• jules

    too funny. I don’t really get the point of riding with my partner (wife). I am faster than her, and you can’t really ride side-by-side 95% of the time anyway. sure, I am happy to go 2-abreast at my local bunchie. but it’s different when you are cruising with your partner. so I tend to go in front (don’t ask) and lose her. it’s just not a very social activity, unless you are doing it for fitness primarily and the social side is seen as an optional bonus.

    • Steel

      Have seen. Can confirm.

    • Peter

      I ride with my wife and we have a great time. But you must understand that I am not at all competitive. She is lighter and faster than me up big hills and I womble my way up slowly. When I do feel like revving up the speed I rein myself in to stay at her pace because we only ride together at less regular intervals. I keep the fast efforts to solo rides or group rides with other guys who are faster than me.

      Overall riding together is fantastic for our relationship and it is worth keeping my pace slower when I ride with her for the long term benefits of the relationship.

      Obviously it probably should be raised that the resulting post-ride entertainment is quite fun as well, enough incentive to skip the post-ride coffee shop stop sometimes even!!

  • Nicola

    I always advise new female cyclists not to ride with their partners. It rarely goes well. It seems to work better once both have experience and confidence on the bike.

  • Mel C

    My partner and I ride together and have some strategies to deal with the different speeds:
    1. Ride in a big gear. We use this a lot when climbing – I’ll be doing my best in the smallest gear on my compact group set, he’ll put it in a big gear and focus on form and pedalling technique at a slower speed.
    2. Up-and-down vs up. He’ll go his own speed to the top, turn around, ride back down to where I am and then do the what’s left of the climb a second time with me. Extra kms and bonus descent means he’s usually happy with that.
    3. Doing all the work in the wind. If it’s windy, I’ll draft him, making it easier for me to keep up and gives him a better workout. Doesn’t do much for conversation, but you’re not going to talk the entire time anyway, right?
    There are definitely a few ‘don’ts’ – don’t half-wheel, limit the ‘constructive feedback’ you offer and don’t go out together if you’ve got different objectives for the ride. If one person wants a workout and the other wants to take in the views, time to go your own way. You can always meet up at the coffee shop afterwards.

  • Steel

    What’s the etiquette on offering a helping hand?

    There’s a climb up Stanleys Rd at Red Hill which I pushed my wife up, pretty much the entire way. It was that or hike a bike all the way to the top.

    She appreciated it at the time, although now we have kids and refer to it as ‘Mummy’s Hill’ she’s less appreciative.

    • jules

      are we hitting the singles bar again tonight?

      • Steel

        The irony here is that you riding with me is no different. I’m either hanging on for dear life, or you’re having a recovery spin. Never fear, I’m certain this year I’ll be able to hold your wheel up Tawonga.

        • jules

          there’s always a difference between 2 riders. racing teaches you humility. you can convince yourself you’re Eddy Merckx giving it a spurt down Beach Rd for 200m. racing against some decent riders soon reminds you of your place in the pecking order!

  • kurtfr

    For my wife and I, a tandem was the answer. She’s not a serious cyclist but enjoys a nice ride. On the tandem, I can go for an easy ride or try to push it and she never gets dropped! It’s been a great investment. Be forewarned though, whichever direction your marriage is going, you’ll get there faster on a tandem!

    • Jonno

      Yep – same here – SHE LOVES IT! And ditto the direction saying!

  • Sean

    My missus just needs to try harder, she’s just too soft sometimes. Her heart issue and not particularly caring for bike racing as a competitor is no excuse. So what she can speak OK flemish and french, loves to party on the side of the road waiting for a race and encourages me to spend 2-3 months of the year in Belgium……whateves.

    Seriously, we’ve made it work alright. :-)

  • Stuart Wallace

    My wife and I ride mid morning on weekends after my bunch ride. It’s a great spin session and warm down for me and the faster bunches are in the cafes or soft pedalling home so it’s more enjoyable for her. I also ride specifically for her speed and ability. There is certainly a growing number of couples out on Beach Rd in Melbourne between 10 – 12 on Sat & Sun and this is an area that could be captured for the growing participation of women in addition to the excellent women’s riding programs being run locally.

  • Steve Bsa

    Two suggestions where there are strength differences:
    A) Tandem is the best option. Very easy to talk as – constant closeness to each other. There can be issues with some couples as tandem requires a Captain and a Stoker. If these can’t be sorted, I suggest next option here, or Chloe’s option 5…
    B) Another choice is for stronger person to ride a single speed and other to ride 10/11 speed.
    Both options can give the stronger rider a decent workout as well as the companionship they are seeking.
    One final suggestion. I ride a tandem with wife, and always agree with her deciding the distance and terrain. Its more about tegetherness. I can always get as much workout as I want by pushing harder than her. (She also likes to go faster than she would solo.)

  • bigstu_

    rule 1: don’t
    rule 2: NO rule 2.
    rule 3: see rule 1.
    rule 4: if you must, try and do it with a couple of others – more the merrier. And plan for a coffee stop mid-ride.

  • Sammy

    simples, I ride trails with my dog, no whinging if im going too slow or fast (he’s quick!) and he always has the best time ever!

  • James Hall

    So true Chloe, I use to race with your dad Steve and we actually live around the corner in Ferdinand St but now my wife and I are riding in Italy with the kids but tag teaming on her bike – we compromise that she gets to ride what ever and then I go out and smash in a ride back in time for dinner – kids have been out swimming or high roping during the day – so everyone is happy. We met through cycling (I actually knocked her off and she still has the scars – both physically and mentally) and now our kids are old enough again to be left at home for us to duck out and ride road together. Our secret – I block the wind then get let off the leash for the hills and then come back and join her – no pride involved. Then when we bunch ride with my mates I’ll drop back to offer the “hand of God” on the steeper bits so the rest don’t complain – some would say matrimonial doping :)

  • Cyco

    Date a track sprinter, Chloe.

    Bigger thighs, and slower up hills – if you ever get us near them :D

  • 42x16ss

    This is something that I’ve really struggled with lately. My soon to be wife also loves riding but there is a very, very large skill difference. Like pedalling gently through a corner or not using the brakes on a gentle downhill creates a few seconds gap difference.

    My current job has me driving (no other choice really apart from carpooling) 50kms each way, starting at 7am (leaving shortly after 6) and getting home no earlier than 5pm.

    Studying and other commitments rules out trainer sessions in the evening, I’m really at a loss to work around this. I’ve found several women’s social riding groups that should be around my fiancées’ level but she never sticks with them, often writing them off as dangerous or “gumbies”, if she tries them at all and insists on riding with me.

    This is really flattering and some days I really love it, but all too often my planned weekday session or Sunday 4-5 hour long ride is getting replaced with 23km/h freewheeling, usually at the last minute.

    I’ve tried using a MTB, and turned my old race bike into a nice looking training bike but with solid tyres and rubbing brakes but get told to use my good bike since we spent so much on it. A tandem is also out of the question (won’t even entertain the thought). I’d get an AirHub but I don’t have $2K spare…

    It’s really hard because I’m losing fitness hand over fist, and have already dropped a grade this year and given my team place to a friend. I’ve tried to explain what’s going on without pointing the finger but I either bring it up when I’m in a bad mood, or get misquoted or misinterpreted.

    This is already a touchy area and I’m really not sure how to deal with it. The worst thing is it’s affecting my enjoyment of the sport :(

  • duanegran

    My wife and I have ridden together for years and usually it works out well, but sometimes we are off key. We tend to ride single file with her drafting but we always make time for conversational side-by-side riding on the less travelled roads too. The key is that we set out to have an enjoyable ride and riding together is our form of having a date with each other. So we set aside intentions about making it a training ride for a specific purpose, just as we would if we attended a group ride. We get a nice endurance paced ride together, visit and usually take a photo or two of the scenery. My interval sessions can be done another day or if we so desire we will hit a climb hard and regroup but the focus is always on being together.

    We have never done a tandem. We are both sketched out by the idea and figure we both are too used to being in control of our own bikes to do that. It looks like an argument machine to me. If you need a tandem in order to ride together I suspect there are basic courtesy issues that need worked on first because it isn’t that hard for two people to reach a compromise in pace, terrain and distance.


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