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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What's a good way to get my wife interested in riding? We both have good entry-mid level bikes. Her view on biking is she doesn't want to have to practice to feel like she can go riding.

Is the best first step to start on tame entry level trails then build up her confidence from there?
 

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Captain Calico Jack
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Wi_Gus;11168788 Her view on biking is she doesn't want to have to practice to feel like she can go riding. [/QUOTE said:
Unfortunately this view might be your downfall. As with all things in life very few things can you pick up and be stellar at right away. If she was a naturally talented rider she would have taken you riding long ago. Try to focus on the aspect that it is fun, but it does take some practice.
 

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Always give her some notice before you ride so she can prep herself if need be, sow the seed to plant the tree. Do your best to pedal behind her, encouragement as the ride progresses may help, and try to enjoy the scenery and carry on a conversation so she doesn't focus only on pedaling or how tired her legs are. Perhaps even have a route planned or plan a stop midway at a coffee shop for a quick snack, rest, and rehydration. That's really all you can do, it's up to her to decide if she enjoys it, but you have to be encouraging and offer some praise. As stated make the time about her and she'll hopefully find herself enjoying the ride. Build from there, good luck! Speaking from personal experience, it will be frustrating at first, but if you're patient she may just surprise you by asking when you can go riding together.
 

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The tougher terrain is also the fun riding stuff. But you benefit from practicing some techniques to stay on the bike and handle curves. These vids and some practice on open flat areas and grassy hills will work.


 

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It won't happen in my experience. When i Bought my first bike, I bought my wife a $500 bike also. She rode it a couple times and that was it. Now its sat in the a garage for 2 years. I could have used that money and got myself alot nicer bike at first. Even if I try to sell it now, she tells me shes gonna ride it.
 

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Well I have been riding with my wife on road bikes for years and it has been a lot of fun and she is similar to your wife. But here is the key... the more you ride the more "practice" she gets. We would primarily ride paved bike paths, I would pick easy routes and let her decide to extend the ride further as it became more fun.

I have only been mountain bike riding for a little less than a year, so although I have a lot of bike expereince I am gaining trail experience the more I ride. I had my wife ride on my son's mtb at first. I put on platform pedals and a rapid rise derailleur (thumb is always harder, index finger is always easier). At first we were stopping every 1/8 mile and walking every incline or slight downhill and she was not having fun.

Never-the-less I got her a properly sized bike (she was ticked off at the time) and set it up the same (platform/rapid rise) and also blocked out the high gear (so she wouldn't get chain rub) and the big chainring (shift indicator - middle hard, side easy).

I then looked the the right trails. It started with dropping her off at the top and then I would ride up and we would ride down together (not steep stuff) but pretty easy. I slowly added more riding and easy single track and more distance.

The advice given about stopping and smelling the roses, looking at the deer, taking in the scenery is what brings my wife back. She is still has a long way to go, (in many circles so do I), but this last week she actually felt that she was getting stronger and we rode further without stopping.

As for me I have learned that I have to ride slow with her and not leave her behind and then stop and wait. It is a good way for me to take in the scenery that I tend to ride by and I also will try to turn bigger gears at a slow cadence to work on that and work on stuff I can do at a slow pace.

It has been fun and it is nice to share a hobby. She has actually thanked me for buying the bike without telling her, because if I had she would have tried to stop me.

It's all good.

John
 

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The wife and I have been riding for a couple of years, most of the time road but recently more on the trails when we can.

It is a toss up, not many women enjoy the thrill of trail riding and dingle track. My wife will do it and says she likes it, but she has a hard time remembering the techniques and will forget which brake goes where and so on. Add to that she fell off of her MTB 3 weeks ago and fractured her elbow doesn't help my case any. Sadly I just bought her a super nice bike last year (Carbon Lust Advanced 2) which she says she loves, I just cant get her out enough to stay good at it.

I would definitely use the easy trails for as long as it takes and let her progress at her pace, to fast an you could scare her off.
 

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Do rides SHE likes, not rides you'd like her to like. When I first started riding with my youngest son, we'd go 150 yards, stop, drink from his camel-back and have a snack and then go home. Now, when he's in town, we go to Moab for 5 days of riding and I return a broken, but very happy man. Same sort of evolution happened with my wife, but I can still outride HER!
 

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Yeah, my wife got a bike along with myself, and she's never going to want to ride the stuff I want to ride...but that's ok. She doesn't have to go with you every single time you go out.

You could have a night or two a week where you meet up with locals or whatever and do your thing -- and a couple days (or weekend day) where you and your wife go out and ride some tame stuff.

I enjoy just cruising with my wife, checking out the scenery, stopping to look at cool stuff...it might be a bit boring to you but it sure beats some of the other stuff guys wives make them do -- at least it's something you enjoy also and something that benefits your health.

--

My wife thought it was pretty cool that you could actually use an app on your phone that tracks where all you've been, then check it all out later...maybe get her into that.

Maybe look into actually GOING to a destination...maybe she'd enjoy the whole packing everything on your bikes and heading somewhere 'wildernessy' a bit more.
 

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I dunno... I dated a Russian chick a few years ago who was into ice climbing and triathlons, and she was so into mtbing... Then she tried to get knocked up cause her work visa was expiring lol.. So she had to go. My point is, she was into it. My current gf.. I got her a used giant, fixed it up and she rides it... But I've never seen her stand on the pedal and she walks over fallen trees.. Got her a better, lighter bike and now it's easier for her to carry the bike over the tree or walk through a rut lol..

I guess my point is that you may never get to the point where she wants to keep up with you. And that's cool, everyone has different interests.. So keep that in mind I guess

Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk 2
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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Compromise. My fiancee rode with me, I ran with her.

Where that's ended up is that I run twice a week now and her bike hasn't left the garage at her parents' house in over a year.

I think all you can really do is let it be available and start on something that seems even too easy if she does want to go for a ride.

Also look at alternate ways of using riding. When I ride my bike, I want to be challenged. When my mother-in-law rides her bike, she wants to be outside in the sun and feel safe. She and her boyfriend will drive their comfort bikes to the bottom of their hill and then ride into town. So that's another avenue to look at - excursions via bike. If cycling for its own sake starts to click with your wife, great. Otherwise, don't sweat it. You're married, not joined at the hip.
 

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Maybe see if there's any local female group rides she could participate in. Some women do better and get more interested when they can share that interest with other women, and they feel more confident to try stuff.

My ex got me into mountain biking, and it was hell at first because I hadn't ridden any sort of bike in 14 years and had no fitness. We started by riding on my town's greenbelt and just rides around the neighborhood to build up some fitness and leg muscles. We also would go on short rides on the local trail system, maybe 4-8 miles at the most. I'd pack a lunch and we'd make a day out of it. We had to progress at my pace, and he just had to let me cry and carry on and push my way through it. However, I finally started really liking it when I started riding alone. No pressure, no one to see me flailing around like an idiot, and at my own pace. Needless to say, now I'm racing cat1 MTB so... it can just take some time! I had no idea that cycling would become a huge part of my life when I first started riding (neither did the ex). Sometimes it can just take some time, to build both the fitness needed and confidence. You might want to ask you wife what she thinks would help... like I said, she might be the type that would find riding with other women helpful, or maybe she'd like to try some solo stuff, or maybe all she wants to do is ride with you. See if you can get her input
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Everyone, thank you for your input. I am feeling pretty good about this coming summer. Now if the rain would just hold off long enough to get outside and do something....

I appreciate it!
 

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Let her make the decision herself. When we were dating, my (now) wife wanted to get a bike to ride with me. We got her a solid entry level bike. When I rode with her, I rode on her terms, not mine. We didn't ride together often then. Some trails she just didn't like. That was fine.

Eventually we did find some trails she absolutely LOVED. Fast forward to last year, and we bought her a high-zoot carbon fiber Santa Cruz full suspension bike. It's light years better than my bike. Now, she will drag me out to ride after work some days. And, since she's getting better and more fit, we are able to ride together more often and I don't have to change the way I ride very much to ride "with" her so she'll have fun. She'll even go out and ride by herself when I'm working. Next step is to help her find some ladies to ride with occasionally.
 

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I guess one question is does she actually want to ride the same stuff that you want to?

I think a lot of the comments that others have said are good.

One of the things that I've learned is to have everyone stay happy, don't force them to do anything.

I actually learned this lesson from working out. Where for a while my wife wanted to go to the gym with me but it really started to affect my workouts. And when I tried to get her do my routine things would get pretty ugly. So it eventually we started to work out seperately, and I don't think we've gone to the gym together for a while now. But everyone's happier!

Then for biking I try my best to ride with her but our speeds are very different. I can put my bike at the slowest gear and feel like I'm wasting a lot of energy or still end up far ahead of her. I even checked to make sure she was using the most efficient gears. So it came down to me just riding ahead and just finding stop points to wait for her. I think at one point she actually mentioned that she didn't like me riding behind her.

I know that's not the most chivalrous or romantic thing to do, but like I said everyone's happy.

The important thing is that your wife is doing something that she wants to do and enjoys. So if your wife is like mine, it'll probably be paved trails, enjoying the scenery, excursions, and maybe not what you had in mind.

And then maybe save the singletracks or whatever for yourself on your own time.

Although, kind of like others mentioned, you can maybe secretly train her for that type of riding. By starting off on tame trails, and then slowly and progessively go towards the type you like! But I wouldn't stress it or push if she doesn't have an interest in it and just stick with rides that she'd like.
 
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