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Help: I need family counseling.(33 posts)

Help: I need family counseling.Slipstream
Mar 22, 2002 10:21 AM
I know this is going to get me in trouble but heregoes:

Morrison15 stated that his wife is always asking him to slow down. (See "Simplify and give your bike away") Well, I have the same issue. It is great my wife likes to ride, but this does become an issue. I don't want to go into all the ugly details, but any of you in the same boat have been there...

This is not an issue with group rides, just when we are riding together. How have others resolved this issue?
What would you rather have in your bed?onespeed
Mar 22, 2002 10:27 AM
that babe on the fuji ad (spirito posted it a few days a go) nmcolker
Mar 22, 2002 12:05 PM
she looks fast.
Reply to Onespeed: If I answered that I would be inSlipstream
Mar 22, 2002 10:34 AM
even more trouble.

btw: I am not able to reply directly to your post for some reason???
I'm not convinced there's a problem here..(except maybe the128
Mar 22, 2002 10:41 AM
'group' part- unless of course you're both into that sort of thing)

The resolution?: Nice and easy does it...remember: Sometimes the ride's for you, sometimes; it's for her...

Share the ride!
re: Help: I need family counseling.RayBan
Mar 22, 2002 10:52 AM
the only way I was able to solve the difference in ride abilities was to go out and get a tandem. Man I've had some fun rides on that thing. It's an off road model, but with the move to slick tires it will work on road too. Lucky for me my wife isn't a control freak and she doesnt mind being on the back of a tandem. I know some people who can't ride one because the stoker(person on the back) NEEDED to be in control. We've raced it a few times too, unfortunately it's been dormant since kids became part of our reality. Or maybe she doesn't like riding with her heart rate pegged to the 9s! LOL
good idea! we have discussed a tandemSlipstream
Mar 22, 2002 10:56 AM
maybe its a ying/yang thing but I can relate to the 9s heart problem. but, if I drafted a big truck then the problem might be solved. thx.
re: Help: I need family counseling.MikeC
Mar 22, 2002 10:52 AM
Yes, I also have the same situation. If it's just my wife and me (or wife, kids, and me) I accept that the purpose of the ride is different, and stay with her (although I sometimes charge hills and wait at the top). However, we also try to hook up with other couples sometimes, which provides opportunities to split up for a while, and sometimes do club B/C rides, which tend to split up then come back together.
I sometimes also do things like one-legged pedalling or practice increasing my cadence by spinning a really easy gear.
She once joined me on an A ride and really surprised me with how she kept up with everyone, but she told me afterwards that she didn't really enjoy it. I think that in many cases those who don't ride as fast have the capability for higher speeds, but don't get the same kick out of pushing themselves as others do. Others have the power, but aren't as confident with their bike-handling skills.
re: Help: I need family counseling.Chen2
Mar 22, 2002 10:53 AM
I've been working on this issue for the last 7 years. I'm no expert but here is what I've learned. She appreciates all of the money and time I have spent on her bike to help her go faster even though she says it's not important. Some of the money was well spent, especially the computer with cadence. "Honey, the head wind will be easier if you keep your cadence between 85 and 100." "But I'm trying, and I can't push the pedals any harder." "Shift to a lower gear." And the bright red extra light weight Helium wheels with all black Axial Pro's were a hit. They look great on the all blue OCLV with white water bottle cages. Color coordination is a must. I've replaced her crank set 4 times and the cassette 5 times to get the gearing right, but most of that was about my learning curve. The crank-set is Campy racing T 50-40-30, the cassette is 14-28 Ultegra. All Shimano 9-speed except the crank-set and BB. Now she can climb and the ratios are close enough. It took 5 years but she finally decided that she really does like clipless pedals. For a month it was clipless on one foot and clips and straps on the other. And the Gu packs have to be vanilla. And the cel phone is her security blanket. But I think what saves our marriage more than anything else is that I always wait for her on the top of the big hills. And it's all worth it.
waiting on the top of the hills is mandatory ;>) nmSlipstream
Mar 22, 2002 10:59 AM
But don't ride back down.McAndrus
Mar 22, 2002 12:08 PM
Wife and I were on a three mile climb once. She said, "You go up to the top, honey." So I did.

Fifteen minutes later I'm starting to worry. Did she have a mechanical? An accident? What's wrong?

So, I went back down and found her 3/4 of the way up pushing away on the pedals. I swung in behind her, whistling.

By the look on her face, I'm surprised she didn't pull out her cell phone and call a divorce lawyer on the spot. wife doesn't ride (nm)ColnagoFE
Mar 22, 2002 10:56 AM
re: cheap fixcyclopathic
Mar 22, 2002 11:08 AM
get some cheap touring tires (biggest you can fit) and inflate to low pressure. my training 28mm "sport" Michelins drop avg ~1.5mph vs 23mm Conti GP. Btw tires and her drafting you may get good compromise. You'll still have to wait for her uphills ;)
actually, a schwinn w/balloon tires was an alternative nmSlipstream
Mar 22, 2002 11:16 AM
how about set of wheels?cyclopathic
Mar 22, 2002 11:27 AM
you can get cheap 105/MA3 wheels for 115$ @Jenson
Pers I'd get good set and sacrifice current.
that's what recovery rides are for ...tarwheel
Mar 22, 2002 11:11 AM
Ride with your wife on your recovery days and just take it easy. I've heard that most people overdo it on recovery rides anyway, so it might be just about right. It's either that, or get a tandem. Back when my wife used to ride, we had the same problem. The only solution is for you is to go slower because she can't go faster than she is capable or comfortable riding. My wife won't ride her bike anymore so it's no longer an issue. Now it's "why do you have to spend so much time riding your bike?"
Speaking as a wife...Roxy
Mar 22, 2002 11:19 AM
I totally agree with tarwheel-

When you and your wife are out together, you just have to understand that she'll never be able to go as fast as you. So it's really important to get in your "hammer time" on other rides.

Your rides together should be more fun than training.

But, also speaking from experience, I find that I ask my hubby to slow down much less now. Still can't beat him, tho, dang it!

Thanks for a woman's point of viewSlipstream
Mar 22, 2002 11:40 AM
We try to have fun together and usually do. It is that itch that I have to restrain, particularly when someone blows past--I want to give them a lead and then catch up. This is my problem!

I think what I need to do is be aware of when she is tiring and then really ease up. It is no fun to be pushing all the time and she says it it demoralizing because I am loafin' and she is pushin'--but, it is better to have a wife who is willing to ride than having a bike widow. ;>)
speaking as a woman racerlonefrontranger
Mar 23, 2002 6:01 AM
who's been dropped by all sorts: I agree with the rest of the posters who say you have to change your priorities on these rides. I used to do a Monday night social with a very laid-back touring group, and even though sometimes I'd feel like there was no possible way I could ride any slower and still maintain my balance, the company more than made up for that. I bet you'll start to see things you previously missed when you were hammering away, too. Like hawks, and butterflies and how the cows all suddenly have new calves by their sides; riding slow and looking around has some real benefits. I know when I do fast group rides or training, the scenery is pretty unvarying: the top cap of my headset comes to mind, or the back of some black Lycra shorts.

As of right now I can ride rings around my SO. But that's pretty darned unusual, since he's a decent Cat III. However, he's been working 13-hour days as an IT support guy, and I've been laid off and doing nothing but ride my bike for the past 3 months.

I used to train with a pair of Cat I guys. They would actually call me to ask me to come riding, so I guess they must have valued my pace, conversation or something. Now the actual fact of the matter is that they used me as an "anchor" on their active recovery days, so they would have a real reason to ride slow enough for true recovery. I didn't mind. They'd ride each hill a half-dozen times to my once, which I thought was pretty amusing.
that's what recovery rides are for ...bic
Mar 23, 2002 12:30 AM
Or use your ride with her to work on your spin. Get a 39-28 and just bounce you ass off the seat. When you go up a hill use a 53-11 and grind along at 50 rpm. Breath slow and keep your heart rate below a certain level. Work those quads!
We finally gave it up (well, she did...).retro
Mar 22, 2002 11:16 AM
That's an old conflict...I was a fairly competitive runner, and at that sport my wife could just about keep up with me in training. When I switched to cycling (knees), she just didn't have the interest--she loves to ride, but she wants to go 12 mph and, as she says, "look at the cows." We did a couple of centuries together, and many training rides, but our levels of commitment were SO different that even a tandem didn't help much. The speed and effort were so low I felt like I was wasting time I could have used for training, and she didn't want to go faster or harder.
Only time we ride together now is on vacation or when we're just cruising around looking at the cows. It just works better that way...
re: His n her stands and a romantic spot?dzrider
Mar 22, 2002 11:32 AM
We had little luck with a tandem. Works better if I take the commuter with 35c tires and Mr Tuffy. I still drop her on the hills, but not by so much that she doesn't catch back up when I sit up on the down side.

Sometimes I just have to show that I'd rather be riding with her than riding hard. It's not always true, but seems a small price to pay for a good relationship with a woman who rides.
Pick a gearmikebikr
Mar 22, 2002 11:36 AM
Say 39-16. Then don't shift for the whole ride no matter what. You'll struggle up hills and spin madly down hills. On the flats you'll get some great high cadence work. You wife will probably be able to hang with you much better this way.

Or sprint up all the hills then turn around ride back down and finish the hill with her. Great interval work.

Or just use your together rides as recovery.

Good luck!
I will pick one gear for the ride & work on spinningSlipstream
Mar 22, 2002 12:16 PM
as well as ride back down the hill. Of course, if she fixed her flat tire she might go a lot faster. ;>) just kidding. She's a real trooper but those hills just kill her. cadence cadence cadence--then she tells me to shut up. so, I just enjoy the scenery...
Mar 22, 2002 12:08 PM
No No No!Crankist
Mar 22, 2002 1:57 PM
No, not when it seems so contrary to every training effort, and every fast'n'slow twitch muscle in ya screams "spin you lazy pussy"!
I used to start out along side my delicate flower and then buzz up a mile, turn around, buzz back, lay behind her and say loudly: "would ya look at the can on that one!" - and then whistle like a sailor. She would smile.
When the smiling stopped I bought a $200 fat, sloppy, slow-ass, mountain bike which weighs in at
(I do not kid you) 36 lbs., no cargo. At 20 psi I get a pretty good workout and time to "look at the cows" (good one retro!).

P.S.You're right, good suggestion Dino.
Aha! Eureka!Ahimsa
Mar 22, 2002 5:24 PM
I do not know why I never thought of this!

Next time my wife and I ride I will get out the beater MTB. Or maybe ride the Madwagon. She gets so mad at the outset until I remember that I am not alone. Takes me awhile to get used to pacing for someone slower than me.

Great idea. She is fast enough that on her road bike I will be working a bit to keep up on a junker.

Mostly though she admits that it is only frustrating because she wants to be as fast, but doesn't make the time to ride and improve.


You're lucky..DINOSAUR
Mar 23, 2002 7:53 AM
That your wife gets to share your hobby. When I first saw the subject of your post I thought it would be about your wife complaining about you spending too much time with your cycling, which I just went through with my wife, along with spending too much money on bike related items. I wish my wife could cycle with me, she has a back condition that prevents her. When I'm out riding, and see couples riding together, the man is usually in front, and I have been passed by both. Good solution to your problem, cherish your time together. I find the lady riders to be more friendly and willing to chat. My hat is off to all lady cyclist, we need more of them. I'm always impressed when I see a lady cyclist riding solo, a few have gone whizzing by me never to be seen again, a few even take the time to waive....
Slowed down today, wife says I'm trying--very trying! nm ;>)Slipstream
Mar 23, 2002 5:37 PM
re: Help: I need family counseling.MP
Mar 22, 2002 2:49 PM
Love those stories. Seriously, you might try to get her to ride with a group of women that are fast riders. She'll try to keep up to not look like a wimp, and will be improving her speed at the same time. I found a group of women who all look like Xena and I can barely stay with them. If you can't convince her to ride with faster women, then tell her you're going to do it. She'll either dump you or join in and try to keep up. Either way you're better off. She'll never notice the cows again!
Top 10 ways to solve problemSlipstream
Mar 22, 2002 4:07 PM
Talked it over w/the better half & I think we have a solution:

10. That she prefers dairy air to my derrier.
9. We will get matching pink bibs care of the big E.
8. If I don't shape up she will find a Fred to ride with permanently.
7. I have to stay off this board and pay more attention to her.
6. I have to make dinner any time I get on her nerves when riding.
5. I have to walk up hills and she will wait for me at the top.
4. I have to get a granny gear and stay in it.
3. Before we ride I have to run 10 miles.
2. I have to put paniers on my C40 and add 100lbs of lead.
1. Spirito agrees to donate his georgous bike to my wife. Thanks, pal.

Hey, this has been a real blast and I really appreciate everyone's posts. Good Ridin' ;>)
re: Help: I need family counseling.CFBlue
Mar 23, 2002 6:53 AM
Let be be the next to chime in with "Tandem" We've got two, one for the fire road and one for the paved roads.

My wife was admantly opposed to the idea at first. I found an old junker at a garage sale for cheap and brought it home. Our first ride was close to disaster, but the second ride went smoothly and the fourth was on a brand new tandem. She was hooked. Right now we are in training for the Americas Most Beautiful Bike Ride, June 2, around Lake Tahoe

One of the Ladies Magazines ran a story a few years back about things to do to improve relationships....tandeming was one of their top choices.

no matter how hard I hammer, I just can't seem to get away, and she loves the speed that she can't achieve on her own, especially down hill.

Oh, and when the kids come along, first a trailer, then a triple, its a great family activity
re: Help: I need family counseling.cincy1
Mar 23, 2002 12:20 PM
My wife used to race and she drops me like an empty waterbottle when ever she pleases, especially on hills. What are you guys complaining about? My virility is in serious jeopardy.