Your spouse has expressed interest in your hobby; cycling. Or maybe you think it’s a good idea to introduce your spouse to cycling so you can spend more time together and stay in shape together. You want to make it as smooth as possible to ensure that they will like riding almost as much as you do. Knowing how to get your spouse into cycling will help to give you the best shot at getting them to ride.
How to Get Your Spouse Into Cycling
Think about what made you love cycling. Was it the freedom of exploring new places? An interesting way to get exercise? The challenge of cresting a big climb or the thrill of a screaming descent? Share your own excitement with your spouse. It could be contagious.
Giving practical reasons for cycling may be an additional avenue of encouragement. You can spend more time together, get more exercise, and save on gas money if you commute around town together. There are a lot of reasons why you think cycling is a good idea. Explain them patiently to your spouse. A few of them may stick.
Nobody likes pressure, especially if the person is hesitant to do something. Try to make your spouse’s introduction to cycling as pressure free as possible. Just because you like cycling does not mean your spouse will as well. Only encourage riding if your spouse is showing an interest. Cycling has a steep learning curve, especially if the new rider does not have a lot of fitness coming from another activity.
Do Not Smash
When you finally do get your spouse on the bike, do not smash the pedals and show off. Chances are your spouse already knows that you ride a lot and are fit. You do not need to show them by leaving them in the dust. Ride next to them and let them set the pace. You keep an eye on traffic and other potential dangerous situations so they can just focus on riding and enjoying it.
Functioning Bike and Kit
Before investing in a nice bike, perhaps borrow or rent one that fits your spouse properly to make sure your spouse likes riding. Once your spouse shows enthusiasm and is ready to have their own bike, make sure they have a bike that fits properly and is in good working order. Nothing can ruin an experience like bad equipment that is uncomfortable or prone to failure. The same goes for clothing. For short rides early in their experience, regular gym clothes can be fine, but once they start riding more than a short jaunt, they will need at least cycling shorts to keep their sit bones happy.
When they really get into cycling, they will have earned everything you have already earned; a full cycling kit and a bike fit. It will only add to their enjoyment.
This Should be Fun
You ride for fun. So should your spouse. Think of ways to make it fun for them; remember also that what is fun for you might not be fun for them. The opposite may be true, but you are the one that needs to be patient while introducing the sport.
Being Right is not Always Right
It will not help your cause to argue over small points, unless they are safety related. Let your spouse explore the sport and make mistakes if they insist. They will ask you for help when the time comes. You do not need to be there for every hiccup along the way trying to save them or point out their errors when they are not asking for your advice. Give them a few pointers starting out and then let them find their way.
Find a Good Route/Destination
To give the full cycling experience, don’t just take your spouse on any old ride. Plan your route and pick one that isn’t too long, is scenic, doesn’t have many climbs, and isn’t too technical of a trail if you’re mountain biking. Also, a great option is to include a stop at someplace they like such as a coffee shop, a cafe for lunch, perhaps a farmers market. It will help to make it not just about riding but enjoying the time together going places.
Different Interests is OK
If getting your spouse into cycling fails, it’s okay. You gave it a shot. Don’t push it again. Maybe they’ll come back around in the future to try it again on their own. It’s okay to have different things you are excited about. There is room for both of you to do various activities and meet back in the middle to share your lives together.
Let us and the I Love Bicycling community know in the comments below how you got your spouse into cycling and how you maintain it.