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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I have been riding on and off for a few years and am not much more than a beginner myself. My husband was showing some intrest in biking with me so we set him up with a used Stumpjumper and hit the trail. Well he was kind of ummm slow even by my standards. I just kept ending up way ahead of him without really meaning to and had to wait for him to catch up.
Yes, these were very simple trails. He said he had fun so no loss, but I was wondering what the best way to ride with someone newer than you is? Should I let him go in front to set the pace or should I just keep waiting? If I go behind him should I wait for him to do the hills first? if I go as slow as he does I will fall over. I dont want to injure the male ego too much, I might have to start doing my own laundry... Any tips?

Thanks in advance

Megan
 

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Horrors, beaten by a girl! I hear ya sister... Ride behind him next time and let him set the pace and you'll be able to help him out and give him pointers because you'll see how he rides. Just how much advice you give him without deflating his ego is your call. But everybody improves with time, even men...*snort* (o.k. I'm kidding for all you lurking men).
 

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scubaklook said:
Hi,

I have been riding on and off for a few years and am not much more than a beginner myself. My husband was showing some intrest in biking with me so we set him up with a used Stumpjumper and hit the trail. Well he was kind of ummm slow even by my standards. I just kept ending up way ahead of him without really meaning to and had to wait for him to catch up.
Yes, these were very simple trails. He said he had fun so no loss, but I was wondering what the best way to ride with someone newer than you is? Should I let him go in front to set the pace or should I just keep waiting? If I go behind him should I wait for him to do the hills first? if I go as slow as he does I will fall over. I dont want to injure the male ego too much, I might have to start doing my own laundry... Any tips?

Thanks in advance

Megan
I'm in about the same situation as you when it comes to riding with my SO. My wife is definitely a beginner and when we ride together, I hang with her. A lot of times when we're doing descents she'll tell me to just wait for her at the bottom. Sometimes she feels like she's holding me up but I try to focus on just having a good time with her so she dosen't feel like she's a burden, which of course she isn't.

You probably know your hubby better than anyone so you'll have to play it by ear and just do whatever you have to to encourage him to keep at it. That's the main thing in my opinion. Just keep making sure you're doing everything you can to help him have fun out there. My guess is that if you do that, his riding abilities will evolve and you'll be hitting more advanced trails in no time.

As for going REALLY slow with him...it's good skills practice! It might help you out in some steep, tight, twisty singletrack someday :p

Good luck.
 

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Good advice here - it's always nice to hang back or side by side when possible. The only thing I might add is that if there is technical stuff or anything that requires line picking, ask if he wants you to go first. Sometimes its nice to follow a good line when you are new.
 

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I happen to ride with two groups, we call them hi & low, and if I am off form I'll go with the low group. The agenda in the low group is: little advice, lots of stops (I 'try' to work my balance then), we all wait for all, all newbys welcome (kids over 10 too). Hi group is a free for all, with a buddy system and only predetermined stops but lots of advice and tech support for the riders that are really into it. My point is enjoy the rides, do something else if you are waiting (work your track stand), find a couple of other newbys to join in too.
I took my oldest daughter on a ride that was too tough and now she's sort of off riding with me, unless I bring other friends kids along (2-3) to slow me down. ;) That's fine and I enjoy that too but it doesn't give me my fix - so I mix my riding, and also go alone, its also important that you too don't feel frustrated.

Now if we could get some of the SO in either the low or hi ...
 

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Megan...

What you need to do...is call him names and tell him to pick up the pace. You can always do the "your doing fine sweetie" stuff...but he will know better. The ego is a a tricky thing. You can always....go slower the he does, act out of breath after even the smallest hill, and he will think he is doing alright...but that will only work until you go on a group ride. Just call him names...that is more fun. Oh....wait, buy a computer and see if he will try to pick it up by one MPH...pretend it is a training ride. Be patient...no matter what you do....he will get fast with time. Call him names until then.
 

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scubaklook said:
Hi,

I have been riding on and off for a few years and am not much more than a beginner myself. My husband was showing some intrest in biking with me so we set him up with a used Stumpjumper and hit the trail. Well he was kind of ummm slow even by my standards. I just kept ending up way ahead of him without really meaning to and had to wait for him to catch up.
Yes, these were very simple trails. He said he had fun so no loss, but I was wondering what the best way to ride with someone newer than you is? Should I let him go in front to set the pace or should I just keep waiting? If I go behind him should I wait for him to do the hills first? if I go as slow as he does I will fall over. I dont want to injure the male ego too much, I might have to start doing my own laundry... Any tips?

Thanks in advance

Megan
Buy him a scrapbooking kit, and hope he takes to it. It's worked for several dissatisfied mountain biking spouses before. Barring that, sheep dog him. Meaning ride ahead, once you're ahead by a mile or so, turn around and ride back. That way you can ride at your own pace with no mojo kill, and he'll still get to ride with somebody for the majority of the time. As to worrying about "injuring the male ego," you gotta be kidding! Dang, you must be new. Everybody's ego regardless of gender gets injured by the sport itself; the process is inherent in mountain biking. The sooner he and you understand that, the sooner both of ya'll will get out of the "beginner" category.

And one final thought, if he's that slow, he's out of shape. Put his softy ass on a treadmill a few hours a day. That ought to help.
 

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I'm in pretty much the same situation. My hubby and I both got our bikes at the same time, but previous to that I'd had bikes all my life and ridden them regularly (though mostly roads and farm tracks). When we started out mountain biking around here, we were both unfit. Over time we've both got fitter, but my fitness has improved more than his... mostly because I work at it more. We work different hours but always manage a ride together on Saturdays. During my time off I try to make sure I do some kind of exercise every day when I get home from work, even if it's just a walk/jog at the park, and I usually ride by myself on Sundays. Unfortunately, despite the number of times I've offered to swap cars so he can take my truck to the trails on his days off, he's never taken me up on it. The bottom line is that I end up riding at least twice as much every week as he does, and it's starting show out on the trail.

Like yours, my hubby always says he enjoys riding. Often I'll suggest that he goes in front, but sometimes I'll end up taking over the lead if he runs out of steam and stops. I always ask him if he minds though, and I always wait for him at the top and make sure we both get a break rather than riding off as soon as he catches up. Sometimes I can tell he's disappointed with himself, but I tell him he'll get it if he works hard... encouragement is good :) Sometimes it's frustrating... I want to try out new and more challenging trails and he's happy with the same old ones, but then again, I tend to do that when I'm on my own and just enjoy the ride with my hubby when we're together.

- Jen.
 

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With time...

they will get better...and whenever you improve, you always enjoy it more. Just give them some time. My GF and daughter ride with me...they both ride well...so I have no problems with them keeping up...they make me work to stay ahead. It is very cool to see women out there riding. I started doing downhill 2 years ago...and an Aussie girl was kicking my ass down the mtn every single run. I hated it...not because she was a girl or anything....but the fact that anyone was punking me made me work harder.
 

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Agree with advice thus far. One more thing you can do is wait for him to get familiar with the trail, then instead of slowing down and waiting everytime you outdistance him, you can set up designated "meet and greets". This is what my husband and friends did when I was first starting, and it's what I do now when riding with beginners who have knowledge of the trail's layout.
 

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Hello Kitty said:
Barring that, sheep dog him. Meaning ride ahead, once you're ahead by a mile or so, turn around and ride back. That way you can ride at your own pace with no mojo kill, and he'll still get to ride with somebody for the majority of the time. .
I didn't know there was a name for this. This is a great technique! It may induce a little ego deflation,then again, if the person gets that discouraged they aren't goign to like biking that much either. There is always someone faster!
 

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Impy said:
I didn't know there was a name for this. This is a great technique! It may induce a little ego deflation,then again, if the person gets that discouraged they aren't goign to like biking that much either. There is always someone faster!
You said it Impy. Anybody who brings a porcelain ego on a ride is going to suck to ride with anyway, so why should you ruin your day with some slow ride and mojo-feeding that kinda bull sh*t? This technique quickly filters the ass holes out of your list of riding buddies, and insures a decent work out the days you do have to ride with noobs.
 

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What Kitty said.

Speaking from my "learning to ski/snowboard from my former provincial team racer wife" curve, I took the ego bruising of an on-hill arse-kicking much easier than the feeling of having her go slow for me ... at least most of the time ... ie, short of runs dedicated specifically to giving me help and tips.

Beatings trump sympathy or pity any day, even when they're only percieved in the learners mind. Or at least, in my learners mind.

Besides, he'll get a lot better and faster seeing the real deal, not just the 'kinder, gentler' trail riding. It sure worked for me.

And it sure works better to reinflate that ego in the long run when (if) you can eventually play with the big kids.
 

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scubaklook said:
Hi,

I have been riding on and off for a few years and am not much more than a beginner myself. My husband was showing some intrest in biking with me so we set him up with a used Stumpjumper and hit the trail. Well he was kind of ummm slow even by my standards. I just kept ending up way ahead of him without really meaning to and had to wait for him to catch up.
Yes, these were very simple trails. He said he had fun so no loss, but I was wondering what the best way to ride with someone newer than you is? Should I let him go in front to set the pace or should I just keep waiting? If I go behind him should I wait for him to do the hills first? if I go as slow as he does I will fall over. I dont want to injure the male ego too much, I might have to start doing my own laundry... Any tips?

Thanks in advance

Megan
Well, Megan, you may try going behind him, and when he's slowing down, whip him until he gets some speed. Actually, I hope you don't follow this advice ;)

Well, as long as he's having a good time, its OK by him. I would ride ahead and wait for him now and then. I don't think youi must ride side by side, as I think that side by side most of the time may be a bad idea, you would feel as he is slowing you down all the time, and he would feel you're hurring him. So, go at your pace and wait for him now and then. Maybe sometimes you could go side by side on fireroads and chat.

Also, if there are group rides, you could try to go together. Most of the group rides I've been we have made 2 groups, and you could go each in the group that goes at the speed you feel confortable.
 

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Hello Kitty said:
You said it Impy. Anybody who brings a porcelain ego on a ride is going to suck to ride with anyway, so why should you ruin your day with some slow ride and mojo-feeding that kinda bull sh*t? This technique quickly filters the ass holes out of your list of riding buddies, and insures a decent work out the days you do have to ride with noobs.
sheepdogging, eh? I always thought it was called lapping. We have a hill around here called half mile hill. As a beginner my gf who was taking me out would always buzz up to the top, then ride down and buzz up again while I was sucking it up in my granny hoping I could make it to the top without getting off and pushing. Years later, we still ride together, but she ain't sheep dogging me any more. :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for some of the advice ;) I'll try to resist the name calling since he is one of those sensitve males. I cant complain though since he does the laudry and cooks :)
I just dont want him to get discouraged the way some people say they are when thier SO gets them into biking. We went the other day and I let him go first and just past him on the hills and waited, most of the hills he wanted me to go down first anyways.

I have another question, is it ok to ride your brakes on a descent? I am one of those idiots who worries about stopping after I am at the bottom, but hubby wants a more controlled speed. I figured it would be ok becasue then he can work his way up to going faster after he is more comfy with the bike?
 

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Same deal here, a little different

My hubby used to ride hardcore all the time when I was home getting fat. He did some pretty outstanding single track for a BIG and OLD guy! He was a real playa. In fact he wrecked his already-bad knees and had them both replaced but that went all wrong. He doesn't have enough flexibility to ride without pain and sitting real high. Anyway now he's lagging but I want him to ride with me again. I'm going to try that sheepdogging thing.

Anyway I think the key is to ride some hills, maybe on local streets with a road bike or hybrid, at least once during the week. It's hard to fit in but it sure helps me. Ideally he would ride 3-4 times a week to see improvement, but if he could just fit in that one hill session like on a Wednesday or Thursday, then he'd feel much better on the weekend ride (which is what I assume you are doing). Now, if only my own spouse would do that, but he's not taking any advice from me.. :(
 

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formica said:
sheepdogging, eh? I always thought it was called lapping. We have a hill around here called half mile hill. As a beginner my gf who was taking me out would always buzz up to the top, then ride down and buzz up again while I was sucking it up in my granny hoping I could make it to the top without getting off and pushing. Years later, we still ride together, but she ain't sheep dogging me any more. :cool:
sheepdogging? lapping? i've always called it "love loops"
 

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Not okay, but normal...

scubaklook said:
Thanks for some of the advice ;) I'll try to resist the name calling since he is one of those sensitve males. I cant complain though since he does the laudry and cooks :)
I just dont want him to get discouraged the way some people say they are when thier SO gets them into biking. We went the other day and I let him go first and just past him on the hills and waited, most of the hills he wanted me to go down first anyways.

I have another question, is it ok to ride your brakes on a descent? I am one of those idiots who worries about stopping after I am at the bottom, but hubby wants a more controlled speed. I figured it would be ok becasue then he can work his way up to going faster after he is more comfy with the bike?
All the rank beginners I have ridden with ride their brakes constantly - sometimes the entire length of multi-mile hills. They simply have no guage for how much speed can be carried under control.

I solved that by telling them to trust me. I then ride at a pace I know is well within controlled limits, and tell them to just focus on staying with me, not on braking. They usually loosen up after a short time.

Also, I disagree with a good deal of the advice on here. Beginners hate it when you ride behind them - they either feel like they're going to get whomped any second by something unexpected, or that they're slowing you up (because they WILL go so slowly in parts you will accidentally end up riding their rear wheel). I ride a little ways in front, and will stop before sections of trail that might be tricky. I will give them ONE OR TWO pieces of advice, and then ride through and check back on them, reinforcing the advice I gave if necessary. A running commentary on all the things they should be doing never works. At this stage beginners can't bike and listen properly at the same time.

Your best tools are patience and judgement. Judgement to determine the steepness of their learning curve, and patience to allow them to stick to that curve.

I also agree with the poster that said to try a piece of really difficult trail. If you do this to women they will curse your name forever, but men will tell their buddies they did "this or that gnarly trail" and wear their humiliation like a badge of honor. Then after learning to ride they come back to that trail and rip it up and feel like a god.

On the sheep dog thing - I guess that works, but doesn't it defeat the purpose? When I go for a ride with a beginner, I forgo fromt he beginning any expectations of an exhilarating or challenging ride. I go to spend time with said beginner, and the challenge is elevating their level.
 

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simian23 said:
On the sheep dog thing - I guess that works, but doesn't it defeat the purpose? When I go for a ride with a beginner, I forgo fromt he beginning any expectations of an exhilarating or challenging ride. I go to spend time with said beginner, and the challenge is elevating their level.
Newsflash: This isn't just a beginner. This is her beginner husand. This won't be a one-time event. Hence the need for a solution.
 
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