It’s nearing that time of year when couples express their affection by sharing the things they love most with each other. You know, like chocolates, fine meals, and snuggles. But those of us who like to ride may just be tempted to take our main squeeze out for a roll. Here are some simple suggestions to consider before you commit to an epic bike adventure with your admirer.
Ask yourself, how interested is your companion in physical activity? Does your better half clear their head with exercise, or are they more likely to hit the couch to escape into their favorite show? Keep this in mind before planning your first ride together. Exhausting or terrifying your friend or mate is easily the fastest way to end your adventure before you begin.
- Start Slow. Even if your companion already runs or swims, don’t assume they’re going to fall in love with cycling like you did and certainly don’t expect them to keep up at your regular pace. Start out with a short ride on a mild day along a nice path or quiet road that offers some good scenery. And while you’re at it, why not find a nice pub or eatery to hit along the way to make the experience more enjoyable? Adding a stop to your ride will help your partner catch their breath and will help you add a mile or two to the adventure.
- Avoid Commitment. Whether you’ve been together for ages now or are just starting out, a big purchase of a brand-spanking new bike can lay the pressure on thick. We know you have the best of intentions in mind when you pick out just the right bike… and well, maybe you went a little overboard on the components and frame (carbon anyone?), but it’s only because you love them! Maybe instead, for those first few rides you borrow a bike or rent one from your local bike shop. A small one-time fee can help your companion feel like the ride is for fun and not forever, should they not be as enthusiastic.
- Leave Strava for Your Own Riding. Let’s say you decide to bring your loved one to your favorite segment… maybe you first fell in love with that segment for the fun twists and turns, but now it’s all about getting PRs and crowns. Drop the competition, not your partner. Speeding ahead and leaving your squeeze behind can find you sleeping on the couch and them lost in the woods.
- Have fun! The whole reason you got into riding and continue to enjoy it is because you love doing it. Keep the ride light and let your companion suggest where they might enjoy riding next time.
Follow these tips and maybe you’ll help spark their own passion for cycling. When they’re ready to bump up to the next level, they’ll let you know. Until then, be patient and always offer gentle encouragement.
Suzanne is a Moxie Cycling Ambassador and blog contributor. Check out her bio here!