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Finding time to ride

Old 02-09-20, 01:44 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Theypeedonmyrug View Post
Raj, you have hit the nail on the head. You need to retire. Also, I have found that it is most helpful to make sure your wife keeps working. With much more time to ride, you will want to buy a lot more bike paraphernalia.
you have it all figured out correctly
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Old 02-11-20, 06:38 AM
  #27  
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Riding during weekend is a perfect idea
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Old 02-11-20, 07:13 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by wirides View Post
I fought this same battle for years. Eventually I resigned to the fact that if I don't get my workouts is the first thing, before the family is awake they don't happen. That means getting up and out at 4:30am. I do lots of miles in the dark which I don't mind.
I did this for a while. I had no trouble with traffic, even on busier roads, though you have to pay more attention to watching out for wildlife. Deer, raccoons, possums, rabbits, skunks, fox, etc. are all moving around just before/after dawn (no squirrels!!!). This was after about 3 years of no cycling (and no skiing) when the kids were infants. Those early years, it just wasn't possible for me to get outside on a regular basis, though I did some workouts on the NordicTrak.
I also balanced my time away from my family with my wife - she got time to do her stuff too, while I watched the kids. She eventually got tired of going to bed at 9:00 pm, though (the one thing you don't want to do is skimp on sleep), and waking up alone, so after about 3 years or so I had to cut out the early morning rides.
Commuting by bike is good, though if you have to drop off/pick up at daycare this may not be practical (it wasn't for me), so I did some commuting when the kids were middle school aged, and OK at home alone for a couple hours after school. Some commutes are just not possible by bike, of course (if mostly highway and no reasonable options).
You'll have to figure out what works best for you and your family.

Cycling is great but, as the OP says, family comes first. You may have to be creative and be flexible if you really want to carve out time for cycling.
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Old 02-11-20, 07:17 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by laychris View Post
Riding during weekend is a perfect idea
Yes, but you'll never build or maintain a good base of fitness just riding on the weekends.

Work has been hell for me the past 3 years, so I've basically been reduced to being a weekend cyclist and, let me tell you, my fitness has fallen off a cliff.
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Old 02-11-20, 07:38 AM
  #30  
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Originally posted by noimagination:
“ . . . though I did some workouts on the NordicTrak.”

Wow! Where did you hang up your socks and undies then?
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Old 02-11-20, 07:40 AM
  #31  
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Bikes=life. Used to bike commute, work from home now, mt bike whenever I can, fat bike in the winter too. Kids are older now, no issues. Would take the tandem to soccer practice with my daughter on the back. The other suburban parents thought 3 miles was so long to ride, lol. Errand rides, store or quick food pickup. Easy. Make it part of your lifestyle.
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Old 02-11-20, 08:31 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Rajflyboy View Post
I need to retire. 😜

Getting up early is probably a great option for me. Im an early bird anyway.

If you have a suitable one nearby, early mornings on MUPs are great--next best thing to a closed track.
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Old 02-11-20, 08:39 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Rajflyboy View Post


Family first. You have great priorities in life

I think the only likely way a thread like this can help you is if you get ideas from someone who has dealt with a situation similar to yours. Maybe some general information about the age range and number of your kids, your work schedule, etc. might help people offer their experience in this regard. Just don't get so specific that you worry about creating a security issue.

Also, a description of the kind of biking you like to do might help.
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Old 02-11-20, 08:55 AM
  #34  
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Bike commuting is one thing you can do as others have said. You can use it to justify bicycle purchases and the time investment because you aren't using your car so you aren't using the car up or paying for gas. I saved enough money on gas and purchases of cars, that my wife allows me a $150 to $300/month bicycle budget. It adds up quickly.

That said, involve the rest of the family in riding. My kids started riding in a trailer when they were about a month old. We took her on a weekend tour when she was about 6 months old. My kids graduated to a tandem...more on that below...when they got to about 4. In fact one of them was on the tandem a month before her 4th birthday...and her birthday is in February! On the tandem, we could go everywhere and we did. They have been around Kansas on a tandem. They have been to Yellowstone on a tandem. They have ridden just about every inch of bikable road and trail within 200 miles of Denver. One even did an MS150 with me and we hit my fastest speed ever...55mph...on a notorious downhill.

On tandems (and biking with kids in general): A tandem is somewhat expensive but, for kids pedaling with parents, it is by far the best way to ride. I watch kids riding Alley Cats (or similar) and they just don't look all that safe. I've even seen a kid ejected from one when her mom made a turn and the kid didn't. The kid smacked the ground pretty hard. The child would have been better off if the pedals had some kind of retention system but, overall, trailer bikes just aren't all that stable.

Tandems, on the other hand, don't hinge in the middle so when the bike goes around a corner, the kid goes with it. The child isn't leaning over at a 30 angle either so the back of the tandem isn't pushing the adult bike out of line. I put my kids in toeclips originally and the graduated to clipless pedals. They were tied to the bike and couldn't slip off. With the tension set low enough, they could get in and out of the pedal fairly easily. And, best of all, the kid is right behind you so they can talk without too much trouble. My youngest used to tell stories from the minute we got on the bike to the minute we stopped. Those are among the best memories of their childhood I have.

So get your family out on a bike. Go to a playground. Go to the zoo. Get them outside and go with them.
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Old 02-11-20, 10:18 AM
  #35  
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+1 more on bike commute. Base miles add up, saves on gas (even if you keep the car), you get your exercise for a minimal delta in travel time.

Ride with the kids. I started riding down to the bookstore (for "coffee") or ice cream store with my girls when the youngest was 11. At first my wife had to drive down to carry everybody home; 5 miles was a nice ride, 10 miles was too far. They (and I) got stronger. My youngest rode across the country with me when she graduated college -- and the older one rode half the Capital Trail in Virginia with me over the holidays this year.

Now if I could just persuade my wife that being on a bike isn't an automatic death sentence when she sees a moving car...
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Old 02-11-20, 10:33 AM
  #36  
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A long commute on bike-unfriendly roads, two kids still at home and an elderly mom all demand time. I still manage at least one, sometimes two weekend rides. I try to fit at least one ride on Zwift in every week, and I keep a bike at my mom's house. I check in on her a couple of times a week after work and, weather permitting, will sneak in a short ride on the MUP around a lake near her house. It's not as much riding as I would like, but it beats not riding.
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Old 02-12-20, 09:51 AM
  #37  
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I have a 3 and 4 year old, work nights and weekends and watch them during the day. When I'm not working, cleaning, cooking and doing laundry there might be some other obligation like visiting family or fixing something around the house that needs done. By far the most amazing thing I've found to keep me pedaling is Zwift.

Hear me out. I know Zwift isn't the same as riding outside, but it's MUCH easier to find a hour and a half the morning for Zwift (including 30 mins to change stretch and shower) than it is to get outside and ride which is way more of a time commitment for a bunch of reasons. Plus, you can use Zwift to train to power, and overall, I find an hour on Zwift to be much more productive from a fitness training standpoint than riding outside for an hour.

The idea is that you keep moving. Zwift keeps me fit so that when I do go outside and ride I actually enjoy myself, getting PRs and picking up cups on segments around town. If I only rode when I had 3-4 hours to go outside I'd be miserable. It's just not fun unless I feel my personal best (or the best I can reasonably be).

Another tip is to just get your miles in commuting, or maybe by riding to places you might otherwise drive. I have to drive for work, unfortunately, but on Super Bowl Sunday we had to go to the in-laws. The wife drove and I rode my bike. I got there like 40 mins after her and got a great ride in.

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Old 02-12-20, 10:16 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
My life doesnt exist to serve my kids or wife. Similarily, my wife doesnt exist to serve our kids or me.
We choose to set up a family schedule that allows all of us to pursue interests. I only ride a couple times a week on average because of family responsibilities and other interests- work, making dinner, shuttling kids to activities, helping with homework, being home so my wife can live too, volleyball, etc.
Except you just contradicted your first statement by saying things like "family responsibilities" and "shuttling kids to activities".

Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I think the only likely way a thread like this can help you is if you get ideas from someone who has dealt with a situation similar to yours. Maybe some general information about the age range and number of your kids, your work schedule, etc. might help people offer their experience in this regard. Just don't get so specific that you worry about creating a security issue. Also, a description of the kind of biking you like to do might help.
100% agreed, OP. If you are a busy person with kids, it's not very helpful to get responses like "well, I'm single, rich, and self-employed" or "retired and living the good life".

I have just one but very demanding 4yo and while I need time for myself sometimes, most of the time spending time with my family is the top priority - and you know what, I enjoy it. What sort of works for me:
- Bike commuting when it's not my turn to do daycare (just one day a week). Often I go the roundabout way to make it a longer ride. Sometimes I'm too tired or unmotivated for commuting, unfortunately. I used to bring the child to daycare by bike which was awesome but circumstances have changed.
- Zwift when everyone goes to sleep. High correlation between short days/bad weather there, but mostly in winter.
- As many have mentioned, 4-5am departure time (usually more like 6am) and 9am arrival time on weekends. Much easier to do during the summer.
- The kiddo rides with us on a trailer, which means shorter, slower rides on bike trails. I would like to venture out to other trails in the area this summer.
- Go to the grocery store on bikes (there's one on a bike trail) which makes for a bonus summer evening ride after work; yes, kiddo comes along

I just ride less in the winter because the cold, gray, dark makes me less motivated. I do like to complement with winter hiking though. I have not found a good way to do impromptu rides or very long rides (50-70mi). I will be doing some organized rides this summer but this was discussed and planned for.
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Old 02-12-20, 11:03 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by autonomy View Post
Except you just contradicted your first statement by saying things like "family responsibilities" and "shuttling kids to activities".
Did I though?

I said that my life doesnt exist to serve my kids or wife. And I also said that I limit my riding because of family responsibilities. That isnt contradictory.

I can be an incredibly involved parent and spouse while not existing to serve them. I see many parents who do not have hobbies of their own and spend their waking time outside of work only on family responsibilities. That, to me, would be serving everyone else in the family. Since I take time for my interests, that, to me, is not serving everyone else in the family. They are 'sacrificing' their interests a little so that I can pursue what I enjoy. Same for my wife and same for my kids. We all recognize that everyone else wants to have a life and enjoy passions and interests, so we all make sure to balance these.
A family calendar with scheduled/planned activities helps ensure everyone has time to do what they want.

All of us could easily fill up every single day's free hours with activities we would like to do. We recognize that is both selfish and unhealthy as a family though.

I am confused about how this is confusing to you.
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Old 02-12-20, 11:20 AM
  #40  
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I am not sure how anyone who has kids and is a semi decent parent does anything let alone finds the time to cycle. One guy on here a while back posted on how cycling was putting a strain on his marriage even. If cycling is your life maybe your family can adapt a bit but really family should always come first. I actually see this a bit in the NYC tri-state area where people have the best intention of getting into the sport or want to get in shape so they invest hundreds if not thousands of dollars into gear and high end bikes to only realize they never have the time or space.

I am personally 33 and honestly when I have kids I know some of my hobbies and passions will need to be curtailed a bit to some degree, otherwise honestly don't get married and don't have kids and do whatever you want
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Old 02-12-20, 11:37 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Jrasero View Post
I am not sure how anyone who has kids and is a semi decent parent does anything let alone finds the time to cycle. One guy on here a while back posted on how cycling was putting a strain on his marriage even. If cycling is your life maybe your family can adapt a bit but really family should always come first. I actually see this a bit in the NYC tri-state area where people have the best intention of getting into the sport or want to get in shape so they invest hundreds if not thousands of dollars into gear and high end bikes to only realize they never have the time or space.

I am personally 33 and honestly when I have kids I know some of my hobbies and passions will need to be curtailed a bit to some degree, otherwise honestly don't get married and don't have kids and do whatever you want
As a parent of two grown children, I cannot tell you how funny I find it when someone without kids starts lecturing me on how they're going to do it, or how it is people with actual non-hypothetical children are getting everything wrong..
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Old 02-12-20, 11:51 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Did I though?

I said that my life doesnt exist to serve my kids or wife. And I also said that I limit my riding because of family responsibilities. That isnt contradictory.

I can be an incredibly involved parent and spouse while not existing to serve them. I see many parents who do not have hobbies of their own and spend their waking time outside of work only on family responsibilities. That, to me, would be serving everyone else in the family. Since I take time for my interests, that, to me, is not serving everyone else in the family. They are 'sacrificing' their interests a little so that I can pursue what I enjoy. Same for my wife and same for my kids. We all recognize that everyone else wants to have a life and enjoy passions and interests, so we all make sure to balance these.
A family calendar with scheduled/planned activities helps ensure everyone has time to do what they want.

All of us could easily fill up every single day's free hours with activities we would like to do. We recognize that is both selfish and unhealthy as a family though.

I am confused about how this is confusing to you.
Yeah, you do seem confused, even with all of that typed out.
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Old 02-12-20, 11:54 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by autonomy View Post
- The kiddo rides with us on a trailer, which means shorter, slower rides on bike trails. I would like to venture out to other trails in the area this summer.
Ride with kids in trailers doesn't mean that you have to stick to bike paths nor that the ride has to be slow or short. Yes, you might have to take more frequent breaks but a bicycle pulling a trailer can move along at a pretty good clip. Nor are trailers relegated to only bike paths. I have pulled trailers up and over mountain passes on relatively high speed roads. People aways gave trailers a wider berth than they gave to just me on a bicycle.
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Old 02-12-20, 11:57 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
As a parent of two grown children, I cannot tell you how funny I find it when someone without kids starts lecturing me on how they're going to do it, or how it is people with actual non-hypothetical children are getting everything wrong..
it never surprises me how prickly cyclists can be. Also you don't need to have kids to know how much work they are emotionally and financially. One hour with my niece and I am tapping out.

Granted you raised two children but who says they aren't terrible people from their father never being around or just being prickly.

hopefully you taught your children to think before they speak and I learned that from my father
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Old 02-12-20, 12:19 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Jrasero View Post
it never surprises me how prickly cyclists can be. Also you don't need to have kids to know how much work they are emotionally and financially. One hour with my niece and I am tapping out.

Granted you raised two children but who says they aren't terrible people from their father never being around or just being prickly.

hopefully you taught your children to think before they speak and I learned that from my father

I'm sure your pretend children are perfect in every way. Hahahahaha!
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Old 02-12-20, 12:38 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I'm sure your pretend children are perfect in every way. Hahahahaha!
now that's the humor I am looking for boomer
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Old 02-12-20, 12:51 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Ride with kids in trailers [b]don't mean that you have to stick to bike paths nor that the ride has to be slow or short[b]. Yes, you might have to take more frequent breaks but a bicycle pulling a trailer can move along at a pretty good clip. Nor are trailers relegated to only bike paths. I have pulled trailers up and over mountain passes on relatively high speed roads. People aways gave trailers a wider berth than they gave to just me on a bicycle.
For me it does, especially round here. I am taking a risk myself when I'm going out on a road, I do not want to expose a wiggly toddler who is now on a trail-a-bike to the same risk. Certainly a little easier/safer to do on less-trafficked roads out in the country, but only if my wife is behind chaperoning and calling out unsafe behavior. It's an extra 60 pounds for me to haul (and I'm on my heavier touring/adventure bike as well), so I can't go as fast and I can't go as far, plus she gets tired of it eventually and starts doing unsafe stuff, like trying to ride with no hands or turning on her seat. So it requires good estimation on how long she can go for. It will get easier as she gets older (but not in terms of weight)
In retrospect a Weehoo would've been a better fit for this kid because I could strap her in and not worry about her falling off or getting her feet into her wheel, but I was reluctant to store it and got a really good deal on a Burley Piccolo trail-a-bike.
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Old 02-12-20, 12:56 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Rajflyboy View Post
How do you find time to ride and balance life? Kids/family/work/activities?
When they were younger Id drag the kids along with me, first on a bike seat or tandem attachment, then their own bikes. Plus I always did (and still do) a lot of riding at night after dinner/cleanup/homework is done and everyone else in the house is settling down for the night. For many years we lived in Chicago near the lakefront bike path and it was no problem for me to leave the house at 9pm and scoot down there to ride an hour or two and put in some decent mileage. Night riding is a bit more of a challenge now that Im in the burbs, streets are not as well lit, much fewer miles of dedicated path and traffic thats in my opinion more hazardous. In the city traffic was congested and slower, and was halted much more frequently by traffic control devices.
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Old 02-12-20, 01:12 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by autonomy View Post
Yeah, you do seem confused, even with all of that typed out.
aw, bless your heart for not being able to see how both can exist.
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Old 02-12-20, 02:57 PM
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cyccommute 
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Originally Posted by autonomy View Post
For me it does, especially round here. I am taking a risk myself when I'm going out on a road, I do not want to expose a wiggly toddler who is now on a trail-a-bike to the same risk. Certainly a little easier/safer to do on less-trafficked roads out in the country, but only if my wife is behind chaperoning and calling out unsafe behavior. It's an extra 60 pounds for me to haul (and I'm on my heavier touring/adventure bike as well), so I can't go as fast and I can't go as far, plus she gets tired of it eventually and starts doing unsafe stuff, like trying to ride with no hands or turning on her seat. So it requires good estimation on how long she can go for. It will get easier as she gets older (but not in terms of weight)
In retrospect a Weehoo would've been a better fit for this kid because I could strap her in and not worry about her falling off or getting her feet into her wheel, but I was reluctant to store it and got a really good deal on a Burley Piccolo trail-a-bike.
The problem is with the choice of a trail-a-bike. Thankfully, they didn't exist when my kids were little so we put them on a tandem. A tandem is much more stable. There's no leaning bike behind your bike and the kid is right there pedaling along. As I said above, mine were 4 when they started. I think my oldest's first ride was an easy ride with my local club but that was still around 25 miles. As they got older, the distance was just the distance we went.

One thing you could do to make the ride safer on the trail-a-bike is to tie the kid's feet to the bike. If they can't fall off, you don't have to worry about the wiggling. My daughter and I were (and still are) speed demons. We did 45mph between Canyon and Norris Geyser Basin once and she laid back on the saddle to watch the sky go by. I wouldn't suggest any kid does that but with her feet firmly attached to the bike, there was no way she was going to fall off.
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