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  1. #1
    Senior Member geeklpc1985's Avatar
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    Girlfriend & Riding

    I'm trying to get my girlfriend to ride with me. I found it very hard, she will not ride in the winter. On one ride in the summer she did about 40 miles, she wasn't too happy after that. She agreed to ride when it warms up, but how can I make it fun? It's about 15 miles to Madison from Oregon, and then 15 back. Madison is the closes place with bike paths. That's a lot of miles at the end of the day for her, but not for me. What can I do?

    Thanks,
    GEEK
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    2004 Martin Novato: 10613 miles, Ride in Peace (DOD: 12/05/06)
    Max Speed: 40 mph

  2. #2
    Work hard, Play hard forum*rider's Avatar
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    If you want her to ride with you, you have to accept the fact that she's gonna be slower than you are.

    Maybe you could load you're bikes into the car and drive out to where the bike paths are?

  3. #3
    Senior Member geeklpc1985's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by forum*rider
    ...load you're bikes into the car and drive out to where the bike paths are?
    Hmmmm.....Car? I have not had a car of over a year now, I'm 100% riding. She hates that too.

    Thanks thats a good idea, maybe a car CAN come in handy somethings.

    GEEK
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    2004 Martin Novato: 10613 miles, Ride in Peace (DOD: 12/05/06)
    Max Speed: 40 mph

  4. #4
    Work hard, Play hard forum*rider's Avatar
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    ahh ok then.

    Well if you don't have a car then maybe you could get a friend or family to drive you out there.

    How about riding closer to home? You could just ride on the road. Maybe if you taught her to ride in traffic she'll feel more comfortable riding in the street.

  5. #5
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    Learn to accept and accommodate her riding abilities - ride slower, don't go as far...and get her to agree to let you take longer faster rides solo or with the guys.

  6. #6
    Old School Rad mtnbiker66's Avatar
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    Short rides to build a base, keep it fun.
    Like a circus monkey on a stolen Harley......

  7. #7
    On Your Right ZackJones's Avatar
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    When you ride with her you have to do things on her terms. If she wants to go slow you go slow. If she wants to quit after 10 miles you quit. If you don't she'll quit riding. When I know I'm going to be riding with my wife I normally go out and ride hard the day before, that way I can use my ride with her as a recovery ride.
    "You never fail, you simply produce results. Learn from these" - Anonymous

  8. #8
    TWilkins
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    As already mentioned, the key to her enjoying the sport is to do it on her terms. My wife is a pretty strong rider who enjoys riding, but only when it's on her terms. Therefore, if she wants to avoid hills, we avoid them. If she wants to stop for lunch half-way thru the ride, that's what we do.

    Interestingly, for her, riding is a social activity, so going out with friends for a "spin" that might include a lunch stop is much more fun than going on an organized or training ride.

    I've got lots of other opportunities to ride on my terms, so if accepting her terms will keep her riding with me, I come out a winner both ways!

  9. #9
    Recumbent Evangelist
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    40 miles for a beginner? What were you thinking?

  10. #10
    Censorship Stinks! pcsanity1's Avatar
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    I have to agree, you need to start on her terms.

    That being said, my wife who said she would never ride, got a bike a year ago. I worked with her at her pace weekdays and one of the two weekend riding days. Low and behold, she now rides a century a month, and 60-80 each of the weekend days. She still is not quite as fast as me, but 18.5 is a pretty good average given she is riding 650 wheels.

    Let her have some joy of the ride. Positive coaching and feedback. Ride in groups so others can coach her to avoid that boyfriend / husband….”I am not listening” routine.

    Have fun!

  11. #11
    Old School Rad mtnbiker66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZackJones
    When you ride with her you have to do things on her terms. If she wants to go slow you go slow. If she wants to quit after 10 miles you quit. If you don't she'll quit riding. When I know I'm going to be riding with my wife I normally go out and ride hard the day before, that way I can use my ride with her as a recovery ride.
    Thats what I do with my daughter. I also ride SS when I ride with her.
    Like a circus monkey on a stolen Harley......

  12. #12
    On Your Right ZackJones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff-o
    40 miles for a beginner? What were you thinking?
    Perhaps what he didn't tell us is that he wants a new girlfriend
    "You never fail, you simply produce results. Learn from these" - Anonymous

  13. #13
    Senior Member geeklpc1985's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff-o
    40 miles for a beginner? What were you thinking?
    Ha, I wasn't thinking she was. She wanted to go to State St. in Madison, so I took her. Would a tandem be easyer on her? I'm used to a trailer with about 100 pounds of extra stuff.

    Thanks for all your help,
    GEEK
    Super Geek
    2004 Martin Novato: 10613 miles, Ride in Peace (DOD: 12/05/06)
    Max Speed: 40 mph

  14. #14
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Get a tandem!

  15. #15
    One Tough Cookie. Black Bud's Avatar
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    Don't push her TOO hard!

    A forty-miler (round trip) is actually quite impressive (actually, more-than-impressive..wow!!) for a rank beginner!! NO wonder she was not "happy" at the end!!

    Remember, she is not yet in condition for the longer rides you crave--certainly not at the speeds you are capable of!! (She may NEVER be able to keep up at the speeds you can "hammer" with your buddies at, simply because she's female! )

    Instead, use these rides with her to "take time to smell the flowers", so-to-speak. Look around you...observe things you normally miss (which includes your GF's own efforts at cycling!)...teach her the "rules of the road" at her own pace!

    Slow rides can be beneficial for YOU, too...a great way to avoid overtraining!!

    Also, as has been suggested, try a tandem (if you must hammer)! [She'll ALWAYS know where YOU are that way!! ]
    A bad day on the bike is better than a good day at work!!

    My discussion board, another resource for the "utility" and commuter cyclist: "Two Wheeled Commuter: The Everyday Cyclist"

  16. #16
    the dog ate my earbuds KirkeIsWaiting's Avatar
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    Just make sure she has the right gear - good cold weather gear, really comfortable shoes, gloves and a bike that fits properly. It's a pleasure to do most anything if you've got the right equipment. Show her the love with a new jacket.

  17. #17
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    I'm from the madison area as well and had a similar problem with my girlfriend. I ride mainly for exercise on the weekends and was becoming frustrated that she never wanted to go on long rides or would always stop. I got her to do the full capitol city loop (about 15 mi) and she wouldn't go with me for a while after that. My solution was to do my long "exercise" rides when she was busy, so when she wanted to go, I could feel at ease taking things at her pace and taking breaks whenever she wanted. Also, I found out a big part of her reluctance was a fear of riding near traffic. So I made sure we stayed on bike paths or bike lanes on less travelled roads at first until she built up her confidence.

    In terms of your distance problems, I may be wrong, but I think there are some buses that travel from Madison to oregon and have bike carriers on the front--I may be wrong, but it is worth looking into. All in all, driving a short ten minutes is worth it to get someone interested in the sport--Sometimes the end justify the means--Once she has her endurance and love of cycling built up, maybe she wont mind the long ride home.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    Hey, buying a tandem may not fix the problem. Especially if you two are a total mismatch. Since I don't know what it's like where you ride, I can only offer some suggestions, in the hopes that one works for you.

    If I ask my wife to go for a ride through my favorite off-road area, I may get a lukewarm reception. If I suggest we go for coffee, but take the "Over the mountain, along the beach route", I get a much better response. Or if I pack a little picnic, we can go to just about any park or beach nearby. You need to tailor that rides to what she considers a nice day out on the bikes. Too cold? Do you have someplace 5 or 10 miles away that serves up a nice hot cocoa? Do you have a thermos? If all else fails, tell her you bought her a new handbag, and hid it roadside somewhere along your favorite route.

  19. #19
    No one carries the DogBoy
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    There are some nice roads out of oregon that could make for a nice country ride without too much traffic. Also, the Wednesday night bike group goes to Oregon occasionally (May 11) and she might like riding with others (they have a short loop of 21 miles): http://www.wnbr.org/OregonCue.jpg You could do the ride without the group too.

    If you have access to a car, the thrusday night rides from bombay are low-key social rides and a group usually goes for a bite to eat afterwards. The real key is to not push too hard or it won't be fun for her. You could also try to get her to go for a ride to Lake Kegonsa for a picnic (or Goodland park) Let her dictate the pace, and encourage & praise her for accomplishments.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Bud
    Don't push her TOO hard!

    A forty-miler (round trip) is actually quite impressive (actually, more-than-impressive..wow!!) for a rank beginner!! NO wonder she was not "happy" at the end!!
    More like she was not happy in her end!

    forty miles for a first ride--that is pretty crazy.

    Do what people have been suggesting--take it easy at her pace, use rides with her for recovery. Find nice places to ride to even if you must suffer the dreaded "shopping trip". Find ways to involve the bike in her life and thus in yours.
    I . . can . . . doooo . . . it

  21. #21
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    Start slow with just easy distances- for her, 5 miles might sound sufficient. Then make it fun in those 5 miles. And ride at her pace, not yours.

    Does she have a bike? I had a "fun bike"- pink, retro, old school bike with a basket up front and pink fuzzy dice. Sometimes, I just liked to tool around on the bike, and I even wore pink cycling outfits and had a pink bag. Yep, I looked like a big pink marshmallow, but man, it felt like a lot of fun to not be so hard core and tough looking and riding around on my most spiffy bike.

    I just died a little when I had to give that bike away...

    Anyway, give her a reason to have some fun with it. I know there are some people that will turn their nose up on this bike, but have you tried looking into the Electra Townie? They have great bikes for women, and with all those different great designs too.

    Look into some women riding groups too.

    Koffee

  22. #22
    Tom (ex)Builder twahl's Avatar
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    I'm trying to picture Koffee wearing all pink and riding a pink bike, and it hurts.
    Tom

    "It hurts so good..."

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by twahl
    I'm trying to picture Koffee wearing all pink and riding a pink bike, and it hurts.

    Yeah, right. Hurts so good.



    Koffee

  24. #24
    Somewhere in CA
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    how about you have her motor-pace you out to the paths. Then she gets her bike out and rides with you.. then motor pace home.

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