I’m a business owner, I’m renovating a house, I’m a father of two and a husband of one. Oh, and I’m a mountain biker. In my head, I’m a mountain biker ahead of one or two of these definitions of myself, thus the mental and physical juggling act that ensues when faced with life’s pressures. But, I’m out on the bike twice a week holding back the fat-of-40 like the star wars trash compactor.
As a married dude, if I’m being honest, riding time is about pushing the limits of time until I get in trouble. Though my wife is understanding and wonderful, there are some tricks of the trade that have come in handy. And yes, this is written from a male point of view. Because I’m rarely a woman.
(This will self destruct if my wife reads it.)
Here’s how I find gaps in the time space continuum.
- Fear change. If you have your jersey on, your wife will count whatever you are doing as riding (try it: mow the lawn in your jersey, that counts as mountain biking). Don’t put on your jersey until the last possible second.
- Have child will ride. If you already have a kid, it’s too late for you, so just skip to number 3. If not: When my first son was born, I went out for a ride that week. Set the expectation that the poop machine will not cancel out the pedal machine.
- What drives you. I timed this. Pack the bag, carry the bag to the car, walk the bike to the car, take off the wheel, put the wheel in the trunk, lift the bike on the roof, lock the rack, close the trunk, go back in for something you forgot, drive to the trail, sit there for a 2 minutes on facebook, sip coffee again, unload bike, pedal. Reverse on the way home. For me, that’s 24 minutes x2. If I ride to the trail, that’s 6.9 days of non stop riding I just gained a year.
- A quick stop on the way home. I do put it on the roof one night a week because it makes another ride possible I try to bring my bike to work. I ride on the way home. I’m home an hour and a half later. Big whoop.
- Sometimes a little of this is all you need to get back to reality in your world.
Camelbaks are for deserts. When I finally ditched the Camelbak I saved a few minutes on both sides of a ride, and it’s so nice not to have one on. If you’re riding Belmont and Wiss, it may surprise you but you’re not exploring the Sahara and there are stores within a mile if you are truly going to die. Both spots have water fountains (until Belmont takes theirs out in the winter, super annoying). Bring a bottle or two, and strap a tube and multitool (the kind with the levers integrated into the tool) under your seat. Boom, faster.
- Yes, you do need another bike! Yea, I know, they’re expensive, but seriously, when one’s down, grab the other. I’m not saying to have 2 full suspension 4k monster trucks, but at least get a cheap backup single speed. I can’t tell you how many times my main squeeze had a flat when I went out but I only had an hour to kill. Fix the flat later, ride when you can.
- Set out your get up the night before. You’ve heard this one before. How many times have you not been able to find your winter hat? 5 minutes of searching equals home 5 minutes later equals mad wife.
- That ride was (not) Epic! Seriously, just put on some shorts that pad your balls and go riding. I have gotten into a great groove with the hour of power, I get up, hit it, and my kids are still playing morning Wii by the time I get back.
- Uber. If you get an unrepairable mechanical. Uber. Before, you couldn’t be found. Now, big Uber is watching. If you call your wife, she’ll know every time you go out there’s a chance you won’t make it home in time. Be consistent, always come home (generally that’s a good rule for being married, fyi).
Well, that’s all I can think of now. How do you get it in?