Girls aren’t guys
And there’s nothing wrong with that.
We like to do what guys do, but we have our own way/reasons/skills/strengths/weaknesses. And that is OK.
Does this story sound familiar?
Jane’s* boyfriend, Dave*, is a keen mountainbiker. He goes out every Sunday with his mates and has devoted much of his time and income on his bike. He LOVES riding and has treated himself to a £1200 carbon framed, full suspension stallion of a bike. Jane has become a little resentful of the time he spends out and wants to be a part of this hobby that’s so important to him. She says she’d like to go out with him sometimes. He’s thrilled that she wants to take part, but is worried she won’t like it, so buys her a starter bike for £300 from Halfords.
Jane may be a gym goer, or she may not, it doesn’t really matter, because nothing prepares you for mountainbiking quite like mountainbiking does, but let’s say that she’s not terribly fit, maybe a little overweight. So, Dave takes Jane to one of his favourite spots and he has a “gentle” 12-15 mile ride planned for them. They set off, and after half a mile, hit their first hill, which, to Jane feels like Mt Everest. What feels like a lifetime later (to both of them), but is more like 3 minutes, she’s pushing her bike up the hill and wanting to cry. If she’s anything like me, she is crying. And swearing. And wanting to throw her bike in the ditch and call for an airlift.
Or lets say it’s a road bike. Different hill, same story, and add on thundering traffic and scary roundabouts and you have the same crying, swearing, throwing and airlift wishes.
Or maybe it’s a snowboard. The equipment is less of an issue here, and this time it’s a downhill that she’s frozen on. Same crying, swearing, throwing and airlifts.
Why I started this site
This site (very much a WIP) is dedicated to all those women who’s boyfriends have bought them a £300 mtb and expected them to keep up at Cannock Chase on their £1200 light weight carbon framed steeds. Listen up sister, you were doomed from the start so don’t beat up on yourself. If he’s been doing his sport of choice for longer than you, and he’s fitter than you, then you likely won’t be able to keep up. But you will, if you keep at it.
If you start off with a “cheap” bike (in case you don’t like it) then you will have a steeper learning curve. The kicker is, that it could be that very thing that puts you off. I’m not suggesting for a second that you spend a fortune on your first equipment, I’m just warning you that starting in itself is hard work, and you will be at a disadvantage if your equipment is not as good as his. The difference between a £300 bike and a £900 bike is light years in technology.
What is crucial to your success at falling in love with a new sport is a supportive partner. If that isn’t your other half, then find someone else to start with. One of my dreams for this site is to be able to help people (but especially women) hook up with other beginners to find sports partners of a similar level to help them fall in love with a sport before they try to keep up with fitter, stronger, faster, braver people.
My husband is exceptionally active and outdoorsy. He loves it when I enjoy the same things he does, but he gets that I’m not a guy and so need to do things at my own speed. That’s one of the reasons I married him.
If you can only ride with your other half, then get him to ride YOUR bike. You’ll have more fun on his bike, he’ll get a good workout and he may just see the folly of his actions.
*the names have been made up to illustrate a point, but I’ve heard this story so many times, it’s heartbreaking, and it’s the reason I started this site.