How To Get Your Partner In To Mountain Biking: Four Steps
You have found the love of your life, but they have never considered getting on a mountain bike. You really like the idea of blasting around the trails together, getting muddy and then chatting about your amazing day over a beer. I don’t blame you luckily my wife doesn’t take much persuading to do stuff like this, in fact most of the time she is the instigator.
You may be tempted to buy them a bike and head to the local trail centre and just tell them to try to keep up, but this may not be the best approach.
Here is my guide to getting your partner in to mountain biking If you follow these four steps, you have a better chance of enjoying yourself together.
Sow The Seed
This is where a bit of subtlety comes into play, at least in the beginning. Have a think about what go you in to mountain biking in the first place. Was it the freedom of being in the outdoors? The adrenaline rush of blasting along the trails? Talk to them about the amazing times you have had on your rides with enthusiasm. This enthusiasm will be contagious. But, be sure to balance it by talking about the whole experience, rather than just those times when you managed to clear the massive gap jump you have been eying up. You need to talk about the practical reasons of riding together, i.e, spending time together, exercise, fun and the social aspect of mountain biking.
This is the most important step, where you sow the seed. Some people will be enthusiastic and some will take a bit of warming up to the idea. This is where you need to show them photos and videos of what to expect. You may need to be patient, as some people may take time to come around to the idea of trying something new.
Talk Before You Go Out On A Ride
The patience will need to continue during step two, as you are going to need to go with what your partner wants to do during a ride. The things you need to talk about are:
- How long they want to ride for
- What trails are suitable for a beginner
- Taking breaks
This may seem a bit overkill, but having an understanding of how they want the day to go is important. You don’t want to put them off at this early stage. I have seen some really nasty arguments on the trails from pushy husbands (I wouldn’t be surprised if one of those husbands became an ex-husband).
Think about what they might be experiencing,
Share Your Wisdom
When you have been out on a few rides and they seem to be enjoying themselves, you can start to share your knowledge of mountain biking. Don’t go in to really techy stuff that is likely to bore them at this early stage. The intricacies of frame geometry and tyre pressures will likely stop them wanting to ride with you.
However, if they are ready to buy their first proper mountain bike, you should give them some pointers on what they should be buying. But don’t be pushy, let them make up their own mind on the bike they actually want.
Don't Be A Show Off
You are likely to be stoked to get your other half on a bike and get excited. This is only natural, but don’t start pulling wheelies and bunny hops all over the place. It looks like you are bragging and trying to give them more reasons for them to find you sexy. This isn’t the time to be doing this, save it for later. The chances are, they already know that you are a more experienced rider, so in the early days you need to focus on them. Ride next to them, set the pace while pointing out things to look out for and giving them tips.
Things to think about
Fun for you may be taking on the steepest black trail, but fun for a beginner is something different. When you introduce someone to a sport, you need be patient and take on board that it will be a while before they will be able to ride the same trails that you like to ride.
When you are on the riding with your partner, make sure they eat properly. It sounds quite trivial and obvious, but the frustration of learning something new with added “hanger” is not much fun. Therefore, look out for the signs.
For some, it is very hard being a beginner mountain biker, or you are the person at the back struggling to keep up with the group. When you finish your day, go for a beer. Talk about how the day went while offering encouragement. This is a prime time to find out how they feel and how excited they are for the next ride.
That Is How To Get Your Partner In To Mountain Biking!
Have you got any experiences in introducing a partner in to a mountain biking? If so how did you go about it? Let me know in the comments section below.