Amstel Gold Race 2014
  • Pete

    Interesting article. Currently experiencing this myself. I was doing ok up until our little one got to 6 months then it’s slipped away. She’s currently teething (hooray for me.) All I’m doing currently is a couple of trainer sessions per week at the moment unfortunately.

  • Chris

    “Kids have ruined my life.”
    A huge stigma associated with saying anything even remotely close to this. You’re just not allowed to ever even suggest that it’s not the most rewarding thing you’ve ever done or that you’d ever reconsider.
    “Wouldn’t change a thing” is what you have to say.

    • jules

      the grass is always greener for some people. i don’t have kids (the ‘doctors’ tell me something about ‘needing a partner’ first) but seeing my nephews always lights my day up so sometimes i wonder about it, then i remember it would tie me down, etc. make the best of what you got.

    • scottmanning

      Maybe. Of course Kids change your life and you’d be a fool hard to think they wouldn’t. Thing is they are very rewarding and I dearly love having mine around but yes, there is a cost, a big cost. Hopefully folks consider the cost before signing up.

  • Dave

    Only got into riding after having kids, and can average about 150km/week. That’s usually a few early morning rides before work and a longer one on the weekend. The key for me has been going to bed earlier (sometimes just after the kids do) and getting up earlier so most of my riding is done before everyone else is up. It helps to have a great wife who understands and lets me get out enough to stay fit.

  • I have 3 young kids and have recently taken up cycling. I ride between 6-7am 3 times a week in a group in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne.

    The no. 1 piece of advice that I would give is to put your family first and squeeze out your rides when you can. Your spouse is far more likely to give you passes if they are happy.

    Plan in well ahead a longer ride and let your spouse know well in advance so that they can plan around it, and also offer an alternative time for them to go out and get some free time.

  • Gilly

    Having an understanding partner who is also committed to fitness let’s us slot in regular times where we cover each other.

  • Steel

    My tips (I’ve got a 3yo and a 5monther)

    1. Commute (obvious one)
    2. Try to work rides in with family trips where long periods of time would be spent in the car. e.g. I try to ride down to Red Hill to the family holiday house. I leave an hour earlier than the missus/kids and she gets there an hour before me. It does involve a heap of pre-ride organisation to get the car packed and yourself ready for the ride, but once you’re out on the road those trevails are soon forgotten.

    Even with tips 1+2 you’ll still be struggling and I’d suggest reading Wade’s advice above – always remember that performance is all relative and there’s always someone better than you.

    • scottmanning

      I’d second that. I always take the bike on holidays. When the kids are sleeping in, or just playing in the back yard I’m off for a ride. The Mrs will want to go off and do something that I’m not interested in so that’s when I get return the favour!

  • Pat

    Great topic Wade, I grapple with it every day! We have three under four. Took me the best part of 18 months to figure out how to fit in any riding, but I figured a few options:
    Best option: commute. If you can leave home 30 min earlier then make the commute 30 min longer or hillier or whatever. I also left my bike at work when the commute was too far, took the train to work 1.5 hours early and changed into my kit, did an hour ride near work, then showered and hit the desks.
    Two: set up the trainer or rollers in the garage. Get up early, do an hour or 45 min or whatever, then back into the family home to get the kids up and fed etc, then off to work.
    Good luck to all the dad’s and mums :)

  • Mel

    The hardest thing has been that my husband and I used to ride together all the time – it was a big part of our courtship! But since having kids (5 and 3 now) we mostly go out alone since we just snatch mtb or road rides when and where we can. The upside is that getting a babysitter for a Sunday morning pedal together is our idea of a hot date!

  • Andy Logan

    Writing this as I look after my 1yr old while Mum is at work. I have found achieving buy-in the most important thing. Also I dedicate Sunday as family day three times a month which leaves racing once a month, it’s a sacrifice but it’s worth it. Also as mentioned great time management and getting up early. When I am working normally I am up before 5am and training before work + the ride home from work = decent training each week. A coach is invaluable for this I find.

    This Easter I managed to barter a couple of longer rides in on the agreement I dedicated one day to some work on the house. Also I am attending the NSW State races and bring the wife as she chills with the other WAGS so that works as well.

  • Ummm… at the risk of sounding like a parenting expert – I am a parenting expert! Haha.

    So my wife and I have just had our 6th daughter (aged from 15 to newborn). I run my own business (writing and speaking about parenting), and I ride.

    For a year or two I was riding from 4am ’til 7am. It improved my riding but made me a worse father. Now I ride a few times a week when it fits with my family. I love riding. But I love my family more.

    My tips:

    1. Buy in from spouse is key. Happy wife, happy life. If your spouse/partner feels slighted or that the bike matters more than the family, resentment builds and family life stinks.

    2. Save the long rides for special occasions. Short rides mean less time away from family, and more time being present.

    3. When you’re old and falling apart it won’t matter how many B-grade podiums you scored. All that will matter is that your kids felt loved, and that they’ve felt your influence in their lives.

    • I should have asked you to write this Justin! And congrats on #6! You must have a few tips for Jens, no?

      • I think I do better at parenting than cycling Wade – so that probably tells you where my priorities are.

        I used to do two rides per week where my alarm woke me at 3.30am so I could meet the boys at 4.15 (a 15 minute ride from home – and I’d sneak in a few extra kms on the way there), and we’d do around 100km. But I found I was cranky the night before because I needed to get to bed, and I was cranky all afternoon the day I rode because I was smashed.

        I’ve accepted the fact that I’ll probably never ride quite as much as I’d like. My goals have shifted towards fitness and time with mates (where our schedules meet).

        Tips for Jens? He tells his legs to shut up when they’re complaining. I’ve always wondered what he says to his kids when they are whining. The way he talks about them in the vids I’ve seen where he mentions them, I reckon he does alright.

        • scottmanning

          Yeah the “it’s 6:30pm and I really need to get to bed” thing is where the sticking point is for me. I’m up at 4am for rides 6 days a week. After the kids are in bed (7:30pm) is the only time we get to have some proper time together and just be a couple so I push through the tiredness. I tend to only get 6-7hrs of sleep a night but it has worked for over 12months at this level of training anyway. I have often though of riding less and recovering more but anyway.

  • Stu

    I have a 3 year old and a 5 month old, btw, second kid is a piece of cake and I happen to love having kids! My wife runs (she has a bike and insanely would rather run??), I ride, we both make time for each other to do our own thing. It’s a constant negotiation and the earlier in the morning the better for both of us, get up early, get out and back home for Peppa Pig. On my mornings, the misses looks after the kids at night if needed and vice versa and again negotiate, negotiate, negotiate!

    • Nitro

      Getting more than slightly off topic, but my wife showed me a Blog quote the other day “Motherhood may have turned my brain to mush – but I still know what time Peppa Pig is on every day”….

      Ah the things only parents will understand :)

  • Sally

    Hi

    Good article! I’m not a hard core cyclist anymore since having children. As the wife and at one stage milk pump, my cycling desires were shelved. I now commute by bike instead, usually having a child or two in tow. It’s not so bad as my 8 year old now has his own road bike and my youngest son is on a tag a long bike. The tag a long bike provides me with great cardio abd strength training. Dragging half a steel bike with a 4 year old on the back refusing to pedal is not easy.

    I’ve just changed how and when I do it while I await the return of the…..good old days :).

  • Tim

    A well timed article with #3 arriving a few weeks ago behind her 7 yr old brother and 5 year old sister. It’s been character building (I raced pre children and recommenced post #2) and I’m not sure of the answer (or compromise) yet. One issue I have constantly battled with is the mental space cycling can consume and its (negative) consequence on my parenting – worrying about tomorrow’s (or yesterday’s) race/workout instead of engaging with your kids is suboptimal. I’ve found two strategies to alleviate this (there’s plenty of work left for me to do on this though) – mental training (see a sports psych) and get a coach (then you don’t worry about what the work out is or should have been, they do that) – maybe one more, talk to your mates and look out for mates who have just become dads for the first or subsequent time… they might need a chat, or a babysitter ????).

  • Yann

    I love my kids, but I need to be happy to be a good Papa, so I feel no guilt about getting my riding in as well… my wife just calls it my mental health break.

  • MidLifeMark

    Great thread.
    I’m forever trying to work out the magic formula, and perhaps am gradually getting a little closer.
    Key ingredients:
    1. Bikes for the kids. They’ve always had bikes, and now aged 10, 12 and 14 will go out riding alone, together or with friends. No spousal angst about vicariously buying good bike gear for the kids!
    2. Exercise with the kids. When they were younger, they were still fast enough on a bike to ride with me when I went for a run. Now when they have club or school sport, there’s usually time for a short ride or run and still be able to catch enough of the game for them to know I’m interested.
    3. Invest time in training the kids. My 14 year old can now hold a wheel at 35kmh and is on the verge of being able to come on a group ride and hold his own. Any time I’m riding with him ticks all the boxes – I’m out with him hopefully teaching good habits and road skills, I’m getting a ride in (albeit not as far or fast as it might otherwise be), and my wife is happy!
    4. Rollers. Time efficiency +++. More interesting than the wind trainer too.
    5. Time. Quite a long time. Babies are hard. Toddlers are tough. Primary school it gets easier. Now it’s even better. You love them at every stage, but it’s the hard work that brings the satisfaction and true love. A bit like cycling I guess.

  • Nitro

    Great article.

    I only started riding after the kids arrived, and actually started riding BECAUSE the kids arrived.

    Sleep depravation and the basic need to do whatever it took to “survive” put me on the path of junk food, eating at odd times, no exercise and generally a downward spiral of health.

    Now, I try to ride at least 3 mornings a week – I’m generally up and rolling at a time that starts with a 5 (for someone who in his youth used to be able to sleep until lunchtime thats a big deal), and home in time to manage work / family. Result – Happier, Healthier and Fitter now than I was 20 years ago.

    I actually think its really positive that our 2 x boys are growing up in an environment where “Daddy’s gone for a bike ride” and “Mummy’s gone to the gym” are heard regularly – I figure if they grow up in an house where exercise is promoted, it’ll be a habit they have for life…

    I just need to work on expectation setting with the 6yo… Now he’s all kitted up with the 21 speed mountain bike, he wants to join the “Hill ride” as its referred to in our house (Swap the “i” for “e” and I’m sure you’ll work it out).

    Little does he know that Daddy’s too slow to keep up …

  • latte rider

    1. Happy wife, happy life.
    2. get the kids out riding. This has taken a lot of patience, but now my 6yo loves to ride! Now I can get my fix and share my love of cycling with my kids.
    3. Save the long rides for a special occasion.

  • Andrew

    I have a 7yo daughter who is starting to become more independent and it is a bit of a shock. It has made me realise that sometimes you just have to say you can’t go. Also buy a home trainer and a few training DVDs as you can train and still be at home and avoid the arguments and guilt.

  • Nick

    As a sometimes frustrated father of three, this was a great read (especially the comments). My tips:
    1. Always be prepared to let a ride go. Even if you have planned a ride for weeks, the sun is shining and you already have your spiffiest lycra on, if one of the kids has a sore tummy, you need to say ‘no’ to the bike and not give it another thought.
    2. You can often get more from a one hour ride than a four hour epic.
    3. Save the money you once used on the latest widgets and put it toward the cycling tour of Europe you’re going to do with your kids in 2030.

  • Darren

    Never underestimate the power of “Happy wife- happy life”.

    -Keep your other half informed. Put races/rides in *their* diary.
    -Get them involved. Early starting races cut into weekend sleep-ins, so rent-a-crowd spectators might be hard to motivate. But get mum and the kids interested in riding and ask if they want to go for a ride (that might just be a flat bar road bike ride for 12km), before just heading out yourself for a 90k-er. Now they know how much enjoyment there is in a ride.

    As for younger babies, I saw a pic a while ago of a guy on a high-end carbon roadie, with 60mm carbon wheels and a baby trailer attached. That’s the way to do it!

  • Pierre Pino

    My son has been riding with me since he was nine. He now rides competitively and is faster than me. It’s been great spending quality time with him on the bike over the years, we’ve had some great discussions on some long rides but I fear that those days are numbered as he starts to look for faster riding buddies. Just wish I could get my wife into it now but no luck.

  • Geoff

    It probably helps when the people you cycle with also have kids – that way your priorities in getting back to family early on a Saturday morning tend to be aligned with those of your mates.
    There is another aspect though, where your kids start taking an interest in bikes. One of the most amazing bonding experiences is getting out early on a Saturday or Sunday morning with my 7 year old son and going for a 20 to 30km ride with him, stopping halfway to have a coffee while he polishes off a milkshake. There is nothing like the smile on his face as he drinks the milkshake, and the resulting sugar rush that propels his little MTB to over 30km/h afterwards! My son wants a road bike, but I have told him he needs to wait a little!
    My daughter, at 4 years old is a bit young to go on longer rides, and is still learning to ride unaided. She loves to roll her sleeves up though and help give a dirty bike a scrub. She does a pretty good job of scrubbing filthy brakes! She has even tried her hand at tightening cones!

    If they are interested, getting your kids involved in your cycling can add another extremely fulfilling angle to both cycling and parenting. Even if your kids ultimately don’t take up cycling. Teaching them to ride a bike safely and responsibly is an important skill. Too many kids learn to ride without proper supervision and never properly learn how to ride safely in traffic or with other cyclists.

  • Peter Dean

    Get them hooked!

  • Monsieur Pi Pi

    Really agree with all of the above. Another great option is getting into cyclocross, through winter my longest training ride is an hour, on Sunday mornings I can take the kids to Auskick while the wife has a sleep in and still race in the afternoon and the kids and wife enjoy coming along to see the spectacle. Just wish there were more races. (Have to soak and wash my own kit though).

  • Duane Gran

    It definitely changes things, but you settle into a new routine and most parents look back on the large swaths of time they had pre-parenthood and realize that it forces you to prioritize. I reduced my volume after having kids but I also learned how to increase my intensity and make better use of the trainer. The net result is that I achieve my pre-kids ability on less time.

    Some of the most fun I have on a bike is with my kids too. Just this weekend I took the training wheels off my daughter’s bike and taught her how to ride. I’m looking forward to an interesting journey together with my kids and I hope they take some interest in sport, but I’ll do my level best to not pressure them.

    My advice to endurance athletes having kids is to keep perspective. Parenting is a hard job and it cuts into exercise time and your ability to recover. At times it feels like your life has gone to pot but it is a process of adapting to the challenge and eventually it becomes the new normal. Think of it like adapting to training stress.

  • Jason

    My first couple of years of fatherhood were my best thus far. I had great time management and was able to put in 10-14hr mostly before anyone woke during the week and usually back home by 10am on weekends. I broke all my personal bests and upgraded to CAT 2. I thought i had it all figured out… and then we had another child, and then the first one started school and then he started extracurricular activities… now i’m lucky to get in 6hrs a week.

  • Peter

    Wade, I am really grateful for you having brought this topic up. It is something which I have been going through also–I am 35 (just) & the father of a 2 yr old & a 4 month old. I have been only cycling for a year however I did cycle pretty intensely between 2006-2008 (stopped when I moved to London & couldn’t stand doing laps of Richmond park after a while) so I did have some prior background in the sport.

    Here are my learnings & tips which I have gathered after making just about every mistake in the book. I hope they are useful.

    1. Set goals which are specific, actionable & compatible with the time you have available. Align those goals up front with your spouse & get buy in. Align your training plan with her & stick to it: times when you are dying to ride don’t go off plan as this will cause tension. Stretch or do some core strength exercises at home instead.

    2. Time Management:

    a. Make choices about how you spend your time, prioritise & make
    efficiencies. For me this means that I work, I have family & I cycle & is it.
    Social time with friends is spent out on the bike or watching a bike
    race on TV while I watch the kids.

    b. Become efficient with your cycling time. For me this meant
    hiring a coach (you can hook up quite reasonably with one via
    training peaks), saying “here is the time I have please make the
    best use of it.” I also purchased a high end turbo trainer, a power meter, & subscribed to trainerroad.com. You would be amazed on what you can achieve in an hour.
    Plan your routes–make sure you know where you are going so no time is spent lost, making it up. Garmin 800 & GPX files are your friends here.

    c. Be prepared to start early; try to find others in the same boat as yourself as this will commit you. Right now most of my friends are single or childless & ride when the sun is warm enough.

    3. Happy wife–happy life. This probably should be point 1. In my plan every 3rd weekend I take off from cycling entirely & devote that totally to the family. If you can afford to spend some money, do (if you have made choices in 2.a you will notice you have some spare)–I have a nanny come at the weekend to watch the kids while I am out on my long rides & I fly my wife & kids back to her family every 6-8 weeks for 1 week when I do a really intense training block.

    4. Be flexible & prepared to miss a ride if something comes up. This is where having a go to turbo workout can help fill in gaps.

    5. Get your sleep. I made the mistake of trying to use willpower to battle through insufficient sleep & to keep on training. I made myself unwell & missed weeks of training.

    There is no doubt more but it is late & I need that sleep ;-)

  • winky

    My main tip. Commute. It’s free time.

    Everything else is a bonus. If you’re the working partner, shoulder some of the child-minding burden with your home partner to give them some free time (even when you’re completely shagged after a hard day at the office) and they’ll be happy to return the favour when a weekend ride is part of the program. If both of you work, well you’re pretty screwed as you will both selfishly guard even a spare minute, but one of you could always give up work and accept that you will have to live with less “stuff”.

    (P.S: Life’s too short for stationary trainers.)

  • Sam

    Great article and even better discussions. I’m expecting my first in the next 2 months, so this was timely!

  • Marcus

    Kids can be used as core training equipment. Use them with a swiss ball. And when you drop them they don’t damage the floorboards like kettlebells do.

  • scottmanning

    I have three, 5,7, & 9. I used to just ride the bunch rides, three times a week but then I found a goal, a fonda and put in bigger kms telling them “It’s only temporary”. Thing is, it wasn’t! Once that goal was achieved there are bigger and better ones!

    I get 10-12 hours in a week by getting up at 4am, on the bike at 4:30, home at 7. I sat down with the wife and discussed it. I asked “what time do you want me home in the mornings and I will make it work” and that is what I have done. Saturday morning they all sleep in so I get 3-4hrs in then.

  • slowK

    Agree with all the tips above about how to fit it all in.

    One thing no-one has really mentioned is illness. I’ve been consistently and frequently unwell since we had kids. (We have a 3yo and a 1yo with another on the way.) All the little paediatric infections/viral illnesses added onto sleep deprivation and being tired and run down is a bad mix. It’s hard to keep on bouncing back, or to even get off baseline when you get sick so often.

    Luckily it seems to have settled down now, but for the first two years it was tough.

  • MattyP

    I commute regularly, plus advise about upcoming events I want to participate it. Have spent the last few years going on family holidays to Adelaide for the TdU which have been great & everyone has enjoyed.

    My main challenge now is to get my 2.5yo daughter riding before she turns 3! She already said she wants a ‘pedal-bike’ like her older brothers.

    N+1 for kids bikes is fun too. We have 5 kids bikes at home ranging from 12″ to 24″ wheels.

  • Paolo

    My tip is to move to Sydney. Riding here is so boring and s@#$ that 8/10 times i rather play with my 12 months old than to go for a ride in traffic or around some park for the 200’s time.

  • kevin

    To race or ride well with a family takes commitment and time. Time for training needs to be prioritized –
    t.v., pub nights and other nonsense quickly adds up to 10-12 hrs.

    I’m often on the trainer on a sunny day, late at night or pulling a trailer etc in order to get rides in. These definitely aren’t the ride I want but they make racing or crushing your friends more enjoyable.

    The hardest part I find is making it through sat. afternoon at the playground after a good club ride – can’t get up too fast or the trees start spinning

  • Jason

    I’m a father of three (oldest 7) and at 23 I hate to think I’m missing out on my prime years as a competitive cyclist usually what I’ll do when the misses is out I’ll put my kids in their room as “punishment” lock the door and head out for two hours on the bike by the time I’m back home they’ve either fallen asleep or are doing something productive ( Learning how to shadow box ) when it comes to racing I’ve left the kids in the car plenty of times and will treat them to maccas on the home for not complaining and on many occasions with my prize money for finishing in top 3.

    • Darryn

      Very similar to me Jason, most days I leave the wife and 5 kids at home for me to complete some training in the hills then head to the pub and have a few quiet ones for recovery. The wife does most of the work(like a good woman should) while I take care of my baby, a new Colnago. First time racing B grade in a couple of weeks so looks like I’ll be out training a bit more.

  • ed – sydney

    my wife has gone back to work this year (3 days a week). managing riding and two babies is a lot harder than just the one. if i want to ride the days she work i have to be home by 630 to help with getting the kids ready for daycare and having everyone out the door by 730. so in order to get a good ride i start at 5 – same start time on saturday but i can ride to about 930. sunday morning is her morning to do whatever. a good week is 230km/week – assuming the kids sleep properly, the weather is good & i can stay motivated. its tough but earlier starts are the only time i can get my riding in & the only headspace time i get to myself. i have found my riding is more structured as my time is limited. it also means i train harder as i need as much bang for my buck in the limited time. the kids love it when i come home with crossiants. you can make it work but it requires plenty of compromises – but its worth it

    • ed – sydney

      i should add i was so glad tour of bright for masters was graded last year. i am amazed at the performance some masters can do – hats off to them – but with a young family there is no way i can even compete with those guys (sans babies) who are pushing out 350km+/week.

  • Paolo Zilio

    I have a wife and a daughter (and soon another baby..), and they come first. I ride when I have time to, tipically twice a week, but the good thing is that I’m forced to ride at 110% everytime, because I know time is limited, and I have to get the best results from my reduced training sessions.

  • Pickle

    From a new Mum, if breastfeeding, and with a bottle refusing baby, 30 mins on the trainer feels how an hour used to. I’ve even had her in a sling whilst I’m dojng a lkttle turbo spin, or playmat next to me. Singing nursery rhymes at the same time is hard work! I want her to grow up knowing that exercise is part of daily life (although I only do one bike session a week at present).

  • mark

    I’ve finally accepted that road racing will return in good time, be that 10 years – so be it. I’ve also stopped comparing our family against others, there are plenty of families who do x,y,z. doesnt mean that it works for everyone.

    I’ve got an awesome little 2 year old who loves cruising town on his wee-ride, chasing buses and on an endless quest for new playgrounds.

    I’ve also fallen back on track racing, 7-10pm 1 night a week. requires bugger all training! Had a reasonably successful season with 1 roller session and some strength conditioning at home.

    just awaiting a crit racing scene locally for winter and i’m set.

    Wade, interested in your stats, they could be biased with a large number of respondants only taking up cycling after having kids, thus the drop in the 0-50km bracket after having kids.

  • Marc Evans

    I have a boy who has recently turned 1 and my riding was pretty much unchanged for the first 8/9months (800-1000km’s a months) but more recently my time on the bike has taken a dip due to additional working commitments. My partner knows it’s good for all of us that I get out on the bike every morning for a few hours as I don’t drink anymore and it’s therefore classed as my ‘only vice’.

  • Jonno

    We have 4 kids now ranging from 11 to 18. My wife and I have always been riders and always taken the kids on rides – starting out in the trailer and then on their own bikes. It has been great riding together over the years and feeling the fun build up as their abilities improve. It now costs me a lot of training to keep in front of our 16 and 18 yr old boys – and it is heaps of fun. We now race MTB together and can almost fill a Brady Bunch team of 6 category at events like the MONT 24. Sometimes we go for riding holidays finding an alternate route to a destination and ride the 100 or so kms with whoever wants to ride riding and someone driving, great fun with a few families.
    Through all of this the key for me has been continuing the commute to and from work. It helps that we live 30km from work and she is an economist and loves saving petrol money. When I am building up for something I just get up earlier and ride the long way – the rule for me is to always be home for dinner, and it has been a mutually agreed equilibrium.

  • Vanilla_Thrilla

    My tip for fitting in as much riding as possible consists of trying to match riding with family outings.

    Heading to the beach or visiting friends or rellies? I try to load the car up early and then leave on my bike an hour or 2 in advance of the tribe and meet up with the family at the destination. Then either ride back or put the bike on the rack and drive home together.

    It limits the time the wife is stuck alone at home with the kids and you’re still involved in family activities

  • Anon

    So we have had plenty of tips on how to ride while being a parent, but this is also a great time to ask questions of a good audience.

    Lets forget the stigma around not liking kids at the moment and assume you are reasonable cyclists below 30yoa without kids. Then assume you dont really like kids very much (like many sub 30 men).

    From the more mature, wiser parents out there: Is it actually worth it? If you had your time again, would you prefer to spend your time with children or with your bike?
    Be honest now, nobody knows who you are.

  • f_rele

    I averaged 2.3h a day on a year in the saddle before I got kids. With first kid I dropped 30% training time and when the kid was 8mo I did uphill intervals with the kid in the trailer. Even during the winter months I put my son in winter overalls and wrapped him in sheep skin fur sleeping bag, put him to trailer and headed out. We were able this way to took turns with wife and it was ok. This ended when my boy stopped sleeping and learned to talk. He wanted to talk with me during the ride and so I got an xtracycle. This limited the rides to summer only, since kid was no longer protected inside canopy and sleeping bag.

    Then came 2nd kid and everything changed. Timetables flew out of the window. I used to ride 5.30-8.00 to work, but the baby woke up at 5 and went to sleep 24. My morning slot was gone and I had to be home more and thats when basically my all outside training ended and were switched to indoor trainer rides here and there. My wife was with kids all day (she has a small business that she manages from home) and when I got home it was my turn to watch the kids and give time to my wife to recover. Before 2nd kid was 8mo bike riding was not an option and when that happened, my 1st kid was pedalling and did not want to sit in xtracycle. That moment onward it was either him riding or me riding faster with my kids sitting onboard. I chose to give my son the joy of cycling on he’s own. Now on weekends we go to long bikerides together and try to do as much as commuting / grocery rides with bike as possible. I still get the joy of cycling and spending time with my son but on fitness wise i get almost nothing but that is ok.

    I see my former race companions in FB who have also had kids spending all their vacations during winter training in spain on an expensive cycling camp. And their wifes/grandparents watch the kids. I feel sorry for their kids and green from envy at the same time.

    Now when 2nd kid is almost 3yo, finally schedule has settled so that I can ride in basement on a trainer 5-7 while kids and wife sleep and go to work or do outside ride with extraloop to work. This means that at 22 when the younger one finally sleeps I brush my teeth and go to bed.

  • Adrian Loewen

    I think things are diffrerent when cycling was your childhood sport. However, Its still a challenge. When my older kids were small I stopped altogether. Now I do considerably less (alot less) and can still hang in the Elite pack. My drive is not as strong as when I was a cadet or junior or even Senior 1, but it is still elemental to my sanity to not just ride, but ride with good riders.

  • warnschild

    I don’t have kids for myself, but I miss another point here I experienced with some of my motorcycling friends: Why not gather together as several cycling-loving families and take turns?

    Those motorcyclists were several families were in most cases husband as well as wife were active riders. So when we went on motorcycle holidays (in a bigger group including those families), usually two or three would stay at home and take care for all of the kids while the others would get their motorcycles out on the road. That way, each had a day off in between, but also several days of riding, too. As the families knew each other quite well, that worked even with younger children. As far as I am informed, they did the same thing in their day-to-day life which enabled them to have motorcycle rides together at regular basis.

    Why not do the same with cycling?

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