Author Topic: When You Are the Only Cyclist in the Family  (Read 1707 times)

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Offline Zag98

When You Are the Only Cyclist in the Family
« on: January 22, 2013, 02:11:12 am »
I ignored by bicycle for much of my 20's and early 30's. In the meantime I have been blessed with a great career, wife and two young children. Over the last year or so, I have dedicated myself to pursuing my passion for cycling. Long day rides and bike overnights are in the near future. As my first post to this forum, I'd like to ask the ACA community for some advice. Right now, I am the only cyclist in my family. My wife is very supportive of my interest in cycling. Rightfully so, she has expressed some concern about how much time I will be away from the family, especially as I develop the stamina for long day rides and bike overnights. What advice to you have for someone like me? What can I do to follow my passion for cycling while not taking away from the precious time my family spends together outside of work and daycare? Bascially, how do you find the right balance! :)
Glad to be cycling again...
Zag98

Offline paddleboy17

Re: When You Are the Only Cyclist in the Family
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2013, 01:08:07 pm »
For me, my family came first.  I think you have a moral obligation to a good parent to your kids, and a good partner to your spouse.

That said, I think the trick for you is to make what you do fun for them.  Involve the kids somehow.  You did not say how little they were, but perhaps a kiddy trailer or trail-a-bike is in your future.  Maybe a tandem.  Kids will get more independent with age, and give you more space.

I live in Michigan, and there are a lot of summer event rides put on by the cycling club in Traverse City, a popular vacation destination.  My wife loves Traverse City, and basically I am empowered to do any event ride that I want in Traverse City.  I have since partnered up with a ride buddy whose wife is good friend of my wife, and they now go to Traverse City with us too.  So the guys ride, and the wives play too.

As for touring, you are just going to have to work something out with your family.  Give your spouse as much time to do her thing as you take to do your thing.  You won't get to do everything that you want to do, but that is the price of being an adult.

Danno

Offline johnsondasw

Re: When You Are the Only Cyclist in the Family
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2013, 09:16:37 pm »
I've spent over 40 years balancing my passions for family, biking, hiking and climbing.  When the kids are very young, it's tough. There were times a 45 minute ride or quick hike or ski was all I could get after work. (In fact, I often went out crosscountry skiing or biking at night, after thee kids were in bed.) 

My wife is very supportive and we've kept open communication through the years.   That's necessary, if you are both going to work it out so you can have a healthy family, marriage and personal life. Believe me, it gets weird if you don't have that.  I definitely can't say it was always easy.

As the kids grew up, they became part of these activities, and we've had many family hikes and bike rides.  Now, I've got sons who carry some of my stuff.  25-30 years ago, I was carrying them! It's great to see them enjoying active lives doing pretty much the same things I was doing so many years ago, and still do, albeit on a more relaxed level than they do.  And it's wonderful to see them excel at these pursuits. 
May the wind be at your back!

Offline indyfabz

Re: When You Are the Only Cyclist in the Family
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2013, 09:53:45 am »
While I don't have kids, for bike overnights, maybe try making the overnight part a family affair by having the rest of the family drive to the overnight location and meet you there. My GF once drove to meet and camp with me for part of a long weekend trip when she didn't feel like riding and camping in the heavy rain that was forecast for the first night and following morning.

Offline reed523

Re: When You Are the Only Cyclist in the Family
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2013, 11:09:04 pm »
My kids are 24 and 29.  Long distance cycling has absolutely changed my life the last 6-7 years or so-I am having an absolute ball.  However, I can't imagine for a minute missing out on the kids growing up while I was out on a bike. Yours will be grown quicker than you can possibly imagine.   Figure out what kind of bikes they like to ride now, join em and grow into long distance stuff together over time.     Or, you could just pull a Metal Cowboy....read Joe Kurmaske's Mud, Sweat and Gears ;)

Offline Zag98

Re: When You Are the Only Cyclist in the Family
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2013, 02:28:14 am »
I appreciate the insight and suggestions. It will indeed take time to find the right balance. I look forward to all that is to come.
Glad to be cycling again...
Zag98

Offline live4it

Re: When You Are the Only Cyclist in the Family
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2013, 11:50:30 am »
I"m kind of in the same situation. My family always comes first and and as we all know bikes are not real friendly on the "parts" my hobby had to be put to rest for a little bit, and still is although I'm finally back on a spinning machine at least. My wife loves to bike although I like going out on a sunday ride with her, my idea of real ridding is much different. I thought buying a new bike updating from my old one would give me motivation, and it has, but family plans put things on hold another year (not that i'm complaining). for me, the hardest part of getting back in the saddle is finding someone with the same motivation and skill level to ride with.

Offline johnsondasw

Re: When You Are the Only Cyclist in the Family
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2013, 03:12:08 pm »
Even in the busiest times when the kids were little, I always set up one 3-day weekend tour with my buddies every spring.  It makes a real difference when you know that it's going to happen and it's been reserved months in advance.  We also did a lot of hiking, but that was easier to arrange because we could carry the kids (at least when they were small enough). 
May the wind be at your back!