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How do *you* find time to ride?

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How do *you* find time to ride?

Old 08-16-23, 09:45 AM
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How do *you* find time to ride?

I am a husband and father of four (16, 14, 9, and 4 yrs old). I got my first road bike a little over a week ago, and I have ridden every day since I got it.

I want to keep up the habit of riding every day, but man, some days are just so busy. At my current fitness level, it takes me between 40-60 minutes to ride 10 miles. Also, the time it takes to get prepared and then to get showered/cleaned up afterward adds up (not to mention time for regular maintenance). So, I'm struggling to figure out how to work riding into my routine so that I can guarantee at least one short ride per day. Where there is a will, there is a way -- I'm sure!

I'm curious what others with family responsibilities do to manage their riding time? Or, am I being too aggressive in trying to bike every day, and maybe I should just dedicate 3-4 days per week to riding?

Oooh, and it looks like I can post pictures now! Here is a picture of my bike that I took while out on a ride a few days ago.


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Old 08-16-23, 09:48 AM
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I’m retired. No kids, no work. I need an excuse, like rain this morning, to not ride. I do vary my activities, so will do a swim workout 2-3 days, a kayak one day and rode on others,
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Old 08-16-23, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve B.
I’m retired. No kids, no work. I need an excuse, like rain this morning, to not ride. I do vary my activities, so will do a swim workout 2-3 days, a kayak one day and rode on others,
This is actually a great possible solution. My oldest runs track and cross-country, and he runs every night. I could switch things up by going on a run with him a few nights per week. I can hit two birds with one stone -- getting in some heart-healthy exercise and spending quality time sweating with my son.
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Old 08-16-23, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by cheapshades
I am a husband and father of four (16, 14, 9, and 4 yrs old). I got my first road bike a little over a week ago, and I have ridden every day since I got it.

I want to keep up the habit of riding every day, but man, some days are just so busy. At my current fitness level, it takes me between 40-60 minutes to ride 10 miles. Also, the time it takes to get prepared and then to get showered/cleaned up afterward adds up (not to mention time for regular maintenance). So, I'm struggling to figure out how to work riding into my routine so that I can guarantee at least one short ride per day. Where there is a will, there is a way -- I'm sure!

I'm curious what others with family responsibilities do to manage their riding time? Or, am I being too aggressive in trying to bike every day, and maybe I should just dedicate 3-4 days per week to riding?
Also a Dad here with work and my kids' after school activities. I usually schedule my rides in the mornings during the weekend or before school pick-up on the weekdays. My kids also play soccer matches by a MTB trail, so before games I get some off-road riding. Also cycling everyday seems quite a lot. Some days I throw in strength training and I make sure to get at least 1 rest day per week, and my rest day I might just do some casual swimming. It's good to mix things up so you don't get burn out. I'm guessing Indiana is fairly flat, so my suggestion is to to start interval training to properly utilize your time and maximize your effort. Lastly try to get good rest and start paying attention to your nutrition. Make sure your body has time to recovery between rides and that you're properly fueled!
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Old 08-16-23, 10:01 AM
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No kids yet, although that's about to change in a few weeks. After that I suspect the volume will not be quite the same. I am already doing a decent amount indoors (Saris H3/Zwift), so that should help me scrape some bits and pieces of fitness during the early months/years.

But up until now - I'm mostly a train in the morning before week kind of guy. Typically 12 or so hours average, but that includes a lazy period in late summer through fall, and some weeks pushing up towards 20 or the high teens in late winter. That takes some midweek PTO or time off work to happen.
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Old 08-16-23, 10:09 AM
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I often use an indoor smart trainer (with Zwift and similar apps) which reduces the prep time significantly. I also take 2 rest days per week - recovery is when the magic happens!

So I “ride” 5 days per week, but maybe only 1 or 2 days outdoors, depending on weather and family commitments.
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Old 08-16-23, 10:36 AM
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I only had one kid, but had a demanding academic/clinical career with a lot of travel and a spouse with her own major job demands. I switched back to running, with very occasional races, and rode my bike to work when I could. A smart trainer would have been nice. Now I'm old and still working, but no one cares what I do anymore.
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Old 08-16-23, 10:37 AM
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Four kids and a spouse. Even if you are a little on the slow side I can only say you make me pale to attempt to compare my piddly amount of rides per week. And I'm retired. I shoot for 3 rides per week. I have periods when I'm lucky to get 2. In the heat here lately I've just done short 22 mile rides. Today was very cool though. Might be time to add back a 40 mile ride if the temps will stay in the low 90's or less.

It's not so much an issue for me to find time to ride. Mostly it's just the issue of making myself go ride. Though I've never regretted going once I begin to pedal. It does seem to take a lot of prep work though. Probably takes me a half hour just to get ready.

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Old 08-16-23, 10:39 AM
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Embrace the Invisible Hour. My club - about 20 active, all dads, age range 38-62; avg. age 50(ish)... We've been meeting at 6am for an hour ride for about 13 years. On weekends; usually Saturday, we meet at 8am (ish). The guys with older kids (who aren't on a traveling soccer team grrrr) definitely have it easier.

I love getting in a solid weekday ride and getting home before anyone misses me - hence the "invisible hour."
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Old 08-16-23, 10:41 AM
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When my oldest was born, I was riding 5 days per week, and an active racer. I was putting my riding as a higher priority than being with my family, and it was one of the factors in my divorce (her being with one of my best friends was a bigger factor). Living on my own as a part-time single dad, I had no issues maintaining my ride schedule, and extending ride durations. It was during that time (early-mid 30s) that reached my peak performance. I also got married again. At 35, my second kid was born. Part of me was burned out from 12 years of racing and training, and part of me was not wanting to repeat past mistakes. I could not be the kind of dad I needed to be, and continue to ride like I was. I stepped away from cycling completely, and put my hobby energy focus on something that would keep me home more - music. 15 years later, with my oldest living on her own, and my youngest playing club and HS sports, I decided to find a way to get back on the bike. I found small windows of time (1-2 hours) a few days per week, often on a stationary trainer in my garage. There were some weeks where the demands of sports and family took priority, and I wasn't able to ride at all. It was important for me to continue to put family as the higher priority. During the week, on days where there wasn't sports activities, I established a routine of getting on my bike immediately after work for short (1 hour-ish) rides, before getting involved with family time for the rest of the evening. I was generally able to do this 2x per week. During the weekends, I rode when there were windows of time to do so, usually around 2 hours. Sometimes in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon, or sometimes not at all. A few years later, my little one is now in college. I still tend to ride immediately after work a couple times per week, and longer rides on weekends, but it's important that my schedule remains flexible. If I have to miss a ride, so be it.

I know many folks who do their riding in the early morning hours. I am not a morning person.
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Old 08-16-23, 10:45 AM
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retired...nothing to do and all day to do it...aahhhhhhhhhh life is good
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Old 08-16-23, 10:52 AM
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I'm mostly retired, kids are grown. And I ride ~8 hours a week. I took up cycling about 4 years ago, same as current situation. I can't imagine fitting in as much riding when I was working full time+, and raising kids. Though commuting by bike would have been a possibility.

I like the idea of exercising with the kids. Like the OP said, two birds with one stone. If I were younger and still raising kids and working full time, I suppose I would just fit in short rides, early in the day before work. Then maybe get in a bit longer ride on the weekend.
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Old 08-16-23, 11:22 AM
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I don't find it, I make it.
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Old 08-16-23, 12:49 PM
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If something or someone is important to you, you will somehow find time.

Cut the excuses.
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Old 08-16-23, 01:28 PM
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Father of a 7 month old and a 5 year old. My job typically only allows me to be home 4 days a week. I still average about 200 miles per week.

During school months I wake up at 3 am and ride til 630, during the summer I have usually have to be back by 830. Wake up time depends on how long zi want to ride. It sucks but you get used to it. No cars is a big gain.
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Old 08-16-23, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by TMonk
No kids yet, although that's about to change in a few weeks. After that I suspect the volume will not be quite the same. I am already doing a decent amount indoors (Saris H3/Zwift), so that should help me scrape some bits and pieces of fitness during the early months/years.

But up until now - I'm mostly a train in the morning before week kind of guy. Typically 12 or so hours average, but that includes a lazy period in late summer through fall, and some weeks pushing up towards 20 or the high teens in late winter. That takes some midweek PTO or time off work to happen.
congratulations.
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Old 08-16-23, 01:44 PM
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Old 08-16-23, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by TMonk
No kids yet, although that's about to change in a few weeks. After that I suspect the volume will not be quite the same. I am already doing a decent amount indoors (Saris H3/Zwift), so that should help me scrape some bits and pieces of fitness during the early months/years.

But up until now - I'm mostly a train in the morning before week kind of guy. Typically 12 or so hours average, but that includes a lazy period in late summer through fall, and some weeks pushing up towards 20 or the high teens in late winter. That takes some midweek PTO or time off work to happen.
Congrats!!! I love being a dad...and now a grandad. I hope fatherhood brings you as much joy as it has for me.
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Old 08-16-23, 01:56 PM
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73 years old and retired now, but back when my kids were young I used my bike to get to work, 60 km round trip, so I was riding at least 300 km per week. I was lucky that even though my office was in downtown Montreal I could get there riding along the historic Lachine canal. Combined with easy weekend rides I was doing at least 10000 km per year. If you are able to commute to work, you can rack up plenty of mileage
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Old 08-16-23, 02:01 PM
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Two kids and a wife that's clinically addicted to my espresso. I'm an early riser (5:00-5:30ish) and get in 17-18 miles before they wake up. On days that my wife has off (she's on a 4 day/week schedule), I'll take longer rides.

I know that a lot of people hate to get up early, but it's cooler in the summer and there's *so* much less traffic to contend with.
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Old 08-16-23, 03:37 PM
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You know your schedule best. Most cyclists with heavy family demands are happy to get in 2-3 rides/week.
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Old 08-16-23, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi
Two kids and a wife that's clinically addicted to my espresso. I'm an early riser (5:00-5:30ish) and get in 17-18 miles before they wake up. On days that my wife has off (she's on a 4 day/week schedule), I'll take longer rides.

I know that a lot of people hate to get up early, but it's cooler in the summer and there's *so* much less traffic to contend with.

If only you would wake up that early on “vacation”.
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Old 08-16-23, 04:29 PM
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Ride 3x/wk and ride hard.

Myself, only one kid and did little riding beyond taking the child to the park in a trailer, then on an attachment to my bike, and their own bike.
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Old 08-16-23, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by bampilot06
If only you would wake up that early on “vacation”.
No way, man. I sleep in until a slovenly 6am when on vacation.
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Old 08-16-23, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi
I know that a lot of people hate to get up early, but it's cooler in the summer and there's *so* much less traffic to contend with.
I don't mind getting up early to ride in the summer, but here in So Cal , there is usually heavier roadie traffic in the early to mid-morning.
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