Noticed Pats discussion about Colin thinking about giving the cycling away due to a few mishaps and probably doesnt want to try a third....not sure what is right or wrong for Colin because Im not him but one less cyclist saddens me.
Sitting up here now evaluating my own home front situation, I believe my cycling habit needs to change as it has become an addiction which costs my wife her happiness, As a cyclist it is always about becoming better and better. Discussed this factor with Dave Gardiner last night and he refered to the n+1 factor.....point being we are all striving and never really getting where we want to be. Made me think about how far I need to go with the cycling being at 45 years old?
Yes, cycling causes a tug of war between balancing family and the "me" time and consequently feeling the guilts as my family suffers therefore need to ride smarter and make the time on the road count.....(this was pointed out to me last evening as well).
The social interaction while out on the road has been both a god send and a curse. Before cycling my life socially was about my wifes friends and me sitting in the corner. I believe in the last few years my social skills have picked up a bit but the fashion sense has deteriotrated as people remind me when I come out wearing the Team Caffeine jersey and grey socks....sorry Radelaide if I have caused offense. On the negative side, there is that element of dependance to become socially acquainted and connected. Meeting new people through cycling has been joyful and value the well bonded friendships and has been filling a very lonely void,(probably received much more benefit than I will ever deserve). On the flip side I feel tragically empty when I think about the damaged relationship with my wife which is heartbreaking and bothers me more than I can put in words here (tears...lots of them). I know she aches less for herself and more about what my children miss out on (I have two boys 11 year old and an 18 year old).
I have mentioned before in other posts, that cycling can give some enormous great highs and some pretty deep lows whether it be from physical, mental, spiritiual perspective. Hopefully through sharing this insight people who ride bikes, you are able to connect with what Iam thinking and feeling. There are probably others out in the community who are like minded and can offer some advice. Yes, my journey has not only been "all about the bike" but being consumed by it. Yes when I read through and evaluate all I have mentioned above I find it difficult to be comfortable with what I have done and think about alternatives what ever that may be.
Rob, its always a hard one. I guess im in a somewhat similar position with wife and three children. I work all week and like to spend time with the family whilst at home. As a result I usaully do a 2hr ride at some stage during daylight hours on the weekend. During the week I try and do 2 or 3 rides before the rest of the family is awake ie leave home 5.30 ish for an hour or two. My wife is wery supportive of me doing this especially as the original idea for getting into cycling was to loose weight and Im slowly getting there. I know you ride more than what I do (id like to do more) but I think we have to be realistic as we all love our wives and children. Sometimes its about quality time not quantity - take the wife out to dinner or something like that so that the two of you can reconnect and spend some quality time together. I also try and make sure that at least once a week I spend some one on one time with each of the kids not just as a family. This seems to ensure that they know you love them individually and get to know each of them in an individual way as they are all different and have different wants and needs.
I have no advice, just personal reflections. I ticked way too many things on AVO's list to be qualified to say anything to anyone about cycling balance (that's a nice line there Peter!)
ON n+1.. Yep, Cycling has been very seductive. The drive to get fitter and stronger for whatever reason, is a bit obsessive. My excuse is that I'm just trying to keep up with the faster blokes I ride with. But will that mean I don't choose to ride with good friends who are slower? I see a problem there.. Suffice to say, I'm not destined for sporting greatness (missed that boat by 20 years), even masters greatness, so I'd do well to stick to why I started riding in the first place. It's fun.
ON partners. Mrs Snappy and I both have a lot of 'outside' interests, and we delight in sharing and talking about them together. She's my best friend, and it seems to work for us. If the obsession ever tips the scales, I hope I'm as wise as Rob in recognizing what's going on, and articulating ways to keep life balanced and healthy.
ON kids. Yep, I hear you. I'm infiltrating the minds of mr11 and ms15, and hunting around for road bikes to fit them. They've started to express degrees of interest in riding with me. Wouldn't that be cool- in a few years getting flogged up to Lofty by my own kids.. I can't force this one- just working by stealth. Wish me luck.
ON style. I just hope my friends are honest enough to tell me when my knicks are worn out.
I chuckled at A.V.O.s "you know you're a cycling addict if . . . ".
Robert, I am glad you can be open with your cycling friends about your dilemma. There have been some good responses so you can pick which ideas will work for you.
In the book “First Things First” Stephen Covey describes a story that one of his associates experienced on a seminar. In the middle of the lecture the presenter pulled out a wide-mouth jar and placed it on the table, aside to some fist-sized rocks.
After filling the jar to the top with rocks he asked, “Is the jar full?”
People could see that no more rocks would fit, so they replied, “Yes!”
“Not so fast,” he cautioned. He then got some gravel from under the table and added it to the jar, filling the spaces between the rocks. Again, he asked, “Is the jar full?”
This time the students replied “Probably not.”
The presenter then reached a bucket of sand below the table, and dumped it on the jar, filling the spaces between the rocks and the gravel. Once again he asked “Is the jar full?”
“No!”, the students shouted.
Finally, he grabbed a pitcher of water and filled the jar completely, asking to the public what they could learn from that illustration.
One of the participants answered, “If you work at it, you can always fit more into your life.”
“No,” said the presenter. “The point is, if you don’t put the big rocks in first. . . would you ever have gotten any of them in?”
Re family time vs bike time - Steve Biddulph wrote books about getting on with teenage boys & thought it most important to spend time with them. Teenagers will of course complain, but usually start to enjoy things once they are going- at least that's been my experience.
Bikes offer lots of opportunities, you probably know most of them already, but there might be one or two ideas below... . BikeSA runs "Track & Trail" off road rides, at one stage had a shorter option for families, may still do this. Take the boys along for rides - get an odometer, they can see what speed they do and watch the kms add up. Adelaide has good off-road tracks, e.g River Torrens, Marino-Willunga, Brighton-Semaphore-Outer Harbour.
Biddulph's idea, was kids have manyideas of things they want to do - but are not skilled at orgnaising. Adults are, and one way to spend time with kids, is to find out what kids like and help them organise it. The kids quickly figure out, they are on to a good thing. And there you have it, more quality time and invovlement.... . Anyway, that's the theory.
Some fairly mundane tips on riding that you probalby already know: - make it pleasant for the kids and easy. Keep it separate from your exercise riding. Select safe, hassle free places to ride. Let them go their own pace, stop whenever they want, go places they like! Buy them food - they've earned it! Carry their stuff, fix their punctures. Makes riding fun; also cuts out the excuses kids usually try...
I dont have kids, but used to ride with nephews, friends kids & voluntary work.
Finally the issues you ask us to help with, might go a bit beyond what we can do on a forum like this. There's lots of information available, on the net, phone lines, GP clinics etc. More people use them than you would think. Could I encourage you to consider these also? They might have useful ideas e.g on health, exercise, getting on with kids, balancing your needs and family needs.
It's amusing how these 'real' stories re-appear from time to time in different forms... power of the internet & social networking.
Nevertheless, all posters here have, as Rob commented, provided invaluable insight and support. All of us have to balance some form of activity with another, be it work, sport, hobby, whatever, not particularly cycling, so it's a matter of communicating with your respective partners and working it out. All too often, the marriage losses - don't let it.
My wifes grandmother once said, dying old and alone is the worst thing....
@ Baron...."My wifes grandmother once said, dying old and alone is the worst thing..."
There should be a like button here.....
Also there is no immediate solution or fix as it takes time to change and involves lots of effort for both partners with respect and communication.