Thursday, 17 March 2011

Cycling With The Wife

I thought I would start with a topic never really covered on other blogs – cycling with the wife!


Now generally speaking I am a major fan of this element of cycling and all in all I would highly recommend this as a policy for you all to follow (that is obviously dependant on you having a “significant other” in your life, if not then generally I would skip this article. The main benefits for me, and you will have some of these or others, are as follows:

1) I look a whole lot better.

2) I ride a whole lot more sensibly

3) I ride at a sensible pace

4) I am faster on a bike than my wife, so I always win and therefore my inner ego is massaged.

5) I get to spend some time away from the kids with my wife without it costing the price of a meal, theatre ticket, taxis and a baby sitter.

6) Wife gets fitter and therefore looks fitter – see point (1)


1) I have to buy all the equipment I buy myself a second time for my wife.

So let’s cover these points in more detail.


1. I look a whole lot better – let’s be honest here – my wife knocks socks of me in the looks stake. Therefore when I am riding with her I tend to look less of a loser. Come on, a dose of honesty is required here by fellow MAMBO’s you know as you sweat along that high street you are wondering if that no brain white van driver is sneering at you – feeling that he is better than you, after all he is the master of an internal combustion engine and you are sweating. No matter how much your bike costs – Neanderthal man in his van is just not going to know how much you spent – all he knows the price of is White Lightning and copper pipes.

Therefore, with a glamorous wife in tow – you can say (without having to snarl and spraying dribble into his side window at the lights) – that you are a winner in life and he will feel a great amount of jealousy when he walks over the threshold of his grotty bedsit with dirty old carpets and a general underlying odour of something that has gone off and is now mouldy, only to be greeted by the shrill griping of his fat, sweat suit wearing beast of a wife with a fag butt hanging from the corner of his mouth – OK I had better stop her I think my imagination is getting a bit carried away

2) I ride a whole lot more sensibly – not only is my wife far better looking than me but she is also far more sensible on a bike. I am driven by testosterone whilst desperately chasing the tail of that tiger called youth, she is driven by the need to perspire and not sweat. For me a scar from falling of a bike will soon become that scar I got on a secret mission in the Congo when I was younger, for her it is a scar!

My wife is also driven by the need of not growing muscles – she believes that is she goes above 11 mph or user too high a gear that she will wake up the following morning looking like the hulk – for me, I just wish this was true (not on her of course though). Therefore our rides will be done at a sensible pace – and here I must admit a guilty pleasure – when not taking point (clearing the way ahead from potential Red Indian attack or a Viet Cong ambush depending on the day) I love to follow behind her and watch her feet spinning at 150 rpm whilst I am almost free wheeling. A feeling of immediate superiority and a good giggle all in one – beat that!

3) I ride at a sensible pace – my wife legs going round like a spinning Jenny aside. We will stick to a very sensible pace – my wife likes 11 mph on the flat. Now bearing the above in mind and my need to be seen next to her to improve my image (forget chivalry) this means I must also ride at this pace. Also my wife likes to chat as she rides – now I have considered Bluetooth and talking to each other by phone as we ride but well I just can’t stand these Bluetooth ear pieces (you look like a bouncer at some poncy club, or worse yet a sales assistant in a trendy clothes shop or even a taxi driver). So when all said and done – the facts are stacked all to the fact that I am going to have to ride with her. Generally speaking this is very agreeable – but I do hate the fact that wifey rides down hills slower than she rides on the flat – this is causing serious brake wear!

4) I am faster on my bike than my wife is – as detailed above my wife is eminently more sensible than I. But this does had the hidden bonus (for me) that I am faster than her. Having ridden back from work and been outstripped on a regular basis by these speedster youngsters, my ego gets a wonderful massage as I coolly hang around waiting for my wife to catch up.

Though, and let this be a warning to you, she has developed a nasty trick where she hangs back (recouping her energy) and then as I am ambling along, not pedalling, she strikes! Woosh she blasts past me in an attempt to beat me to the next junction where she can stop, mock me, and they say she won the race and she sees no point in continuing it for the rest of the ride. Such moments has led to me becoming something akin to a track racer. Now whenever she drops back I start looking nervously over my shoulder every 2 seconds trying to judge the moment of attack – my feet stay firmly on the pedals, I keep some revolutions on (just enough to blunt the initial momentum of her strike) I check for any firming of the jaw by her – is she getting ready to attack? I am in a gear that I can quickly get moving again and my thumb hangs, twitching, over the up shifter. When the strike comes, I pedal like mad, not too much though, I need to let her get alongside me so I can smile at her, say “bye” and then surge ahead – there is an art to this – the pull away needs to be brutal and yet you must remain looking unfazed – therefore an overly high gear is necessary to achieve this, after all it is important that I not only beat her but break any confidence she may have developed – you have to win the race in their head first!

5) I get to spend some time away from the kids with my wife – let’s be honest, a night out is such a rigmarole – dinner, theatre, taxi’s, trains and babysitters – it can take the logistic and planning skills of Montgomery to get out for an evening sometime, only to have the babysitter pull out at the last minute due to worries over a sudden explosion of spots on their face. Never before in the field of parenting has so much power to ruin a evening that took weeks to plan, been so easily ruined by someone so young!

Now a quick cycle ride does not involve all this, you are not away to long and not that far away and now my kids are old enough we can easily slip out for a quick ride . I am sure the kids love it too – homework is immediately pushed aside and the PS3 gets fired up – of this I am certain. This is a price I am willing to pay just to get a few minutes on my own with the wife (I make her leave her phone at home). My wife and I also have a little tradition now where we will ride the last hundred meters or so hand in hand – not sure we have made it the whole hundred meters yet without one of us suffering a wobble – but we shall continue to practice.

6) Wife gets fitter and therefore looks fitter – well this is kinda self explanatory – but it is a wonderful up-cycle, the better she looks – the better I look as I am the one riding with her!


1) I have to buy all the equipment I buy myself a second time for my wife – I did have to struggle to come up with something and although not directly related to the actual ride I still feel it is a valid point. We all know how expensive it is to buy all this equipment. But riding with the wife means that everything costs twice as much, basically because you have to buy two of everything and woe betide me if I should ever think to get her something cheaper! Basic rule is whatever I buy in black – I buy for her in white or pink.

I insert the following video with some caution - at this point I would like to say publicly that I do not think that my wife looks like Miss Piggy but I am for certain a Muppet. Anyway it has a tenuous link to the above post.

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