what did y'all find helpful when starting out.. trying to introduce my wife to mtb- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    what did y'all find helpful when starting out.. trying to introduce my wife to mtb

    Hello Ladies..

    When you started riding what did you find most helpful from other riders going with / teaching you MTB.. My wife is a dedicated road cyclist and I am a dedicated not road cyclist (i am afraid of cars) .. I want to get my wife out on the trails more with myself..

    for various reasons my wife is now equipped with this rather magnificent Liv Intregue advance 0


    what did y'all find helpful when starting out.. trying to introduce my wife to mtb-livintregue.jpg


    I'm curious as to what all y'all found most helpful when starting out.. I'm an ok rider ~intermediate probably would best describe .. my wife is a novice mtb rider.. when I met her she would stop and get off her bike if we encountered gravel or loose dirt... progress has occurred since then however.


    thanx for taking the time to read this.

  2. #2
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    I think the best thing would be for her to find a local women's only mountain biking group. It would be even better if you could find one that had a big emphasis on the coaching aspect. It's far less intimidating learning with a bunch of other women especially if some of them are at the same skill level as she is.

  3. #3
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    Some lessons, for sure. If you can't find any good ones in your area take a long weekend somewhere. I find that watching other women who are just like me do something I think I can't do really helps. If they can do it, I can too!
    Ride like a girl! :cornut:

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mLeier View Post
    I think the best thing would be for her to find a local women's only mountain biking group. It would be even better if you could find one that had a big emphasis on the coaching aspect. It's far less intimidating learning with a bunch of other women especially if some of them are at the same skill level as she is.
    There is a lot of value in this. My wife is braver/ more confident when on the ladies rides for sure and will follow women down obstacles that she won't when following me.

    Good luck.

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  5. #5
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    What they said. Clinics, weekly rides, getaway weekends..... nothing personal but getting the spouse dynamic out of the picture (in most cases) helps new riders progress.

  6. #6
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    Everyone is different. My approach to riding with my wife (when she was beginning) was the same approach I use riding with any new rider, including my kids when they were young. Go out and have fun. I know it seems like an "eye-roller" piece of advice, but I ride with her because I love doing stuff with her, not because I want to make her a better rider - that's up to her.

    When I first rode with my youngest son, we'd get on the trail, go 200 yards, sit down, have a candy bar and a sip of water, turn around and go home. Now he tortures me on 20+ mile Moab death marches. I still have fond memories of those 400 yard round trip rides!

    My wife is passionate, now, about riding. I always just kind of "went with the flow" so to speak and paid attention to whether or not she was having a good time. Other than that, I try not to overthink it.

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    kewl.. thanx for the replies.. /if the weather cooperates we are going riding (super mellow trail) tomorrow.. I will check around / ask my wife how she feels about the girl group ride thing.. I think** there are some near by here..

    in fairness my wife's mtb'ing interest was derailed (pun??) a couple years ago by her female friend trying to push my wife to try to manual which ended BADLY OTB and busted lip =\ I wasn't there.. so how the OTB occurred?? I'm not sure ,I'd have thought loop-out would have been more likely but whatever.. It took me awhile to convince her to give it another go..

  8. #8
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    Sigh. I don't know why people thing manuals are a beginner skill. An important one, yes, but for a novice?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by atarione View Post
    kewl.. thanx for the replies.. /if the weather cooperates we are going riding (super mellow trail) tomorrow.. I will check around / ask my wife how she feels about the girl group ride thing.. I think** there are some near by here..

    in fairness my wife's mtb'ing interest was derailed (pun??) a couple years ago by her female friend trying to push my wife to try to manual which ended BADLY OTB and busted lip =\ I wasn't there.. so how the OTB occurred?? I'm not sure ,I'd have thought loop-out would have been more likely but whatever.. It took me awhile to convince her to give it another go..
    People of either gender can push people to do stupid stuff on bikes. When I was starting out, I didn't necessarily like riding with the guy I was dating at the time, but I necessarily didn't like the whole "all women's clinic/ride" scene either. I actually had some really experienced guy friends I enjoyed the most learning from. Many areas will do mixed gendered beginner friendly rides, so if she's not keen on all women, that may be an option. Does she have any road riding friends who also MTB that she might be comfortable going with?

  10. #10
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    What my wife finds difficult about the all women rides, is the constant and extended stopping. They do the whole 'no one left behind' thing that guys generally don't abide by.

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  11. #11
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    Good point, but all groups aren't the same. We run social pace no drop rides which are exactly as you describe, but we also run intermediate and above rides that are a totally different pace. The women's ride scene isn't for everyone but it's a really good venue for some.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    Everyone is different. My approach to riding with my wife (when she was beginning) was the same approach I use riding with any new rider, including my kids when they were young. Go out and have fun. I know it seems like an "eye-roller" piece of advice, but I ride with her because I love doing stuff with her, not because I want to make her a better rider - that's up to her.
    *snip*
    My wife is passionate, now, about riding. I always just kind of "went with the flow" so to speak and paid attention to whether or not she was having a good time. Other than that, I try not to overthink it.
    This right here. At least for me it was a similar experience. My husband and I actually started mtn biking together at the same time. We had a blast playing with our bikes, exploring trails, making a day of it, etc. I tried riding with women's groups but it was just not fun for me. I preferred riding with just my husband. We've been riding for six years now and upgraded our bikes in the meantime.

    *edited to add - We did not start with all the high end stuff nor even all the gear. We built it up as time went along. I think that was a big part of our enjoyment. Just talking about our trails, gear, planning our next trips. It wasn't all laid out for either of us. It was all new to us both.

  13. #13
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    So update.. went out with the wife last weekend ... it went ~ok.. no crashes but she was unwilling to commit (speed up and shift to get up big hills.) I'd look back and she was no where to be seen would go back to find her pushing the bike up fairly small climbs..

    she was in front of me at one point, and it is a miracle i didn't wipe us both out when she panic stopped at what was a very small descent..

    I did notice the other day that she had bashed her leg multiple times on the flat pedals


    apparently there is a clinic in about a week for girls she is going to .. she knows the lady leading the class so it hopefully will be helpful...

  14. #14
    L1MEY
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    What kind of pedals and shoes does she have? Bashed up shins suck. A quick fix is a pair of soccer shin guards... she can shove them in her socks while she's learning proper flat pedal technique and ditch them once she feels comfortable. Bonus: they're cheap and widely available.
    Ride like a girl! :cornut:

  15. #15
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    kewl ..good idea.. I will get her the soccer shin guards.. that should help

    her pedals are some VP-001 pedals

    VP-001 - VP Components

  16. #16
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    Maybe you should stop pushing, and let her ride where and how she wants.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    Maybe you should stop pushing, and let her ride where and how she wants.
    Ummm perhaps there has been some confusion.. my wife got the Intrigue for herself.. she wants to mtb.. she is just a novice.. all I have been trying to do is figure out how to encourage and support that aim of her's...

    occasionally I have been surprised by her getting scared by things I didn't think would be intimidating, but I have been doing my best to not seem frustrated or pressure her to go beyond what she feels she can handle at the time.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by atarione View Post
    So update.. went out with the wife last weekend ... it went ~ok.. no crashes but she was unwilling to commit (speed up and shift to get up big hills.) I'd look back and she was no where to be seen would go back to find her pushing the bike up fairly small climbs..

    she was in front of me at one point, and it is a miracle i didn't wipe us both out when she panic stopped at what was a very small descent..
    ah, here is something that I can comment on!

    Pushing up hills happens when you're a beginner. If you don't know what gear to be in when the hill comes, or you don't have that familiarity with your bike to know HOW to get into the right gear quickly, you can run out of gas halfway up and end up pushing your bike. Also, if you don't have the power or muscle to keep pedaling you can end up pushing. I remember doing some of that as a beginner, on hills that look like no big deal now. Give her some encouragement and some time, and she'll get there. DON'T offer advice LOL.

    Also, if she is in front give her some space. I HATED it when I was slower than my boyfriend and he was right on my back wheel... I felt pressured and nervous. Plus, it opens up the potential for crashes when a beginner gets nervous on a technical section/downhill/climb/ switchback (as you discovered).

    Riding with a newbie can be a challenge, be courteous and patient and only offer advice when it is requested. Glad to hear your wife is getting out there with you!
    I drank the 29er koolaid- turns out it was POWERade :)

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtbRN View Post
    ah, here is something that I can comment on!

    Pushing up hills happens when you're a beginner. If you don't know what gear to be in when the hill comes, or you don't have that familiarity with your bike to know HOW to get into the right gear quickly, you can run out of gas halfway up and end up pushing your bike. Also, if you don't have the power or muscle to keep pedaling you can end up pushing. I remember doing some of that as a beginner, on hills that look like no big deal now. Give her some encouragement and some time, and she'll get there. DON'T offer advice LOL.

    Also, if she is in front give her some space. I HATED it when I was slower than my boyfriend and he was right on my back wheel... I felt pressured and nervous. Plus, it opens up the potential for crashes when a beginner gets nervous on a technical section/downhill/climb/ switchback (as you discovered).

    Riding with a newbie can be a challenge, be courteous and patient and only offer advice when it is requested. Glad to hear your wife is getting out there with you!


    kewl.. good advice.. it was fully my bad on being too close, It is a section I ride a lot and I just didn't think about the possibility of her braking to a stop there... but I will be more aware of that in future...

    I will try to keep the advice to a min... I did try to explain shifting a bit.. but I mostly tried to be patient and wait up and all.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by atarione View Post
    ...she was unwilling to commit (speed up and shift to get up big hills.) I'd look back and she was no where to be seen would go back to find her pushing the bike up fairly small climbs..

    ...she was in front of me at one point, and it is a miracle i didn't wipe us both out when she panic stopped at what was a very small descent..
    I guess my response would be, okay, so what? She's pushing up hills (and continuing to ride when she can, I assume) and she's unwilling to commit...again, so what? I'm unwilling to commit sometimes too. Don't ride way ahead of her, it's a bit demoralizing when someone is THAT much faster than you, and if you are on her back wheel and she panic stops and you almost run into her, that's your fault.

    Relax a bit. Do you want to be biking with her when you're both in your 70's? Focus on the long term. Nobody (other than her) should care if she can clean a climb. My lovely bride rides flats with soft shin guards also and it does help!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by atarione View Post
    kewl.. good advice.. it was fully my bad on being too close, It is a section I ride a lot and I just didn't think about the possibility of her braking to a stop there... but I will be more aware of that in future...

    I will try to keep the advice to a min... I did try to explain shifting a bit.. but I mostly tried to be patient and wait up and all.
    Try riding in front of her rather than on her tail. Go really slow though so that she can stay close behind you. This way she can see the line you choose and you can also help her know when to shift when a hill is coming up. You can explain it to her the first time and then tell her to listen to when you shift. Just remember that it will a very leisurely ride for you and hopefully you will be able to stick together and not get so far ahead of her that she is trying to keep up or that you have to wait for her. That kind of negates the whole "getting out together" thing.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by atarione View Post
    Ummm perhaps there has been some confusion.. my wife got the Intrigue for herself.. she wants to mtb.. she is just a novice.. all I have been trying to do is figure out how to encourage and support that aim of her's...

    occasionally I have been surprised by her getting scared by things I didn't think would be intimidating, but I have been doing my best to not seem frustrated or pressure her to go beyond what she feels she can handle at the time.
    That comment still stands, you are worrying about her committing when going uphill, you worry that she is intimidated, that she is going slower than you. Just...stop.

    And maybe ride somewhere else. Can you find an area that is completely flat? It doesn't have to be mountainbike-worthy, just flat.
    2018 Surly Karate Monkey 'dingle' speed
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