Not Fun... :-( Trying to be positive about my trip out today

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
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john_roberts
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Not Fun... :-( Trying to be positive about my trip out today

Postby john_roberts » 5 May 2009, 7:14pm

OK, sorry to have a moan, but I really haven't enjoyed myself today.

Scenario: Leisurely cycle on trails around my local National Trust woodland, with my wife. After 100 yards I remembered why I haven't been out on my bike for the last 7 years. After 100 yards she was 50 yards in front and I only caught her up because she was waiting for me at the next road junction. Then, inexplicably, she went slower downhill and I had to keep braking to stop from crashing into the back of her. Then straight and uphill and she left me again. Caught up with her again at the next junction. Then she rode on the pavement through a housing estate, at twice the speed I was going on the road. It's a good job I knew where I was going because I constantly lost sight of her before we had even reached the woodland.

Then when we were there, she blasted off on the trails and at least three times I had to guess where she had gone because I couldn't find her. Then when I did catch her up she would be tapping her fingers and would set off again as soon as I had got there so no rests for me. This continued for the duration of the ride. Interestingly, I lead the way home up the 'killer hill' and rode at least 1 or 2 gears higher than usual (as I was determined not to look like a total failure) she was behind me all the way but when we got home she was more out of breath than me (but trying to hide it!)

Since resuming cycling in February and going out on my own I've built up my rides to cover some decent (for me) distances, I have been to these woodlands a few times, managed a longer trip one morning to the Major Oak (about 26 miles) and a 3 hour journey to Sherwood Pines, of about 31 miles. She doesn't know of these trips, and I asked her to be 'slow' for me. I usually manage my solo trips in between 9.0 and 9.9mph average (never reached 10) and todays was 9.2mph as we had an even slower friend alongside, so I don't think I was that slow. For me anyway.

But to me all the enjoyment was taken out of it because I felt like I was being pushed to go faster all the time. Does anyone have similar experiences with cycling friends or partners, or in a group? Am I moaning like V Meldrew and should I have just got on with it and forced myself to go faster? Or did I do the right thing by keeping to my own pace (even though I could've ridden a longer or faster trip because I had energy 'to spare?') I didn't need the breaks as we only covered 13.6 miles but if she had had her way we would've covered it in half the time...

Anyway - moan over :wink:
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Tonyf33
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Re: Not Fun... :-( Trying to be positive about my trip out today

Postby Tonyf33 » 5 May 2009, 7:32pm

I can kind of understand how your feeling. You want to have a nice ride but in the end you may as well have gone out on your own. When I introduced my other half to cycling 2 years ago she was really dreading me just burning her off all the time. Whilst it is slow going at times even with her super dooper Ally/Carbon fibre bike I realise that she will never ever be able to be even 60% as fast as me. When we go out it's to enjoy each others company & take in our surroundings whilst still getting a little out of breath now & again.
We took in a flat circuit just last weekend after lunch, not far just 15 miles which we did in about 75 minutes(all tarmac)
She'd not cycled since last September but we were able to chat easily and I never get more than a few metres away, either from in front or behind, I just tell her to tell me if i need to slow down or speed up. Maybe all is needed is to sit down & explain how you feel. Just say you want to be with her not to compete against her as that how it feels, or something along those lines.

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EdinburghFixed
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Re: Not Fun... :-( Trying to be positive about my trip out today

Postby EdinburghFixed » 5 May 2009, 7:40pm

The usual response is "find someone else to ride with" - not going to be much help in this case though!

I don't want to try and offer any marital advice... but maybe you should ask her to ride more slowly?

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john_roberts
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Re: Not Fun... :-( Trying to be positive about my trip out today

Postby john_roberts » 5 May 2009, 7:49pm

Cheers guys - tried the 'asking' thing before, she just says she gets nothing out of it by going slowly so she might as well not go. I'm determined not to let it spoil my cycling this time around, today just brought back all the horrible memories of getting home completely wasted by trying to keep up.

I seem to average about the same speed regardless of distance, so even after three and a half hours of riding (my longest ride this year) I feel good, but I do take things steady - I'm not as young as I used to be! I use the gears a lot, have never once felt the need to mash down on the pedals or even lift out of the saddle, so I just plod up every hill that confronts me. It must be doing something though as I've lost over a stone in weight in the last 6 weeks or so, but I never get anything more than a little breathless.

I think at the end of the day she's too 'competitive' for me, but for me it's not a competition, nor a race.
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paulah
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Re: Not Fun... :-( Trying to be positive about my trip out today

Postby paulah » 5 May 2009, 8:07pm

I think a tandem is what's needed here - then the stronger rider can get a workout by compensating for the other one and you'll be close enough to be sociable.
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toontra
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Re: Not Fun... :-( Trying to be positive about my trip out today

Postby toontra » 5 May 2009, 8:16pm

It really depends why you cycle. If it's not for improving fitness then you either go out on your own or find someone of the same ability. However, if you have any aspiration to improve, then having someone a bit faster than you is absolutely invaluable in being able to mark progression.

So rather than feel deflated, I'd see this an opportunity - you are in a great situation of having a training partner who will set the ideal pace.

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jan19
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Re: Not Fun... :-( Trying to be positive about my trip out today

Postby jan19 » 5 May 2009, 8:38pm

I think you have to consider what you are going to get from a ride with your wife, and for her to think what she gets from a ride with you. Much of it is compromise.

I'm in a similar situation with Malcolm only the roles are reversed. When I go out with him I'm forced to ride faster than my usual leisurely pace and I'm not permitted to wimp out of hills. He usually stays behind me (I don't think he pedals at all half the time) but he'll go ahead of me on hills as he's faster both ways. So I get a good workout, company and usually a more adventurous ride than I'd do on my own. Not quite sure what he gets except the pleasure of my company :wink: and a day out.

If he wants the exercise he doesn't go out with me - he has other options. Yesterday we went out gathering pub signs for "Give me five" on "Tea Shop". Next Sunday he's doing an Audax.

So long as you're both clear what you expect from and are prepared to put into the ride you should be able (hopefully) to come to an agreement which suits you both.

Jan

Cal_Bright
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Re: Not Fun... :-( Trying to be positive about my trip out today

Postby Cal_Bright » 5 May 2009, 9:20pm

ooo, this sounds familiar.

My other half introduced me to cycling, although I used to go out for leisurely rides with friends before. We used to do a fair distance, 50 odd miles but only at an average of 9 miles an hour. When I go with my other half I we do between 14 and 18 miles and hour average for about 25 miles which is way to fast for me. I do race cyclocross and TT's but only for fun, I'm not that bothered about improving.

The only problem is my 14 yr old son now rides 20 miles plus at about 9 miles and hour and now that is too slow! When we all go out as a family my other half does a big loop at his own pace and meets us on the way back and rides back with us as a warm down. The only frustrating thing is it's difficult for us to just go out alone as he can't go slow enough for me.

By the way, my son went out with his friend who is the same age as him for approx 13 miles and found he was too slow!

I suppose it all depends is you are doing it for fun or training. I found the best solution is too go out with my son on the Brompton which is harder to ride due to the lack of gears which means I get a bit of exercise and stay slow enough for him.

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john_roberts
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Re: Not Fun... :-( Trying to be positive about my trip out today

Postby john_roberts » 5 May 2009, 9:59pm

I think the moral of the tale is to leave the wife at home :lol:

Seriously though, I remember those old cycling adverts that stated "It needn't be hell to be healthy!" and even plodding around at my sedate pace, stops for photographs of anything interesting or new, and just takign it 'easy' I have lost a considerable amount of weight, toned up, my breathing is better, I feel a whole lot fitter. My wife's idea of a cycle ride is to go like the clappers, ignore the scenery, and beat anything I can do. I would like to attempt a 50 mile trip sometime soon (I tend to ride on the local NCN trails so it's harder work than tarmac) but I somehow doubt whether my wife could actually acheive such a distance, in all honesty. She is faster for short distances whereas I think I could cover a greater distance.

The most I've ever known her to cover is 25 miles at the peak of her fitness, albeit at a break-neck speed, whereas I found the 31 mile trip last week no harder than the 26 mile journey I made the week before, and the 15 mile journey the week before that. I think I am improving all the time, even at a slow average speed, and it's got to be better than sitting in the house watching rubbish TV!
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random37
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Re: Not Fun... :-( Trying to be positive about my trip out today

Postby random37 » 5 May 2009, 10:02pm

My best mate used to be a courier, and even though he's not really interested in cycling as a sport, he would have been considered very, very good by club standards.
I shall never forget the time he overtook me just after I bought my first road bike and he was riding my old, shonky mountain bike. I was killing myself, and he flew past me with his hands behind his back. Whistling. :evil:
Do what I did and tighten her brakes up so they bind. :wink:

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john_roberts
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Re: Not Fun... :-( Trying to be positive about my trip out today

Postby john_roberts » 5 May 2009, 10:11pm

chris667 wrote:Do what I did and tighten her brakes up so they bind. :wink:


:lol: :lol: :lol:
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eileithyia
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Re: Not Fun... :-( Trying to be positive about my trip out today

Postby eileithyia » 5 May 2009, 10:23pm

As with others, it depends what you want, to enjoy each others company or a slightly harder ride to stretch you and get you fitter.

Fylbiker is always annoyed by the blokes who we see out who are clearly several hundred yards/metres ahead of a trailing female. Often the bloke is on a really decent bike whilst female is riding some heavy old thing. They have gone out together presumably to enjoy each other's company and to help introduce her / get her into cycling more. If all she sees is the rear of her bloke disappearing off into the distance and is on an uncomfy, heavy bike, it is hardly surprising more females do not take up cycling.

I suppose you could agree some sort of strategy, perhaps she could have a solo ride earlier in the day before coming home to then share the rest of the day cycling with you, or perhaps later in the day go for a separate ride. Knowing I would not necessarily stretch my fitness in the New Forest last year, and often awake by 7.00 despite the rides not starting until 9.30 or 10ish, I decided to go out for an hour when I first woke to get some extra miles at my pace.

Alternatively instead of riding off and then waiting perhaps she could get to a strategic point, turn around and ride back to meet you then ride with you over that stretch of track/road. One club member I used to know did this, would ride at his pace to the top of a climb, turn around ride down then up again.
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john_roberts
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Re: Not Fun... :-( Trying to be positive about my trip out today

Postby john_roberts » 5 May 2009, 10:34pm

Some good tips there - I suppose as I get to know some of the trails a little better she can always dart off on a separate route and we can meet up later, I'll suggest that if we go again :D
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SarahK
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Re: Not Fun... :-( Trying to be positive about my trip out today

Postby SarahK » 5 May 2009, 11:03pm

Sounds like you have the same problem my fiance has with me. I'd prefer to do 15 miles at 20mph, whereas he prefers 30 miles at 12-14mph. We have now (after much heated discussion) reached a compromise- he does what he wants when he's out without me, and I do like wise, but if we're out together then it's further than I'd usually go, but faster than he tends to travel. Works out very well for both of us really. I've built up better stamina since we've been cycling together but he's improved his fitness levels with the speed.

Agree with whats been posted above, hate seeing people left in the distance looking miserable. Looks as though they're having no fun.

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john_roberts
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Re: Not Fun... :-( Trying to be positive about my trip out today

Postby john_roberts » 5 May 2009, 11:13pm

Thanks SarahK, that sounds like a sensible suggestion to me and one that may well work. But if she continues to ride off into the distance I'll step on it a bit, then when she wants to go home I'll say I'm going round again. I will also have the keys to the house :wink:

Thanks again :D
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