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  1. #1
    Sofa King We Todd Did
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    Planting the seed

    It's been about a year since I took up bike riding and in that time, it's been a point of contention between wifey and I. I suffer from a one hell of an obsessive personality so whatever I do, I completely absorb myself in it. In this case, it means disappearing for a couple of hours each day on the weekend to put some time in on two wheels. It means riding hard and coming home with cuts and scrapes and bruises. It means spending a ton of cash on bike parts. It means acquiring 4 bikes in a span of 10 months.

    So when wifey asked for a cruiser to give riding a shot a months ago, I quickly obliged. Being a bike nut, clearly I had ideas of my own what bike she ought to have ("I'll build you a Bianchi PUSS!", "Let's get you carbon road bike!", etc.) but self-restraint prevailed and after looking at a few models, she said, "I want an Electra Rosie." So I ordered one for her. It's been a month, they're backordered and we're waiting for it to come in.

    In the meantime, the weather's turned delightful here in the NYC area, and last weekend, wifey suggested that we take out 10 month-old kid in the kiddy trailer and go for a ride around town. I'd haul him on my road-going bike, and she'd take my Fisher. I quickly swapped out the SPDs for platforms, the low stem for a very high rise one. We rode 3 miles around town. When we got back, she complained that her derriere was really sore from the ride. Oops, I'd forgotten to swap out the firm and narrow WTB for a more comfy seat.

    So when the weather was nice again yesterday, she suggested going out for a ride again. "Let's ride a bit farther this time." This time, I put a more comfy saddle on the bike, and I got her her own computer so that she can keep track. Off we went. Kid fell asleep halfway and she said, "Good, he's asleep, let's keep riding for a bit longer!"

    4.2 miles were ridden when we were done. When we got home, she had a smile on her face and she told me something that made me realize that the seeds of passion may have been planted already, even without her own bike.

    "I'd like to work on my hill-climbing. It got tough there towards the end."

    Now, these are very, very modest hills. More like mild inclines than hills, but this is a girl who just ejected a watermelon from her loins a mere 10 months ago, and the fact that she's willing to not just ride a bike but work at getting better at it made me realize that I may be on to a very, very good thing here.

    For so long, I've envied MTBR couples who are able to go on riding adventures together and take trips and ride epics together. I know I'll never get to that point, but to suddenly have a wife who's willing to try and get serious about something I'm serious about pretty much made me the happiest idiot on the block since the birth of our son.

    More to come, I hope. Greater distances, better riding skill, healthier lifestyle. That's what I want for Christmas. That's what I hope we achieve by year's end.

  2. #2
    tlg
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    Great for you. Great for your wife. Great for your kid. Great story.

    Remember, you'll be willing to try and get serious about something she's serious about too. Right?

  3. #3
    mtbr member
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    Giving me hope!

    your story is inspiring hope in my own situation! I too have the obsessive personality and in three years have transformed from a non-biker to devoting many hours a week and regular paycheck portions to it. My fiancee has never liked bikes. I've only own one bike, but last fall I did pick up what I think would be a fun ladies frame Schwinn Mesa with front suspension for her should she ever feel the urge to ride. My logic is that we have three dogs that are very active. the bike ride/dog walks obviously fall under my responsibility, but i've tried to get her excited about this fun time that we can spend with dogs while providing great exercise for all of us. so all winter I have been quietly hoping that she may take up some interest in it when the season warmed up.

    well yesterday she out of the blue mentioned, "we should go for a bike ride." I responded without much thought, "I've already taken a ride today" thinking that she forgot about my 12-mile ride I was raving about earlier in the morning. She says, "I mean me!" I was practically floored by the suggestion and jumped at the opportunity to get her on the bike. She was a great sport, even though we just went up and down the alleyways. Maybe a mile of total ride distance. I was very impressed with her suggestion and motivation to get out for a bit. she even let me know that she has been thinking about getting more into it so she can ride to friend's houses around town and not have to drive as much with today's gas prices.

    So I'm trying to be patient and contain my excitement, I really hope she picks it up. Like I said she has never been a bike person, not even as a child. I too am hoping that the seed of passion has been planted....

  4. #4
    contains quinine
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    I've got a nice collection in the garage, and talk all the time about taking the right bike for the right trails and conditions, etc.

    My wife has a $300 mountain bike from several years ago, and she rides it from time to time (actually, she'd ride more if I rode at her speed, but I'm just so selfish!). Last year, she expressed interest in a road bike, so I gladly picked up an inexpensive ride that she likes quite a bit.

    A couple months ago I came accross a great deal on a sweet steel hardtail frame. When it showed up, she asked me if I could convert it into a cross bike... Seems she's taking my "a bike for every occasion" a bit seriously!
    Take the long cut, we'll get there eventually.

  5. #5
    Sofa King We Todd Did
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    One thing I've learned is that I really need to curb my enthusiasm. At least not overwhelm her with my enthusiasm. If I go into bike overload she's likely to shun the whole experience. So basically, I've let her go at her own pace. You want platform pedals? You got it. You want to ride in an upright position? Here's your lower seatpost and higher stem. You wanna ride slow? I'm molasses. Whatever she wants, she's going to get. Whatever it takes to keep this fire going.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpinWheelz
    One thing I've learned is that I really need to curb my enthusiasm. At least not overwhelm her with my enthusiasm. If I go into bike overload she's likely to shun the whole experience. So basically, I've let her go at her own pace. You want platform pedals? You got it. You want to ride in an upright position? Here's your lower seatpost and higher stem. You wanna ride slow? I'm molasses. Whatever she wants, she's going to get. Whatever it takes to keep this fire going.
    I try to act the same. I have been like this with snowboarding, too, although I've been on the snow for around 24 years and snowboarding for about 9 (as apposed to recently picking up the sport). So of course early in our relationship I hooked her up with all the gear needed to become an instant snow vixen. I mean what else could someone possibly want if they don't own snowboard gear?? but I've learned that not everyone gets their thrills like I do. she is a great sport and puts up with my enthusiasm and obsessiveness.

  7. #7
    Professional Nerd
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    (longish...sorry)

    My girlfriend (of 6 years) has watched me become head-over-heels infatuated with cycling in the last 8 months. She's very girlie and wont be seen without makeup. One day she started talking about trying to find a used bike and helmet for under $100. I had a few hundred bucks saved up for my new Santa Cruz that I was all set to buy later on that week. I decided to surprise her with a Trek 3700 and it was one of the better decisions I've ever made.

    After a few neighborhood rides she was constantly talking about how much she loved her new bike. She told me she wanted to try some single track and I almost had a heart attack. We headed out to the trails, and as soon as we reached the first fairly technical log-pyramid, I pulled over and said, "If you want to walk over this, it's..." As I was talking she rode right the hell over it. The rest of the ride was much the same. 1 foot drops were nothing, steep descents, long climbs; she nailed them all. At the end of the day she was bragging about her new scratch on her leg (drew some blood!) and the dirt all over her bike. I was literally floored.

    The next day she showed up at my house in make-up and was showing off her new (very girly) shoes. "Mountain biker by weekend, prissy girl by weekday." she said with a smile.

    -Danimal <-----luckiest man alive.
    Last edited by Danimal; 05-02-2005 at 10:08 AM.

  8. #8
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpinWheelz
    One thing I've learned is that I really need to curb my enthusiasm. At least not overwhelm her with my enthusiasm. If I go into bike overload she's likely to shun the whole experience. So basically, I've let her go at her own pace. You want platform pedals? You got it. You want to ride in an upright position? Here's your lower seatpost and higher stem. You wanna ride slow? I'm molasses. Whatever she wants, she's going to get. Whatever it takes to keep this fire going.
    Good advice, and the only want to handle it.
    I let my wife decide everything at her own pace. She really enjoys riding together. She's been moaning and groaning because of the weather and not being able to ride. I love to hear her complain about that!
    She loves her bike. I think it's a little heavy. She thinks it "pretty" and comfortable. Ok, she wins.
    If I mention doing anything to it, she'll bite my head off. But over the past few years, she's gone from pedals, to toe clips, to platform/spds, and now wants full spds. Traded the bigger seat for a narrower one. Raised the seat to the proper height. It's great having her take a legitimate interest.

  9. #9
    Sofa King We Todd Did
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg
    Remember, you'll be willing to try and get serious about something she's serious about too. Right?
    Ugh. If I must, I must. That means Pilates. That also means that if any of my buddies ever finds out I'm doing Pilates, I might have to kill myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by tlg
    It's great having her take a legitimate interest.
    Oof. The edit button is your best friend now, I'm pretty sure.

  10. #10
    Tinker Tailor
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    it's the time of the season

    I as well have enjoyed my riding, but would prefer to go with my best friend for the last 15 years, my wife. She has sprouted and we will fit her this summer for a proper ride. When I speak of spending 1-2 thousand on my bikes she used to cringe, now she says maybe we should spend about a grand on here new bike. Ahhh, another blossom in my future. Here she is on what she calls her "Huffy Puffy" after a 30k quick jaunt this weekend. I see a Specialized in her future.


  11. #11
    Sofa King We Todd Did
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    I'm marking this day down. It's a red letter day in Casa de SpinWheelz. This morning, over breakfast, wifey tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Hey when can we go riding again? I didn't get to ride all weekend and it's driving me nuts."

    What a minx. She knows that the way to a man's heart (this one, at least) is through his crank.

  12. #12
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpinWheelz
    I'm marking this day down. It's a red letter day in Casa de SpinWheelz. This morning, over breakfast, wifey tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Hey when can we go riding again? I didn't get to ride all weekend and it's driving me nuts."

    What a minx. She knows that the way to a man's heart (this one, at least) is through his crank.
    It's been similar around my house. The Mrs. keeps telling me she's going through withdrawl. She even went out on her own the week before. Sweet! She was nervous riding alone. So we rode some singletrack this past weekend with the kids (double cool!).

    She's been watching the weather all week, trying to plan when we're going again.

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