Author Topic: Getting started? Frustrating.  (Read 3893 times)

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Offline geotrouvetout67

Getting started? Frustrating.
« on: September 23, 2019, 09:47:59 am »
I've been a mountain biker for about 30-35 years. Recently I purchased a used Salsa Cutthroat as I wanted a "do everything" bike, especially for when I ride casually with my son (7) and my wife. I did not expect to love the bike so much and now I'm obsessed with bikepacking. I've done some bikepacking as a teen, then carrying a huge backpack but things got much better nowadays.

The thing is, my wife is not into sports including cycling, if we do 10-15 miles together that's a good day, she does not even want me to get her a decent bike and she does not want me to do bikepacking with our son until he is like 12 years old. I also do not have sufficient time off to do long trips by myself, December thru April I go skiing with my son almost every weekend and during winter and spring school vacations, June to September we have to deal with 2.5 months of school vacation eating up a lot of our time off work. Since my wife is not into it, I can't just take 2 weeks off for a bike trip or not even a week and leave her at home with my son. I do not either have any friend who is into this and while I dream of touring the divide some day, I just can't take a month off work.

So my only option is potentially do a couple overnight or two-nights trips through the year at most and not too far from home, until I retire in... 20 years, that's probably all I can do.

Who is in that "busy life" situation? How do you handle getting out there? How do you handle being on your own in that sport, no friend, no support from your husband or wife?

Offline BikePacker

Re: Getting started? Frustrating.
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2019, 11:32:09 am »
Lived thru a similar set of circumstances, Geo.
For me what worked was the following:
For Shorter Routes:
1. Picked out a desirable multi-day ride route within drive-able distance from home
(which sounds alot like what you are doing now?)
to "be accomplished," but with myself-understanding and acceptance that the completion of said route would be over time .... however long all factors impacting me would collectively cause it to take.  Each specific route sort of became a hobby in its own right, so to speak.  By focusing on a specific route over time, to my surprise, it became a lot of fun, including giving me a non-stop objective to stay in bike-ride-worthy shape.
2. Picked out 4 day ride weekends. Executed each ride when I could.  Completed each route thru multiple rides when I did.
For Much Longer Routes (e.g., coast to coast/Canada to Mexico/etc.):
1. Every few years and/or in between 'jobs,' would just head on out.  Just had to do it.  However, again, it was a route that was to be and was accomplished a single ride section at a time.
Btw, in further response to the specific items in your Original Post ... I had to just do it all solo/un-supported.  In retrospect, solo/un-supported was overall, for me, easier for many reasons I will not elaborate on herein.  Pls Private Message me should you wish to trade thoughts on the gains/losses of riding solo and riding small (2-3) group and riding larger groups.  All of 'em have trade-offs .... at least that is what I have found, anyways   ;)

Offline geotrouvetout67

Re: Getting started? Frustrating.
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2019, 09:11:19 am »
Doing a few 1 or 2 nights trips solo is indeed my only option at the moment. I don't have "in between jobs" options, I've been working with the same company for 20 years.

I don't mind solo at all, before my son started skiing, I went skiing solo, I just feel bad leaving my wife behind with my son when I do solo activities, that is a mental strain. Before I found a local mountain biking group that suits me, I was mountain biking solo as well but it's more fun and motivational with a group. Like you said solo has its advantages and its issues, it's good training for the Tour the Divide for example since that is supposed to be solo. What scares me a little with solo rides are bears. No grizzlies in my region like in the Rockies but plenty of black bears and moose.

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: Getting started? Frustrating.
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2019, 09:54:14 am »
In the last two years I've seen four black bears while touring. One of those was a face-to-face encounter at a distance of about 25'. He was easily 500 lbs. Never any trouble. In all I have seen nine while cycling.

Saw this bugger in Montana back in June after I rode up into the woods on my rest day looking for critters:

I was in both black and grizzly country. Campground host took a drive up a side road and saw his third lion of the year. Lucky.

And there is nothing wrong with long weekend trips. I am going to take another one this Friday.

« Last Edit: September 24, 2019, 09:55:46 am by BikeliciousBabe »

Offline hikerjer

Re: Getting started? Frustrating.
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2019, 02:30:29 pm »
Doesn't sound so bad to me.  Just be patient. You're lucky yo can ski so often with your son.  Once he's older, you can get him into bike packing. There is such a thing as trying to do too much.

As for your wife's reluctance to get into your outdoor activities, mine's the same way. I can't even get her on a bike. Fortunately, she don't seem to mind me taking off on long trips. But here's the thing, my busy life style - work, four kids, financial restraints, etc. kept me tied down for along time. It wasn't until the kids were grown and gone and I retired that I could take off go for extended periods of time by myself.  As for no one to go with, like others, I don't mind going solo at all. In fact, I kind of prefer it.  Like I said, just be patient. It's kind of the price you pay for having a family.  Your time will come.  Sorry if I sound a bit preachy but I've been there and it works out.

Offline mbattisti

Re: Getting started? Frustrating.
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2019, 09:03:44 pm »
Have you and your wife tried a tandem? Only way I've been able to tour.

Offline hikerjer

Re: Getting started? Frustrating.
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2019, 10:32:20 pm »
I'd like to get her on  a tandem but I doubt that's going to happen. But what I've heard, touring on a tandem will is hasten your relationship whichever way it's heading. ;)

Offline hikerjer

Re: Getting started? Frustrating.
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2019, 11:46:01 pm »

I'd like to get her on a tandem but I doubt that's going to happen. But from what I've heard, no matter wich direction your relationship is headed,  touring on a tandem will get you there faster. ;D