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How do I get my lady into MTB?

luckypierreluckypierre Posts: 76
edited September 2009 in Women
I am hoping that somebody on here can give me some underhandand devious advice on how to get my girlfriend into mountainbiking.

I ride regualry but leisurely around Bristol and the occaisional trip to Afan and Cwm Carn and would love to get my girlfriend into such a satisifying form of exercise.

The problem is that when she suggests going for a bike ride its usually a 5 mile tootle down some canal paths which just doesn't get really give the same buzz. She can get a new bike from her works scheme but the question is..... whats the best way to open her eyes to the fun to bed had getting filthy in the woods together?
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  • Mrs ToastMrs Toast Posts: 636
    Have you considered hypnotism?

    In all seriousness, I got into mountain biking because of my husband, who would always come back from a ride enthusing about how great it was. I was interested because I wanted to do exercise, but I couldn't do anything very high impact because I have shite knees - I had to give up Tae Kwon Do and Aikido, but had no interest in the gym, or swimming. I went with him a couple of times and hired a bike - I thoroughly enjoyed it, despite never really having ridden a bike as a kid (and it was the first time I'd really ridden a bike with gears). I ended up getting my first mountain bike a few weeks later. Fast forward a year later, and we had the second half of our honeymoon in Glentress - which was my idea!

    That said, all the encouragement and deviousness in the world will be pretty much useless if she has no interest at all getting into mountain biking - some people don't like getting muddy, or the risk involved, or the sheer amount of physical effort it takes. Some people like outdoor activities, some people like extreme activities, some people like the gym. If you try and push her into mountain biking when she doesn't want it, she'll probably do one of the following:

    * Get angry, and become convinced that the reason you're pushing her into it is because you think she's fat
    * Get angry, and become convinced that you don't respect her own hobbies and interests
    * She'll reluctantly have a go to keep you happy. After a month or two she'll abandon mountain biking completely, leaving your house full of unused mountain biking paraphernalia.
    * She'll reluctantly have a go to keep you happy. She finds that she actually enjoys it, and everyone lives happily ever after!

    If she is interested, then your job's a lot easier. Consider booking a weekend away somewhere near a trail centre - one that hires out decent bikes, if hers isn't up to the job, and maybe even one that does women-skills courses (I know Dalby and Glentress do the odd one or two, there's also http://www.dirtdivas.co.uk/ who do them exclusively). If she does need to hire a bike, then make sure that the bike is properly set up before you set out, with a decent women's saddle and a fork that actually moves - you don't want her first proper experience of mountain biking to be ruined by an uncomfortable bike!
  • Cheers toast I think that tryig to book a weekend away might be a good idea. dalby might be a good place cause we are often up in the dales and so wouldn't be much effort
  • Yeh, it's not everyone's bag. My wife will go out on a bike, but her idea of a good ride & mine are very different.
    One bit of advice is don't try to set the level high straight away. Build up gradually to the sort of tech stuff you might enjoy yourself.
    A skills course is ideal for some people as it can give a lot of confidence - I have to be honest, we run them at Dalby, groups or 1 to 1. People always surprise themselves with how much they progress in a day.
  • Don't do it! I had the same idea with my lady and just action sports in general. So I took her karting. She was nervous and I was doing the usual boyfriend thing, explaining the principles of under and oversteer, racing lines and weight distribution........she beat me. Hands down. I seriously couldn't catch her. Now my male ego has taken a complete kicking, and I have to put up with her subtle smugness everytime we get in the car.
  • breezerbreezer Posts: 1,225
    LOL, thing is with all those turn up and drive karting places, the karts can be massively different. Ive done loads of races in them and practise sessions etc and you can get ones that dont brake, ones that just understeer, oversteer, perfect ones etc so its impossible to compare 2 drivers plus she is probably lighter and maybe smaller. I have trouble even turning the wheel in them as my legs are in the way.

    Although I find most people won't accept pure basic facts like the above and just rip the p1ss and you end up on the receiving end of smugness like you have found :D
  • miss notaxmiss notax Posts: 2,823
    Yup, I agree with what Mrs Toast says :D

    I got into mtbing because of my other half too, but i've always been an outdoorsy person so it wasn't too much of a shock to the system! If the spark isn't there then it's not really going to work... If it IS there, then lots of encouragement and whatever you do - don't laugh!

    Oh, and it helps if she's a determined soul. Sheer bloody-mindedness and the irrational desire to one day be better than him has kept me going so far :lol:

    Good luck!
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away....

    Riding a gorgeous ano orange Turner Burner!

    Sponsor the CC2CC at http://www.justgiving.com/cc2cc
  • My OH got me into it, but like sarah I have always been into sports and outdoors. From my experience definitely find her some other girls to ride with. Dirtdivas do fantastic courses, so like Mrs Toast I'd recommend them. Your local mtb club may also do some beginner mtb rides. she'll be much happier if she's riding with people of a more similar level and not struggling to keep up with you and your mates. And def let her progress gradually - slowly increasing length and technicality of rides. We also run a beginners womens mtb trip :) Next one's not till june though!

    Good luck!
  • miss notaxmiss notax Posts: 2,823
    Nice website Sara :D

    I also agree about riding with other beginners - I started off riding with my OH and his friends and spent months falling off and trying to keep up! Probably not the most motivating way of doing it....

    Then again I also rode in Verbier 6 months after I started riding, so maybe I just have a screw loose :lol:
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away....

    Riding a gorgeous ano orange Turner Burner!

    Sponsor the CC2CC at http://www.justgiving.com/cc2cc
  • Wow sounds familiiar - I did a few rides with bloke and his mates. Threw a tantrum about being left behind and falling off all the time used the threat of not going on holiday to Morzine with him to get 2 days out alone with OH before heading to Alps for a week. I took my old 200 quid hardtail, got bounced around (and off) for a week and somehow was hooked. First thing I did on getting back was buy a new bike and find girls to ride with. A few years and many holidays later we moved out here for good..

    Still not made it to Verbier though - every year we say 'next year' - it really has to be next year!

    And thanks sarah - we've put a lot of effort into it :):)
  • miss notaxmiss notax Posts: 2,823
    Ha ha, yes, we went to Cwmcarn a few weeks after I started riding and needless to say what followed was a major domestic and a very stroppy woman walking her bike all the way to the car park at the bottom.... :oops: :lol:
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away....

    Riding a gorgeous ano orange Turner Burner!

    Sponsor the CC2CC at http://www.justgiving.com/cc2cc
  • Well I know who to blame for that! Have ridden there a few times and probably wouldn't take a beginner along....but then I'm not male ;)
  • Coincidently she got a 2008 Myke (Elite I think) from bike to work scheme on Saturday and i took her for a gentle roll arouind Ashton Court in Bristol. She quite enjoyed it (I think) but it was horrfically muddy and made riding for both of us hard work I had to stop twice to clean enough mud from my back wheel so it would go round.
    She came with me in the sumemr a few times and definately enjoyed, got a suprising turn of speed on her!! - I am definately going to have to up my game if the wife takes to it.

    I was the one left outside cleaning both bikes in rain, with a bicket of cold water though, some gender roles are never meant to be reversed are they? :)
  • miss notaxmiss notax Posts: 2,823
    I was the one left outside cleaning both bikes in rain, with a bicket of cold water though, some gender roles are never meant to be reversed are they? :)

    Quite right too :wink:

    My OH cleans my bike for me.... I'm all for equality, but at the end of the day i'm rubbish at cleaning cars / bikes etc and have no desire to improve, and he still doesn't know how to use the cooker or washing machine :lol:
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away....

    Riding a gorgeous ano orange Turner Burner!

    Sponsor the CC2CC at http://www.justgiving.com/cc2cc
  • sarah75 wrote:
    I was the one left outside cleaning both bikes in rain, with a bicket of cold water though, some gender roles are never meant to be reversed are they? :)

    Quite right too :wink:

    My OH cleans my bike for me.... I'm all for equality, but at the end of the day i'm rubbish at cleaning cars / bikes etc and have no desire to improve, and he still doesn't know how to use the cooker or washing machine :lol:

    Here here :D :P :D :P :D :P :D :P :D :P :wink:
    If every action has an equal and opposite reaction does that mean I will be eaten by a fly?
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    I clean my bike in the bath... women always complain for some reason... Can't win I tell thee.
  • can't think why? Perhaps you should have let her get out of it before the bike went in. If I did that the boss / wife would string me up by the nearest tree as a warning to other men not to mess with the cleanliness of the house.

    Seriously though, her knee and elbow pads arrived the other day so will take her out again, I think with them it will give her a bit more confidence and not hurt her too badly when she has her first off.

    While it is clearly manly to come home knees and elbows covered in open wounds the wife just thinks its ridicoulous - weird hey?

    Do any of you wear pads and the like?
  • miss notaxmiss notax Posts: 2,823
    Nope.

    I am led to belive that scars are actually attractive on women though.... :wink: :shock:
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away....

    Riding a gorgeous ano orange Turner Burner!

    Sponsor the CC2CC at http://www.justgiving.com/cc2cc
  • Lmao, i'm getting back into it because my fella is rather enthusiastic about the whole thing.

    He uses the "you're always moanin about your body so stop mekin excuses and get ridin with me" tactic haha!
  • It's usually me that is always trying to persuade him to go out!

    He calls me the bike slayer because there is always something to fix every time we go out on my bike, I can't help it that my legs are so powerful that I break chains, mangle rear mechs etc etc :lol:

    Ali.x.
    What you give is what you get
  • My solution was to build her this bike.....
    051.JPG
    Got her into cycling quite easy[/img]
  • Very pretty Swiftacular. I bet she gets really upset when it gets muddy!
    :D
    Ali
    What you give is what you get
  • my girl has confused reading health magazines with actually doing anything.
    m-trax ti 1000- back when i was rubbish.
    evo 8 - i am continuing to be rubbish.
  • LoUiS1985LoUiS1985 Posts: 841
    That said, all the encouragement and deviousness in the world will be pretty much useless if she has no interest at all getting into mountain biking - some people don't like getting muddy, or the risk involved, or the sheer amount of physical effort it takes. Some people like outdoor activities, some people like extreme activities, some people like the gym. If you try and push her into mountain biking when she doesn't want it, she'll probably do one of the following:

    * Get angry, and become convinced that the reason you're pushing her into it is because you think she's fat
    * Get angry, and become convinced that you don't respect her own hobbies and interests
    * She'll reluctantly have a go to keep you happy. After a month or two she'll abandon mountain biking completely, leaving your house full of unused mountain biking paraphernalia.


    HAHA wow, how true is that, that's exactly what happened with me and my missus. Now i just let her do her own thing because, despite my best efforts, i just knew that deep down she wasn't that interested!!
  • My experience for you...

    My g/f has all the grit and determination in the world however she is rather small at 56kg.

    She was keen to give mountain biking a go but when we did a few easy trails it was frustrating for her as her strength and basic skills were not there so she got annoyed with it.

    Instead of forcing the issue I started suggesting we go for rides around Richmond Park in London regularly and what its done is give her more confidence in simple skills like turning (dont laugh its hard for newbies!) and started to build up her strength and get her balance sorted. While basically a lazy sunday ride time in the saddle has given her better bike handling basic skills.

    She is beginning to see why I enjoy riding as we went and rode one of the easier trails that she had difficulty with in the beginning and she really enjoyed it as now she had the skills to progress faster.

    Job done. :lol:
    Scott Ransom 10

    Stumpy FSR Comp

    Wilier Izoard

    1994 Shogun Prairie Breaker Expert...ahhh yesssss

    'I didnt need those front teeth anyway..'
  • miss notaxmiss notax Posts: 2,823
    My experience for you...

    My g/f has all the grit and determination in the world however she is rather small at 56kg.

    She was keen to give mountain biking a go but when we did a few easy trails it was frustrating for her as her strength and basic skills were not there so she got annoyed with it.

    Instead of forcing the issue I started suggesting we go for rides around Richmond Park in London regularly and what its done is give her more confidence in simple skills like turning (dont laugh its hard for newbies!) and started to build up her strength and get her balance sorted. While basically a lazy sunday ride time in the saddle has given her better bike handling basic skills.

    She is beginning to see why I enjoy riding as we went and rode one of the easier trails that she had difficulty with in the beginning and she really enjoyed it as now she had the skills to progress faster.

    Job done. :lol:

    Cool - well done for being so nice about getting your girlfriend into MTBing :D

    (and I agree - turning isn't easy when you havn't riddena bike for 20 odd years!)
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away....

    Riding a gorgeous ano orange Turner Burner!

    Sponsor the CC2CC at http://www.justgiving.com/cc2cc
  • grandad3grandad3 Posts: 323
    I'd sooner not take the wife, then I can look at other things. Know wot I mean, wink,wink
    'Collapse the Light into Earth'
  • snowangelsnowangel Posts: 13
    my husband got me into mtb by buying me a nice bike & promising a stop at a pub for a beer and lunch, the more i went out the further away the pubs got!! that was 8yrs ago, 5yrs ago i started racing with him and sincie then we have raced rather successfully in the mixed pairs of both 12 & 24hr races. the pub stops also stopped!!! :roll:
  • shogunsteveshogunsteve Posts: 209
    I am hoping that somebody on here can give me some underhandand devious advice on how to get my girlfriend into mountainbiking.

    I ride regualry but leisurely around Bristol and the occaisional trip to Afan and Cwm Carn and would love to get my girlfriend into such a satisifying form of exercise.

    The problem is that when she suggests going for a bike ride its usually a 5 mile tootle down some canal paths which just doesn't get really give the same buzz. She can get a new bike from her works scheme but the question is..... whats the best way to open her eyes to the fun to bed had getting filthy in the woods together?


    Just dissapear alot on your bike, she will soon get the message.

    Whether her on a ride will suit in the long run is another matter. She may just cramp your style!
  • JetlagJetlag Posts: 29
    My solution was to build her this bike.....
    051.JPG
    Got her into cycling quite easy[/img]


    OMG that's lush *love eyes*
  • JetlagJetlag Posts: 29
    I think the girls here (and Kiwi) have summed it up beautifully.


    My b/f really got me enthused about mtb though I had a bike and had tried it in the past. My prev b/f (when I bought the bike) wasn't interested so I had to go out by myself and never really got into it.

    But Mr Jetlag is just awesome and patient. When we ride together, he accepts that it's going to be a little slower and there will be some sketchy bits I won't want to do and there will be copious swearing when we end up trying to cycle UP a muddy path or over tree routes or whatever. He pushes me just enough to improve, but so much that I end up hating it (even when we have to christen yet another climb "teardrop hill" ).

    If he'd been an censored and impatient and tutted and got pissed off about having to wait for me or having to push my bike up one particulary steep and long hill at Bets-y-coed (teardrop 2), I wouldn't still be riding. I've since gone on to take up road riding AND triathlon, all through his support and patience.


    It comes down to this:

    Do you want to get her into mtb so you can spend time with her? If so, then go at HER pace, make it enjoyable for her, make it ABOUT her. She'll get fitter and braver and faster and soon you'll be trying to keep up with her! If that means tow paths to start with, then so be it. Start to introduce gradual climbs and gentle, even downhills. She'll love you for being so considerate.

    If it's only so you don't have to feel guilty about going out or coming back muddy or spending heaps of cash, then do her a favour and either leave her out of it OR find her some people she can ride with (maybe other women) who will give her the patience and support she'll need to get fit enough to love the sport as much as you. I'm not saying that's what your motive is, but it plainly is in the cases of some other guys I've seen post :lol:


    Good luck!
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