My romantic partner doesn’t ride bikes. How do I introduce my love of biking to the love of my life?
This is an endeavor fraught with peril. Are you sure your heart is in the right place here? Does your wife/husband/girlfriend/ boyfriend/partner express an interest in riding? Or, is this a one-sided wish for more riding time?
Just to be clear, riding with your significant other can be a very rewarding experience. But forcing your favored activity on someone in an attempt to spend more time with the activity you love will probably backfire. And, in the end, there is absolutely nothing wrong with romantic partners having activities they do independently of each other.
Reflect deeply on your motivations, Pat; your success depends on it. Feeling confident that your heart and intentions are pure? Great. How’s the rest of the relationship? Have there been requests to try out riding, or will this be starting from zero?
If there is some interest, great, but it’s not time to let down your guard. Don’t fall into the trap of making do with a bike that might be too big or too small, be in poor repair, or have a saddle that will cause enough pain to turn your lover off to bikes forever. Talk to your cycling friends for a loaner, rent or demo a nice bike, keep your eye on Craigslist for a suitable used bike, or drop in to your local bike shop and buy new for your sweetcakes. Your old bike that doesn’t fit well, or an $89 blue-light special isn’t going to make anyone happy. Your main squeeze deserves a properly fitting bike; get creative, you’ll figure it out!
Perhaps you feel the need to convince your main squeeze that riding bikes is a desirable activity. If that’s the case, forget why you do it. That isn’t important here. What makes the object of your desire tick? Exploring? Working out? Socializing? Seeing goals and smashing them? Planning and logistics? It’s time for you to sell riding as something fun for reasons that might not match up with your idea of fun.
Maybe you just want to ride to work and the ball game, but your honeybuns loves working out in the gym. Maybe you can meet halfway, and do some workouts on the bikes. Or you go out on fast group rides and and pay attention to a power meter and do things like intervals.
That isn’t very appealing to most of the population, so how about peeling off the Lycra and taking a slow ride to the farmer’s market, or maybe a picnic in the park? Whatever you do, don’t mention Strava. Much like Twitter, the only people who care about Strava are already on there, and no one else gives two turds about your climbing results.
Above all, remember this is not about you. There are very few people who don’t have at least some spark of a pleasant memory about cycling from childhood. It’s up to you to find it, rekindle it, and see where it goes.
Portrait of Yours Truly by Stephen Haynes