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Riding with a New Romantic Partner

Old 05-18-20, 04:56 AM
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Chrisp72
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Riding with a New Romantic Partner

Hello all!

I have just begun to date a wonderful woman and I would like to try to introduce her to cycling. I'm not sure she's into riding a bike as the relationship is pretty new but I have the idea in my head. I was planning for a cycling trip for one...me...but that's changed now.

What's the best way to introduce someone to the concept of bicycle camping? I know Sophie is a fan of the outdoors so the camping part is an easy sell. I've had a good relationship in the past that involved bikes but not camping...this is new territory for me in more ways than one! I'm excited to try but would like some tips on how things might work in the future...
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Old 05-18-20, 05:12 AM
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CliffordK
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The number one thing should be that you make sure that you ride with her, and let her help choose the distance and pace, and fast or slow doesn't matter. Perhaps try some day trips and training rides before trying an overnight ride.

Organized cycling events might be fun, but alas, not necessarily practical this spring/summer.

If she isn't riding, or only rides a "cruiser", then bike choice might be tricky. One bike? Multiple bikes? Road, commuting, gravel, do-all, ???

Try to get her onto a similar style/quality bike to what you'll be riding. Don't head off on a carbon road bike and give her a MTB. If there are differences in strength and endurance, cargo doesn't have to be evenly distributed, or even distributed at all.
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Old 05-18-20, 06:18 AM
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Perhaps you're putting the cart before the horse..or the panniers in front of the rack..or..

I'd suggest you find a nice bike that fits her** and see if she'd like to go for a ride and if so, then another, and another. Make it fun. Stop for a coffee or an ice cream cone or visit a nice park or beach............but get some miles in while you're doing this. If she likes all this then you may have a shot at camping. If this isn't her cup of java, then you'll be hard-pressed to convince her to pedal a loaded bike and sleep at a backpacking-level of comfort. (See if she's into backpacking..that might help)

**The bike doesn't need to be crazy expensive, but it should be good equipment that's somewhat performance-oriented. For the first ride or two..rent a nice road bike or fast hybrid..why? Because you don't get a second chance at making a first impression. If she rides a more performance-oriented bike(not a skittish racing bike..but something that handles well and is fast..no 30 pound sleds with cludgy tires) she'll enjoy riding..as in the words of my GF.."..this bike pedals itself...so much fun!"

Once she understands how fun riding can be, she'll be more open to doing more work to have that fun (as in pedaling a loaded bike for camping). If/when you do get to the camping stage..start with an overnite, then maybe a couple nights..and try to make sure there's a shower handy somewhere in all this..or a motel every day or two.

Of course, while you're doing all this you'll be dating and having some healthy fun..as opposed to slugging out in some bar with drinks and fried food...not that there's anything wrong with that..occasionally.

If she takes to all of this then find her a nice all-rounder bike..maybe the ever-sought fast, light, gravel-road touring bike..in her favorite color.
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Old 05-18-20, 06:23 AM
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chris, this is hilarious (but I'm happy for you) that during this whole covid isolation thing, you met and are dating someone.
2 metres remember.
or as Nancy Reagan used to say, Just Say No.
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Old 05-18-20, 06:41 AM
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Thing that got my partner over the line was an intercom. She didn't want to go on a holiday where we couldn't talk to each other. Turns out they are very handy for touring, no shouting and arm waving. And great for talking about stuff you see around you. We use the Vertix Velo ones, bluetooth, range is about 300-500m in actual use which is good enough.
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Old 05-18-20, 07:34 AM
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Well let's see... I went touring with my romantic partner over thirty years ago and we are still together, so I must be doing something right. I have three suggestions.
A) make sure that her bike is not too heavy to keep her from becoming discouraged. B) Start out with short days, don't blow her out with long days. C) Make sure that you take a pocket shower. Nothing worse for the new cyclist/ tourist trying to sleep while all sweaty.
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Old 05-18-20, 07:47 AM
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Electrify her.
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Old 05-18-20, 07:54 AM
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Thanks for your input everyone!!!

I'm excited about the prospect of going on adventures together. This relationship shows a lot of promise after a very short time so I'm jumping in with both feet. Sophie likes the outdoors and hiking and camping...our first time meeting we walked around a pond in Toronto...it was very secluded and comfortable and we were able to keep our distance from each other. I'm happy to say that so far feelings, at this early stage, are mutual. I want to share things I'm excited about and hopefully she takes to cycling...

I'm now planning my first bikepacking trip for two when it can happen. Renting a bicycle sounds like the best idea to get her on something that will work as buying a bike is too soon an investment to make. I'll look to source a bike shop that can help out...I've got one in mind already...Gear will be pretty non cycling related...I don't think I'm ready to go full lycra just yet! I hope to go to an overnight campsite within the city I'm in and I have a route all ready to go that doesn't involve many busy streets. My sister has a house midway between where I live and the campsite so I want to stop in there when it's all safe to do so. If I can get things ready in time and the gods approve I'm hoping to be able to do this in 2020...

I've been pretty lucky to find Sophie during this time and I'm thankful to have had a chance to get together. There are some benefits to dating during the two meter distance...no stress about the first kiss...
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Old 05-18-20, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Caretaker View Post
Electrify her.
Good idea.
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Old 05-18-20, 08:20 AM
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Working on somewhat the same thing here... The bug has already hit, somewhat. We haven't crossed the "new bike set up" deal yet but we're on the "ridable" path for starters by getting her old bike going. New tires, computer, and bottle rack are on it. Pedals next (threads don't work so it looks like an adapter is on order - got SPD shoes already too). I am not sure how to proceed with ramping up miles, but at least she has taken the initiative to get some things I've suggested and ride when we're not able to ride together.

I think a big part of it, as someone else pointed out, is to not go "hard" and let her have some input to where and the pace. We're not close (distance wise) so getting together isn't all the time. One ride we sorta rode from both ends to a closer spot for lunch (in the middle of the "shut down"). I brought a Wok, pot, and camp stove, brewed up some chicken penne pasta with simmered garlic, onion, and veggies. So she knows darn sure theres some "good stuff" that goes on with bike trips! As to the miles - that was a 65mi day for me on all new routes except for about 3-4 miles, 20 miles al new for her (round trip miles, so divide each by 2 for distance out for each).

I have a 30mi or so trip lined up. She's done over 20 before, so this would be her longest run. That is still in the "short and fast" category for me (under 2hrs ride), but I have an idea to do a point-to-point trip on an established trail or two (can't remember if it's 1 trail or 2 connected). Giving that 30mi run with making lunch on-the-go a full day would be pretty relaxing and what ever pace she wants to do/can do is fine - so long as we're not being chased by the weather.

I am not sure how else to approach the "how do I not screw up this deal" aspect. I'm not a relationship expert, I won't go in to details, but I do believe things happen for reasons. I am also not very competitive. So I don't think you should have to "try". In fact, I think the opposite - you shouldn't have to try hard at all. If you feel that way and always are looking over shoulders wondering what's going to happen or at what point the dynamics are going to shift negatively that doesn't sound like a relationship going in the right direction to begin with. I think everyone can find more peace in the world when they let go of how anything comes to pass (relationships included). I can say that, and I can understand it, and I do understand it, but I can also tell you that is damn near impossible. Of course, you can't just sit with a bag of cheesy puffs on your couch watching 80's show reruns for ever, so you have to do "something", but the "how do I not screw up this deal" is exactly what I'm getting at about letting go of how things come to pass. Who knows - she may look at what ever you throw her as a "challenge" and a "way to prove herself" to you. So the "game" may be all hers, not yours at all.

Best of luck.
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Old 05-18-20, 08:47 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Chrisp72 View Post
Hello all!

I have just begun to date a wonderful woman and I would like to try to introduce her to cycling. I'm not sure she's into riding a bike as the relationship is pretty new but I have the idea in my head. I was planning for a cycling trip for one...me...but that's changed now.

What's the best way to introduce someone to the concept of bicycle camping? I know Sophie is a fan of the outdoors so the camping part is an easy sell. I've had a good relationship in the past that involved bikes but not camping...this is new territory for me in more ways than one! I'm excited to try but would like some tips on how things might work in the future...
Originally Posted by Chrisp72 View Post
Thanks for your input everyone!!!

I'm excited about the prospect of going on adventures together. This relationship shows a lot of promise after a very short time so I'm jumping in with both feet. ...If I can get things ready in time and the gods approve I'm hoping to be able to do this in 2020...

I've been pretty lucky to find Sophie during this time and I'm thankful to have had a chance to get together. There are some benefits to dating during the two meter distance...no stress about the first kiss...
Originally Posted by Brian25 View Post
Well let's see... I went touring with my romantic partner over thirty years ago and we are still together, so I must be doing something right. I have three suggestions....
I got lucky during the Golden Age Bike Boom of the 1970s:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
… In Ann Arbor MI in the 70’s I really realized the utility of bicycles for commuting, and began touring on a five-speed Schwinn Suburban, but soon bought a Mercier as did my girlfriend, later my wife.
Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
What a coincidence that your wife and girlfriend both ride the same bikes. Do they ride together?
We toured in Michigan and Ontario.

In 1977 we moved to Boston on our bikes, as a bicycling honeymoon from Los Angeles to Washington, DC and then took the train up to Boston.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
…It was a great way to start married life, since every day we would have to find and set up a homestead for the night in a new environment where we only knew, and could depend on each other.

I can remember two distinct times on that trip when either one of us hit low a point, and were bouyed up by the other; me in Kansas and she in Ohio.

BTW, that trip was 41 years ago and we're still together.
We have toured in New England and the Maritime Provinces, and one trip to the DelMarVa peninsula
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
”Does your spouse ride with you?”

Not since about 1990.

Since our children came starting in 1988, I can recall one long ride pulling our two-year-old son in a trailer, and one short fun ride in on a quadricycle on Toronto’s Harbour Islands in 2014. While I ride frequently as a year-round commuter, and centurian-in-training, she rides occasionally on Bikeshare bikes in Boston.

But don’t cry for us Argentina. In the early 1980’s we took ballroom dancing lessons for about eight years and on every Saturday evening, after my long Saturday Ride, I look forward to going dining and dancing.
We met in a college freshman course and our first mutual activity was cooking. I got the cycling bug first and she followed. I started camping and we learned together. I recall fondly our shopping trips together for supplies and equipment prior to our tours.


˅˅˅˅

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 05-18-20 at 09:51 AM.
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Old 05-18-20, 08:48 AM
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˄˄˄˄

However if he relationship is good, and the camping works, but the cycling is not in the cards, I liked this romantic accommodation:
Originally Posted by jeff400650 View Post
I've been doing these fun rides lately... Pick a cool town about 50 or 60 scenic miles away. Book a nice room near town. Ride there (in my case, with my dog along). And then have my wife drive there to meet for a nice, romantic night on the town.

It takes her an hour or two, to drive to where it takes me and my 20LB dog to get in a leisurely 6 hours or so. Some fine dining. A hike. Shopping. Maybe live music.
Next morning, charming breakfast, etc... Then I ride home, usually a different route
.


It has been great. I get two days of serious riding, and she gets fun little get-a-ways close to home. We are exploring towns near us that we would otherwise never spend a night in, except that for a cyclist, it is a day's journey.

Healdsburg, CA. a few weeks ago
Halfmoon Bay, CA. a couple weeks ago
Tomorrow, Guerneville, CA. Staying at a place built in 1905. Cabins on the Russian River.

I guess you could call it short range, luxury touring with a spousal inclusion component.

Anyone else into this kind of thing? Or lucky enough to have a girl that will do the rides with you?
Such excursions would seemingly be applicable to camping, and she could transport the equipment…
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Old 05-18-20, 08:54 AM
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If you are in better shape, carry all the gear and let her ride an unloaded bike. That should even things out until she is able and willing to carry more of the load.
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Old 05-18-20, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Caretaker View Post
Electrify her.
I would be hesitant to go this route.
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Old 05-18-20, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Chrisp72 View Post
Hello all!

I have just begun to date a wonderful woman and I would like to try to introduce her to cycling. I'm not sure she's into riding a bike as the relationship is pretty new but I have the idea in my head. I was planning for a cycling trip for one...me...but that's changed now.

What's the best way to introduce someone to the concept of bicycle camping? I know Sophie is a fan of the outdoors so the camping part is an easy sell. I've had a good relationship in the past that involved bikes but not camping...this is new territory for me in more ways than one! I'm excited to try but would like some tips on how things might work in the future...
I believe the best way, would be to talk to her about it.
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Old 05-18-20, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
I believe the best way, would be to talk to her about it.
phughes...Agreed. I'm happy to do so but we're not meeting up today...Wanted to contact the hive mind and get some assistance and advice...We've met up once and really hit it off. I'm looking forward to speaking with her but have to admit dreaming about a future together where we take our dog on a bike camping trip is delicious...
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Old 05-18-20, 12:15 PM
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I beleive getting someone involved in an activity is the same regardless of age. Make the first trip as enjoyable and fun as possible. After a few "good" trips it is amazing how well the following trips will go, regrdless of wind weather etc. Get the "inductee" involved in planning, and make it their trip. A big mistake is putting a new person on a clunker bike that does not fit. It is hard to make the trip enjoyable or to have fun when various parts of your body are protesting loudly.

My wife and I have been riding and touring together for over 30 years, We got our kids involved in many of our activities, including bike touring and rock climbing, basically using those simple guidlines. Our daughters, one of which is a grandmother, have bike toured with us every year for the last 10 years.
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Old 05-18-20, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
chris, this is hilarious (but I'm happy for you) that during this whole covid isolation thing, you met and are dating someone.
2 metres remember.
or as Nancy Reagan used to say, Just Say No.
Side-By-Side tandem that is 8 foot wide?

Bike intercom system?
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Old 05-18-20, 01:32 PM
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The two of you as a team... do you like bike shops or Craigslist? Thrift stores or Boutique stores?

Either head off to a bike shop together and try out some bikes and pick out one that you both like, or sit down at the computer together and start browsing websites and online ads and pick out a bike you both think will be appropriate.

If you have both a road bike and a touring bike, then get her both a road bike and a touring bike, or at least start with the road bike (or fast hybrid as mentioned).

Do you ride pavement, or gravel, or mixed?

Keep in mind, for day trips, you can carry all the lunches, gear, spares, etc, so she could be on a pure road bike.

One thing to keep in mind is that different people have different feelings about riding in traffic. Traffic can be very uncomfortable for certain older newbies. Figure out what you need to do to make it comfortable. Good roads? Designated bike routes. Park & Ride? Mirrors? Keep her right, and you can pull to the left for side-by-side, etc.
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Old 05-18-20, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Side-By-Side tandem that is 8 foot wide?
You know when you see someone running with a dog on a leash and the dog goes on one side of a pole and the person on another?
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Old 05-18-20, 02:02 PM
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Is she cool with rim brakes?
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Old 05-18-20, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Is she cool with rim brakes?
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Old 05-18-20, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Is she cool with rim brakes?
Who's buying?
.
  • Carbon Fiber Frame.
  • Campagnolo Super Record / Dura Ace / SRAM Red
  • ZIPP
  • Hydro Brakes
.
Just for your starter bike.
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Old 05-18-20, 02:45 PM
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the hard part is already solved: she loves camping

the way to go about it is you plan flat itinerary and let her plan the miles and you stay on her tail.
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Old 05-18-20, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Is she cool with rim brakes?
You really made me chuckle.
Nothing like a non sequitur (sort of) to get a good larf
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