Should I ride with my wife?

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Should I ride with my wife?

Postby thecaptn » Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:52 am

Hi all,
I tour with my bother in law about once a year which is something I enjoy alot, my wife understands how much enjoyment we get from doing it and would love to do some touring with me aswell but she hardly ever rides! it'd be awesome if we could tour together but with her current fitness level I'm sure she'd have a very bad time.

My wife will only ride with me and not on her own and due to our very different work rosters the opertunity to ride together comes up rarely. I am able to ride alot and can do our food shopping, visiting and trips around town by bike as well as mountain bike riding locally so there's no problem with where we live as far as rideability. She has a very good bike which has been fitted for her and when we have time together we try to always go somewhere nice for the day and ride rail trails, go to cafes etc but she' not that much into riding to do it regularly/by herself.

We've talked about doing some credit card touring but keeping in mind that she's been known to start wingeing after only 3kms of easy riding and only stop when she's become too tired to talk I doubt whether she's even able to enjoy doing that.

I don't push her to ride at all as I can't see the point. Am I not being supportive enough? and if not what can I do to support her more? Should I just leave her at home?
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by BNA » Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:15 am

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Re: Should I ride with my wife?

Postby grasshopper » Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:15 am

If she rarely rides, the bike fitness would be so low as to make it hard work, so I can understand she's not very interested in riding alone. She'd need to train up to anything like touring over several months. Maybe find a bike buddy or group that fits her schedule to help with the motivation to ride? Or do short rides with a picnic (you carry it! ;-)) or cafe/winery/visiting friends - anything that makes a slow hour or two enjoyable which means a bit of a break along the way. Even spin classes would help with the fitness, if she likes that sort of thing. Or ride trainers together at home - boring yes, but she needs to ride frequently for fitness. At worst, any riding you can get her to do is a good investment in her health. And your bike budget. :wink: Let alone a medium term goal like touring.
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Re: Should I ride with my wife?

Postby wurtulla wabbit » Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:22 am

Watched another golfer yesterday play with his wife. (doesn't sound right does it :D)
He hit 200yds, she had 4 or 5 hits to get same distance and all over the place.
I could see his pain :D

Same would apply to any sport if fitness or conditioning is on two different levels if you want to get some effort in..
Fun and just cycling for company,encouragement and enjoyment with her would be a an entirely different prospect.

Have you're hard rides without her and the laid back ones with her to get her into it.
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Re: Should I ride with my wife?

Postby reefer » Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:26 am

Its your WIFE.

Of course you should.

Put in the time and effort to enjoy your rides. Thats what marriage is about.

I ride with my wife whenever she wants to go, even though she trundles along at 22km/hr on her new Orbea.
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Re: Should I ride with my wife?

Postby skull » Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:37 am

I did last years tour de timor with my wife. She had only been riding for 9 months.

Stages that would have taken me 4 hours took us 8. It was hard being in the saddle so long (and slow). But after 6 days of riding with her, it was so worth it.



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Re: Should I ride with my wife?

Postby TraceyG » Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:07 am

This will only work if it is something that you both want to do and you are both prepared to make some changes to find a middle ground i.e. you will need to slow down/be satisfied with shorter/slower rides than usual, and she will need to train up to a higher fitness level.

Husband and I are doing the Great Victorian Bike Ride for the first time this year. We regularly ride together and I have to slow down to his riding speed, but as someone else posted, it's called a marriage.
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Re: Should I ride with my wife?

Postby chucknitro » Thu Aug 02, 2012 6:33 pm

It's marriage. Nothing is 100%. Somedays it'll be awesome and you can't imagine anything better. The next day you'd rather be dead - but at least you'll be with your bike either way. :)

Back on topic - Yes, absolutely.

ps Buy her an ebike if she can't keep up
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Re: Should I ride with my wife?

Postby AndrewBurns » Thu Aug 02, 2012 7:49 pm

I'm a pretty fast rider, I race and I commute at up to 30kph average speed (mostly limited by traffic and traffic lights) but when I went for a ride with my girlfriend of the time we would average about 15kph. Doesn't bother me though, she'll enjoy it much more going at her own pace and the more she enjoys it the more she'll ride. It's not a race and you're not incapable of going slower, if you want a hard fast ride go out by yourself or with a fast mate, if you want to encourage your wife to get into cycling go at her pace (which will probably increase the more she does it anyway). I know it can be hard because I'm a very competitive person and there's nothing I like more than opening the tap on my legs and seeing what comes out but some things are more important.
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Re: Should I ride with my wife?

Postby marinmomma » Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:25 pm

thecaptn wrote:
We've talked about doing some credit card touring but keeping in mind that she's been known to start wingeing after only 3kms of easy riding and only stop when she's become too tired to talk I doubt whether she's even able to enjoy doing that.

I don't push her to ride at all as I can't see the point. Am I not being supportive enough? and if not what can I do to support her more? Should I just leave her at home?


I'm not sure that I'd want to ride with you either....remember what is easy for you is probably not easy for your wife...different perspectives on easy by the sounds of it.

Try being more patient and encouraging....and maybe touring will never be something that you can do together, or a goal that might take a couple of years to achieve.

What kind of bike does your wife ride? If its old and heavy I understand why she might struggle!
And as for riding on her own, that might come with time and an increase in confidence, depends on what the environment is like around you for cycling...do you have dedicated bike paths or would your wife have to ride in lots of traffic??

How confident is she with changing flats? I reckon that put me off riding on my own for a few months when I started....

Just my thoughts,
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Re: Should I ride with my wife?

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:07 pm

If my wife would ride with me I'd accept it without any conditions. However, wherever, whenever, ...
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Re: Should I ride with my wife?

Postby Tornado » Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:20 pm

Help her find solutions to get fitter. Spin classes, trainer or whatever. Then if you do a tour, keep it at her pace and not what you could be doing. It's about the journey as they say
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Re: Should I ride with my wife?

Postby Oxford » Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:51 pm

Considered getting a tandem bike?
I could agree with you, but then we would both be wrong.
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Re: Should I ride with my wife?

Postby Ozkaban » Fri Aug 03, 2012 8:14 am

ColinOldnCranky wrote:If my wife would ride with me I'd accept it without any conditions. However, wherever, whenever, ...

+1

I'd love it if my wife was into riding. I wouldn't care how fast we were going. I think my wife would enjoy it too. 3 young kids means that we'd need to find babysitters just for a ride. Too many other competing needs on our combined time. one day...
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Re: Should I ride with my wife?

Postby Ozkaban » Fri Aug 03, 2012 8:15 am

ColinOldnCranky wrote:If my wife would ride with me I'd accept it without any conditions. However, wherever, whenever, ...


Oxford wrote:Considered getting a tandem bike?


A tandem unicycle... now that I would like to see!
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Re: Should I ride with my wife?

Postby thecaptn » Fri Aug 03, 2012 8:58 am

Oxford wrote:Considered getting a tandem bike?



Wash your mouth out!!!

Worse than riding a folding bike.

Having said that my wife has done alot of riding on a folding tandem. She used to ride with a sight impaired friend of ours and even rode from Berlin to Copenhagen one year.

The only way I'll be riding a tandem is if one of us looses our sight.
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Re: Should I ride with my wife?

Postby MREJ » Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:10 am

So much of this is famiIiar. Good on you for bringing it up. My short answer is definitely yes, as long as you both enjoy it. My long answer is below.

My wife and I have been through a journey like this and it's been very rewarding for each of us personally, and in building our relationship. And lots of fun!

We ride together regularly. It's the first sport we've found that we both enjoy and enjoy doing together.

We started about 4 or 5 years ago (when were both in our late 40's) by borrowing a friend's bike for her. She fell off on the first ride. To my surprise, she was happy to give it another go, and she has gradually progressed from that clunker to a 2nd hand flat bar, to cleats, and to a road bike.

She's also got faster and stronger, although it's still a few notches slower than my other rides. I focus on how nice it is to be riding at all, and especially nice to think we've landed on something special that we can share and, we hope, do until we are really old and wrinkly.

Over the last few years we've taken the bikes on various holidays, including overseas and bike touring. It's been great.

She also won't ride by herself and has rebuffed my suggestions to join a women's group. I am always looking for new places and challenges, but she's not as motivated in that way. I have to remind myself not to project my own way of looking at things onto her.

It's not that she doesn't enjoy challenges, more that we make sure that our ride plans work for both of us.

Now we're doing rides that would have been out of the question 4 years ago. Eg, climbing Mt Buffalo or the Madonna del Ghisallo in Italy (both at gentlemanly pace!). Real shared pride and sense of achievement there. Her family and friends think she is awesome for taking this on at age nearly 50, and so do I.

The other thing I do to make us a bit more equal is that I ride either my fixed gear or my cruisy steel roadie, rather than my race bike. This also helps me to remember to just enjoy the day.
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Re: Should I ride with my wife?

Postby mikesbytes » Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:20 am

Sounds like she wants to get involved with your passions and its about being with your rather than the activity itself.

Its about the company, the environment and the destination.

There's some good suggestions in this thread, I'll add that rather than jumping in the car to go down to the coffee shop, jump on the bikes. Even little trips like that will give her so of what she wants/needs
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Re: Should I ride with my wife?

Postby thecaptn » Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:34 am

marinmomma wrote:
thecaptn wrote:
We've talked about doing some credit card touring but keeping in mind that she's been known to start wingeing after only 3kms of easy riding and only stop when she's become too tired to talk I doubt whether she's even able to enjoy doing that.

I don't push her to ride at all as I can't see the point. Am I not being supportive enough? and if not what can I do to support her more? Should I just leave her at home?


I'm not sure that I'd want to ride with you either....remember what is easy for you is probably not easy for your wife...different perspectives on easy by the sounds of it.

Try being more patient and encouraging....and maybe touring will never be something that you can do together, or a goal that might take a couple of years to achieve.

What kind of bike does your wife ride? If its old and heavy I understand why she might struggle!
And as for riding on her own, that might come with time and an increase in confidence, depends on what the environment is like around you for cycling...do you have dedicated bike paths or would your wife have to ride in lots of traffic??

How confident is she with changing flats? I reckon that put me off riding on my own for a few months when I started....

Just my thoughts,


Thank you for your advise. We do really enjoy riding together and we mostly do it when we can. The speed at which we ride isn't the issue or the distance as we're both happy to just trundle along and enjoy the scenery. The issue was that our conception of "touring" is different and as has been pointed out here is where the solution may lay.

If we can fit in some extra rides in our spare time and choose an easy route we'll be ok and I can carry most of our stuff.

As for her bike she has a Cannondale Quick which may not be ultra lite but it is confortable and works well. I have some SKS guards and a rear rack on order from Bike24 which should arrive any day and I'll then fit. she's requested a handle bar bag and panniers which I'll purchase together but i first want to check mine against the bike. Seeing as it's a mach smaller bike than mine I'm wondering if front panniers will look/work better on the back of it. Any ideas?
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Re: Should I ride with my wife?

Postby thecaptn » Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:44 am

Thanks everyone for your thoughts, a really great discussion. All good points and I'm looking forward to us planning our next holiday together. :D
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Re: Should I ride with my wife?

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:55 pm

Ozkaban wrote:A tandem unicycle... now that I would like to see!


Here you are. :lol: Ask and ye shall receive.

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Re: Should I ride with my wife?

Postby jasonc » Fri Aug 03, 2012 5:49 pm

ColinOldnCranky wrote:
Ozkaban wrote:A tandem unicycle... now that I would like to see!


Here you are. :lol: Ask and ye shall receive.



there's 2 chances i'd be doing that with mrs jasonc. one of them is buckley's
i'd go for 2 separate bikes. her bike will take up less room in the garage/loungeroom/mantlepiece than the tandem when you go for your group ride
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Re: Should I ride with my wife?

Postby Mike Ayling » Sat Aug 04, 2012 10:23 am

My wife of 40 years had never owned a bike in her life until we had the opportunity to acquire a second hand tandem about 18 months ago.
Sure it is slow uphill but we ride quite a high cadence for pootlers and get up most hill eventually. On the downhills we fly!
We are at present slightly slower on the flat than I manage on my Surly LHT tourer but every time we go out we improve.
Tandems are not for everyone but they certainly suit us senior citizens.

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Re: Should I ride with my wife?

Postby jet-ski » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:20 pm

Nothing wrong with tandems or folding bikes!! Did a tour on my Bike Friday last year and it was awesome :)
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Re: Should I ride with my wife?

Postby trailgumby » Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:46 pm

First stop would be to make sure that saddle issues and female-specific anatomical comfort are not contributing to the whingeing. Once you're eliminated that, go for it :)
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Re: Should I ride with my wife?

Postby WyvernRH » Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:07 am

jet-ski wrote:Nothing wrong with tandems or folding bikes!! Did a tour on my Bike Friday last year and it was awesome :)


+ 1 to that. You should see the number of 'roadie' slackers we get drafting our tandem until we loose them on the downhills.
Seriously, a tandem is probably your best bet. Mixed crews on Tandem Club runs in the UK were a fairly even split between a pair of racers, pair of tourers, (like us) and racing/touring captains (male and female) out for a nice quiet Sunday ride with the other half on the back. Best of all it is something you do together. You climb and descend hills together and you arrive at places (like the top of a hill or a pub :wink: ) together.
Doesn't work if you are a testosterone fueled ultra competitive captain who takes no account of the stoker's fitness level and knackers the crew zooming around the place. They throw a freaky and chuck it in real quick after a couple of trips. We had a few guys who couldn't cope with the fact that it was a club run and not a race... :P
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