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Is it good for your spouse to start cycling?

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Is it good for your spouse to start cycling?

Old 01-18-06, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by SpongeDad
Only downside is that she's the one person I don't get to ride with very often - someone has to watch the kids. We actually had to hire a babysitter last summer so that we could go for a 30 mile ride.
+1

I've only ridden with my wife a couple times. It was awesome to get to share what i do every day with her. I wouldn't want to ride with her every day, (she probably feels the same) but would be nice if we could do it more often. The kids just need to be watched so that just leaves one of us.

Even if we had more time to ride together, my wife would be sharp enough to know that i need my own rides. She is cool like that.
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Old 01-18-06, 12:15 PM
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My wife thinks I ride for exercise and to raise money for cancer research. (cancer is genetic in her family) If she found out I was doing it for fun, it would be like golf. When I come home from a round of golf, she has a list of things for me to do. I also have to hear how she has been working her fingers to the bone while I have been hanging out with my buddies.
When I come home from a 4 hr. ride she gives me a cold drink and tells the children to let Dad rest.
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Old 01-18-06, 12:21 PM
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I know a late-forties couple who ride tandem. They can go FAST when they want to. It is something they do tigether regularly. Sounds like a great thing to do together.

-it provides excercise
-you get to be together
-bring the kids?
-it's fun

Just make sure she wants to do it before pushing her into it. A forced 'hobby' is a very bad one.
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Old 01-18-06, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by oboeguy
The only minuses for me have been:

- have to ride slower when together (not always a bad thing to slow down, mind you)
- more maintenance for the extra bike (plus her bike is less expensive, stuff goes out of adjustment more)

The pros are too numerous to list.

Very good observation.
My wife used to ride often but then faded over the years. Recently, she was coordinating one of my cycling trips next fall and she once again became interested.

She's been training and rebuilding her base. That often means she's on her stationary trainer alongside me.

Tandem is out of the question for us as my cadence differs drastically from hers. She prefers her own bike. Fortunately, I have duplicates of most of my equipment including lights, stationary trainers, etc.

Something that I've found helps me cope with her slower speeds is that I do much of my training midweek. Often times in the winter months, that is late night on a stationary trainer. By the time the weekend rolls around, I've already accomplished much of my training and I can ride alongside her at a slower pace without the compelling feeling of having to go very fast. (I consider it good a early season base miles )

Hopefully by this summer, she will have built her fitness up to sustain long rides at a comfortable pace.
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Old 01-18-06, 12:51 PM
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My wife loves to cycle. Our first date (17 years ago!) was a 25 mile ride together.

Pros:
1. She has no problem watching 2 hours of cycling/triathlons on TV.
2. Keeps her body (and mine) in good physical condition
3. When I ask her to be a "third hand" for me while installing brake cables, she knows exactly what to do.
4. Appreciates good bike equipment and has no problem if I tell her I need to spend $$$ for a new derailleur, bike computer, wheels, etc.
5. We have two trainers so we often train side by side (helps relieve the boredom)
6. It sets a good example for our 5 year old daughter when she sees Mommy exercising.

Cons:
1. When she starts to ride a lot of miles (125+ miles/week), her crotch gets a little swollen and irritated, which interferes with sex. She's tried a variety of shorts, seats and positioning. While some things have helped, nothing's made the problem go away entirely.
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Old 01-18-06, 12:53 PM
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For me, getting my wife into riding has been only good. She's willing and able to do long rides. She understands about buying "toys" and she doesn't ride much slower than me these days, so I don't really have to slow down and wait.

In fact, she motivates me to ride more, because she always wants to ride when the weather is nice.
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Old 01-18-06, 12:59 PM
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My wife has always been a casual rider, weekend jaunts in the park, an occasional ride to work, etc. This past Christmas I bought her a nice CF road bike and we took our first ride together a couple of weeks ago. I ran into some of the pros & cons:

Pros:

Doing an activity together is nice and good for your relationship.

She also got to see why I love to bike where I do (beautiful country roads with some wildlife) so she’ll be more understanding when I want to ride.

Cons:

As a stronger rider (for now), I had to adjust my riding style. First, the ride wasn’t the normal 55 miles, but 33. I found myself holding back more so I wouldn’t get too far ahead. That being said, I eventually just geared differently so I got a pretty good workout.

You have to be careful not to push too hard – I’ve made that mistake before in other sports (windsurfing, for example). Many spouses take teaching from others well, but not necessarily from their significant others. So while I made a few comments here & there, I left her discover stuff on her own.

Getting both parties on the same schedule can be difficult. I like to get up and get going for a ride, she’s more into taking it easy for awhile then going out. It’s not too bad right now, but when the heat of summer is upon us, that might be a problem.

Net Result:
I’d gladly ride with her as much as she wants, the more she rides the stronger she’ll be. I’m currently not into group rides or races, I’m out there for the love of riding. The only problem is – if she keeps it up she’ll be a stronger climber than me, she was a billy goat when we mountain biked together.
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Old 01-18-06, 01:36 PM
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I really cleaned and tuned my wife's bike this winter. Wife was extremely happy.

I'll take working on a bike over cleaning a bathroom any day.
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Old 01-18-06, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by SpongeDad
I really cleaned and tuned my wife's bike this winter. Wife was extremely happy.
Funny thing - back 30 years ago when I was in college, I started dating this girl. I took her bike (a Schwinn Varsity) apart (I had just purchased a great book called 'Anybody's Bike Book), cleaned it up and put it back together. She loved me for it.

30 years later I still have the book and the girl.
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Old 01-18-06, 02:52 PM
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I've been riding a lot for a good while, while the wife went with me occasionally. She NEVER went alone, and NEVER initiated a ride, just came along once in a while. She dawdled along on a 1990 Trek 1500, and claimed it was "good enough" for her occasional rides.

This year, I dragged her down to the LBS (and I mean dragged - she didn't want to go), and got her to test some new bikes out. Unbeknownst to her, the fix was in - I had called a few days earlier and spoke with the owner explaining the situation and setting her up. He promised to have at least 3 different bikes available and to personally take care of fitting her to each one before she rode them. True to his word he had several bikes waiting for us (even brought one in from another store), and in aggregate spent about 3 hours fitting and adjusting the various bikes to her while answering all her questions. She ended up falling hard in love with a leftover 2005 Trek Pilot WSD 5.1 (nicely discounted, too!), so we took it home.

Ever since then, she's been a demon on that bike. Started right in pestering me about routes, maps, local loops - even had me pull a spare wheel from the garage and let her practice changing tubes/tires. She put 70+ solo miles on it before the first week was out.

I can outrun her on the flats, but she scampers away from me on the climbs - and we have a lot of hills around here. She LOVES the bike, and I've been getting "thanked" just about every night since Xmas.

Life is good.
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Old 01-18-06, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by CardiacKid
My wife thinks I ride for exercise and to raise money for cancer research. (cancer is genetic in her family) If she found out I was doing it for fun, it would be like golf. When I come home from a round of golf, she has a list of things for me to do. I also have to hear how she has been working her fingers to the bone while I have been hanging out with my buddies.
When I come home from a 4 hr. ride she gives me a cold drink and tells the children to let Dad rest.

Brilliant!
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Old 01-18-06, 04:02 PM
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Get her riding man! My wife used to ride faithfully but has slowed down after donating an organ to her son. The slowdown is understandable!

When she was riding at ther best I always rode with her on organized and training rides. She was slower than I but I always held back a bit. My feeling is, who better to ride with than the one you love? I even bought a tandem so that she could be that much closer!

I'd bust my butt on my solo rides but if she was on the road, I'd rather be with her!

She's got the bug again, so off we go!
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Old 01-18-06, 04:03 PM
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I tried it before with bad results as I did it all wrong. I think this time around I have it figured out. Make sure that she is on a comfortable bike and not a heavy fat tired MTB. Also you have to make sure that youare going at a slow enough pace and not to let her feel like she is very slow. I had my wife on a heavy MTB and was always trying to get her going faster and got aggrivated because I was going so slow and wasn't getting a workout. That was when I was much younger.

This time I plan to have my wife on a nice hybrid/comfort bike with 700c wheels. She likes the upright feel of a MTB so it will have MTB bars with twist shifters that she likes. I have also learned how to slow down and ride with her. (Don't do a training ride with her untill she wants to go that hard) These need to be fun casual rides, but can also end up being good recovery rides. Also what I plan to do is hook up our daughters trail a bike and our son to be's trailer to my bike. With me pulling all of that weight it won't be hard for me to be going at a slower pace. It will also give me a really good workout at the same time.

The plusses can be if you have every heard her saying that you spend so much time on those bike rides and that she wants more quality time, this way you are getting in a ride and it doesn't count as time away and should count as time with her. The downfall would be if she really gets into it, trains hard and then can kick your but. Actaully that may not be so bad, it could even be a turn on.
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Old 01-18-06, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by dragonflybikes
I tried it before with bad results as I did it all wrong. I think this time around I have it figured out. Make sure that she is on a comfortable bike and not a heavy fat tired MTB.
Absoluetly - that's why I took my wife straight to a GOOD LBS and had her correctly fitted to a quality bike.

Best money I ever spent!!
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Old 01-19-06, 03:13 AM
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I came at this from the other side, my fiance got ME into cycling. At first I was on a clunker of a bike and unfit and could barely keep up with her. Now I'm on my second road bike and the reality is this 95kg male can ride further and faster than his 50kg female fiance. And just to complicate matters she loves going downhills and doesn't have as much power in her legs on the way up, I hate descending.

All that said, we figure it out, and I love the fact that I don't have to leave her at home to do her own thing so I can spend several hours a weekend riding. We have done some club rides (funnily enough with the predominately male group she was the one they all recognised when we went back the second time) and if I decide to fly interstate for a community ride she doesn't think I'm crazy, she comes with me.

All relationships are different, so not one person in here can tell you how it will work for you, but it is interesting to see other people's experience. We live together, work together, go to the gym together and ride together...a thought that may make other people shake their heads. But we maintain our individuality and are genuinely best friends.

The one thing I must thank her for...since she got me into cycling I have dropped 10 unwanted kilos and my life is a lot better for it.
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Old 01-19-06, 03:48 AM
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I know quite a few spouses who ride together... nice company!
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Old 01-19-06, 04:04 AM
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Originally Posted by my58vw
I know quite a few spouses who ride together... nice company!

Most couples I know ride together! The ones that don't,...can't say I blame the guy!
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Old 01-19-06, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by bobby c
Cons:
Many spouses take teaching from others well, but not necessarily from their significant others.
man this is my wife to a T... she doesn't take ANY advice from me... but I can ask a friend of ours to mention it to her and she will actaully consider what he says... half the time we're all 3 together and I'll just look at him, say "hey, tell my wife this..." so she gets the point.... she gets irritated because I am fairly good at a lot of things so any time I try to help her she shuts down and thinks I'm nagging... and the only problem with that is that she then complains about things that I know the answer to, but won't change the things to fix her complaints just because I tell her how to fix it... for example she complains of sore knees some times after riding... well, I'd bet my left nut that the cause is that she pedals about 50rpm and mashes up hills at 10mph. Typically slow pedaling is much harder on the knees so I recommend that she try and spin in the 70's (still pretty low, but progress) just so she can see if it will help... NO... of course it's something else and I have no idea what I'm talking about!

I have pretty much given up on my wife ever getting serious into riding... not that I am... but I'm much faster than she is... so I'd at least liek to compromise and instead of her riding 12mph and me riding 19mph... maybe we can meet at 14 or 15mph on shorter rides... don't think she'll ever get there if she wont' take some advice on how to get faster w/o too much effort... some would say let her figure it out on her own... but I've been married to her for over 8 years... I know for a fact she doesn't figure stuff out on her own. She finds a comfort spot and stays there and never ever tries to improve and it drives me nuts. To top it off, she gets mad when I won't ride with her... if it's a training day for me or I want to do a longer weekend ride, and she wants to ride too, she expects me to tool around with her at 12mph. Well, that, I won't do. I ride with her for the first 7 or 8 miles then I do about 30 miles more while she does 15 miles more and that's that.

Waht sucks is we only do one organized ride a year, the Tour de cure in October... and she wants to do the 50 and I want to do the 100, but she doesn't want to do it by herself but can't find anyone who wants to ride 50 miles at 12 or 13mph. If I could only get her to a point of beign able to ride 14 or 15mph over a 50 mile distance it would increase the subset of riders willing to ride wtih her greatly. Last tour de cure she had 3 flats and mechanical problems but had no riding partner to help her fix them... had to walk for a while and wait for the mechanic, who was a tard, and then abandon. I was doin gthe 100 mile route and had a great time. If I were with her she would have finished because I would have been abl eto fix her bike. It's irritating because I know this is true, but I also know I can't ride 50 miles at 12 mph. I just keep hoping she'll get the hint that riding is more fun in groups and groups don't go that slow. Just put a tad bit more effort into it for a while and then it'll be easy again.

Geez.

Rock
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Old 01-19-06, 08:56 AM
  #44  
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I think that it's been a win-win situation since I joined my husband's hobby. We have a lot of ways to enjoy rides together even though he's much stronger than I (he takes a longer ride and we start together or end together, or he lets me draft the whole way so he's working harder, or we go on group rides where I can try to hang with the back of the group). And I enjoy learning from him about racing. And we can carpool to races and cheer each other on. I understand better where he's coming from when he talks about his cycling experiences, and he respects my strength when it's in a context that he knows.

And I must say, since I started riding I've developed quite a tight little bod.
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Old 01-19-06, 11:03 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by DamnRock
man this is my wife to a T... she doesn't take ANY advice from me... but I can ask a friend of ours to mention it to her and she will actaully consider what he says... half the time we're all 3 together and I'll just look at him, say "hey, tell my wife this..." so she gets the point.... she gets irritated because I am fairly good at a lot of things so any time I try to help her she shuts down and thinks I'm nagging... and the only problem with that is that she then complains about things that I know the answer to, but won't change the things to fix her complaints just because I tell her how to fix it... for example she complains of sore knees some times after riding... well, I'd bet my left nut that the cause is that she pedals about 50rpm and mashes up hills at 10mph. Typically slow pedaling is much harder on the knees so I recommend that she try and spin in the 70's (still pretty low, but progress) just so she can see if it will help... NO... of course it's something else and I have no idea what I'm talking about!

I have pretty much given up on my wife ever getting serious into riding... not that I am... but I'm much faster than she is... so I'd at least liek to compromise and instead of her riding 12mph and me riding 19mph... maybe we can meet at 14 or 15mph on shorter rides... don't think she'll ever get there if she wont' take some advice on how to get faster w/o too much effort... some would say let her figure it out on her own... but I've been married to her for over 8 years... I know for a fact she doesn't figure stuff out on her own. She finds a comfort spot and stays there and never ever tries to improve and it drives me nuts. To top it off, she gets mad when I won't ride with her... if it's a training day for me or I want to do a longer weekend ride, and she wants to ride too, she expects me to tool around with her at 12mph. Well, that, I won't do. I ride with her for the first 7 or 8 miles then I do about 30 miles more while she does 15 miles more and that's that.

Waht sucks is we only do one organized ride a year, the Tour de cure in October... and she wants to do the 50 and I want to do the 100, but she doesn't want to do it by herself but can't find anyone who wants to ride 50 miles at 12 or 13mph. If I could only get her to a point of beign able to ride 14 or 15mph over a 50 mile distance it would increase the subset of riders willing to ride wtih her greatly. Last tour de cure she had 3 flats and mechanical problems but had no riding partner to help her fix them... had to walk for a while and wait for the mechanic, who was a tard, and then abandon. I was doin gthe 100 mile route and had a great time. If I were with her she would have finished because I would have been abl eto fix her bike. It's irritating because I know this is true, but I also know I can't ride 50 miles at 12 mph. I just keep hoping she'll get the hint that riding is more fun in groups and groups don't go that slow. Just put a tad bit more effort into it for a while and then it'll be easy again.

Geez.

Rock
DUDE! you need to teach her how to fix a flat! granted.. i'm not the fastest at it.. takes me forever! but that's my own fault... cuz i am so slow at it... if i have a flat on the road and i'm riding with hubby.. i just let him do it so we can get back to riding... but if i have to do it... i can... just takes a while!

and yes... you CAN ride at 12 mph... it will just take you longer.... i'm not fast... i've never claimed to be... i do have endurance though.... hubby rides some organized rides with me (at MY speed, obviously)... and some he does on his own.... heck... sometimes on the metrics.. he'll finish his ride then turn around and come back and meet up with me!

i know my hubby is more "serious" about his riding than i am.. and he'll always be faster than i am! i'm a recreational fitness rider.... so what if you pass me... i'm not out to win a race.... but i'm gonna finish that 100 miles.... heck... i even put more miles on the bike than my hubby did last year (granted.. he was off the bike a couple months with a knee injury but that doesn't count! lol!) you (not you... but the generic you) may be faster than i am... you may be pushing more than i am... but i'm gonna finish.... i pace myself... and in the end.. i may even end up riding more miles than "you" (again... the generic you) i used to be shocked at the number of people that had never even done a century! i always thought it was the brass ring of cycling! but to each his own! if someone enjoys riding 25 or 30 miles... AT LEAST THEY ARE RIDING!
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Old 01-19-06, 12:47 PM
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"... AT LEAST THEY ARE RIDING!"

Right on!! At least they're riding!!

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Old 01-19-06, 01:27 PM
  #47  
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My wife enjoys riding but only very casually. She's got a Cannondale hybrid. Nothing fancy, just a good solid ride with a nice upright position. We ride to the park or on the bike trail and I pull the twins in their Chariot. It's a good workout and the kids enjoy it. If I feel like I need to get some training miles, it's best to go out for a hard ride before.
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Old 01-19-06, 01:35 PM
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I know of one couple where the husband got the wife into riding. She eventually got a faired recumbent, and now he has no hope of keeping up with her. He had to get one too.

My dad got my mother into tennis when I was 15, with no idea that she was a three-state tennis champion in high school. He never did when a game from her.
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Old 01-19-06, 01:48 PM
  #49  
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[QUOTE=xerocoma]Setting her up on the trainer??? That sure doesn't sound like the way to get your wife enthused about cycling.. the trainer is more like a trip to the dungeon! If you are interested in her joining you in cycling she needs to experience the good side of cycling first... she'll understand the need for the trainer later...
QUOTE]

+1!
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Old 01-19-06, 01:52 PM
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TJHOO, its nice to see a fellow loudouner here on bike forums! I'm from Hamilton, and I too am trying to get my fiance into cycling. Drop me a PM sometime, maybe we could all go riding together, they both might appreciate having another female along.
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