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  1. #1
    Senior Member dukes909's Avatar
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    Balancing touring & home life

    Wondering how folks that are married and/or have kids balance their time so that they can still tour. My wife is not keen on touring, and camping even less, so I think I'll have to go it alone (on the bike). Anyone else out there married, but tours solo?

    Cheers!
    Dukester

  2. #2
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    That's me. Three kids and a wife who does like to tour, but doesn't have the time with all those kids... The kid's idea of a long bike ride is maybe 5 miles.

  3. #3
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    We used to do a one weekend a month is for "me" thing. You got your weekend to do what you wanted to do with no flack from the other half( most of the time). On my weekend I would either go camping and MTB riding, or do a local out and back tour typically stealth camping. On her weekend off I would take the kids and go camping at a local state park (I got my outdoor fix one way or the other ) The other two weekends, one was dedicated to homefront projects, and the other was pretty flexible. BTW she DID NOT camp or cycle.

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  4. #4
    Bike touring webrarian
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    My wife travels for business. I try to arrange my 1 week tours to match when she is on the road.

    For longer tours, I try to arrange for her to fly in and visit an interesting city/place that is along the route. The last time I did this, it was for a 3-week tour that ended in Phoenix. She flew to Phoenix and we spent several days in the Grand Canyon.

    We don't have any kids.

    Ray

  5. #5
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    My wife and I have been married for 28 years and we don't mind being separated from time to time. One month a year is OK, two months is marginal. I think that two one-month trips a year might be fine, but I haven't yet broached the concept.

    What ameliorates our situation is that I make a point of phoning her every day that I can, we are retired and are otherwise together almost every day, we have no children, and we make a point of having her meet me at my destination for a couple of weeks and extend the "vacation" using rental cars and B&B's. She also knows that I would do anything to get her to try cycling or camping, but she refuses to do either. She even turned down a scheme where I would carry everything for both of us, she would ride an unloaded high-end carbon "comfort bike", and we would stay only at upscale B&B's.

    Sure, I'd rather she toured, but she suppports me doing what I like to do as long as she can easily rationalize that I do not tour to avoid her. So I let her get involved in choosing what I take on a trip (I send a third of the stuff back when I reach a post office), how the gear is packed (she loves to organize things), the placement of reflective tape on the bike etc etc. I praise her in front of her family and her friends about how wonderful a person she is that she gives me so much space to be myself and to provide me an opportunity to do things that she wouldn't so I can bring these experiences (and pictures) back to share with her. Married males think the concept is wonderful and many married females relish the opportunity of spending the time freed up to redecorate or whatever. However, some females have the attitude " how come you let him do that?" Thank goodness I am not married to someone like that...

  6. #6
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    My wife and I take separate vacations...
    .cinelli.olympic.surly.long.haul.trucker.kona.ku.surly.steamroller.
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    I do several different things. One, I go on week-long supported trips. My husband will usually go on one per year. I try to pick an easy ride. This year was Bike Virginia (relatively flat and low mileage) and last year was Bike Florida (flat and low mileage with every other day an optional day. That means he only had to ride 50 miles one day, rest- while I cycle 50-maybe 3 hours, ride to the next city and do the same.) He is a slow poke and I wake early and want to get on the road. On some vacations, I get up and get a ride in before he wakes up. Sometimes, I'll take my bike to breakfast and cycle home up a mountain while he enjoys a 3rd and 4th cup of coffee. I am planning for my big trip and we are in the negotiation stage. I may start in Virginia through the hard hills and then the prarie states that are boring and have headwinds and storms. Then he may meet me out west for a couple of weeks. He also rides a motorcycle, so he may accompany me on most of the trip and bring his bicycle in the motorcycle trailer to bicycle maybe 10 miles per day. He doesn't want me to cycle accross the US by myself. My brother wants me to get a concealed weapon and my husband agrees. All I want to do is cycle. My job was abolished on 8/20 and re-posted to a lower level. The company is considering early retirement, I may opt for losing 10 percent on my pension and leave. I'm trying to not let my bicycling addiction confuse my rational judgement about financial security in my retirement years. I want to quit and ride my bicycle.

    Another option: On my week-long trips, I cycled with a fellow on about 6 trips. We would agree to leave at 6:45 am. Most trips are about 50-80 miles per day. We would be back in around noon. By the time his wife woke up and drove to the next city, he was waiting for her. They would go out to dinner and enjoy the pool and sauna at their hotel. I would camp with the rest of the group. This worked out great, but then he spent a couple of summers in France.

    On Crazyguyonabike.com website, many guys leave their loving spouses for 2-3 months. I have only read about married women leaving for 1-2 week long trips. So no matter what, you seem to have it easier being a male with a non-cycling spouse. Have her read about 10 journals. It will comfort her. Most people are tired and weary at the end of the day, and have no thoughts about cheating, partying, etc. I read how lonely most people get and it seems most of the guys come back and realize what a goldmine that have at home.

  8. #8
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    I'm in the same boat as you. My wife has no intentions of ever going on a bike tour. The best that I can ever hope for is for her to take the motorhome up ahead and I met her...not sure what she's going to do when I tour Europe! But I have to wait a few years for retirement to tour anyway because I don't have the luxury of taking 3 to 6 months off of work to tour across the USA and then later Europe.

  9. #9
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    There was this piece on the CBC about a Canadian guy who woke up one morning and decided that he had to walk around the world. Ten year trip away from his family, according to him they understand... The interview popped up a few times afterwords as it seems to have shocked some people...

    http://www.wwwalk.org/FrameSet_an.html

    http://www.cbc.ca/canada/montreal/st...r20060613.html

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peterpan1
    There was this piece on the CBC about a Canadian guy who woke up one morning and decided that he had to walk around the world. Ten year trip away from his family, according to him they understand... The interview popped up a few times afterwords as it seems to have shocked some people...

    http://www.wwwalk.org/FrameSet_an.html

    http://www.cbc.ca/canada/montreal/st...r20060613.html
    Seemes like a way to get away from the family?! I could never do that. My wife will somehow be with me either in the motorhome or going on car trips in Europe while I ride.

  11. #11
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    Even if you have done a few solo trips, it doesn't get any easier to bring up the subject of doing another trip, especially if money is tight or there is a house and family to take care of, i.e. cut the grass, drive the kids to music lessons, feed the dog, etc. If the spouse at home gets to do all the work and also gets to work so that your holiday is paid for, it's not unreasonable for them to not want to see this repeated every year.

    I haven't found a solution to this problem yet. Maybe retirement?
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by froze
    I'm in the same boat as you. My wife has no intentions of ever going on a bike tour. The best that I can ever hope for is for her to take the motorhome up ahead and I met her...not sure what she's going to do when I tour Europe! But I have to wait a few years for retirement to tour anyway because I don't have the luxury of taking 3 to 6 months off of work to tour across the USA and then later Europe.
    I have been working on selling the idea of doing a cycling trip in Europe for the last couple of years to my wife. Retirement is in about 5 years time, maybe it might happen before then?

    Anyway it goes something like this: we both fly over, I go on a short tour (maybe with a paid group) for a week or 10 days, meanwhile my wife will travel with her sister (or friend?) somewhere and then we'll meet and rent some place for a month in France that has some sights, good restaurants and good riding. I do day trips +/- some train/bike combination day trips while She can visit the sights, and sometimes meet me for lunch in some nearby town, etc.
    2006 Lemond Sarthe
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bccycleguy
    I have been working on selling the idea of doing a cycling trip in Europe for the last couple of years to my wife. Retirement is in about 5 years time, maybe it might happen before then?

    Anyway it goes something like this: we both fly over, I go on a short tour (maybe with a paid group) for a week or 10 days, meanwhile my wife will travel with her sister (or friend?) somewhere and then we'll meet and rent some place for a month in France that has some sights, good restaurants and good riding. I do day trips +/- some train/bike combination day trips while She can visit the sights, and sometimes meet me for lunch in some nearby town, etc.
    Yep, that's sounds about what we're going to do as well. Right now I don't tour not even short tours because I use my vacation time to spend with the family since I still have 2 kids at home; but one is leaving the roost here in about 6 months to get married, but the other is still just 12; so I try to spend as much time as I can with my children because their only with you for a short while. Right now the longest trips I take are 1 day trips that may take me up to 150 miles either one way and meet the family somewhere or round trip.

    I do have a family trip planned for England next year but that won't be a bike riding trip at all...darn! Oh well, it's all good. But I will be visiting the Mercian bike shop in Derby to have one their touring bikes custom made for me while in England, then they will ship the bike to my home when completed in about 3 months. So at least I'll be doing something bike related!!!!

  14. #14
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    I guess I know why I am not married....lol....I once had a GF who complained I went away every weekend ice climbing. She finally said its either her or the climbing. I thought about it a while and said that's too bad because I have a lot of money invested in gear...lol...needless to say we broke up....

    I ran into her a few years later and we had a good laugh about it though.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by vik
    I guess I know why I am not married....lol....I once had a GF who complained I went away every weekend ice climbing. She finally said its either her or the climbing. I thought about it a while and said that's too bad because I have a lot of money invested in gear...lol...needless to say we broke up....

    I ran into her a few years later and we had a good laugh about it though.
    Back when I got married (79) the girls just did not do things like ride bikes further then around the block! So to choose a girl that rode the way I did would have left me single for many years. The good news is she understands my hobby and lets me ride, whereas the women some of my contemporaries married said what they said to Vic: "its either me or the bike". Every guy I knew wimped out!!!!! Even today it would be difficult to find a woman who would want to ride a lot, but I don't think that's as difficult as it was in the 70's and 80's...maybe I'm wrong? You younger guys would know better about this then I.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Lolly Pop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by froze
    The good news is she understands my hobby and lets me ride, whereas the women some of my contemporaries married said what they said to Vic: "its either me or the bike".
    I think love is about letting your partner be. If they want to go off on bike rides, why would you interfere with that?

    Love =/= being glued to your spouse. But if you think love = your partner being nearby, you will feel unloved any time they are not near you.

    Sounds like a recipe for unhappiness.

  17. #17
    RIP Gonzo So Cal commuter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by froze
    I don't think that's as difficult as it was in the 70's and 80's...maybe I'm wrong? You younger guys would know better about this then I.

    I'm trying to get my wife into it....got her a Trek 8000(1992 from swap meet I picked up for 45 bucks), and fixed it up. I love to ride this thing too! she likes the geometry....have to get her a different stem, but I am easing her into it...once she gets on it for a full day, maybee 75-100 Miles unloaded, I am going to gear us out....currently I bike for commuting, and am an avid backpacker...I'll buy what I dont have, drop the kids off at grandmas, and were going to Santa Barbara from San diego, where I will reward her with a really nice hotel and dinner. Sneaky me Then we'll see about some better, longer tours.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by So Cal commuter
    I'm trying to get my wife into it....got her a Trek 8000(1992 from swap meet I picked up for 45 bucks), and fixed it up. I love to ride this thing too! she likes the geometry....have to get her a different stem, but I am easing her into it...once she gets on it for a full day, maybee 75-100 Miles unloaded, I am going to gear us out....currently I bike for commuting, and am an avid backpacker...I'll buy what I dont have, drop the kids off at grandmas, and were going to Santa Barbara from San diego, where I will reward her with a really nice hotel and dinner. Sneaky me Then we'll see about some better, longer tours.

    Sounds like you have a wife that's at least interested in riding. I bought my wife a bike because she said she wanted one (and she wanted that particular bike) and would ride with me; so I did the same sneaky easing her into it thing that your doing. She rode once around the block and that was it. I even rode slow so she would have no issues keeping up! Since I bought that bike for her in 86 she's rode it all of 5 times and no more then around the block. Bike riding just doesn't interest her the least bit.

    Sometime you ought to ride from San Diego (I assume you live there) up to San Fransciso via hwy 1; your wife will love that. Actually it's a better ride if you take the Amtrak up to San Fran then ride back to San Diego due to the prevailing coastal winds are blowing against you the whole way to SF, and that would make a trip miserable for your wife. I don't think the winds really start to cause an effect till you get pass north of Lompoc if my memory serves me right. I use to live in Santa Barbara and took the Amtrak several times to SF and rode back. I did what was called credit card touring because I didn't have a touring bike so did it on my racing bike; so I would stop and stay in hotels and eat out all the way down. Credit card touring could be an option for you if you wife has trouble handling a fully loaded bike; or you could carry most of the stuff on your bike and make her load considerably less with just a seat and handlebar bag.

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