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  1. #51
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    This is my first season returning to MTB after many years forgetting that I love this sport. I am an new father, my son is now 2 and my daughter is 4mos old now. They are the reason that I came back. My wife and I wanted to return to a healthy active lifestyle to be good examples for them. Between being mindful of what we are eating (quantity and quality) especially when we cant get out as much and adding the activities we have both lost a lot of weight (me 60#, her 90+#). We have done what we have to making time to do activities we love. I enjoy MTB and XC skiing and she enjoys running and the gym. While our work schedules are compatible, our activities are not. Take turns ect. to make it work. It may be a little while before you can get up to full speed training again but its worth it for you and for them.

  2. #52
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    Such great responses!! Thank you everyone!

    I havent found much extra time yet for the bike and I just did my 2nd race in 2 months. I actually bumped up to Sport after my friends kept pushing me. Doesnt make much sense but I figured if anything I could use the extra lap to make up for my lack of week day rides.

    I didnt do well at all (2nd to last) but at least I got to race.

    Im going to use a little bit of all your ideas I think this off season and next spring.

    At least the wife has stopped talking about "the next one" for a bit...
    People ask me all the time "who beat you up"? I tell them "a tree". They just look at me funny....

  3. #53
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    My solution was to commute to work

    i have a burly 25 mile road ride to and from work. i live in Blue Ridge, N. Ga, so the route has very little flat land in it. I try to do a full commute 2 times a week and an out or back 2 times. i am able to get in 100+ miles a week without the family even realizing it. It takes a lot of planning : ironing on the weekend, packing multiple bags etc., but it works. I also have a bike set up on a trainer that I hit once a week. I can usually slide in a good 2-4hr mountain bike ride on the weekends in the early AM.

  4. #54
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    Want more time on your bike?

    Plan A:
    Ride to and from work five days a week! This way when you're home you can spend time with the family. Make lots of loving to your wife, tell her it's part of your training program to get your heart pumping!

    Plan B:
    Ride when they're sleeping. Usually babies sleep about 3-4hrs between feeding, ride fast, they won't know you're gone. Or, ride when they go to sleep at night. You'll need some lights, battery usually last about 4hrs on a full charge. You'll be tired at work the next day, but your body will adjust after a couple of wks.
    By the way...there is less love making with this plan!

    Plan C:
    Sell your bike and get an Xbox 360 Kinect and Just Dance 4 and get your work out this way until you can ride again. This plan gets your wife dancing as well, just don't wake up the baby!

  5. #55
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    All of the above is good advice. But suppose for a moment that your priorities change a bit. That you find it's more important to be hanging with the kid this hanging on the bars. It can happen, and if it does just be ready to give yourself permission: don't divide your attention, instead decide to do one thing well.

    Now, truth is I spent the first three years constantly wishing the kids would go to sleep and frustrated when they wouldn't. Next three being able to do some of my own stuff--but only in the narrow hours after the kids were done. The next three got fun--the golden years--and the kids were a blast to be with and show them the world. And now, they are old enough to ride and hike and ski with me. The circle is complete in just nine years.

  6. #56
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    My wife is a SAHM and I own my own business. I work about 30 hours a week so I havent given up that much. You need to let your wife know that cycling isnt just a hobby, it is how you stay healthy. As long as you keep doing it she will get used to it. She should also have the opportunity to do what she wants to do as well. Since you are a GM you probably make enough for your wife to not work. That will make a huge difference. Do you want a big house or to be able to bike? Do you want a new car or to bike? Do you need a vacation to hawaii for 2 weeks or would you rather bike those 80 hours spread over the entire year?

    Also if you are working 55+ hours a week you simply arent going to have the energy to be strategic. Get yourself down to 30 hours a week by getting your employees to do the things you do and then reserve 10 hours as buffer for when emergencies come up. Bike during the day and work at night after the kids are asleep. Also biking/exercise will make you more efficient at work.


    These days I allow myself 2 sports - kitesurfing and mountain biking. I have given up hockey, ultimate frisbee, rock climbing, golf etc etc. I am very clear on my priorities. When we take vacations they are always some place I can kitesurf. If there is wind I kitesurf. Otherwise I mountain bike to stay in shape.

    There are many things that dont require both parents. Right now Im weaning my wife off of both of us having to go to every single kids birthday party. I dont mind going, but there is no point for both of us to go.

    Whatever you decide to do, everyone around you will eventually get used to it and will adjust.

  7. #57
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    My new son...just hit 3 months!!
    People ask me all the time "who beat you up"? I tell them "a tree". They just look at me funny....

  8. #58
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    This is an awesome post. I love the responses so far. I have a 20 month old boy and a girl on the way this February!

    My 2 cents for making it happen and staying on the bike.

    1) Night ride or alpine start (early morning). I bought a dinotte XML3 this summer and it changed my world. Full speed trail riding at night is a dream. Once you have your little one in a predictable sleep schedule this a great way to get out of the house and ride without repercussions. You can sleep when you are dead. Best 250$ i could have spent! Actually, best 350$ i could have spent since i decided a full face helmet was prudent while riding my bike at night! Family depends on you....and your brain.

    2) Bike commute. This doesnt work for all, but if it does, its the best way to keep some inertia!

    3) You are never doing enough around the house! Clean up, dishes, etc. Dont wait for her to ask, just do it. I am amazed at all the **** i can in one day since having a kid! It earns you points and those points add up. I love the sound the register makes when i have met the deposit quota! "Honey, you should get out for a ride while he is down for his nap". Winner winner chicken dinner.

    4) As the Dali Lama would say, "be here now". Be present with your family. I have recently realized what a dick i can be when i havent gotten my ride in or exercise for that matter. Dont pout or walk around wishing you were somewhere else. Women are smart and they pick up on that stuff. Your kids will start to do the same when they get older. Be psyched when you can get away but also enjoy your family when you are home.

    5) Bike trailer for 6-20 months, rear bike seat for 20+. That is as far as i have gotten with my first! I cant tell you how many times i rode my road bike 20+ miles with my kid dead asleep in the trailer. Hard work pulling up hills...

    6.) Buy a dog. Scratch that, buy a crazy, high energy mut! I have a lab/border collie mix who is a shredder on the trails. He is a little nuts and provides me with ample excuses to get him out for some exercise. It turns out that mountain biking (and backcountry skiing) is perfect for making your dog nice and tired and better behaved.

    Good luck!

  9. #59
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    I go early in the morning and always promise to be home before noon.

    If that doesnt work and you start packing on the pounds, start wearing just your cycling shorts around the house and yard. She will be forced to let you go riding to prevent the neighbours from seening.

  10. #60
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    Tandem + trailer = training + family time.

  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Epic XC View Post
    Tandem + trailer = training + family time.
    My boys are now big enough to get a little of this in (2.5yr old twins). They hate their helmets, though, so getting them both to fit them properly and getting them to not try to pull them off has been a challenge. Plus we adopted a new (6yr old) dog this summer, so he gets in on this, too. Our trailer only attaches to my cross bike, but that works fine for the terrain I'll ride while towing.

    EDIT: just realized you said tandem, I'm just on a bicycle-built-for-one!

  12. #62
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    Our boys are 1 and 3 so I definitely can't push it super hard but manage to get adequate riding in. My wife is pretty serious into running so we have to share mornings. Every morning of the week one of us is out the door riding or running by 5 am. You just don't get tons of sleep if it's your turn to workout. I also used the rollers a fair amount when they were very little and taking multiple naps each day.

  13. #63
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    Lots of 2am rides after feed time worked for me
    cheers
    Pagey

  14. #64
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    The first year is tough and its good to be there for your partner and child and compromise. After that, just get out riding in the evenings when the little one is being put to bed. I would come home dog tired from work sometimes and not feel at all like riding at night, but don't listen to whether you feel like it or not, just get lights on the bike and ride. Once you are rolling all that stress leaves the system and you'll feel better, mentally as well as physically. I would ride 3 nights on and a night off, and after you get used to it...the resistance to going out at 9pm for a ride begins to fall away, and you don't care what time it is anymore, you are just riding. If you can get a friend to come on occasion who rides fast, that can be fun too.
    Don't worry though, the first few months are the toughest then everything settles down and you can get back to doing what you love, whilst learning to be perhaps a bit more flexible and thoughtful in considering your wife and kid's needs also. It can all work out though, keep smiling and just ride when you can.
    Last edited by Tally Ho; 11-29-2012 at 06:24 PM.

  15. #65
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    Divorce

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lickety Split View Post
    Divorce
    That is an expensive option!

  17. #67
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    Great thread, it's reassuring to know that other guys out there are going through the same thing as I am. Our boy is 10 months, and like the op, my wife and I work opposite schedules. This makes it extremely difficult for either one of us to get out.

    Most of the things said in here are things that I either already knew, or had an idea of. I bought a light set, found a night trail, found a commuting route. Even with all of that, it's still hard to set in motion - especially with our schedules. I feel like I should relieve her (I am gone from 5:30am to 6:30pm on my work days). I've been squeezing a mtb ride once every couple of weeks - takes me almost an hour to get to a decent trail, where I get in about 2 hours of riding. This creates a 4 hour gap.
    I think I will push the commuting deal, even though it's only 14 miles round trip.

    I think another thing that most of us new fathers need to understand is (like others have said), things will never be the same. It's one thing to read this and say "I know", and another to actually take it all in. Fussing over ride time means you don't get it.

    Oddly enough, having our kid is what brought me back to biking after a 3 year hiatus. I have way too many hobbies (which you also need to cut down on), but I was heavy into motorcycles, and had gotten my race cert. I've only got one track day in this year. This was in June. I am not sure where my motorcycling stands, but I do know that I can manage SOME kind of two wheeled action on a weekly basis. Like most in here showed, it's about getting off your ass and doing something about it (whether it's working it out with the wife, work, commute). Thanks for those that posted, shows that I still have room to be less lazy.

  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by PRCVT View Post

    5) Bike trailer for 6-20 months, rear bike seat for 20+. That is as far as i have gotten with my first! I cant tell you how many times i rode my road bike 20+ miles with my kid dead asleep in the trailer. Hard work pulling up hills...
    What is a good rule of thumb on when its safe to start them in a trailer? Our boy is 6 months now. I assume most of the trailer issue is that they need good head control and you can find a helmet to fit them.

    Any suggesstions on that?

  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailbrain View Post
    What is a good rule of thumb on when its safe to start them in a trailer? Our boy is 6 months now. I assume most of the trailer issue is that they need good head control and you can find a helmet to fit them.

    Any suggesstions on that?
    Depends on the trailer - some of the newer, more expensive trailers really cradle them and others are more like benches. Obviously you can start at different stages with each. Most kids aren't ready for anything until they are at least 1.

    Use your common sense but I know firsthand that those trailers CAN flip over. Make sure your kid is strong enough to survive that.
    My other bike is a /7.

  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbaier View Post
    Depends on the trailer - some of the newer, more expensive trailers really cradle them and others are more like benches. Obviously you can start at different stages with each. Most kids aren't ready for anything until they are at least 1.

    Use your common sense but I know firsthand that those trailers CAN flip over. Make sure your kid is strong enough to survive that.
    Spot on. Also keep in mind that a helmet doesn't add much weight to an adult head, but isn't really true for an infant. When they're old enough to easily support their head and the weight of a helmet during a quick stop, then I'd say you're ready.

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailbrain View Post
    What is a good rule of thumb on when its safe to start them in a trailer? Our boy is 6 months now. I assume most of the trailer issue is that they need good head control and you can find a helmet to fit them.

    Any suggesstions on that?
    I had my daughter in a trailer at as early as 5.5 months and it went well. Them being able to sit up on their own is a big deal. At that point I still had her in her car carrier and bungie corded to the inside frame of the trailer. Looking back on it, it was probably a little too early and I should have waited a couple months, but I was excited to experience riding with her. IMHO I think the helmets are over-rated. The trailers have a roll cage and 5 point harness and if you are doing anything stupid or dangerous with your child in a trailer then you are an idiot. I only took her on bike/walking paths so I didn't have to worry about the open road and never went more than 14 mph. Don't worry, it is going to be plenty of a workout to pull them without going too fast. People can talk poorly about me, but I don't care. Common sense will go a long way. Do you were a helmet while you drive your car? When she is older and the helmet fits her better I will have her start wearing it if it doesn't bother her.

    Something that I did with my daughter was some times she did great and fell asleep and was good for an hour plus. Other times and it was too bumpy or she was too hot/hungry/sleepy in order to fall asleep and cried the whole time and those rides were 5 minutes or shorter. I ended up with her at 9 months just giving up as I had two rides in a row where they didn't go very well and I didn't want to push it. I didn't want it to be something that she was afraid of or saw the trailer and would start to get upset. Keep it a positive experience and give them toys and snacks and make sure that they drink often as well.

    When this spring rolls around i am going to try the trailer again. She will be about 17 months at that time and she is already more tolerable to things now than when she was 7 months and can go longer without needing naps/food/diaper change.

    So in short, don't push it. If it works, then great and keep going. If it doesn't, try not to get frustrated and don't make it a bad experience for your own ambitions. The time really does fly by and before you know it and with a little age they are more tolerable.

  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailbrain View Post
    What is a good rule of thumb on when its safe to start them in a trailer? Our boy is 6 months now. I assume most of the trailer issue is that they need good head control and you can find a helmet to fit them.

    Any suggesstions on that?
    I had my daughter in a trailer at as early as 5.5 months and it went well. Them being able to sit up on their own is a big deal. At that point I still had her in her car carrier and bungie corded to the inside frame of the trailer. Looking back on it, it was probably a little too early and I should have waited a couple months, but I was excited to experience riding with her. IMHO I think the helmets are over-rated. The trailers have a roll cage and 5 point harness and if you are doing anything stupid or dangerous with your child in a trailer then you are an idiot. I only took her on bike/walking paths so I didn't have to worry about the open road and never went more than 14 mph. Don't worry, it is going to be plenty of a workout to pull them without going too fast. People can talk poorly about me, but I don't care. Common sense will go a long way. Do you were a helmet while you drive your car? When she is older and the helmet fits her better I will have her start wearing it if it doesn't bother her.

    Something that I did with my daughter was some times she did great and fell asleep and was good for an hour plus. Other times and it was too bumpy or she was too hot/hungry/sleepy in order to fall asleep and cried the whole time and those rides were 5 minutes or shorter. I ended up with her at 9 months just giving up as I had two rides in a row where they didn't go very well and I didn't want to push it. I didn't want it to be something that she was afraid of or saw the trailer and would start to get upset. Keep it a positive experience and give them toys and snacks and make sure that they drink often as well.

    When this spring rolls around i am going to try the trailer again. She will be about 17 months at that time and she is already more tolerable to things now than when she was 7 months and can go longer without needing naps/food/diaper change.

    So in short, don't push it. If it works, then great and keep going. If it doesn't, try not to get frustrated and don't make it a bad experience for your own ambitions. The time really does fly by and before you know it and with a little age they are more tolerable.

  23. #73
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    IT DOES GET BETTER WITH TIME. We have 3 and my youngest is 6 now. For a while there, it pretty much sucked. My advice, which is the same as in many of the replies.
    1. It's important to keep riding to some extent so that you don't get resentful about giving so much of yourself to parenting. If you don't do this, you won't be a good dad.
    2. it's important to ride with lesser expectations. Otherwise you'll set yourself up for frustration. You just won't do as well since you aren't getting good sleep with a baby in the house, and with greater demands.
    3. get creative on how to make the most of your training. so many people here are talking about late nite, early AM rides, 2 AM rides (really?) or bringing the kid with you in a trailer. That's exactly right. with little time to waste, be creative. consider spending more time doing intervals on an indoor trainer (much more efficient that riding outside, even though it's not much fun). I used to run with a baby jogger and my son would nap through 5-7 mile runs in a baby jogger.
    4. find some other riders with similar constraints. if you're the only one in your group who has the "ball and chain", then you'll always be pissed. I ride now with guys who have similar parenting/job demands, and we all go out really early in AM, and we all understand each others' constraints.
    5. Kids grow up and life gets easier. But this is your chance now to bond with them. pretty soon, they'll be your training partners.

    good luck man

  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spinning Lizard View Post
    You probably don't want to hear this.

    I personally quit my job and sold just about everything I owned. House and cars and moved to a smaller cheaper house and bought a $700 car, but kept all of my bikes and found a job that would work around my new daughter and training schedule.

    Now I only work 35 hours per week and still have a cheap car and the same house. I ride around 10-20 hours per week and spend every night with the kids, they are now 11 and 8. The kids now also do the races as well and it is a family event for us.

    I do not miss the material things I once had and happier with the lifestyle. The bike frees me in so many ways.

    In life there are many choices, choose what fits your family best. Racing may not be happening for you for the next 5 years or so. I have a great wife who has supported the transition all of the way. Also got rid of our TV 11 years ago as well and believe it or not, that freed up a bunch of time for training.
    This is pure genius. When it comes to material things, less truly is more.....except for bikes of course!

  25. #75
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    When your new son grows up and leaves for college, you're not going to be wishing you spent more time on the bike when he was younger.


    That said, you can still get in plenty of riding. Just don't do it at the expense of quality time with your family. I'm a big fan of the bike trailer and lunch rides.

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