Getting your Spouse out on the bike

any of you guys successfully able to convince your significant other to try mountain biking?

I’d love to convince the wife but she flat out refuses to try lol
Sad thing is… I know she would enjoy it once she gets out there on the trail.

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Worlds are colliding Jerry


Based on my own experience, I would say let her come to it organically. I’m not suggesting you would want to force it, but overly hyping or heavily encouraging it will probably not work. We tried a few different MTBs a few different times over the years, and even when she really wanted to enjoy it, she couldn’t relax enough to let it happen. She’s still very much a roadie and a runner, and she’s outside and pursuing an active lifestyle - that’s the most important part.

Your mileage may vary, but I would say don’t push too hard. If it all goes sideways, you will be blamed whether it’s your fault or not.


If it all goes sideways, you will be blamed whether it’s your fault or not.

That is the truth.


I think you are on to something there @Maritimer. You really need to be in a mindset that is “stepping up to the challenge” in order for MTB to click. I’ve seen it with buddies before too.

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I cant force my brothers to try it even though we are similar in size so there are bikes to ride and gear to be used. I’d agree that it has to be their decision. For just about anyone.

My significant other (@CyclingGirl) is into mountain biking, and really getting into trailbuilding now.

She probably got into it despite my efforts. When we first met, I knew she rode, only road. The first trail I invited her on was Area 51, one of my favorites at the time that I didn’t consider to be that difficult… until I watched her try it. After the ride, I asked her what she thought, and her reply was, “I didn’t hate it.”

After that, I went looking for easier trails. First suggestion - if you think a trail is too easy for your spouse, it probably isn’t. They really need to have positive experiences early on or they’ll probably get turned off. Also, keep the ride shorter than you think it ought to be. I always take newbies for too long a ride. Leave them wanting more.

If you can, put your spouse on a good bike. @CyclingGirl rode my first mountain bike, a 1998 Raleigh Serengeti for the first year. It was a hardtail with really narrow handlebars and twitchy handling. After a year, I bought a used 2005 Specialized Enduro full suspension with disk brakes for her use. Much better and more forgiving bike. She feels like it fits her like a glove, and is still reluctant to give it up for a newer bike. If you’ve got a lightweight forgiving full suspension high-end bike, consider putting your spouse on your bike, while you take the crappier bike.

Obviously, you can’t drop your spouse. Stay with them and give them encouragement. Understand this may be a pretty dull ride for you, but you’re investing in them for the long run and the fun here is not in your own experience, but watching someone else have an experience and develop as a rider. You can always go for a hard ride yourself or with other friends on another day.

If your wife flat out refuses to try there’s not much you can do. Do you know why she’s refusing? Maybe it’s her impression of mountain biking? What’s she expecting? A hammerfest? Hitting huge road gaps? Putting life and limb at risk? If these are the reasons, maybe suggest a scenic rail trail. Salt Marsh Trail is a really nice one. It’s not REALLY mountain biking after all… once they’re comfortable on a rail trail, then suggest Shubie; once they’re comfortable on Shubie, maybe Nine Mile: once they’re comfortable on Nine Mile…


For any friends who’ve expressed an interest in riding, I’ve taken them to the McDonald Sports Park skills park and talked about body positioning, getting them comfortable on a bike without any chance for them to be dropped and easy-out if needed. Then maybe some double-track or even single-track depending on how they feel.

You’re 100% right that this experience is: about THEM; should be positive; should leave them wanting more; and that you shouldn’t expect to get a workout in yourself. Coaching 101. :wink:


So it varies from person to person be it a spouse, child or friend.
With my kid one of them rather she kind of has to be pushed into things, but she’s super athletic so I know that she would enjoy it and I did not hesitate to do so.

My wife used to ride with me early in our marriage mostly double-track old train tracks etc but that was more out of give and take time spending. She does not respond well to being cornered into something so if I was to attempt to get her mountain biking I would most likely start first and foremost either a demo or cheap second hand bike fitment being key. Then knowing her fitness level and ability athletically I would probably start with very simple groomed singletrack with minimal roots and Rock gardens etc and or a loop that’s just leg stretching.

Ultimately you have to take into consideration their personality and tendencies and don’t overdo it initially pushing to get them out onto the bike again say two times in a week might be fine. Remember even at the start of the season it can be hard to get over yourself until you get into the groove.
Just don’t drag them two increasingly difficult trail systems until you see their skills progress and enjoyment level and don’t go to much immediately if they start to enjoy it they will ask you to go,.

Leslie you can even exchange activities find something they like to do and do it with them and be open-minded about it because you’re asking them to do the same damn thing. :wink:

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Oh and if it’s a female spouse after you have some initial groundwork laid it can be really beneficial to get them in a beginners group for women, I know there are a few in the Truro area here and the group sizes keep growing larger and larger and they look like a happy bunch every time they ride together

Here is my not so successful experience. Like many I have tried to share my love of cycling with my wife. We do lots of other outdoors stuff, but I just wanted her to try cycling and brought it up many times.

Two years ago I was at our LBS and saw the perfect bike for her. I was all happy when I got home and told my wife I found the perfect bike for her. It was her favourite colour (orange), was full adjustable with big seat, and was not that expensive. I said that we could start off on some short simple rides and then eventually grow into something bigger. I was excited.

Without missing a beat she replied . . . I just saw a craft table on Amazon and it was your favourite colour. It’s fully adjustable with a large top and was pretty cheap. We could start on some small crafts together and eventually work into some more elaborate ones.

I walked away and never mentioned cycling to her again.

True story . . . and she still supports my love of bikes.