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Any Advice for a New Couple?

Old 05-20-20, 04:14 AM
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Chrisp72
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Any Advice for a New Couple?

As per another thread...I wanted to start a new one seeking advice and anecdotes from those of you who are willing to share anything for those of us starting out riding as a couple . I consider myself a cyclist even though I'm not fit and I'm starting a new relationship and hoping to get into cycling as a couple.

I'm hoping to camp together and will try to get my partner into cycling. I have found out that she's afraid of traffic so that might put a damper on things. Its something that can be solved though and I'm sure if I put my mind to it I can come up with a solution. I'm not ready for a tandem but it's an option that might be on the table...
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Old 05-20-20, 06:15 AM
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I say don't try to make her something she isn't. If she hates opera, don't make her sit through the entire Ring Cycle with you.

If cycling is important to you, date a cyclist.

To add some personal data, when I was dating back in the 1970s, the days with girls on bicycles are the most memorable. Sometimes they were rides to the ice cream shop. My wife, whom I met in 1980 and married in 1983, was the first person I could ride a century with and rode the first Shimano-equipped bike I'd ever seen. I was smitten, still am. She was happy to find a guy who would cycle with her. We rode a metric century just the other day.

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Old 05-20-20, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by andrewclaus View Post
I say don't try to make her something she isn't. If she hates opera, don't make her sit through the entire Ring Cycle with you.

If cycling is important to you, date a cyclist.

To add some personal data, when I was dating back in the 1970s, the days with girls on bicycles are the most memorable. Sometimes they were rides to the ice cream shop. My wife, whom I met in 1980 and married in 1983, was the first person I could ride a century with and rode the first Shimano-equipped bike I'd ever seen. I was smitten, still am. She was happy to find a guy who would cycle with her. We rode a metric century just the other day.
andrewclaus...Fair point and it's probably easier to go that route. In the past I dated a girl who cycled and I still have many fond memories of bike related things with her. The relationship ended when I moved away from the city that we both lived in. I'm still in touch with her but due to circumstances now we're no longer a couple.

Finding someone who has common interests isn't as cut and dry as you might expect. My past experiences have been that the person you date won't have all the interests that you have. When I was dating the woman I referred to earlier she had past experiences with bikes but we never got into bicycle camping together. It just wasn't in the cards for various reasons. I'm playing the cards I've been dealt with this hand and hoping for the best. I'm into the girl I'm seeing now and am hopeful that she might want to ride a bike when we go camping. I think by slowly introducing her to my likes we may find some common ground and I'm going to be respectful of her wishes. Feelings and desire are an important part of any relationship and they're there now.

I have time to dream about our future together but I won't put a square peg into a round hole. If she wants to try I will help her get into it. She's comfortable going camping together so that's half of the equation. I'll be happy with that but I'm wishing it can morph into something that includes bicycles. Maybe starting by taking two bikes with us is the way to go...
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Old 05-20-20, 08:01 AM
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While this advice may not be something you can "follow" I'll give you my experience with my wife and cycling.

TL;DR: Be willing to meet them where they are. Having a defined goal or purpose is useful. Really consider the tandem bicycle!

When I first met my wife she barely knew how to ride a bike, just enough to get to classes on a college campus during off hours. At the time I was definitely not a "cyclist" but I had owned and ridden bicycles of varying types all my life so was very comfortable on them.

It wasn't until several years from then that she expressed interest in learning how to ride a road bike for the purpose of doing a sprint triathlon. We got her a used bicycle on craigslist and spent several weekends in parking lots for her to learn STI shifting and how to ride with the twitchiness of a race focused bike.Then we started riding safe loops around an airfield (3.5 mile road loop with little to no cars) and in neighborhoods to get comfortable with traffic. Having the triathlon as a goal was really useful for her to be willing to put in the time and effort to learn the new skill.

After she had completed the Tri, I brought up the idea of bike-touring and camping (which was new to both of us) and she bought in pretty fast, especially when I paired it with the idea of a tandem bike. The biggest complaint from riding together on single bikes was that since I was a more confident and stronger rider I would often push too fast or go into streets with much heavier traffic than she was comfortable with. But with a tandem she couldn't get dropped and she wouldn't have to worry about holding her own with cars. We are currently planning a pacific coast tour N-S for 2021 after doing a couple of multi-day Rail to Trail camping trips, because go big or go home.

Getting and riding our tandem was a huge boost to my wife's cycling confidence. She has owned several bikes now ending up with a new Salsa Vaya and was commuting to work into downtown regularly before COVID and now we are able to ride both our tandem and our single bikes together comfortably and enjoy the rides instead of feeling like they are a chore or practice.

I will also note that riding a tandem bike isn't easy for all couples and will take some getting used to and unlearning of bad single bike habits which I am still guilty of.
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Old 05-20-20, 08:35 AM
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dude, you knowed the girl for three weeks. you met once.
you're not a couple.
slow down.
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Old 05-20-20, 09:40 AM
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My advise is "start slow". If she's not yet into riding a lot, start with short scenic rural distances away from traffic. If she's like my wife of 35 years, her idea of camping was a Motel 6 and so we would credit card tour to hotels and B and B's. Have fun and believe me, when difficult situations arise, and they will on a tour, you will learn a ton of information as to what the individual is made of and what you can expect in the future.
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Old 05-20-20, 10:49 AM
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Be honest from the start. Tell her cycling is a priority to you, but she can tag along if she wants. Mention that you’ll try not to drop her, but if she can’t keep up, she’s on her own. She will appreciate the honesty.
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Old 05-20-20, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
dude, you knowed the girl for three weeks. you met once.
you're not a couple.
slow down.
saddlesores...Sorry but it's full on. I'll wait to hear her side of things as the weeks progress. You're not the boss of me even though I asked for advice.
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Old 05-31-20, 06:57 PM
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Don't force the hobby onto her. You may enjoy it and she may not now but possibly later down the road. If you constantly are pushing the issue, she'll end up resenting you and things will go from bad to worse. You know the saying "opposites attract" and sometimes having too many things in common can be a bad thing such as spending too much time together. There are times when you both need to separate to do your own things, hanging out with your own friends or even solo rides will do wonder for the soul.

My wife complains that I take better care of my bikes more than the house and I simply tell her there's a bike waiting for her at the shop. All she has to do is pick it out and we can ride together. She hasn't taken me up on that offer yet.
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Old 05-31-20, 08:00 PM
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If she's wary of traffic, you can't push her to be comfortable on the road. It's something that you learn on your own, imo. It takes time, years, to learn the ropes of riding aggressively/defensively to know what to do to keep yourself safe (hah, as safe as you can be) in a chaotic environment.

I can't think of anything more likely to put strain on a new relationship than her feeling that you are endangering her life with a hobby. Enjoy your time together without planning out your future just yet. Go car camping and see how that goes. Go bike riding on groomed dirt roads in scenic places like around a lake. Take it from there. If you become a very fit couple bike packing might be a better idea.
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Old 06-01-20, 12:23 PM
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A couple years ago I was camping in a campsite on Isle Royale and in an adjacent site there was a backpacking couple that clearly and noisily were in the process of breaking up. And, when you are on Isle Royale, you can't leave until your ferry ride takes you off the island, so that unhappy couple was stuck together for at least several days longer.

A friend of mine from college went on a couple month long canoe trip with his fiance and another couple in far Northern Canada where they would not see anyone else for a couple months. At some point on that trip, he and his fiance decided they were not getting married after all. But, circumstances like that meant that they had to share a tent for the rest of the trip.

A couple that are neighbors of mine backpacked the AT several years ago. I do not know if that was before or after they were married, but they have a great relationship and are excellent parents. I suspect in their case, the experience of hiking the AT from end to end made their relationship stronger and lasting.

Good luck.
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Old 06-01-20, 01:46 PM
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Traffic issues. So go gravel roads or bike paths, plenty of options there.
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Old 06-02-20, 04:36 AM
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Me and the mrs have just done our first ride together this weekend. We are both new to all of this
I have always cycled to work only but my partner hasn’t cycled since childhood but we decided to start doing it together we did 150miles over the weekend split into 3 days wildcamping over night and was an amazing experience. Already planning our next journey.
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Old 06-03-20, 03:17 AM
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So an update for those interested...

I've talked to Sophie about cycling and she has stated she doesn't cycle. I'm ok with that. As much as I wanted to go bicycle camping I'm hopeful that we can enjoy the outdoors together and get to know each other more. Car camping is something that we both enjoy and she has a love for being outdoors so that's what's on the agenda in the future. Once the provincial parks open we can explore Ontario in part and spend time getting to know each other better. This should be no surprise to many here in the forum but Sophie has asked for things to slow down a bit. I had been moving forward steadily and thought things were good with this pace. I have found out they are not so I'm cooling my jets a bit. I had stated in other threads if not this one that I would respect her wishes and this is that. I'm still making plans but not as rapidly as I had been. Mostly my thoughts have been expressed in the forum and for that I appreciate the space to do just that. Thank you one and all for the responses and I look forward to spending more time here.
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Old 06-03-20, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Chrisp72 View Post
This should be no surprise to many here in the forum but Sophie has asked for things to slow down a bit. I had been moving forward steadily and thought things were good with this pace. I have found out they are not so I'm cooling my jets a bit. I had stated in other threads if not this one that I would respect her wishes and this is that. I'm still making plans but not as rapidly as I had been.
I bolded, italicized, and underlined that last part for a reason. She said to slow down. Do you want to get to know this girl? Listen to her. If you can't respect her wishes, this relationship is dead in the water. In my opinion the complexity of your planning should be no more complicated or overbearing than something like deciding what ice cream shop to swing by before hanging out at a park under a tree on a sunny day. Or pupusas. They make for a fantastic picnic. Keep it casual. Don't push her. Most of all, LISTEN.

Not to the point of being cowed, yknow. Have your own voice in the relationship. But respect hers.

​​​​​

​​​​​​
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Old 06-03-20, 06:07 PM
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No longer relevant, but figured I’d throw out the saying about tandems - “wherever your relationship is headed, a tandem will get you there faster”
I’ve seen tandem riding blow up a marriage over the course of a week long tour, and I know a couple who say that tandem riding improved their communication so much that it might have saved their relationship, so it can go either way.
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Old 06-05-20, 02:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Chrisp72 View Post
So an update for those interested...

I've talked to Sophie about cycling and she has stated she doesn't cycle. I'm ok with that. As much as I wanted to go bicycle camping I'm hopeful that we can enjoy the outdoors together and get to know each other more. Car camping is something that we both enjoy and she has a love for being outdoors so that's what's on the agenda in the future. Once the provincial parks open we can explore Ontario in part and spend time getting to know each other better. This should be no surprise to many here in the forum but Sophie has asked for things to slow down a bit. I had been moving forward steadily and thought things were good with this pace. I have found out they are not so I'm cooling my jets a bit. I had stated in other threads if not this one that I would respect her wishes and this is that. I'm still making plans but not as rapidly as I had been. Mostly my thoughts have been expressed in the forum and for that I appreciate the space to do just that. Thank you one and all for the responses and I look forward to spending more time here.
Originally Posted by Piff View Post
I bolded, italicized, and underlined that last part for a reason. She said to slow down. Do you want to get to know this girl? Listen to her. If you can't respect her wishes, this relationship is dead in the water. In my opinion the complexity of your planning should be no more complicated or overbearing than something like deciding what ice cream shop to swing by before hanging out at a park under a tree on a sunny day. Or pupusas. They make for a fantastic picnic. Keep it casual. Don't push her. Most of all, LISTEN.

Not to the point of being cowed, yknow. Have your own voice in the relationship. But respect hers.​​​​​​
Listen to Piff!!

No planning for car camping and exploring Ontario!

She's in her 50s (right)? She can manage just fine on her own and she can be picky. If she thinks you're too pushy, she'll close the door. And she might just be looking for a friend to go to the movies or out on a Saturday afternoon with now and then.

Have a look: https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/b...e-living-alone
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Old 06-05-20, 04:28 AM
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Avoid traffic

Can you take her cycling in areas where there is no traffic? If you put her in situations where she feels scared, she will definitely not take to the activity. Start small and definitely don't pressure her into liking it just because you do.
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Old 06-05-20, 09:59 AM
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She thinks roughing it is a B&B with no WiFi, I wouldn't make her go on a rough camping bike tour..
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Old 06-10-20, 08:50 AM
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If she has a fear of traffic (a mostly healthy fear), look for long trails and quiet roads.

One thing I've found to be an issue is the length of ride. It may be because my girlfriend's bikes don't fit her well, but she often doesn't want to go as far as I'd like to. So you might also have a disagreement about mileage. If it's not as important, you might not mind compromising. The longest ride we've done is 54 miles, I might like to go further. Another thing, not everyone likes to camp. Check for inns and B&Bs along the way.
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Old 06-10-20, 03:20 PM
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It's really different stroked for different folks.

I have a friend I occasionally ride with. He doesn't like rides longer than 30 kilometres round trip.

I have another friend who when he rides will stop quite often to take images of anything that's caught his fancy.

I've ridden with another friend who also loves to go on two-weeks long tours on logging/mining roads where we can camp anywhere anytime. We've also done a number of overnight rides. Ride to some campground, camp for the night and then ride home the next day often on a different route that the outbound one.

It's also very discouraging for a newbie bicyclist to have a pretty wide gap open up between them and the person they're riding with. On hills where a newbie is struggling I'll often ride back to them, ride alongside (traffic permitting) and chat with them as they're climbing. It takes their mind off the climb and is more sociable. I ride with people for the company.

Cheers
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Old 07-22-20, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by AeroGut View Post
No longer relevant, but figured I’d throw out the saying about tandems - “wherever your relationship is headed, a tandem will get you there faster”
I’ve seen tandem riding blow up a marriage over the course of a week long tour, and I know a couple who say that tandem riding improved their communication so much that it might have saved their relationship, so it can go either way.
That saying is true. Also, never ask your stoker to drop her heel on the downstroke. Though it helps for power, you may experience some push back...
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Old 07-22-20, 06:47 PM
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I wish you luck. I spent a few years on a prominent dating app, I dated a nice lady who said she liked hiking and biking. We hiked and biked together but she never transitioned to riding as the primary activity (which everyone knows is much easier on your body). She told me to go back to the dating app, find a better match. Now I'm with a woman who considers daily 36 miles to be our "short ride", and regularly suggests the 52 mile ride. 200 miles per week is our training target. Remember, you can already go bike riding by yourself. Do you need a cook and a maid, or a bicycling companion? Personally, I can live without a cook and a maid.
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