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.
Its a tough balancing act and its hard to keep everyone happy. Fortunately for me my wife has realised that if I dont ride I get grumpy.
Ive got lights so that I can ride at night. My kids are asleep and thats when my wife likes to watch her shows. So I ride every Tuesday night. My wife knows that I ride on Tuesdays and not to make plans for Tuesdays nights. This is also her night home alone. I also ride on Thursday nights most of the time but my wife can go to the shops or whatever and ill stay at home with the kids. Thursdays are a bit of give and take. I ride on Sunday morning and am home before twelve.
On Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights my wife goes to the gym and I look after the kids. I respect that this is her time and dont make plans that prevent her from going.
My kids are young and go to bed early so our current timetable works really well. Im at home all day on Saturday and on Sunday afternoon to spend time with them. It seems like a reasonable balance at this stage as its only a few hours on a Sunday when theyre awake that im out riding.
In answer to your topic Rob I'd have to say that it is worth it for me. Would your wife rather you get some exersize and time out a couple of times per week or would she prefer it if you went to the pub a few times a week with your mates?
Would like to thank everyone for their much thought and reply to this topic. Really appreciated the advice and there are many good ideas to consider for my wife and I with achieving a balance between the home life responsibilities and the cycling. It is our 20th wedding anniversary coming up real soon on the 4th May and her needs have been very much in my mind and heart lately. Most importantly noones responses made judgements or took sides of who is right and wrong. Definitely peoples caring about others has come through and wanted to take this oppotunity to respond and let you know that I was really impressed by the maturity shown through the types of responses received (Even liked AVOs check list of what determines a real cyclist and ticked all the boxes and then added my own - it was gold as satire is like a crude mirror). It was time for me to just stop and think about the impact cycling was having on the family members I was constantly leaving behind, much like leaving another cyclist helpless on the side of the road without a spare tube :( It could be debated whether such a personal topic should be on an open forum but for me at least felt comfortable with it as I know others who face a similar dilemma and bringing this topic up may be useful to others as well.
Thanks - people will be glad you found useful information here.
Should "such a personal topic should be on an open forum?" . You gave us the answer. You said, you feel comfortable with it.
As for us - you got quite a lot of replies, so a lot of us must have felt OK about it.
More people than you think, use the web to raise more personal issues. Seems to be what people do these days. Most would use web IDs/remain anonymous. Keeps things confidential, people perhaps can speak more freely; but you tend to get a lot of unhelpful comments, too.
All the best....
I admire your willingness to share this with us Rob. Don't forget that old addage of "ask your questions because there's likely someone else here who has the same question but won't ask." I'm sure your questions and the responses have been very useful to a lot of people here.
Remember that finding balance takes time too - don't expect to get it right the first time, but you've an admirable heart and it's in the right spot so you'll get there :-)
You are very strong Rob to share your feelings. I could never have dreamt that starting this site would help people with such issues, more the usual cycling forum faire.
Congratulations on your wedding anniversary. Many don't make 5yrs so that's a good indication of strength and understanding in a relationship.
Rob, reading all this it's obviously something many of us have to find answers to one way or another. My kids are 16 and 14 now and not particularly into cycling, neither is 'er indoors. Not for want of trying though. I got keen back in the early nineties just before our first was born. At that stage we were in the UK and I was too chicken to ride on the road. I got into MTB'g and the bug bit. Then the best way was to shoot out very early and get a couple of hours in returning in time to wake the missus up with a cup of tea :-) and change a nappy:-( Then I started night riding particularly in winter - while she was huddled indoors watching some crappy TV soap in front of the fire, I was out pounding the trails and having a beer with mates afterwards in a country pub. Over the years we've continually adjusted as our lives have changed in such a way that I've been able to fit in a fair amount of riding but also to balance that with family time / kids sports / housework and chores etc. A few years back I bought a tandem so me and the missus could get out more together. It's great, I can ride hard as I want although no spinning obviously, and not leave her behind - sneaky eh? This Easter I managed to talk the family into agreeing to go on the Bike SA Easter Cycle in Barmera. We had a ball - one day I combined a long ride which started early but enabled me to get back by lunch time. The kids fished in the lake during that time and Mrs R read her book quite happily enjoying the time to herself. After lunch we all set off together, she and I on the long bike and the two teens on theirs. Before long we had a family paceline going and we all enjoyed the shared fun and togetherness. In the end we all enjoyed the journey to and from more than the actual activity at the destination. What a result! I think they even started to appreciate why I enjoy our sport so much ...well maybe that is pushing it a bit!.
The point of all this is that it is possible to fit it all in with a bit of give and take - just like everything else in life. I currently do about 300km's a week with a combination of commuting, early start hills rides and off road etc. without any feeling of stealing time off the family - well maybe just a bit here and there...
Cheers and good luck, I think you will find a way to sort things out but you need to work at it.
Surely it would be better if your wife started cycling.
But i guess this represents the way Cycling comes across as serious business in Australia.
In other cultures cycling is just a way of life, people don't consider themselves cyclists, they just get on their bikes and go places.
Here in NSW the "seriousness" associated with cycling seems to be disapearing. Many of the attendees at our cycling in the city course are from the "I haven't cycled in 20 or more years." cattegory.
Everyday people are starting to take interest in Cycling.
@ Colin ...an amazingly generous offer, thankyou. Have spent the last few days bringing it all back under control and just waiting for bin collection tomorrow to take away all my garbage. Thankyou again Colin:)
I know the dilemma. I love riding and would love to do it more, but quite honestly I miss time with my family while I ride. So I'm in the situation where I often think about riding while I'm with my family and think about my family while I'm riding! So I get up EARLY and sneak out while they are all still asleep. When I return I tend to return to a hero's welcome from my 4 year old daughter, and the thought of that keeps me pedaling.
Balance is hard though. The hardest part at the moment is that my wife is also keen to get riding but is feeding our 8 eek old son and cannot get out for longer rides... You can smell the resentment in the air every time she spies my lycra! :)
I miss the group rides that I'd just started getting into before our baby was born, but would not swap him for a go with a TDF peleton. (They'd only drop me anyway)