Riding with your Wife

I thought this would be a good post to write as I feel its pertinent to involve your wife (or girl-friend) in your cycling adventures, as long as she is a willing partner and enjoys the challenge of bike riding. Sometime ago I read a blog article on Riding with your Wife by Wade Wallace from Melbourne, Australia. I thought it contained excellent advice and my wife found it particularly amusing that she could not stop laughing! During our recent ride up to Wulai, some of the advice was taken on-board.
My wife, Jen, also rides an Orbea, in fact it was a nicer one than my previous Orbea Opal that was spec’d with lower grade components. The fact that her bike was better than mine, made my wife very happy and proud! She loves the feel of buzzing along on an efficient performance machine – however she does tire fairly quickly since she does not get out regularly enough to get the muscles adapted to cycling. When we ride together, we usually do rides that include plenty of stops for sight-seeing and for munching on the various foods that can be found here in Taipei. Refer to my earlier post about Xindian and Eating Delicious Foods. So, more recently, we were both invited to go riding with the 7th Park Bike Store‘s weekly coffee rides and was assured that riding to Wulai from the Xindian MRT station would be an easy rolling 15kms each way and would not be a problem for my wife.
Jen and I were both up at 6am and out the doors at 6.45 to ride along the river path for 10 kms to meet the group at 7am. We managed to get there 15mins late, but fortunately the group were waiting for others to turn up. There were several girls present and some quite new to cycling! Since Jen is all decked out in her HansatonChampion System cycling gear, she looks a pro and people thought she’d be pretty quick! She informed them that she just has the looks but likes to ride slow.

Since I was riding with my wife, I had to make sure she would be ok and happy during the ride. I asked her what she thought if I should ride on ahead with the faster guys and let her ride with the girls. She did not like the sound of that, so I duly stayed on her wheel and ensured things would go smoothly.  She told me that if I was not with her the whole time, she would not have been able to make it through the ride. It was her longest ride to-date, totaling 52kms including hills and rolling terrain. One of the biggest enjoyments of the ride was actually getting to Wulai and being able to relax at Helen’s Mobile Coffee drinking good coffee, eating waffles and cheese cake, while savoring the splendid views of the river and bush clad mountains.

What made it manageable for Jen was that I was there to push her up the hills if she needed it. I would only push her if it was clear that she was not going to make it without stopping and of course, with her permission. It is actually a hard workout to propel yourself up the hill AND to push your wife. My heart rate was getting up there and I found myself trying to push faster so I can get over each climb and then recover. It made me think that we should get a tandem bike at some point so that we can enjoy cycle touring together.  As for the tips from the Cycling Tips blog, the following tips were utilised:
  • Pushing your partner/wife up the hill if she is tiring
  • Buy coffee or have scheduled coffee stops
  • Making sure she is comfortable
  • Making conversation about topics other than cycling or advice about training
Bikedan’s wife’s top tips:
  1. When out riding with your partner and she complains that she is tired, don’t bring up your amount of training that you have already done that week to justify that you should be more tired. Bottom-line: when she says she is tired, it is best not to tell her she shouldn’t be!
  2. Do encourage your partner/wife to go riding with you on a frequent basis
  3. Wearing matching uniforms can help your partner/wife feel like she belongs next to you on a bike OR feel more like a pro even with beginning riding skills
  4. WIVES: Since cycling is a big part of his life, do make an effort to go riding with him once in a while and enjoy time together on bikes 
More photos are posted below for your enjoyment. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for the next blog article which will be about a recent race I competed in here in Taiwan.
Jen is enjoying a nutritious USANA Oatmeal-raisin bar that provided sustainable energy to complete the 52km ride
Jen and I posing at mid-point of the Wulai ride
Riding through some nice scenery on the way to Wulai
Riding through the Wulai Market Street that was not too busy since it was still very early

  • Anonymous

    'WIVES: Since cycling is a big part of his life, do make an effort to go riding with him once in a while and enjoy time together on bikes '

    HUSBANDS. Since your wife knits, learn to do the purl stitch and sit around the fire chatting and enjoy time together.

    Its great to ride with your wife, but she should not feel the need to bike to be a 'better wife'.

  • Daniel

    Thanks for your comment 🙂 That is a good point. However I'm lucky that my wife can't knit so don't need to learn ;). But we do enjoy other pursuits together such as hiking, watching movies and checking out new sites together. Wives can choose to ride if they want to, not because they feel pressured too. Its a good way to get out together and enjoy leisurely fresh air.

  • Anonymous

    If your wife is tired, shouldn't she be on YOUR wheel rather than her towing you??

  • Celia

    Great post Dan 🙂 Although I'm not sure the opposite is possible – I can't imagine trying to push my husband on the uphills when he's tired!

  • Anonymous

    You might want to try a tandem. It will give you the best of both worlds — a great ride w/ your partner and a great work-out.

  • summer


    Thanks for ur training today

    i am thinking maybe i need take once a week to train myself so let me know how much i have to pay for one hour i will think about it .

    anyway thank you!and sorry my english is pool!


  • digiguy

    My wife read this, "Pushing your partner/wife up the hill if she is tiring" and asked, "Do they mean physically push them?"

  • Tina

    I am not sure how I stumbled on your blog, but I know your name and have seen you at the races.

    My husband bought me a bike when we moved to Taiwan so we could ride together. He created a monster! At first I hated it, I hated struggling up hills, always being out sprinted, etc.

    After three years of racing for HsinChu's e-Ma team…. I wait for HIM at the top of DaXueShan! ha!

    Advice to patient husbands:
    1. "It was a great workout!" If your wife is new to the bike, a good time to ride is during recovery rides.

    2. When she drops, don't make it obvious you are slowing down, let her feel she has caught up.

    3. Never underestimate her!!! ha!

    4. Let her pull, then let her know you enjoyed the rest and the view! (after 110km w/ my husband, I was sick, headwind and we rode in Vietnam…. one simple compliment I thought I would marry him all over again! (its already been 17 years).

    Good luck to both!

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