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family issues and the bike(29 posts)

family issues and the bikecyclingforhealth
Sep 23, 2003 5:21 PM
The very family that I am riding for to make better my health so I can be there for them by getting healthy is starting to take issues with my riding. My wife says that I am spending too much time on my bicycle. She knows why I am doing it and what my goals are. She has started to feel cheated by the bike. Do other cyclist have these problems? How do you hand them.
I show her a reminder photo from 1 year before I started! (nm)deHonc
Sep 23, 2003 5:33 PM
re: family issues and the bikelyleseven
Sep 23, 2003 5:38 PM
Depends on what she means by too much time. I cycle 100 plus miles per week and have two kids at home. However, I get out early in the morning two or three days per week and am back home by breakfast. I am also diabetic, so I have a good excuse to cycle as it is great in keeping my glucose level close to normal. My doctor recommends this kind of excercise. On the other hand, if I disappeared on my bike every day after work for a couple of hours, my wife might think I'm visiting a girlfriend! Timing is everything to keep everyone happy. Also, if your wife has outside interests so she can relate to yoru passion in cycling, it helps.
re: family issues and the bikestillridn
Sep 23, 2003 5:59 PM
What I do is take short 1 hour rides 3 days out of the week. On the Weekend I extend them but leave early in the Morning. To get the most out of the short rides I will do Hill intervals or sprint train. When I get home I am 100% dedicated to my family. If you keep the ride times shorter, but work your tail off in that time you can stay reasonbly fit and keep the family happy. Good Luck
Talk to her about itTNRyder
Sep 23, 2003 7:09 PM
My wife will let me know when I have been spending too much time on the bike for her liking. I always make it a point to listen to her concerns and then work out a schedule that we can both live with. (I can hear the manly men snickering @ me now!) I also make it a point to ride in the mornings on weekends before she gets too involved in her day. That way I can be back in time to spend the day with her and the kids. The biggest thing though is that you actually talk and listen to her and make her feel important. You do that and I guarentee you that she will give you some more lattitude than if you just but heads w/her on the subject.
Welcome to our world.KG 361
Sep 23, 2003 7:12 PM
I ride when it is the least intrusive on family time. Early in the morning or when the kids are in school.(I work 330 pm to midnight so this is easy.) I NEVER ride on my wife's day off during the week (we both work occassional weekends).They KNOW that I will be riding Sunday am for at least 3 hrs. Works out fine-I get at least 100 miles a week and they get a happy dad/husband =)
Ahh the only hobbie that....the bull
Sep 23, 2003 8:16 PM
takes up all your spare time.
Well that and sitting here checking e-mails and what not.

Do like your hero Lance and divorce your wife.
"Its not about the family"
I'm not the one to ask, but here's a (long) perspective from the distaff sidelonefrontranger
Sep 23, 2003 8:42 PM
I just cratered an 8-year relationship because in the end, racing was more important. This might not be the case for all my relationships, but this one was DOA, so my increased focus on riding was simply the last straw. When paying attention to your bike becomes more rewarding than paying attention to your SO, you know you have problems.

As the others mentioned, it really helps if you can schedule your time wisely. Learn how to get up at 5AM and ride before daybreak. Double up with lunch rides at work.

There is such a thing as too much time on the bike (can't believe I admitted that), but there's also such a thing as not having a life, and my observation has been that henpecked male cyclists often suffer from a spouse with Too Much Time On Her Hands. If she doesn't have something engaging to occupy her time, then sitting around listening to the kids fight and the dog barfing on the rug while you're out playing on your bike is gonna get old real quick. Sitting around on "girls night out" kvetching about how women are such martyrs to all those rotten lazy husbands who leave hair in the sink and the toilet seats up doesn't count, either. Encourage her to find something that means a lot to her, whether it's a shared interest (those are good), her own hobby, volunteer work or a really cool job, so that she'll be fulfilled, independent and happy. If it means you have to get a babysitter once a week and sacrifice a bit of the toy money you had earmarked for Campag bits, then so be it.

(continued in part Deux)
Part Deux:lonefrontranger
Sep 23, 2003 8:57 PM
Now, here's the catch. If she goes off and becomes fulfilled in a hobby or career or otherwise finds that someone else pays better attention to her than you do, then you are in deep caca if you're not doing your job.

Your job, my friend, is to be her Lover, not just that smelly cohabitant who steals the covers and does taxes once a year. Do you really adore your wife? Then SHOW it by making her feel important in the time you *do* spend together. Don't just shut down and stare at the TV when you're at home or shrug off kid duty by saying you're "too busy" balancing the checkbook, when we all know it's Tetris or instead of Quicken you've got up on that PC.

Play games with your kids and really get to know them for the cunning and inquisitive little humans that they are. Take long walks together with the whole family. Skip the fancy new racer-looking shades and spring for a spa treatment for her instead, and NOT because it's your "duty" on birthday / anniversary but because it's Tuesday and you want her to feel gorgeous. Make dinner for the kids, even if all you can handle is watery spaghetti or PB&J sandwiches. Teach THEM to cook, too, hell I started at six and was self-sufficient by ten. Start a wild game of Twister with everyone in the house. Get the kids a babysitter and take your wife out skinny-dipping. If you must do yard work, cut a few flowers and recruit the kids for messenger duty to present them with a corny knock-knock joke. Build a tire swing. Do the tango around the bedroom with a rose in your teeth. Write her love letters (or e-mails) instead of hanging out here. Do that sappy teenage thing and call her during the day to tell her it's just to hear the sound of her voice. Be the knight in shining armor charging to the rescue with plunger on high when there's a big hairy spider in the bath tub. Good lord, man, you have so many opportunities. I bet if you are simply kind, loving and sincere, she'll get into the spirit and reciprocate. Not just with more bike time, but with more honest-to-goodness Quality Time and perhaps a few knock-knock jokes of her own.

Laugh, love and live together, don't just muddle through existence being bitter about how small your last raise was. Human beings are great at doing miserable, it's happy we ain't so good at. Life is short, so it's up to you to make it WIDE, baby.
Part Deux: Wowflying
Sep 23, 2003 11:44 PM
Very good lfr
lots of knowledge in all that you said....
Wisdom, thanks.........Len J
Sep 24, 2003 3:45 AM
life is about choice isn't it.

We can choose to wallow or we can choose to be happy. We can choose to risk & love (and maybe lose) or we can choose to protect ourselves. We can choose to Love our spouse or we can choose to ignore them, we can choose to take care of ourselves or we can choose to sacrifice ourselves to others. We can choose to be balanced or we can choose to not.

Thanks for the reminders LFR

Part Deux:koala
Sep 24, 2003 4:18 AM
When you are done racing, write a relationship book. In the end this is what I found with my wife. If I really listen and take time to hear how her day was in court(lawyer) and engage her, first thing she asks me when she gets home is arent you going to ride? When peoples needs are met they dont resent SO doing what fullfils them.
Really impressive BethCARBON110
Sep 24, 2003 6:44 AM
I recently ended a 4+ year relationship so I can relate to your perspective in this post and the racing board post. Its great to see profound reflection of human behavior and understanding from someone who is as obssessed about cycling as I am... and is a woman :)

Here are a few of my favorite readings from two people who knew about the human condition. I reread them after my seperation with my GF. I thought it was reflective of the original post and to you Beth at this time. Maybe not, in any case your sense of humor keeps me laughing my a$$ off! Part Deux! LOL

Einstein said-""....without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people. First, for those people whose smiles and well being our own happieness is wholly dependant, then to the many unknown to us...everbody acts not only under external compulsion but with inner necessity""

Emerson said ""Love is the enchantment of human life; which like a certain divine rage and enthusiasm, seizes on man at one period and works a revolution in his mind and body, unites him to his race, pledges him to domestic and civic relations, carries him with new sympathy into nature, enhances the power of the senses, opens the imagination, adds to his charachter heroic and sacred attributes and gives permanence to human society.""
speechless nmJS Haiku Shop
Sep 24, 2003 9:40 AM
Great advice lfr.KG 361
Sep 24, 2003 10:04 AM
Sometimes it's more important to do that 10 mile ride with the kids and/or wife than it is to do that epic ride you've been itching to do. It really isn't about the bike. I'm sometimes guilty of the not paying attention to my wife when I am home syndrome-thanks for making me think about that!
Sep 24, 2003 10:36 AM
Very entertaining.

I'm glad my SO is a marathoner. No issues here!
At last, LFR and I are agreeing!Fatnslow
Sep 24, 2003 11:55 AM
CFH, I'm in the same boat you are. I have taken an almost unhealthy interest in cycling and have lost weight doing it. My wife was starting to think that maybe I was spending too much time on the bike and, you know what? I was. I worked from 8 to 4 and got home at five. I stayed home for an hour and then went out and rode until 7:30 or 8 By the time it was all said and done, with the parenting obligations, I might get to spend 1-2 hours a day with my wife and daughter.

Now comes the point where you have to make a choice. I decided that, since my wife and daughter are more important to me that my riding ever will be, I need to make a few compromises. I've cut my riding down to every other day and the times that I am with them, I make them count. I play with my daughter (which is actually loads of fun) talk to my wife (meaning I turn off the Muzak in my head and actually have a conversation). In a roundabout way, cycling has made me rediscover my family life, so there's another plus. Sure, on days when I don't ride, I still get the longing to go eat up some miles, but the fact is, marriage is about compromises. And if you're willing to make those compromises, your life turns out much richer.

Good luck.
Try and ride around the issue...Iwannapodiumgirl
Sep 23, 2003 9:09 PM
My family (I have moved back home :o(... )and girlfriend suggested to me that I spent too much time on the bike.

To overcome my parent's woes, I start my rides at 5:30/6:00 in the morning - my parents are asleep, and I make it home in time to have breakfast with them at 8ish.

To overcome my girlfriend's woes, I bought her a bike, and we ride on Sunday mornings together - a leisurely ride, followed by breakfast, a read of the Sunday papers, spot of shopping etc etc. She asks a few of our friends to come along and it can be quite social. I treat these rides as my recovery rides.

I have found the key to the "balance" is to involve my loved ones where possible and minimise their exclusion as best possible. Hope this helps.
Divorce. nmSpunout
Sep 24, 2003 3:45 AM
marriage is compromiseSteve_0
Sep 24, 2003 4:14 AM
only you can find the balance between your needs and hers.
Tell her to get used to it becauseKristin
Sep 24, 2003 5:28 AM
Once you lose another 150 pounds, you'll be cheating on her with more than just the bike.
Ok, who kidnapped Kristin and forced her to be mean? (nm)CHRoadie
Sep 24, 2003 8:31 AM
to hell with them, they're selfish parasitesSpoiler
Sep 24, 2003 6:56 AM
First off, you ride like maybe 50 miles a week right? How much time is that taking?
Second, you're a man right? You're a married man right? True, a marriage of a partnership, but there are still things that you have to call your own. Your health is your own health. It takes precedent of family concerns.

Watch out though. More than likely, your wife will start feeling more and more neglected. Pretty soon, she's getting in-home massage therapy from from some body-builder named Dirk.

Perhaps immediate and intense marriage counseling might salvage some sort of relationship, but it's probably not worth the dough.
yeah, and put on your slightly smeared bibs, toopedalAZ
Sep 24, 2003 7:13 AM
Spoiler, you're on a roll.
lay down the lawmohair_chair
Sep 24, 2003 7:33 AM
It's you against them, and they can't win. If I were you, I would use my special powers to spin a magical cage out of gold and place it in the center of the living room. Whenever a family complains, tell them to shut the hell up. If they don't, give them a choice of spending a night inside the magical gold cage, where demons will eat their flesh and ravish their soul, or you can wish them into the cornfield permanently. All criticism should cease around your household.

I would recommend this avenue even if you and your family weren't fictitious characters. It's what I do.
Don't worry, we will always love you.cyclingforwealth
Sep 24, 2003 8:15 AM
And you know what that's worth.
Just turn it around for a secondMR_GRUMPY
Sep 24, 2003 10:04 AM
Lets just say that your wife found something that she really enjoyed, like writing. Lets just say that she began to spend more and more time alone, working on something that she thought was worthwhile. How would it be if you started to give her a hard time about spending all that time by herself, instead of watching the new TV season. When you ask her, why does she does it, she answers that it makes her feel "good about herself."
What kind of person would you be, if you intimidated her into just working on the thing that makes her happy, for an hour every few days. If you did your best to put her down, so that she would do what you want her to do.
My advise is to get her interested in fishing at a deep, remote lake, without any witnesses.........(just kidding)
You can tell!!retbchboy
Sep 24, 2003 10:27 AM
From these reply's, anyone that has been in a long term relationship (20 years and loving it) can tell the ones that will have successful relationships themselves, and the ones that never will have one!
re: family issues and the bikeMShaw
Sep 24, 2003 11:56 AM
I used to have some of the same problems. Like some of the other guys here, I rode to/from work, early/late, etc. One of the things that helped me was a tandem.

Tandems can be good things or bad things in your relationship depending on how're you're getting along at that particular time...

I could go out with the SO, doing something that I love, and she's right there with me. She doesn't have to be a good cyclist to keep up any more...

One of the agreements that I'd made with the SO is that Sat AM till noon-ish was MY time: on the bike. After that, I'm all hers. Sundays AMs were OUR time: either riding, hiking, or just lazing around the house. Since I don't race every Sun, this worked out fairly well.

That help?