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Is it good for your spouse to start cycling?

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Is it good for your spouse to start cycling?

Old 01-18-06, 07:28 AM
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Is it good for your spouse to start cycling?

For those of you active cyclists, if your spouse shows interest, what pluses and minuses have you experienced.

We have 4 kids age 6 and under. Our time away from kids is limited. Wife possibly showing some interest. Setting her up on trainer now to see how much she likes that. Then out to road this spring possibly.
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Old 01-18-06, 07:36 AM
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As you noted there are pluses and minuses. My main issue now is that my wife wants to ride when the weather is nice...and she wont ride alone...and she has no other friends that ride. That means I have to ride with her if she is going to ride...that is great as a doing stuff together and since we take our son (trailer bike) it is a great family activity. The problem with that is that it isn't going to be a longer ride...the most we have done as a family is 20 miles on a rail trail or 15 locally. One time when my son was in day care we did do 28 miles but that is probably as long as she will ever do. Another plus would be that she supports my cycling...she just bought me a 2006 Roubaix Comp...which was nice.
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Old 01-18-06, 07:44 AM
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Yes, it's fantastic to have a wife that is euqally interested in cycling! No discussions regarding IF you should buy a new bike, but rather WHICH bike to buy. Also no discussions if you should go out riding or do some work at the house... Riding takes priority.

Only wish I could keep up...
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Old 01-18-06, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by TJHOO
For those of you active cyclists, if your spouse shows interest, what pluses and minuses have you experienced.

We have 4 kids age 6 and under. Our time away from kids is limited. Wife possibly showing some interest. Setting her up on trainer now to see how much she likes that. Then out to road this spring possibly.

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...

My wife and I both cycle.. it has brought us closer, improved our health (our perception) and provided access to a great community of cyclists... on the other hand - we tend to cycle at different average speeds (at least so far - she swears her C-dale R900 has a better motor than my Lemond and is determined to prove it!) - so I have to slow down a bit from time to time ...

Overall, the benefits of cycling together far outweigh my need for speed...
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Old 01-18-06, 07:52 AM
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it's harder for me to BS my way into some cool new parts when the wife knows what I'm talking about.
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Old 01-18-06, 07:52 AM
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I think it's great. The only negative is the price of clothing and accessories doubles. Wheneven I pick up something new (shorts, accessory, etc...), she usually get one as well. We both have Mt bikes, road bikes, and enjoy a tandem. We also have young children (3 & 6) so time is the biggest problem, but when the days get longer, one typically rides in the morning, and the other after work. We can also take the kids with all sorts of combinations (tandem with childs kit, tag-a-longs, trailer). It is one of the few things we both can do. I don't like read and cook like she does, and she really doesn't do much wood workworking.

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Old 01-18-06, 07:54 AM
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My wife understands my love of cycling, but does not ride herself. We think its good for both of us to have our own hobbies, but then also share a few. For example, she likes to ice and rock climb. I understand her love of it, but don't like to do it myself. We do have our hobbies together though, like backpacking and hiking. So we do that together, but also like to do our own thing. She does have a bike and does ride on occasion, but its normaly just around the block or so. On the same note, I have my own climbing gear, and have went with her on her climbing vacations, but its not something I would go out and do on my own.
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Old 01-18-06, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Grasschopper
As you noted there are pluses and minuses. My main issue now is that my wife wants to ride when the weather is nice...and she wont ride alone...and she has no other friends that ride. That means I have to ride with her if she is going to ride...that is great as a doing stuff together and since we take our son (trailer bike) it is a great family activity. The problem with that is that it isn't going to be a longer ride...the most we have done as a family is 20 miles on a rail trail or 15 locally. One time when my son was in day care we did do 28 miles but that is probably as long as she will ever do. Another plus would be that she supports my cycling...she just bought me a 2006 Roubaix Comp...which was nice.
I am in pretty much the same situation. Generally what I do is try to plan our family rides to give me either some time before or after our family ride for some solo work. That allows us to all have fun and for me to get some fitness riding as well.

T
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Old 01-18-06, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Thomill
That allows us to all have fun and for me to get some fitness riding as well.

T
Well those 15 miles pulling the 45 lb 4 year old around on the 20 lb trailerbike is pretty good exercise. We have a lot of hills around here so I am pretty wiped out after a family ride.
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Old 01-18-06, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Grasschopper
Well those 15 miles pulling the 45 lb 4 year old around on the 20 lb trailerbike is pretty good exercise. We have a lot of hills around here so I am pretty wiped out after a family ride.
Good point. Fortunately, at the moment, our little one is indeed still a very little one, so we use of the smaller Burley Solo trailers. Got lucky on this one - LBS had one used for $100.00. It is about 15 pounds, I think, and is nice as my wife can also use it when she runs with our daughter.

T
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Old 01-18-06, 08:16 AM
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The best way to get the wife into it, is a tandem. That way... you have the 'team' thing going...you are working together, you can go as fast as you want, while she can relax a little. (Typically a woman just getting into riding when you've already been doing it, is going to be slow. You are going to hate going that slow, and she isn't going to enjoy it as much because she will know she is holding you back)

You can hook up a piccalo to the back of the tandem, and even a trailer up to that.... (I've seen it)

Also once she gets stronger... you guys will absoloutely scream.
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Old 01-18-06, 08:20 AM
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With any activity that husband and wife do together, it becomes "our" time...which basically means "her" time (y'all KNOW what I'm talking about!). There are certain things I do on a bike that I just won't be able to do with my wife. There are some routes where I cross freeway bridges or have to cyclocross or ride hills with no bike lanes...and the over-protective husband in me will plan rides avoiding that.

If, on the other hand, she were to become as enthusiastic about cycling as I am, and decides to go out on her own, that's a completely different story.

To me, cycling is my hobby...my time away from the wife and kid and home and work. However, I mentally log the time spent doing that hobby and try to 'pay it back' to her so she can pursue her own interests. For every 2 hours I ride, she gets two hours where I take the kid and do something to give her 'me time'.

I'd be ecstatic if she took up cycling, but she understands that she would need a certain level of ability and passion about it for us to ride together.
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Old 01-18-06, 08:21 AM
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I ride with my wife and kids all the time, especially on recovery days. It's great! On the days when I am training, I will start out with them, then peel off to complete my workout. Still works out great.
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Old 01-18-06, 08:30 AM
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hmmm, well on the other side of things... I can't get my husband on the bike very much. It's not his thing, he has a nice road bike which he rides with me once or twice on the weekend on my recovery rides, and will sometimes use on the trainer for weight control but that's it. He doesn't like the percieved attitude of team rides, and won't let me tell him what to do when it comes to a paceline/drafting if I were to bring him along, so I don't see a way to safely include him.

The downside is he resents my time on the bike, esp. on the weekends when it's not unusual for me to ride 2 hours on saturday and 3-4 on sunday with the team. A full racing season is really going to max him out.

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Old 01-18-06, 10:13 AM
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EGADS! you don't really want her to get into cycling.. do you? cuz putting her on a trainer. is BAD BAD BAD! if i had ridden a trainer to start.. i'd still be sitting in front the computer on saturday and sunday mornings instead of riding!

even a cheap, borrowed walmart or kmart bike OUTSIDE is better than a trainer!

pro... you get to do something together that is good for you!
con... if you are faster and she won't ride alone... you'll have to ride slower with her (or at least part of the time!)

pro... she'll understand what you need to cycle and how much it costs
con... you'll be buying double... if you get something... she'll want something.. if she gets something.. you'll want something

pro... for us... we he gets to go to more organized rides cuz i know understand what they are... how fun they are... and the benefit of riding in new places!
con... it costs double (and if she won't ride alone.. see my first pro/con above)... hubby has done both.. but mostly does his own ride... my first organized metric.. he went and did his own ride.. than came back and rode in with me!)
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Old 01-18-06, 10:21 AM
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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.
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Old 01-18-06, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by TJHOO
For those of you active cyclists, if your spouse shows interest, what pluses and minuses have you experienced.
Pluses:
More time spent together. Fun to talk about bike stuff.

Minuses:
Have to buy two of everything. I can't get stuff for myself without also getting something for her.
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Old 01-18-06, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by DamnRock
it's harder for me to BS my way into some cool new parts when the wife knows what I'm talking about.
Same Here!

And I find my wife ordering stuff a blowing the budget like I do, so we have to keep an eye on each other!

My wife is quite a strong cyclist and is a stronger climber than me, we ride so much together that we're pretty much at the same level and I much prefer to ride with her than without her. Over longer distances the difference in ability between men and women shrinks drastically, I feel that even if we rode centuries separately we'd finish about the same time ... your wife might slow you down for a while, but she will improve and eventually be a great training partner.

I second the notion of not blowing her enthusiasm by starting her off on a trainer!
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Old 01-18-06, 10:27 AM
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My time is weekdays. She rides with me on weekends at a much slower pace, and usually to a breakfast joint halfway into our ride. I'm still able to get 20 -30 miles in.

Its all good
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Old 01-18-06, 10:32 AM
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Took me over 4 years to get Wifey to try riding a roadie bike, but since she started in August she's kinda gotten hooked. She was a gymnast for 16 years and likes physical challenges. She'll go out and ride by herself and she likes knowing enough to be pretty self sufficient (though for lack of practice alone she still struggles getting the rear wheel back in sometimes). I look forward to a spring of riding with her. It also helps that she sees a difference in her fitness on the mountain when she started snowboarding again this season. And she's always enjoyed mountain biking, but the fitness again has made it a lot more fun for her. I look forward to living somewhere with a bigger riding community so she can have folks to ride with more often, but in the meantime I know she enjoys it.
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Old 01-18-06, 11:07 AM
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I hope to get my wife into cycling. It's a lot better than her current outdoor activity: walking to the car.
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Old 01-18-06, 11:25 AM
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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.
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Old 01-18-06, 11:43 AM
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The wife has been riding with me for about 14 years now...we love it. We finally decided to get a Burley tandem, to help equal things out (she's slower). On a tandem, you can work as little or as much as you want to - same with your partner. They are a great equalizer!
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Old 01-18-06, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by caligurl
EGADS! you don't really want her to get into cycling.. do you? cuz putting her on a trainer. is BAD BAD BAD! if i had ridden a trainer to start.. i'd still be sitting in front the computer on saturday and sunday mornings instead of riding!

even a cheap, borrowed walmart or kmart bike OUTSIDE is better than a trainer!

pro... you get to do something together that is good for you!
con... if you are faster and she won't ride alone... you'll have to ride slower with her (or at least part of the time!)

pro... she'll understand what you need to cycle and how much it costs
con... you'll be buying double... if you get something... she'll want something.. if she gets something.. you'll want something

pro... for us... we he gets to go to more organized rides cuz i know understand what they are... how fun they are... and the benefit of riding in new places!
con... it costs double (and if she won't ride alone.. see my first pro/con above)... hubby has done both.. but mostly does his own ride... my first organized metric.. he went and did his own ride.. than came back and rode in with me!)
Love all the responses!

It's winter. She won't ride outside.
We have spinerval videos.
Could help her learn shifting prior to being on road.
She wanted to try trainer.
She has MUCH easier access to trainer than outside w/ 4 kids 6 and under in new home gym

We take kids to local elem school that has track they can ride their bikes on. If we could get someone to wwatch 2 kids, we could take other 2 in our child carrier and I'd pull them. Bet that'd make it a little more of a workout.
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Old 01-18-06, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by TJHOO
For those of you active cyclists, if your spouse shows interest, what pluses and minuses have you experienced.
It depends. If your girlfriend rides, then it's probably not good for the spouse to ride too.

Seriously, how can it be bad? My boyfriend got me into it, and I'm hooked and love it. We can talk about bike parts, ride techniques - well, anything cycing related. We plan our trips so we can ride. I think it's just given us more opportunities to ride together. In a short period of time, her speed should catch up so that you can ride together. Granted, the BF pulls a lot of the time, but at least we're out there together.
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