Cycling is a great activity to do with your significant other and maybe further down the line, an activity the whole family can enjoy together. Of course, if your partner is new to the idea of life on two wheels, they might require a little finessing. Trying something new can be intimidating, and you want to make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible, so hopefully they’ll end up as hooked as you are. Especially if there’s a major difference in ability or fitness level, it can be challenging in the beginning. But certainly not impossible! Whether they’ve expressed interest, or you’ve decided that it’s a good idea to introduce your partner to cycling so you can spend more time together while getting in shape, here are a few tricks to help you out.
Remember what made YOU love cycling
If your partner isn’t even keen on the idea of giving cycling a try, you might have to do a little work to get them on board. One of the best ways to do this is to think about what made you fall in love with cycling in the first place. Was it the freedom of exploring new places or simply an exciting way to get exercise? Share your own enthusiasm with your love and hopefully it will prove contagious. Don’t forget the practical reasons either, remind them that it’ll be a way to spend more time together, get more exercise, and even save on gas money if you commute around town. Although it’s likely clear to you why cycling is an awesome idea, have a little bit of patience when explaining it to your partner, people need time to come around to new ideas.
Make sure you’re on the same page
When it does come time to venture out on your first ride together, set reasonable expectations by asking the right questions. How long and hard do you each want to ride? Does your partner want instruction while they’re riding, or do they just want to give it a go and see how it feels? Talk about it. Discuss when and where you’ll take breaks and make sure they know they can always ask you to slow down or stop. It may seem unnecessary to go through so many details if you’re just heading out for a short ride, but you’ll be thankful you did. If you don’t talk about it before, you could easily have different expectations of how the ride will go, and that might lead to unnecessary arguments.
Take the pressure off
Try to put yourself in their shoes (or saddle) and remember that nobody likes pressure. Especially if they’re hesitant to do something in the first place, you really need to go out of your way to make your partner’s introduction to cycling as comfortable as possible. One of the wonderful things about cycling is that progress can happen pretty quickly if you stick with it, but that initial learning curve can be hard to overcome. Remind your partner that you were a newbie once too.
Don’t try to impress them
You’re going to be excited when you finally get them out on a bike and there might be a slight temptation to smash the pedals and show off. It’s a natural reaction, and although it really just speaks to the fact that you’re eager to give them ever more reasons to love you, this isn’t the time or place. Keep in mind that they probably already know you’re a beast on the bike and focus on riding next to them and letting them set the pace. In the beginning, your job is to make them comfortable and keep an eye on traffic or other potential hazards. Don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of time to show ‘em what you can do once you’re both more at ease riding together.
Share your technical knowledge
If you’ve done a few rides together and they seem to be enjoying it, it might be time to bust out your technical know-how. Especially if they’re thinking of investing in a nice bike for themselves, it is super helpful to have someone who can show you the ropes. Nothing can ruin an experience like bad equipment, so be there to provide advice and guidance, but refrain from being too pushy. Keep in mind that it will definitely not help your overall cause to argue about the small stuff. Unless it is safety related, let your partner try different bikes and see what works for them.
Know that having fun is the main priority
And that fun could have a different meaning for your partner than it does for you. While introducing a sport, it’s crucial to be patient and to remember that you might have to carve out additional time to still get the kind of rides in that you’re craving. Finally, if getting your significant other into cycling fails, it’s not the end of the world. You tried your best and possibly succeeded in planted a seed that will grow later. Either way, it’s okay, and even healthy for your relationship, to be excited about different things. Whether cycling ends up being something you share or not, they’ll at least have a better understanding of why you love the sport and the benefits it provides you.