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Managing Your Relationship With Girlfriend/ Wife & Bike Touring Trips

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Managing Your Relationship With Girlfriend/ Wife & Bike Touring Trips

Old 04-14-20, 10:19 AM
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illjustride
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Managing Your Relationship With Girlfriend/ Wife & Bike Touring Trips

Hey folks, I'll try not to go off in a tangent on this post or get to, to personal. But I do want to come from my personal experience. So I love to travel with my bike. I first got started after my first U.S. tour and continued to bike tour then recently 2 years ago got into bikepacking and the attractiveness of being off-road and remote locations traveling through new villages in far places around the globe and cities. When not doing that I travel with my girlfriend of 2.5 years now. She loves islands and while I appreciate them too, I'm more into mountains. When we travel together I try to bring my bike. If not, I book one in the location we travel to and ride around for a day on bike exploring. However, this isn't my normal planned bike trips I used to do. It's more of a holiday/ vacation rather than an expedition or journey for 2 weeks bikepacking or 2 weeks cycle touring somewhere. My girlfriend doesn't bike tour at all. In fact, she doesn't really ride bikes which I am ok with. However, when I try to plan a bike trip she always tries to take control and plan something else that SHE wants to do or try to get me out of frame and desire for doing it be saying that it's crazy, it's stupid, why would you do that alone, seems ridiculous. And personally, it drains me. She travels with her girlfriends to islands and I don't care when she does it.


Recently I've revisited a trip I've been wanting to do for years. It is to cycle in Peru for 2 weeks camping, biketouring etc. I mentioned it doing it to her last night and that I want to plan it out. And she says "We'll see". As if I'm her child or something. I just found that a bit weird and discouraging. The fact that she has trips planned with her girlfriend and I don't have bike trips planned because I've been operating on her schedule bothers me. I need to fully take on my passions which is bike touring but she seems to be bringing me down a bit with the idea that she doesn't want me to go or something. I suppose I should be talking to her about this and not you all here, but I wanted perspective because I'm sure many of you bike tour and have girlfriends and/ or married. I'd love to here what you all have to say.


My plan is to fully get my route together and plan everything out that I need to. And pretty much present to her what I plan to do and just do it while assuring her that I will be ok. I don't want this to become a situation where in the past I had to leave my ex-girlfriend because she hated when I bike. She thought it was for kids lol. Anyway, I would love your insight and opinions or just some peace of mind. Thanks.
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Old 04-14-20, 10:56 AM
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I tried to get the ex-GF into unsupported touring. She never took to it despite us taking several together. (She’s a very strong rider.) We did some supported tours and also went to a cycling “resort” in Italy. When it came time for me to do unsupported tours after she was no longer interested in them, she was totally cool with that, whether they were a week or two long or just long weekends.

If she cannot support your desires even though you support hers, I’d say there’s a control issue within your relationship, possibly rooted in jealousy and/or insecurity.
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Old 04-14-20, 11:07 AM
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Three easy steps:

1. I tell my wife I need to spend some time with my girlfriend.

2. I tell my girlfriend I need to spend some time with my wife.

3. I go for a bike trip.
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Old 04-14-20, 11:18 AM
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Can you plan a two week trip while she's vacationing with her friends?
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Old 04-14-20, 11:52 AM
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Bike touring is not for everyone. If she is selfish, you need to match it with the same level of selfishness. If it doesn’t work out, then at least you got in some bike touring. Maybe you’ll meet someone else along the way or later in life.
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Old 04-14-20, 11:57 AM
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Have you considered planning part of trip to include her? maybe fly her to some place along your trip, so you can enjoy the place together for a few days. Take in some interesting sites there together.

My wife loves to bike, but doesn't like riding on the road, so touring is out with the exception of trail based tours. We had a wedding to go to in Iowa this past Summer, so I decided to ride back to Pittsburgh. I decided to skip Illinois due to time, so we drove to Indiana Dunes National Park, because my wife has a goal to see all of the National Parks, or as many as possible, and get her National Park passport stamped. We did photography there, a hobby we both share, then camped there, something else she wanted to do. The next day, she dropped me off in Chesterton, Indiana, and I began my ride. Halfway through my trip, she came to visit me and camp with me one night. We had a great time, and I was able to enjoy my tour, and share part of the adventure with my wife.
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Old 04-14-20, 12:04 PM
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I get it. I'm married 30 years and have been cycling for only the last 6. I would love to tour with or without her, but my wife isn't interested in it. Just as important, my vacation schedule is very limited to a week and a half and then a couple of extended weekends. I also need to travel for work a couple of times a year for 4-5 days. OTOH, my wife works in the public schools and has two months off in the summer, a week for Thanksgiving, two weeks for Christmas and a week for spring break. How can I take a week long tour while my wife sits at home waiting for me? So what I've done is take a long weekend and go do a short bike tour while she goes on a trip with family or friends. I have also considered doing a three day tour to one of my conferences which she usually attends during the weekend. This way I am only away from her one extra day, we eventually spend time together and we can drive home together at the end of the conference. We also do our long vacation together with trips we both enjoy very much. She chooses the details on odd years and I choose the details on even years.

This year is a bit different. Our vacation was ruined last year and cut short due to a family emergency. This year I told her that with pretty much no vacation last year and other issues, I need to get away by myself for a long weekend. So I'm flying out to Oregon to participate in the Crater Lake Century in August-- if it doesn't get cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I'll be away for an extended five day weekend. She understood. Unfortunately this year, our week and a half June vacation will probably be cancelled due to the pandemic.

Relationships are a give and take for both of you. Talk about your desires and concerns without anger, resentment or placing blame. My wife completely understood that I wanted to do the Oregon trip, especially that I never deny her to take a trip when I still need to work.
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Old 04-14-20, 03:03 PM
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We all need ME time to keep our sanity. ME time is doing what defines US. If ME time for her is spending hours talking to and with her girlfriends that is just fine - take inventory of the duration and spend similar time on things that define YOU. The rest of the time is TOGETHER time. If she is not ok with that then get another girlfriend because in the long run this one with drain You like a vampire.
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Old 04-14-20, 03:40 PM
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Did you say, "Ex-girlfriend"?
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Old 04-14-20, 03:56 PM
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BTDT..simple..life is too short..get a new girlfriend.

Release her to be free to do whatever makes her happy..bub-bye.

I can tell you from first-hand experience..life is sooooo much better when you're with a non-control freak, intelligent woman that enjoys the things you do as well as her own interests.
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Old 04-14-20, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by fishboat View Post
BTDT..simple..life is too short..get a new girlfriend.

Release her to be free to do whatever makes her happy..bub-bye.

I can tell you from first-hand experience..life is sooooo much better when you're with a non-control freak, intelligent woman that enjoys the things you do as well as her own interests.
Preach it baby! She needs a different guy. He needs to enjoy his life, which may or may not include a new gf.

Last edited by 52telecaster; 04-14-20 at 08:53 PM.
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Old 04-14-20, 06:00 PM
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I am going to stay out of this one. When someone needs divorce advice, I've got plenty of that.
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Old 04-14-20, 08:43 PM
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Well... there's the old: "I'm giving up bicycle touring and taking up Harleys like all my other friends" routine.
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Old 04-14-20, 09:14 PM
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My wife told me that if I go on one more bike tour that she was going to leave me. I am sure going to miss that woman! LOL!!!
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Old 04-14-20, 10:00 PM
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Would your wife be interested in touring Peru with a girlfriend at the same time?

My future wife and sister did their own tour of northern France while I rode PBP 2015, and everyone had a great experience.
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Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
Originally Posted by noglider
People in this forum are not typical.
RUSA #7498
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Old 04-15-20, 06:18 AM
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We manage just fine, great actually. I go ride, and she stays home. Perfect for me, perfect for her.
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Old 04-15-20, 06:20 AM
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Originally Posted by smudgy View Post
My wife told me that if I go on one more bike tour that she was going to leave me. I am sure going to miss that woman! LOL!!!
I don't believe that for a minute!
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Old 04-15-20, 07:55 AM
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Everyone needs some me time. For me its usually a 4-5 day trip, and one or 2 over nighters. New England local stuff. Great when I can roll down the driveway and just go. Married for 32 years, we each have our own likes, and our own time. As someone else said, go when she is island hopping with her friends. Or make some changes.
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Old 04-15-20, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by UKFan4Sure View Post
I don't believe that for a minute!
I know, I lied. You caught me!
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Old 04-15-20, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
Three easy steps:

1. I tell my wife I need to spend some time with my girlfriend.

2. I tell my girlfriend I need to spend some time with my wife.

3. I go for a bike trip.
" A toast to our wives and girlfriends (raise glass). May they never meet."
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Old 04-15-20, 08:48 AM
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I'm seeing red flags here, ignore them at your peril. 'Time for a new, or no GF.

"Bye Felicia!"

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Old 04-15-20, 08:49 AM
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After 39 years of cycling together and 38 years of marriage, I like to think my wife and I have it figured out. Cycling is core to our relationship, always has been. It's how we met. We've cycled three continents for up to 7000 km at a time. We've also hiked the AT and PCT together, and backpacked through China and along the Andes. Sometimes she leads, sometimes I lead. But I'm the first to tell you what works for us will not work for anyone else. I hope you'll know it when you see it, like we did.
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Old 04-16-20, 11:17 AM
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Talk with her

I think you need to talk with her about this, and not us on this forum. You'll have to decide how best to have the conversation. You likely have already had it in parts, but need to make it clear this is important to you and an important discussion. I'm sure you can resolve it with communication. And if not - I don't want to joke about what that means, but this is a simple concept for adults, I'd be worried if you can't resolve it. Note that if there were young kids / other major responsibilities then it gets more complicated. Main points of the discussion probably are:
  • You are happy in the relationship and your time together. Start positive.
  • You love this hobby and want to pursue it even though it takes away from time away from her.
  • You will of course coordinate dates that you are going on vacation or doing things together, and outside of those times, you need to be able to communicate your plans in a way that is respectful to both you and her.
  • You would love to include her in parts of your trips, but sometimes that may not make sense, and that is okay. End positive.
Personally, I'm married 19 years, my kids are teenagers, and I took up bike touring about 3 years ago. My wife has no issue with me going on my own for a week at a time. My challenge will be in a bunch of years when I retire before her and go on my own for a month or more at a time.
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Old 04-16-20, 01:55 PM
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i take ample time every week to pursue activities that keep mentally and physically healthy. I too have had some growing pains with my spouse over our own time. partners are different and sometimes they might not realize that what they consider essential for them is not the same for the other. My wife needs to spend many hours per week talking to her sister, mother, meet with girlfriends and talk things out. That is totally essential to her so that when she gets home to me she is mentally happy. Without these 'sessions' she wouldn't be wanting to do bike rides, hiking or camping with me. Those 'sessions' are essential for her.

Not for me. I need much less time for needing to 'vent' and 'talking it out' - but I need more physical time. I need to be outside and participate in physical activity.

We tallied how much time each needs to spend on those activities and then each of us used that time separately for 'me' time. The rest of our time is OUR time and everything seems to work 'reasonably' well :-)
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Old 04-16-20, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by andrewclaus View Post
After 39 years of cycling together and 38 years of marriage, I like to think my wife and I have it figured out. Cycling is core to our relationship, always has been. It's how we met. We've cycled three continents for up to 7000 km at a time. We've also hiked the AT and PCT together, and backpacked through China and along the Andes. Sometimes she leads, sometimes I lead. But I'm the first to tell you what works for us will not work for anyone else. I hope you'll know it when you see it, like we did.
You, Sir are one of the lucky ones, in my opinion. I wish I could get my wife to ride more than 20 miles.She's a lovely person with many wonderful talents, but she's just not that into biking. To be able to share your adventures with your significant other would be great. I am truly jealous.
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