Thursday, September 25, 2014

Cyclist husband's dilemma

A lot of cyclist husbands of non-cycling wives (substitute your own relationship configuration) face the issue of wanting to get their wives to ride bikes with them, while still doing the kind of cycling they enjoy. For example, if the husband is into fast group rides with his buddies, he might find himself frustrated with low-speed rides around the lake that are in his wife's comfort zone as she rides a bike for the first time in years, perhaps. This is a difficult relationship dynamic I have seen in action many times. In my experience, fat bikes are a good way to bridge the experience gap. The fat tires inspire confidence even in inexperienced riders, and allow experienced riders to enjoy a less intense type of cycling. At least, that's how it works for my wife and me.

When I started dating my wife, she wasn't a cyclist, though she expressed interest. Being a bicycle professional, I was able to put together a sweet Disc Trucker for her with a new frame and some parts I had on-hand. We had a couple decent rides around the neighborhood and to the farmers' market, but she was nervous about traffic and felt somewhat unstable on the Trucker. I really wanted her to ride in the woods on dirt trails with me, but since the Trucker didn't quite inspire her confidence on pavement, dirt trails seemed out of the question. Eventually, seeing how she enjoyed test-riding a fat bike we had at the shop, I took the plunge and bought an extra-small Pugsley Ops for her to ride. Instantly she was hooked on the stability and traction of the 26x3.8" Nate tires. I had mistaken her for a timid rider, but on the Pugsley, she was suddenly riding (over-)confidently over a wide variety of ridiculous obstacles. She even ventured offroad in the snow with me last winter.

We had so much fun.

But then she was pregnant for awhile, so she hasn't been on a bike since last winter. Now that our baby girl is here, I've been patiently waiting until my wife gets up to riding again. Last night, she stopped by the shop, and I just happened to have a new Ice Cream Truck in the XS size here for demo. She took it for a spin around the block and over a few curbs and couldn't stop smiling...

I don't know if she'll be getting an Ice Cream Truck yet (unless someone wants to buy a tiny Pugsley), but I'm so happy to see her on a bike again. We are both looking forward to getting a babysitter so we can get out for a short ride one of these days. The nice thing about riding a fat bike on trails with my wife is that we don't have to fight crowds or traffic, and there's no pressure or temptation to go faster than what's comfortable for both of us. I'm a lucky man.

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