Road cycling with your significant other
*Note: if you click on a photo, it will take you to the Strava route*
Michael and I met through running. I love running, still do, but cycling? Cycling wasn't my thing. I like to think of myself as an outgoing person, so when Michael suggested it, I took it on!
Riding with your significant other can be a fun experience and it has it's benefits too.
Prior to the stay at home orders, we were both consumed with work and daily life that we sometimes forgot to set aside time for our relationship. We started riding together more often in March of 2020. We bonded over many miles and it made our relationship stronger.
Now, let me remind you all, I was far from a confident cyclist. I hated the idea of clipping in and out of my pedals. I thought it took too much focus to do, especially if I have to clip out and hop off when I come to a stop. Thankfully, the pandemic put me in a place where we were home a lot and Michael was very patient watching me learn - and fall into bushes. I also didn't have my Gamin cycling computer up until recently. Michael had his, so I relied on him heavily to not get lost . Trust me, there were plenty of times I got lost and Michael had to turn around and find me. One thing that does put my mind at ease while out on the road is that Michael is there with me.
I’m lucky to have a partner who loves running AND cycling. However, Michael has always been fitter, stronger, much faster and finds road cycling much easier than me, so that sometimes means cycling together as a couple has its challenges. In the almost four years we've been together, I have been encouraged to go that bit farther and push myself to discover I can do more than I would do alone and he gets to admire the view from the top of hills for a bit longer than he’d normally do!
Here are a few tips if you'd like to start cycling with your partner:
Have realistic expectations and the right attitude.
Make sure you pack food, snacks, hydration together so you're aware of what you both have. I pack a fanny pack style bag that carries our IDs, credit cards, food and car keys while Michael holds extra water in his jersey.
I like to remind myself that it's good for us both to ride separately and that’s OK!
It's ok for either of us to fly up a steep hill. I was taken on a 20% grade hill and Michael watched me walk up the last half.
We plan our routes together, so neither of us is frustrated that it’s either too flat or too nuts!
We always stop for breaks so we can chat and check in to see how another is doing
If we (mostly I) get lost, we admit we are lost and laugh about it!