Trail Ramblings: When You Want To Ride With A Different Speed Rider.

Maybe you’ve been in this situation, on either side; you love to ride your bike and you want to share the experience with your Significant Other. They’re willing, but do you know what you need to do to make them want to ride with you again? Some s/o’s are on board in theory only and don’t believe that they can keep up, view it as too difficult to enjoy, or don’t believe their speedy s/o will enjoy riding with them. If you want it to be a good experience, you need to remember how you felt when you started out; out of breath and feeling thoroughly thrashed. Some things are obvious, like not taking them out on a ride that’s longer than their fitness level, or their rear-end, is ready for. If you’re going to be riding for more than about an hour, padded shorts had best be part of the attire. Also, the faster rider should not be dropping the slower one, or telling them to hurry up. The faster rider should ideally be following. If you need help slowing down, try to take a slower bike, or weigh it down with gear. One cyclist I know will add 60 lbs. in gear on his family rides so that everyone is happy. 

You want to keep the smiles coming.

What’s not fair is if the faster rider has a lightweight, speedy bike, and the other a heavy, slow bike. If adjustments can be made for bike fit, I’d suggest swapping bikes. Another thing that’s a deal breaker is dropping. I actually know someone that was dropped by their (now ex) s/o when she bonked, without food or water. He just pedaled off. If you’re going to get provisions to quickly return with, or bring back a car, that’s ok, but not otherwise.

The same advice applies to riding with anyone slower, though these kids might be faster than you.

I highly recommend riding together on a recovery day, when you’re not itching for a workout, or as a bonus ride after your regular ride. I know I’m a much better riding companion under these circumstances. Also, don’t forget to see that the s/o’s bike is in good working order, they may not have ridden it for a while. The tires may be flat and the chain rusty. If you’ve thought ahead, you’ve fixed these things in preparation.

Find an event you both want to ride in, not race.

So now, where should you ride? How about the Great Plains Bicycle Club’s Ice Cream Ride? It’s this Saturday, July 17, 2:00-5:00 and is only about 13 miles. Meet by the Rock Island Trail on the south side of A Street across from the zoo. Are you and your s/o looking for something a little longer? How about the gpbc Tour de Fancy Pants on August 7 at 8:30 A.M.? Meet at the 84th and MoPac trailhead. It will be a 30 mile ride on Lincoln trails with a snack stop.

For more in-depth advice about riding with your s/o, check out the following article