is going to knee herself in the chin! She can't get any power out of her legs and gets tired easily, but will not change. It's almost painful to watch.
    It's better to cycle through life than to drive by it.

  13. #13
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Mike R. I have the same problem. i asked her to read cycling books, to help get her started.. She thinks her feel must touch the ground without getting out of the saddle.. Just trying to tell her about proper cycling technique, sorta makes me tired..
    She is a francophile- I want her to cycle with me across the south of France- Mediterranean to Atlantic.. I know once she could do that, she would love the idea..
    But to the point.. I am not worried about her learning proper technique, but to cycle so low to the seat post, causes the legs unnecessary force in the upstroke.. I have read that much pressure on the glutes can rip them.. So I see her methods as unsafe..? So what do I do, give up? She says some month when her gym time makes her a little more fit, she might try biking.
    Meanwhile, her best friend, Paula says she will cross the south of France with me..
    Other aspects of the few times, I got my wife on her bike- she insists on those redicilious saddles- that look like a log roll...I tell her the traditional saddle if completely functional and it is a matter of just finding the right on. If males can use the traditional saddle, they must be ok for women? also, she rebels about cyclists' clothes. Does not understand how they function on long rides. Should I just give up?

  14. #14
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Should I just give up?
    It depends on your objective.

    If you want to get her to ride as you think she should ride, it is probably a lost cause.

    If you want to get her to ride - just let her ride anyway she wants.

    My wife (63 yo when she learned) let me raise the saddle about a 1/4" every time we rode over the summer, and it wasn't too long before she was comfortable at a near-decent height. Also, the LBS guy told her the advantages of proper seat height.


    And, who really cares about the saddle or clothes anyway. Sounds to me like your ego or need for social acceptance might just be getting in the way a bit. You ought to see what I ride in at times.

    I see a lot of touring bikers who could care less what they wear, and they go 1000,s of miles that way. Saw on guy in his 70's last summer up in the mountains - jeans and a t-shirt. He had gone across the country that way. Biking gear may be just a bit over rated.

    The important thing is that she RIDES, IMHO.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  15. #15
    It's in my blood Pete Clark's Avatar
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    My wife cannot cycle for physical reasons, at least for now.

    Find a group of supportive women cyclists for her to ride with. That may work even better than having her ride just with you.
    In fact, she may choose to ride with them and forsake riding with you altogether.

    (You can always disguise yourself as a woman and join in the women's rides. )

  16. #16
    Are we having fun yet? Prosody's Avatar
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    My wife occasionally talks about getting a bike and riding with me, but in the same breath she worries about being comfortable, about traffic, and about expense. I've come to the conclusion that buying her a bike would be a mistake. She does have a bike, a women's Schwinn from the mid '80s that her brothers gave her when we were first together and I was riding a lot. She rode it once or twice and decided it was not comfortable.

    If she decides to ride, I will take her to a bike shop so she can buy herself a bike. Until then, I'm fine with riding without her. I'd hate to make cycling something she feels she has to do.
    You're east of East St. Louis
    And the wind is making speeches.

  17. #17
    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    Warning! Long Post Ahead

    Originally posted by wabbit
    Or tell her it's good for her inner thighs or something!
    That would be the wrong approach for my better half! Dwell on fitness and health... specifics, regardless of intentions, will likely be taken the wrong way and get you deep trouble!

    When I broached the topic of her cycling, she was interested, so we went looking and selected a bike together. The issue for her was a bike she liked (she's a newbie, after all). She wasn't comfortable (mentally, not physically) with a regular road bike... wanted something stable and easy to get her feet on the ground. The issue for me was quality, fit, and gearing. We wound up with a Giant "Eddie Bauer Edition" comfort bike. The big compromise was weight, but there aren't many options in that genre. She's had that about 3 years, now. For my part, I'd been suggesting rides now and then when the weather's been good, keeping it fun and recreational. Last summer, sometime, she turned a corner (figuratively speaking), and started wanting to go for a ride more often. I think it was the fitness thing. Toward the end of the summer, I was doing a flat century and towards the end started encountering some of the riders doing the half-century, taking it easy and having a good time. Hmmm. So, when I got home, I said "next year, we're doing the half-century! There's no reason in the world you can't!" I was only half kidding, hoping she'd go for it, and she did. So now she has a goal, and once a week, we'll pick a ride and go do a 20 miler out in the country, averaging around 10 mph. I ride my commuter, and don't try to push her pace... that's just not her thing. And she bugs me about going for rides, now. Not the other way around.

    But check this out... it gets better. This year, I decided I was going to keep my conditioning through the winter, so when daylight savings ended, and the days started getting cold, I asked her if I could have my Christmas present early... a bicycle trainer. I was braced to get a ration about more bicycle junk, etc. etc., but instead it's like "is that something I could set my bike up on, when it's cold?" And it was a done deal. And she has, too! She has me set up the trainer in front of the TV, and she'll climb on and grind out 1/2 an hour a couple of times a week. How cool is that! :cool:

    The other things... they call 'em comfort bikes, but the same issues apply. I tried getting her a low-end women's Terry saddle. It was far worse than the sofa that came on the bike. So I consulted a lady that I ride with fairly frequently, who told me in no uncertain terms the Terry Butterfly and Performance Gel shorts were the best... I know she's tried a variety of saddles and shorts, does loads of miles, and would have the scoop. So far, so good.

    So, anyhow, I'm psyched about the 1/2 century next summer. And I think she is, too. We'll see where it goes from there... maybe it'll be time to mention the possibility of a road frame for her.

  18. #18
    member Yo MikeOK's Avatar
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    Originally posted by DnvrFox

    My wife (63 yo when she learned)
    63? Wow, that is admirable!

  19. #19
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Dnrv Fox.. I guess I did not entirely explain the situation with my wife... She uses the 'designated gear,' as a cop out, saying anything that requires 'gear' is just to complicated. She wants things simple.. Does not understand why a cyclists can't go out, way we did, when we rode around the block as kids- to play with the neighbor kids.. Again, think she uses it as a cop out..
    Yes, I have had problems 'down there', on long distance rides and believe in the sacradness of the 'chamois,' but I am not hung up on clothes. (God, saddle sores can almost cancel a tour..)Not really, even though I think they were developed with a purpose in mind..And I think wicking material and chamois are vital. But if you have a chamois under jeans and the seams irritate your skin, that is the individuals business. No matter to me.
    No- it is just I think if we are to ever do the "Mer to Mar" ride, she will have to eventuallly become serious about cycling.. If she won't - then I will have to ride the Mer to Mar ride with someone else, even though she is a Francophile. That is a shame.. In part, I think she is just being a little bit stuborn. And since she won't or hasnt in the past tried cycling, I get weary of her telling me, that is all I do; from time to time..

  20. #20
    Senior Member ChiliDog's Avatar
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    Reading all these posts is like "deja vu all over again"! I must admit I am married to an All American Couch Potato. I think her bike sat for 12 years in the storage shed, ridden maybe 3 times. It traveled on the bike rack on the back of the car on 5 vacations only to sit idle in the motel the entire week. Meanwhile I had to haul it on and off the rack and maneuver my bike around it. I finally sold it for her last month on Ebay. She didn't give it a second glance as it was shipped out.

    I've been married 11 years and I have come to accept that my other half is never going to ride a bike, play golf, hike in the woods, or even walk around the block. I have learned to no longer encourage it or mention it. Anything to do with "healthy lifestyle" is an anathema to her.

    So...I ride alone, I golf alone, I walk alone, I hike alone and she sits home and vegetates. As age comes upon us (50s) I worry about her overall fitness: strength, flexibility, stamina. But I know that I cannot make her do anything she does not want to do.

    In all fairness I will say that she supports my addiction and encourages me, but I wish she would just get excited about "something" in life besides the sedentary lifestyle she is living. It really bugs me sometimes.

    Anyone out there in my same boat, we ought to form a riding club. I would love to have pals to ride long distances with or maybe to plan a road tour with. It's nice to ride solo, but would be nice to have a regular riding buddy!
    The bike for you is the one you will ride!

  21. #21
    member Yo MikeOK's Avatar
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    I have learned from experience (and 18 years of marraige) that it is hard to do things like this with your spouse unless you are both on the same level. I know of a few couples that both ride together all the time, in fact I know of one couple where the lady kicks the man's bobo on a road bike. At least for me and mine, I do the biking, the mx, the running, etc, she does what she enjoys, and we have a few things we enjoy together. The only problem we've ever had is my games are usually much more expensive than hers. And about my earlier quote where I talked about gawking at the pretty girls, well she would laugh at that and just hand me a big bowl of ice cream to keep me fat so the girls won't look back

  22. #22
    Senior Member twowheeler's Avatar
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    You guys make most of us wifes sound like "wussies". I love to ride and most of the time can't get my husband to go with me, he likes to cycle some but not like me. If I can get him to ride 8 miles with me, I am doing good. But I have to admit, I really prefer to ride alone, I like to just get on my bike and take off, I don't have to worry about how far behind me he is or where we are going, I can just go! But it would be nice to have a companion to go on some long far away rides with; I feel stuck in town because I am not comfortable riding alone in the country. (Maybe I am a wussie)

  23. #23
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    My wife (63 yo when she learned) let me raise the saddle about a 1/4" every time we rode over the summer, and it wasn't too long before she was comfortable at a near-decent height. Also, the LBS guy told her the advantages of proper seat height.
    Also, I forgot to mention that she started on a mtn bike (ladies variety). I had both a mtn bike and a road. After that first year she looked at my bike and said, "Hey, I want one of those." So, we got her a Cannondale Road Bike. Then we had an auto accident which really screwed up the riding thing for her back and knee. A year later after much therapy and determination, we were again riding together - she on either her mtn bike or her road bike, depending.

    No, she doesn't keep up with me, but she has no objection to my speeding ahead, and then circling back. Actually, she sort of likes being alone.

    We rode the Ride the Rockies a couple of years ago together (alternating with one of us sagging), and at that time she had only the Specialized Mtn Bike. There she was, riding up the Dolores River Road in beautiful SW Colorado on that heavy Mtn Bike, folks passing her like crazy, and she was singing America the Beautiful at the top of her voice. One person passing her said, "Tell your husband to get you a better bike." I guess that is when she really decided she wanted to get a road bike!!
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 12-07-02 at 10:32 PM.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  24. #24
    Look Ma, NO hands!
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    Gee ChiliDog It looks like I may be married to a cloan! You dexcribed my wife to a T.
    I worked last night, slept 6 hours got up this evening and took a 20 mile ride! She said I was crazy!!!
    Wait! Where was that thread about adiction?
    I'm up now and feeling great and still basking in the glow of a great ride! I also worry about my wife and the sedate life style she leeds I know that she should do something but she can make every excuse in the book not to! I wish she would get into something that would improve her lifestyle and fitness level.

  25. #25
    riding a Pinarello Prince orguasch's Avatar
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    I Have tried many time to get my wife in to cycling, no can do will try it again this summer....
    "Racso", the well oiled machine;)

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