The Hesitant Cyclist

thetribe

Über Member
That is my wife. She loves the idea of cycling and if I can actually get her out there she enjoys her day but actually getting her to get on her bike is the hard part.
As of next week she has a new job 3 miles from home, just down a nice cycle path, so has decided that this year she wants to cycle commute and on a Sunday in the Spring/Summer we will do a day ride. One of her stipulations is that there has to be a destination so I have started compiling a list of 'cake stops' and places to visit.
I have created routes on Ride with GPS here http://ridewithgps.com/users/268592/routes I've created them as round trips but we can also just do them as a shorter there & back route. Some of the longer routes have been planned with the idea of a stopover for when I have my Saturdays off (1 in 6) so we'll travel there on the Saturday and return on the Sunday.
So far she's really up for the idea (and challenge) and I'll also be creating a blog for her to put down her thoughts and experiences as she progresses (she'd had a little tipple when she came up with this idea so we'll see how long it lasts ;) )

We're off to get her a new bike later today so wish me luck in getting her out (and keeping her out) there. :thumbsup:
 

MisterStan

Label Required
Nice idea and I hope it works for you both.
 

Spinney

Bimbleur extraordinaire
Location
Under the Edge
Don't forget that when you're a beginner, achieving even 10 miles feels like a major accomplishment! Don't put her off by making the rides too long at first. An out and back that you can cut short means that you have to know you are going to be too tired to do the whole thing when you are only half-way to being too tired (if you see what I mean!). And that may also feel like failing.

I haven't looked at all your routes in detail (just looked at the table of distances) - but consider working out a (say) 10 mile loop but one that has a possible extra 4 or 5 miles that can be added on at a decision point a mile from home - so you do the loop and when you are nearly back you can give her the option of making the ride a little longer or if she is knackered, just go home having successfully completed the whole planned ride. (Hope this makes sense!)

I'm basing this on my own hillwalking exprience - my OH is like a bloody mountain goat - most exhausting - and I get ratty if I'm dragged over X mountains and I'm knackered. But if the plan is to do X-2 hills, and when we come to the last col we decide whether I am still energetic enough to do a couple more, I usually go for it. Being given the choice without feeling like you are going to be failing if you decline to do the extra bit makes all the difference mentally. For me, anyway.
 

Turbo Rider

Just can't reMember
Sounds perfect :smile: My OH seems to be getting the itch since I started commuting but the trouble is that she needs to drop the kids off at school & pick them up...which is all my fault, of course. Think once the kids are a little older and we can get them road trained though, that we may solve all issues - here's to the future & hope your wife takes to it :smile:
 
OP
thetribe

thetribe

Über Member
@Spinney Understand exactly what you're saying, the routes planned won't be done as a "we've done that one so won't go anymore" If we have to do some of the shorter ones a couple of times till she feels up to moving forward then that's how we'll do it. There are probably some of the routes she may never feel up to doing but the option is there :thumbsup:

@Phaeton Current bike of choice is a Cube Touring, she tends to choose bikes on how they look then gets home and decides they aren't right for her, this one has been researched and hopefully she will feel comfortable with it when she has a test on it later. Her preferred choice was a Dawes Karakum 2014 ladies, but no one local has one so she can't test ride one, they only have 2015 models, which she isn't as keen on. She's only 5ft and has trouble swinging her leg over the saddle to get on the bike so likes the step through/easy access frame type, or the trapeze frame of the Cube Touring

@Turbo Rider Cheers ^_^
 

Spinney

Bimbleur extraordinaire
Location
Under the Edge
If you are riding together.. don't blast off up inclines and hills to wait at the top for her - dispiriting that is. Keep with her is far more encouraging.
There's two ways of looking at this, though. Speaking as the one left behind - when hill walking it annoys me immensely when he buggers off into the distance instead of staying and having a conversation. But on the bike when I am struggling up a steep hill, when he hangs behind I get the impression (sometimes correctly!) that he is staying with me to encourage* me to keep pedalling and not get off and walk - so that annoys me!

And if she does get off and walk up a hill, never, ever, EVER, allow an expression of sorrow/disappointment to cross your face. A comment like 'I had to walk up there too when I first started riding' would be OK.

* 'encourage' in the sense of 'you'll never get any fitter if you keep walking up the hills' - he has learned not to actually say such things now...
 
OP
thetribe

thetribe

Über Member
If you are riding together.. don't blast off up inclines and hills to wait at the top for her - dispiriting that is. Keep with her is far more encouraging.
I can't blast off up hills alone so no fear of that ;)
 
OP
thetribe

thetribe

Über Member
And if she does get off and walk up a hill, never, ever, EVER, allow an expression of sorrow/disappointment to cross your face. A comment like 'I had to walk up there too when I first started riding' would be OK.
She's very stubborn and as long as she can turn the pedals she'll keep going, she also likes me to stay with her and encourage. Had to cycle up an incline with my hand on her back helping her along last Summer when she decided to extend the planned 12mile cycle to 34miles, her legs were like jelly near the end but she still wouldn't give up :laugh:
 

Spinney

Bimbleur extraordinaire
Location
Under the Edge
She's very stubborn and as long as she can turn the pedals she'll keep going, she also likes me to stay with her and encourage. Had to cycle up an incline with my hand on her back helping her along last Summer when she decided to extend the planned 12mile cycle to 34miles, her legs were like jelly near the end but she still wouldn't give up :laugh:
:thumbsup:
In that case, she's a better woman than I am (Gunga Din....)
 

derrick

The Glue that binds us together.
That is my wife. She loves the idea of cycling and if I can actually get her out there she enjoys her day but actually getting her to get on her bike is the hard part.
As of next week she has a new job 3 miles from home, just down a nice cycle path, so has decided that this year she wants to cycle commute and on a Sunday in the Spring/Summer we will do a day ride. One of her stipulations is that there has to be a destination so I have started compiling a list of 'cake stops' and places to visit.
I have created routes on Ride with GPS here http://ridewithgps.com/users/268592/routes I've created them as round trips but we can also just do them as a shorter there & back route. Some of the longer routes have been planned with the idea of a stopover for when I have my Saturdays off (1 in 6) so we'll travel there on the Saturday and return on the Sunday.
So far she's really up for the idea (and challenge) and I'll also be creating a blog for her to put down her thoughts and experiences as she progresses (she'd had a little tipple when she came up with this idea so we'll see how long it lasts ;) )

We're off to get her a new bike later today so wish me luck in getting her out (and keeping her out) there. :thumbsup:
It's a sticky road you are going down, Good luck with that one.:whistle:
 

ScotiaLass

Guru
Location
Middle Earth
That is my wife. She loves the idea of cycling and if I can actually get her out there she enjoys her day but actually getting her to get on her bike is the hard part.
As of next week she has a new job 3 miles from home, just down a nice cycle path, so has decided that this year she wants to cycle commute and on a Sunday in the Spring/Summer we will do a day ride. One of her stipulations is that there has to be a destination so I have started compiling a list of 'cake stops' and places to visit.
I have created routes on Ride with GPS here http://ridewithgps.com/users/268592/routes I've created them as round trips but we can also just do them as a shorter there & back route. Some of the longer routes have been planned with the idea of a stopover for when I have my Saturdays off (1 in 6) so we'll travel there on the Saturday and return on the Sunday.
So far she's really up for the idea (and challenge) and I'll also be creating a blog for her to put down her thoughts and experiences as she progresses (she'd had a little tipple when she came up with this idea so we'll see how long it lasts ;) )

We're off to get her a new bike later today so wish me luck in getting her out (and keeping her out) there. :thumbsup:
That sounds fab!
I hope she sticks to it - it's such a fantastic sense of achievement.
 
OP
thetribe

thetribe

Über Member
Let her choose the bike, don't foist one on her based on what you would choose
Oh she's doing the choosing, we've just ruled out the Cube as it doesn't feel right, the smallest is ever so slightly too large. Another has appeared on the list after another shop visit, the Liv Alight (Giant). The Extra Small is a perfect fit for her and she likes it, she just had to try the Cube before making any decision. Next is to test ride the Alight later this week (when the wind and rain/snow die off a little)
 
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