Congratulations! Your wife looks like she enjoys riding again, so its money well spent.
Congratulations! Your wife looks like she enjoys riding again, so its money well spent.
So... she's finally feeling better, but now I've got a cold! No matter, even if I feel miserable I'll ride with her Saturday if she's willing. It's a positive sign: she talks about the bike with enthusiasm.
Finally we got out for a ride this afternoon. Did a blazing 1.1 miles (hey, ya gotta start somewhere). She didn't want to push it; they are resurfacing our street and she didn't want her asthma to kick in.
We had our first encounter with road rage today. Coming up to a T-intersection, preparing to turn left, two cars maybe 2-3 blocks back. We took the lane, signaled left, and as we started to go, one of the cars behind yelled, "Get outta the damn road!" We completed our turn, faded to the right (pretty wide street) and the two cars (who also turned left) went on by.
I don't think we even slowed him down even a little. Wadda jerk.
Didn't ruin the ride though. We did twice the mileage today (a little over 2 miles). My wife said, "You know, I think I want to get one of those mirrors." She trusts me to make calls in traffic (so far, only in the neighborhood), but I think she'd like to make sure.
A couple of milestones today: 1) Our first 5 mile ride together; and 2) our first time "out in the wild" (i.e., venturing out of the neighborhood). We rode down to the bike shop where we bought her bike. Unfortunately, this is the last day they will be open; the owners have decided to do other things. My wife even attempted a pretty steep grade and made it about 2/3 of the way up before she decided to get off and walk the rest of the way. She's really embracing this cycling thing.
I hate to hear about any of our shops closing. Glad to hear your wife is enjoying her cycling. I took a short ride early this afternoon, but wimped out because my fingers were too cold. My next purchase will be full-fingered gloves.
When I got my bike last spring, we bought a Trek Pure Lowstep (14" frame) for my wife, who is about a foot shorter than me. I'd really like for us to get out and ride together more. We, along with our daughter, go out to a local park area across town and ride some, but it requires a bit of logistics, what with "scheduling" a time for all three of us, attaching the (70 pound!) Hollywood Sportrider 3-bike rack to our Odyssey, loading up, etc., etc., etc. I always end up feeling as if I'm having to push the whole event too much. It's always fun in the end, but it would be nice to be able to just jump out on the road and ride on a moment's notice.
Trouble is, outside of the 0.6 mile loop of our neighborhood (which is currently a bit too hilly for my wife, not to mention so short it's boring), there's a VERY busy 5-lane (4+turn lane) highway to contend with between our neighborhood and anywhere decent for this kind of riding. There are very few cyclists in our area and bike lanes are unknown, so motorists are definitely not looking out for us. In fact, I knew a guy who was killed on this very road several years ago. Needless to say, I've not even asked her to venture out there, although I may give it shot before too long.
Len Philpot - 2012 Specialized Tricross Sport
I start out slow and then taper off from there...
Tell Mrs Doohickie that the forumers think she's great. It's easy for experienced riders to underestimate the courage it takes to overcome fears dating back years, especially since road riding appears to be so dangerous from the newbie's perspective.
More power to her elbow/quads/knees/confidence/skill/knowledge and anything else it takes to learn to use the greatest form of transport know to man, oops, woman.
Long may she smile while riding
She already knows she's great.
As far as the bike shop closing, let's just say it's an amicable parting. The owners started the shop 3 years ago to fulfill a longtime dream. They loved many aspects of the shop, but they simply didn't pull in enough money to hire someone to run things so their default workweek was 60 hours. In their late 50s, they decided they're too old for that **** and decided, been there, done that, even have the custom-printed bike jersey. It's apparently much more traumatic for the shop regulars than it was for the owners.
In the ride a few days ago to the shop, we crossed a couple of major intersections which was WAY out of Mrs. Doohickie's comfort zone. Yet, she kind of found it exhilarating. Usually when I suggest something, she's skeptical that I'm trying to talk her into something she'd rather not do. She seems to accept my authority as a vehicular cyclist though, and goes along with my suggestions. I do make sure I don't suggest things that are too advanced; rather than doing a left hand turn in traffic on kind of busy roads to get to the shop, we walked the bikes across the last intersection and rode the last little bit on the sidewalk and across the parking lot. Afterward, she was game to ride straight through the intersection (with the light) though.
She's hoping it will warm up enough by Sunday to take the bikes down to the MUP for her first trail ride. My suggestion was to park downtown, then ride three miles north to the tourist district for lunch or dinner, then ride back to the car. It will will be her first time on the MUP but will also include a bit more riding out in the road too. And each time we ride, we ride a little further than the previous ride. From nothing to 5 miles already; I think that's pretty good.
i built my girlfriend her first "adult" bike and a few weeks in she did a ~400 mile week.
That's awesome. I don't think I've ever done that much in a week. 400 in a month, sure, but in a week?
My wife has been off bikes for so long, it's going to take a while to get to that point. For her, it's probably equal parts physical and mental. She never really considered riding distances of more than a mile or two to be within her grasp, so it will take a while to get her to get into that mindset. Also, this is a poor time to be starting this- days are short and getting colder; weekends are the only chance we get to ride together. I think that, come springtime, she will be riding a lot more.
She will love the Trinity Trails, nice and flat with no traffic to worry about except the road bikers going to fast. I read your blog so I know you are very familiar with them. If you have a bike rack, you can start at the Bryant Irvin trailhead and ride to the University Drive restuarants (Panera, Hoffbrau, Ihop, etc) and back without any traffic to deal with. It is a nice "date" that my wife and I like to do. Lot of other options are also available from the Trails as she gets more comfortable (ie- cross the river to Bellaire Dr.). As my wife has gotten better we now start at the Benbrook "Art Cowsen" trailhead. I have found a good bike rack for the car is worth every penny to get you to a trailhead to avoid the traffic. Maybe one of these days FW will have better bike lanes as they propose but for now drive and ride is more comfortable for most. My wife started out slow on the trails but now she pushes me out the door for our 10+ mile daily rides.My suggestion was to park downtown, then ride three miles north to the tourist district for lunch or dinner, then ride back to the car.
Actually, the plan is to park at Taylor Street, then ride to the Stockyards. There can be a lot of foot and bike traffic on the TT between Benbrook and downtown, but north of there it seems there is much less traffic.
I'm fairly content with Fort Worth's bike infrastructure as it is. At least on the south and west sides, you can get around just about anywhere by cutting through neighborhoods and avoiding the major streets.
My wife is plenty eager, but she is a fair weather rider and so far doesn't like to ride after dark. So it will be slow growth in the beginning but considering where she was a year or two ago, this is marvelous.
So you must live in Ft Worth, too, eh?
(And yes, I've been incredibly lazy about updating the blog.)
Just west of FW but work there.So you must live in Ft Worth, too, eh?
We have ridden the trails out towards the NAS and they were packed gravel in some parts, but almost no traffic. I agree the traffic is heavier towards Benbrook but has always been manageable since the trail is wider (has packed gravel for the walkers/runners from 820 to University). I have not been up to the Northside, we were unsure about where it went and conditions.
Also, a friend warned me to not leave valuables in your car when you park at trailheads because thieves know that it is common for runners and bikers not to take stuff with them. He said they will smash your window to get to purses etc.
I think they were unfortunate to open at the same time Performance opened a shop on the same side of town with many of the same bike brands.As far as the bike shop closing
I enjoyed your restuarant reviews.And yes, I've been incredibly lazy about updating the blog
On the up-side, there are a few nice places to eat that are really easy to get to in and around the Stockyards. One of my fun trips was taking the wife through Trinity Park, out through Will Rogers, between the Museums to Great Outdoors, on Camp Bowie for lunch.
The least pedestrian traffic on the whole trail system is from Taylor Street out to Gateway Park. Since I live on the east side, I start at Gateway Park more often than anywhere else. When the winds are high, like this weekend is supposed to be, I try to pick my starting spot so I can ride out into a headwind and have a tailwind on the way back. It would be nice if I could catch an incoming front so I could have a tailwind both ways, but it seems like I've only had the opposite.
Thanks for the info
Good job Doohickies! I'm impressed & encouraged. Ive been trying to get my wife riding.
Never park all your tractors in a row.
The Mirrycle Mirror is my favorite:
Another confidence/skill builder would be to enroll her in a riding class put on by League of American Bicyclists. My family and I took a course before our cross country ride last summer mainly for our son to learn rules of the road, and even I ended up learning new things after riding for over 40 years.
I'm glad she was able to find a bike to suit her and keep her motivated, that's awesome!
Glad to see shes happy. Money well spent!
2005 Jamis Comet - Road Bike
1987 Panasonic Sport DX - Commuter
I'm so glad she's riding! Her bike is gorgeous, too. I'm getting into riding too and I really hope my husband gets as enthusiastic about it as I am. I'm stuck at work without the car and so I ride between school bus routes. I asked for a ridiculously expensive bicycle for my birthday and got it! (Yes, so far $200 is too much for me. It has skinny tires, fenders, a rack and a chain guard! Schwinn Gateway City bike) My first ride, just a few days after a 6 day fever broke and I was able to return to work, was 6 miles! Now I am discovering new ways to go in the same circles around work, hehe.
I hope my husband can find a bike that he really likes and will ride with me.
She hasn't ridden yet this year. It's not so much for not wanting to, but she had some surgery a little over a month ago. I think she's okay with that now, but this week she's been battling a cold/bronchial infection/pneumonia/something. Until she gets over that bug I don't expect her to ride. At this point we'll probably be back to riding around the block again, which is fine.
There is a group ride in the area that recently started up called The Slow Spokes; they ride Tuesday evenings. I hope I can get her out to one of their rides; I think she would enjoy the group (mostly the "non-riding" wives of the group I ride with).
I should have posted about our "bike date" last year, but apparently I forgot. Here is a blog entry about it. As I said above, she hasn't ridden much at all this year due to surgery and some other nagging issues. She recently received injections of some wonder-stuff in her knees and they feel better than they have in years. It apparently goes where the cartilage should be, and acts like cartilage. We've gone on a few rides recently, including another bike date today. We parked at LaGrave Field (minor league ballpark), hopped on the Trinity River Trail and rode up to the Stockyards for dinner.
Full blog entry here.