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Advise giving advice. (Coaching without getting a divorce)

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Advise giving advice. (Coaching without getting a divorce)

Old 05-23-24, 05:19 AM
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My wife is not averse to advice. But, when she is stuck in a bad habit and isn't listening to me I call a friend. He was a bike mechanic, LBS owner, industry rep (Bianchi, Louis
Garneau, etc) and has a radio show called Bicycle Talk on WHUS 91.7 FM. It goes like this: "Hey Ron, Vicki's not listening to me." "OK I'll talk to her." It seems to work.

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Old 05-23-24, 05:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Smaug1
Especially about shifting.

She also wonít listen about seat height. (To get torque)

She grew up not riding bikes as much as I did, she preferred a scooter. (remember those ones with the pneumatic knobby tires?)

Iím very patient and friendly about it, then she says the higher gear is easier for her, then says Iím controlling.

If it comes from someone else that she likes or respects, she will start doing it immediately. Itís very frustrating.

Her daughter (18) is the same way; has to learn everything the hard way.

I wound up going through a couple eBikes (my initiative) and found one that seems to work.

I posted a similar question and got some similar responses blaming me, which was also frustrating.
I understand completely. Even a few here may think we are trying to force our beliefs. But honestly my goal is if she rides better, she will struggle less, she will enjoy it better and I will have a riding partner for longer. She also is concerned about riding with other women, because she afraid she canít keep up.
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Old 05-23-24, 06:34 AM
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People need to listen to people who have expertise. I was a college QB and I say to my friend Ron (the bike guy) "If we talk football and you don't listen to me, you are an idiot. If we talk cycling and I don't listen to you, I'm the idiot." I always listen to him.
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Old 05-23-24, 06:37 AM
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Counterpoint: coach and spouse are two different roles, and often arenít compatible with one another (and donít need to be).
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Old 05-23-24, 09:41 AM
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OP, do you have a friend you can coach to coach your wife on shifting?
I've done that before with great success. I try to arrange to not be around when that advice is given, so she wouldn't have to lose face in front of me to accept the advice.
Then, later when we're home alone, she'll say: "Honey, I've been thinking about [issue at hand] and I'm ready to try your advice."
Then, it feels to her as if it was HER idea.

Have you ever seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding? There's a scene in which the bride says to her mom: "It would be great if we could do xxx, but Dad won't do it, because it wasn't his idea. He's the head of the family. (sad mood)" The mom replies: "He may be the head, but I'm the neck, and the neck TURNS the head. We just have to let him think it is his idea.":

My wife was a cheerleader in high school. Socialite; follower-type. If it comes from the right person in a social situation, she'll follow along.
I felt a little bad at first, doing this sneaky stuff, but it's strictly small-time, compared to what women do. They won't listen to logic, so we either have to watch them suffer (and suffer alongside) or trick them into doing the logical thing.
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Old 05-23-24, 12:13 PM
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I rode with my wife for many years. If there is one thing I can say is an absolute, at least for me, is to let her pick out the bike,sometimes within reason, and let her have as good and preferably lighter one. I learned that decades ago after I bought a Cannondale and she was still on a Sears Free Spirit... "of course you are faster, you have a better bike." Off to the LBS we went. And I had the just release 600 SIS put on hers.

One key was to find the best route even if it meant loading the bikes and driving a short distance. Some of it may not be, not wanting to listen, but not wanting to ride up the hill. Obviously it is not working, and doesn't appear to be changing anytime soon. The funny thing is finding common ground is sometimes enough.

Does your wife shift at all during the rides or basically stays in the same gear? My wife was able to understand downtube shifters, but when we first started riding on dirt she had a tough time with the opposite thumb/index finger function. I ended up with a Rapid-Rise RD so the the thumb was always tougher and the index was always easier. Did the same with STI's and the small/large lever.

The other thing I did seemed counter like a productive swap. I swapped out 10 speed for 8 speed wide range cassette with STI's that had gear indicator windows. Trying to get someone to look at the cassette to see what gear is an instant fail.

The ebike is probably the perfect solution, but having "both" of your try one on vacation might be the only way to do it.

John
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Old 05-23-24, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Smaug1
I felt a little bad at first, doing this sneaky stuff, but it's strictly small-time, compared to what women do. They won't listen to logic, so we either have to watch them suffer (and suffer alongside) or trick them into doing the logical thing.
Yeah .... that is a super-positive attitude. I cannot understand why women won't listen to you.

Almost half-joking.

I would look at t his as a grand opportunity to improve spousal relations. What attitudes do I have which I unconsciously express when offering advice which offend my wife? Which of her foibles might I be overlooking? How can i change my approach to better communicate with her, which will help both with her cycling or hill-climbing or whatever, and also with our marriage, which it doesn't look like I am going to be able to escape---so I might as well make it work better.

I know people ---men And women---are at least partly irrational most of the time, stirred by deep and shallow emotions, and often use logic mostly as a shield to defend illogical, emotion-driven thoughts and actions,. But since I am trying to improve as a person and as a husband .... I need to corral my own illogic and find a way past hers.

Best starting place is to let go of the outcome --- if I don't care if I succeed or fail, that takes a lot of pressure off of both of us. No ego to support, no sense of failure, no blame on her or myself if this approach or that one doesn't work .... try something, try something else, let it go a little while, try something else. Hopefully both of us are working at improving ourselves, so the longer a problem lasts, the better a chance for us to solve it.

In this case, maybe sit down sometime when the bikes are nowhere around, and ask her if she wants to be able to ride up hills better. Whatever she says, it is a new starting point, and if she says "No," but means "yes," she will probably end up thinking about it and it might help her get through some stuff.

If that doesn't work ... ehh, divorce her. Or, try something else later.
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Old 05-23-24, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO
I rode with my wife for many years. If there is one thing I can say is an absolute, at least for me, is to let her pick out the bike,sometimes within reason, and let her have as good and preferably lighter one. I learned that decades ago after I bought a Cannondale and she was still on a Sears Free Spirit... "of course you are faster, you have a better bike." Off to the LBS we went. And I had the just release 600 SIS put on hers.

One key was to find the best route even if it meant loading the bikes and driving a short distance. Some of it may not be, not wanting to listen, but not wanting to ride up the hill. Obviously it is not working, and doesn't appear to be changing anytime soon. The funny thing is finding common ground is sometimes enough.

Does your wife shift at all during the rides or basically stays in the same gear? My wife was able to understand downtube shifters, but when we first started riding on dirt she had a tough time with the opposite thumb/index finger function. I ended up with a Rapid-Rise RD so the the thumb was always tougher and the index was always easier. Did the same with STI's and the small/large lever.

The other thing I did seemed counter like a productive swap. I swapped out 10 speed for 8 speed wide range cassette with STI's that had gear indicator windows. Trying to get someone to look at the cassette to see what gear is an instant fail.

The ebike is probably the perfect solution, but having "both" of your try one on vacation might be the only way to do it.

John
she has a pretty fair bike, I upgraded her from a Trek Dual sport to a FX sport carbon fiber with a 1x11 she absolutely loves the FX super light and i encouraged it since I thought the 1x would encourage her to shift more. She will shift but generally stays in the middle 3ish gears.
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Old 05-23-24, 10:03 PM
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I was very, very fortunate. Pretty soon after I got my wife her first road bike (which she claimed she didn't want, but turned out to like a lot), she joined a semi-organized weekly ride. It was led by a person who actually planned the ride schedule for the season, and included instructions and tips with each weekly email. Like how to ride in a group, how to ride on the highway, how to deal with turn lanes, and, advice on actually using the gears your bike comes with. My wife is not a strong rider, but she rides regularly and when I ride with her, she rides "properly" and if there is any advice I give her, she accepts it - she may or may not actually follow my advice, but she doesn't resent it.
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Old 05-24-24, 08:10 AM
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Let her pick her own bike? Are you crazy? Next they'll want to wear pants and vote, mark my words...
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Old 05-24-24, 08:25 AM
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I would think a climb that forced a rider to stop / dismount / and then walk the remainder of the climb (while pushing the bike) would be sufficient to motivate the rider to shift to lower gears

but apparently not

?
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Old 05-24-24, 09:56 PM
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The bike, or her?
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