Just got the Girlfriend into riding!!

Forums Mountain Bike Forum Just got the Girlfriend into riding!!

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    • #80362

      Today I feel like a GOD, I feel like I stand on the top of Mt Everest and can still breathe, I feel like I can do anything now, this confidence is just swelling up I think my head is going to fall to the ground!

      I did it boys and girls, I managed to get her to buy a hardtail, granted, she’s only ever owned lame bikes like huffy and such, this is her first real MTB. But this isn’t even the best part in my mind, She was soooooooo against me biking all the time it got her mad on some occasions, I told her (jokingly) that she should buy a bike and come with me. And for somebody who just seemed like they hated everybody about a bicycle, it seems like such a feat.

      However… now comes the tricky part, riding with her….. wow I have got to say, at the age of 24, my nephew (who is only 7) rides a bike with my balance and confidence than she does. I’ve got a lot of work to do my friends… any advice on how I should help/train/assist her, would be AWESOME. Thanks for listening to my bragging.

    • #80363

      From experience it takes time. I started mine out slow with rides around town on pavement getting her used to the bike. Then I took her out to the smoothest (non technical-still had hills) trails in the area and we started riding there. The hard part is making yourself slow down and ride at her pace. If you constantly race ahead she may resent it. I would also suggest that the learning rides be just the two of you or if any of your friends gf/wives ride have them come. that way she won’t be nervous or feel she doesn’t belong and if there is an experience female rider they may be able to offer tips or pointers on how they learned. And ther was an article in the June 2009 issue of Mountain Bike Action magazine that featured "101 Riding Tips." They put alot of stuff that experinced riders take for granted in simple terms (i.e. braking technique, descending, switchbacks, climbing, etc.) The most important thing is to keep it fun and don’t scare her too soon!

    • #80364

      When I first got into mountain biking, I was frustrated that I just didn’t get some things that my riding buddies made look so easy.

      Because they were such automatic reactions for them they had trouble explaining them to me. I bought this book, read it, tried the stuff in it in my back yard and on subsequent rides and within a month I was running with the big dogs.

      Definitely check it out, it may just give her the ability to "teach herself" with the sense of satisfaction that comes with that.

      https://secure2.convio.net/imba/site/Ec … re_id=1121

    • #80365

      this is interesting. I have jokingly suggested to my girlfriend (but really am quit serious) to get a bike so we can ride together. But she has said that she hasn’t ridden a bike in a couple years. Hearing this story motivates me a little more! Thanks!

    • #80366

      Just tell her it’s like, umm, riding a bike… 😆

    • #80367

      Seems like my girlfriend and I have gone in opposite directions. I have gotten more into technical rocky and steep. She has moved to greenway and rail to rails riding. She bought a FS bike a few years ago, but just never got the bug like me. I don’t mind the greenway stuff, it just doesn’t get my motor running. She had an accident involving a big pile of horse poo in the middle of the trail (missed it), a sharp rock (hit it) and a 5 hour wait in the emergency room. I think she lost confidence in her riding ability and just doesn’t want to go back. She used to be a pretty good technical rider too and got me into it. We still ride some together, I just usually diverge off to a trail at some point. Heck its all good. 😃

    • #80368

      yeah, I had a nasty crash 3 years ago in which I broke some bones and got a nasty road rash, it definitely shook my confidence to the core.

      One thing I have learned though, never take a bad line just to avoid horse poo, just close you’re mouth tight and ride through it.

      On a related note, water bottles that mount under the downtube are kind of a bad invention…

    • #80369

      Great thread, guys. I don’t post much on forums but this one got me for some reason. I had the same misunderstanding from my girlfriend about how important riding was to me. She really wanted to try it to have a shared experience, so I bought her a used hardtail for her first bike and off we went to the trails. Learned lessons that may or may not help you but definitely helped us:

      1. Be patient, encouraging, patient and patient.
      2. Let her learn on her own pace. If she is uncomfortable, nervous, or scared, believe her. We all use chicken runs at some point. No one is ready until they decide they are.
      3. Never dart ahead and wait because that doesn’t count as "shared time" mountain biking and like someone said above, it may build resentment (did for me) We ended up having an agreement. A one hour ride together, then I got 30 minutes or so to ride hard on my own. Worked out well because I felt like I got my energy out and we still got to spend some good time together.
      4. Let her be her. I learned that my GF is not going to be a great MTBer, but she did discover she really like biking. So much so that she bought a VERY NICE entry level road bike and rides several times a week on the rails to trails. She is a different person with different preferences. However, sometimes I wonder if I had done the above better, she would have enjoyed the MTB experience better and stuck with dirt rather than switching to cement.

      Any way you cut it, be happy your significant loves bikes. Chicks on Bikes are hot. You know it, I know it, and now we are with them!

      Good luck and thanks for the thread guys.

    • #80370

      Sweet guys, thanks a bunch for the quick responses, ya’ll had great suggestions and advice, and seeing how I don’t want to ruin this, I’ll take everything into consideration when the times come around.

      I know for a fact that she will not be a hardcore biker as some as you already stated, but the mere thought of her pedaling on a singletrack excites me. 😛 😃 😃 😛

    • #80371

      I am taking alot of mental notes from this thread haha. My gf got a bike right after I got mine. Her getting a bike was even a challenge. She "was not going to pay over 100 dollars for a bike" So i was like … "_" anyways, she insisted and went to Wal-Mart and bought a 26 inch FS NEXT brand bike.. I was like its going to be crap I promise! We had it out(fight) on the Wal-mart bike isle i said forget it do what you want. SO yea.. she bought the thing. When she rode it she did not like the feel off the bad. Its build geometry was sooo bad that she noticed it in a turn. Well the kicker was that the chain started coming off. So she took it back. She still did not want to spend more money on a bike, so we still argued over a few days about sloppy derauilers that come on cheap bikes and that department store bikes are never assembled right or with care. Finally she found a Schwinn comp or something at walmart for 170. And of course the Derauiler was off and needed to be worked on with that one. Well I knew she was not going to spend anymore and I was sick of fighting. I told her to get it. I fixed the derauiler and adjusted the breaks all was good.

      She wants to ride for the shared experience as mentioned above. and I know I have a problem about darting ahead lol. Spinning high cadence in the gears 1 on the front cog and 3 in the rear.. just isnt fun LOL She is starting to pick up the pace though once she learned that she could switch gears and go faster and still use the same amount of energy pretty much. I just her to work on stamina gota get her to fight the pain as soon as her legs start tingaling she pretty much is ready to quit. thats my problems now lol.

    • #80372
      "ChiliPepper" wrote

      Well, I am not too sure what to tell you bro, but sharing that video may not have been the best thing bro. Sounds like she has some self-confidence issues, but you should have been their to help her out bro. I take it that she is green to MTB’ing, and you take her on trails she does not want to ride or at least not skilled yet to be left alone??? Not a good start bro! She really sounded scared and alone, but then some of it could of been show as well. Anyways, here are some very valuable guidelines to follow when it comes to situations like this, especially with the ones close to you:

      [quote="tumbleweed14":2wqu88ao]1. Be patient, encouraging, patient and patient.
      2. Let her learn on her own pace. If she is uncomfortable, nervous, or scared, believe her. We all use chicken runs at some point. No one is ready until they decide they are.
      3. Never dart ahead and wait because that doesn’t count as "shared time" mountain biking and like someone said above, it may build resentment (did for me) We ended up having an agreement. A one hour ride together, then I got 30 minutes or so to ride hard on my own. Worked out well because I felt like I got my energy out and we still got to spend some good time together.
      4. Let her be her. I learned that my GF is not going to be a great MTBer, but she did discover she really like biking. So much so that she bought a VERY NICE entry level road bike and rides several times a week on the rails to trails. She is a different person with different preferences. However, sometimes I wonder if I had done the above better, she would have enjoyed the MTB experience better and stuck with dirt rather than switching to cement.

      Let your GF find her own riding, and don’t push her bro! Definitely will build resentment & mistrust between you two, and I absolutely guarantee that. My wife was one of the worst MTBR’s that I ever ran across, but she is getting real good now after coaching her and letting her find her own way. Personally I do not know your GF, and maybe it is more show than reality, but whatever it may be, just follow those guidelines above with lots of patience. Either she will like to MTB or she won’t. Not everyone is cut out for it, but if you are patient with her and let her find her riding, maybe then she will start to enjoy it.[/quote:2wqu88ao]

      Thanks for the advice, and yesssss that was her being an idiot showing off, She would scream at me like that and then turn around and answer her phone and be fine and chippery and happy as ever! Thats why I took the video so everyone could hear how retarted she acted. I let her mom and dad and my family hear it. She was truly embarassed. Ha but yea… she was not scared or anything. that was more of an insane spoiled brat temper tantrum 😏 .

      I am working with her. I just wish that when we go to the local trails she would just cruise around on her on, and not go into the "im ticked off and ready to go home mode" when i go off on a diamond trail and she cant follow. If she would just ride around at her pace there is no way she could get lost in there.

      I am not wanting her to be some MTB diamond trail champion, I just want her to ride.

    • #80373

      I deleted the video because I guess it is pretty crazy sounding to a person who does not know her LOL

      But once again she was not scared, she was just acting a imature fool ticked off at me.

    • #80374

      ahhhh ok! I thought you took it as in I was like mis-treating her or something. which that is what it does seem like at first with no info on the video. 😮 haha

      Yes about the stickies, been reading alot of them. I have a local MTB forum I go to, but the people on there just dont seem to care to help a newb lol. I asked a few questions when I got on there and I had like 50 views before I ever got a reply 😏 SO yea man this place rocks 😼

    • #80375
      "ChiliPepper" wrote

      Yeah man, we are all about helping either newbs or seasoned riders here bro. Some of those other sites if not all of them just look at newbs as below them, and have no place in the MTB world. So they either ignore you or bash you! I have been riding for over 15 years, from sponsored BMX racing back in the day to semi-pro DH/FR competition, and I have never thrashed (oopps, meant trashed/bashed) a newb. I have thrashed quite a few newbs on the trail and left them in dust and sometimes in awe and amazement with what can be done with a bike, but thats just because I more seasoned than them at that point. I have seen a lot of newbs build & develop themselves into a well oiled operating machine with unlimited killer skills. My son being one of them.

      I mean, if we teach the next generation (like you bro) to not help other newbs but to bash them and treat them as they are below us instead……Well, what then is this fun loving sport going to turn out like?? We riders really need to stick with the bro mentality, it works much better. Anyways, sorry for the extra words bro, just can’t stand the way some other riders treat their fellow riders, and use no rider etiquette.

      Keep it real and ride hard!

      Well thats a great attitude too have. Thats how I try and carry myself. But yea, The people at my local Singletrack, for example we had all just finished riding, and we were all just chilling at the trailhead parking lot. I tried to talk to some of them, but I just got that vibe that i was having to try to hard to get them to talk to me. like we were all in a circle talking but no one was talking to me, and then if i said something it was this ackwerd silence.. note, that was the first time I met them, but still I didnt get a welcomening type vibe. I mean dont get me wrong they were not mean and they did give me a freindly hello, but when it came down to it something was a miss and very group clickish, which just gave me the ackwerd feeling that I was not supposed to be over there. I think from now on I will just stick to myself.

    • #80376

      If you’re interested in a girl’s advice (and one that is just learning herself)…

      Tumbleweed had it pretty good.

      My first time out, it was easy trails and an easy pace with a little spice (intermediates) thrown in just to show me some excitement. And I went SUPER SLOW the whole time. Not because I couldn’t go faster, but more because I just wasn’t sure what to expect and my safety/panic mode sensor was in partial alarm at all times. The boys led the way, and they’d get up ahead a little bit, but never so far that I couldn’t hear them at the very least, and usually see them. When I got too far behind cuz I got stuck on something, someone would come back for me. I worried about sucking so bad, and being so slow, that they weren’t having fun. Eventually, I started to realize that part of what made it fun for them was that they were getting to take me out on the trails for the first time and pass on the awesomeness that is mountain biking. So get that point across, if its true for you, because that took a lot of the pressure off. Oh, and help us celebrate the little victories! Because sometimes, it seriously feels amazing to make it over a root or up a climb, no matter how small and insignificant it might seem to you :-)

      Don’t make fun of us when we wimp out. Give us the heads up when we should wimp out. But encourage us to stretch ourselves, especially when you’re pretty sure we can do it, cuz then we feel like a million bucks.

      Be understanding when we’re trying and having a hard time. Usually I don’t like to admit I’m really struggling even if I am, but the boys I go with take care of me and call for a break at just the right time. Its super nice, because that way I don’t feel even more like I don’t belong and I can’t keep up.

      Make it clear that it isn’t about being a rock star. Its about having fun and giving it a try. I’m not afraid to put my feet down. I’m totally ok with walking. And I’ve gotten the falling thing down pretty good. I go home dirty, tired, and sore, and usually with a little blood, but always with a REALLY BIG SMILE. And thats what its all about. Well, that and the hokie pokie

    • #80377

      Yay!!! A topic I can truly help with…..you see I was the wife that the husband was trying to get into MTBiking!!!!;) Devin and Tumbleweed gave the best insight….you go guys!!! 😛 The main thing you all need to remember is we REALLY do want to be apart of what is sooo special to you! MTBiking is just no easy feat…it’s scary for us…we want to be there with you but we also don’t want to embarass you either…..PATIENCE is the key! My husband, THANK GOD, was soooo patient….if he wasn’t I wouldn’t of stuck with it. Just remember what it was like when you were a NOOB and add that to the fact that most of the people you run into out there are dudes….I am always sooo stoked when I see another chic out there! You just have to keep her out there on the bike and one day she will not fall, she will glide over that root system, she will make that climb, she will go over that bridge, etc… and then boys- she will be HOOKED! 😆

    • #80378

      It seems you are quite the man. But around her be patient, like everyone has said it is just going to take some time. Amybe next time you report you can brag on how patient you were with her. She will earn faster enjoying it knowing that your a real support.

    • #80379

      Man I wish I could get my GF to ride. We use to ride around the neighborhood here and then I started riding the trails and talked her into going one morning and she got sick and I had to drive her home….. sadly she has not rode her bike since. It bums me out but I guess I cant make her ride or else shed make me watch the hills lol.

      Same with my bro I finally talked him into going and he hated it, said it felt like he was dying and we only went 1.9 mi at a slow pace but he is willing to give it another show so next time were going to take ALOT of breathers. I just want someone to enjoy the sport with but none of my family is very active. My mom goes when she can but she works alot so thats not often, and most of my friends wouldnt dream of riding a bike unless there car broke down and they needed some beer lol.

      Im glad you guys are having luck though, congrats!!

    • #80380

      Devin P has some great advice there, and ‘let her be her’- that’s not just for girlfriends, that advice can go for anybody learning to ride.

      I ride with quite a few women and there are a couple that can kick my @$$ on occasion. Its been my observation that while learning they really enjoy riding with other women. In Anchorage during the summer the Arctic Bike Club does weekly, women only, practice type rides for free at Kincaid Park, each week they meet and practice something different like climbing, shifting, balance, whatever for a bit and then just have fun riding for a couple hours. Check with your local bike clubs or LBS’s and see if they may know of any organized rides.

    • #80381
      "blackcomb7187" wrote

      Man I wish I could get my GF to ride. We use to ride around the neighborhood here and then I started riding the trails and talked her into going one morning and she got sick and I had to drive her home….. sadly she has not rode her bike since. It bums me out but I guess I cant make her ride or else shed make me watch the hills lol.

      Same with my bro I finally talked him into going and he hated it, said it felt like he was dying and we only went 1.9 mi at a slow pace but he is willing to give it another show so next time were going to take ALOT of breathers. I just want someone to enjoy the sport with but none of my family is very active. My mom goes when she can but she works alot so thats not often, and most of my friends wouldnt dream of riding a bike unless there car broke down and they needed some beer lol.

      Im glad you guys are having luck though, congrats!!

      I’ve been mtn biking since June, so still a newb, and here is some advice for your girlfriend and brother. I hated mountain biking for the first couple of months, it was hard, I have asthma, and I was just used to riding on pavement, and whine, whine, whine. I kept telling my husband that I was going to trade the mountain bike for a road bike, but I kept going because it looked like it should be fun. Then, one day, I rode over a pile of logs, without falling. Now, I have to be dragged out of the forest at the end of the day. It’s truly an addiction, and I am shopping for a newer, better, lighter bike. In other words, tell them to keep trying, don’t push them too hard, but push a little and help with skill building. They’ll soon love it, how could they not? Especially your girlfriend, what a feeling of power to make it up a steep, rooty hill without having to push the bike!

    • #80382
      "Kat.landia" wrote

      I’ve been mtn biking since June, so still a newb, and here is some advice for your girlfriend and brother. I hated mountain biking for the first couple of months, it was hard, I have asthma, and I was just used to riding on pavement, and whine, whine, whine. I kept telling my husband that I was going to trade the mountain bike for a road bike, but I kept going because it looked like it should be fun. Then, one day, I rode over a pile of logs, without falling. Now, I have to be dragged out of the forest at the end of the day. It’s truly an addiction, and I am shopping for a newer, better, lighter bike. In other words, tell them to keep trying, don’t push them too hard, but push a little and help with skill building. They’ll soon love it, how could they not? Especially your girlfriend, what a feeling of power to make it up a steep, rooty hill without having to push the bike!

      Awesome.

    • #80383

      With the two ladies’ contributions above, I think this makes for a pretty well rounded view of how to handle the situation presented by the topic starter. The noob woman rider perspective is one that may be the most valuable. But in general, there will always be things that we learn on the trail, no matter how experienced we are.

      Keep in touch with your inner-noob. This is a great thread.

    • #80384

      I know resurrecting an old thread.

      Took my wife on a few rides this last Spring. It was just some old Fire Roads and nothing technical. I always let her lead so I can ride at her pace without fear of leaving her. She is gonna train on my trainer this winter and Spring 2011 is going to start hitting the more technical trails with me. Got to remember to take plenty of breaks. I remember when I first started and had to take a break every 1/2 mile or so. Then today I went and rode 12.6 miles without stopping. When I have new riders go with me I tell them I only have 2 rules:

      1: Never be embarrassed to say "I need a break"
      2: There is no shame is pushing a bike.

    • #80385
      "ChiliPepper" wrote

      [quote="topjimmy":3pq3dnnf] When I have new riders go with me I tell them I only have 2 rules:

      1: Never be embarrassed to say "I need a break"
      2: There is no shame is pushing a bike.

      Awesome rules and rules I live by….. 😄[/quote:3pq3dnnf]
      Those are the 2 things I tell my wife when riding with me. Another thing I found that seems to help my wife is that she prefers to hike the trail before riding it if possible, she has a good memory and can remember whats on the trail. She will also tell me if she thinks she is ready for that specific trail…
      Whatever works (helps) to get her out riding with me, I’m all for it… 😄 😄
      a few shots of my girl on our rides…
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