Thursday, September 23, 2010

Baby Steps

My husband hears it all the time " You are a lucky guy" . His answer is usually "yeah, but its expensive". As a family we do a lot of camping, hiking , mountain biking, and trail building. Sydney was 6 months old her first time out. Not that she remembers it, but she has grown up with it. She thinks that everyone does it. I have had several guys ask me to talk to their wives/girlfriends to get them to "do what you do". I have tried to offer advice on getting started, but I believe that the approach has to be customized for each person. I will explain...

I have never considered myself a "girlie girl". I do not get my hair /nails done. I do not own makeup, a blow dryer, or hair curling things. I hate shopping. I do not own a dress. I dont mind being dirty,sweaty,wet,or stinky. I am not afraid of snakes/ wildlife. I love to be outdoors. You may have a bit of a challenge on your hands if you have a "girlie girl". But, if you handle it correctly you can have a 'dirty girl' on the weekends.

It will take a lot of planning on your part and there may be a bribe involved , but if it works than who cares right? Car camping is probably the easiest to start with. Driving up to your spot and being able to bring a lot of stuff is much easier to sell than " hey honey we will just carry our stuff for 6 miles to this great spot I know". { Most people average 3-4 miles an hour with a pack. Also,6 miles of trail, especially to a novice, is a LONG way to carry a backpack} Many campgrounds have showers now , a huge plus. I would NOT suggest a weekend in 90-100 degree heat. The best time to go is when the heat is over and the mosquitos and chiggers are done feasting. Once you have eased her in to this experience you can take it to the next level. Its your responsibility to make this fun and not stressful. This will ensure another outing. I know it sounds simple, but only if you have a simple woman.

Dont bite off more than she can chew. While we were at CB over Labor Day, we met a husband and wife who were getting ready to ride the trail. Neither had been to CB before. On paper CB looks easy, riding it is an entirely different story. She was new to mountain biking { a couple months of riding the flats at CW} and 3 weeks new to clipless pedals. In silence I cursed her hubby. What was he thinking? Did he want a divorce? I headed out for another lap and about 1 mile in I saw her riding toward me. She was not happy! And why he sent her back solo is beyond me. He wanted to ride the trail because he could do it. She was headed back to the car because she could not. I told her not to feel bad and that CB is one of the most challenging trails in MO. She said " why did he bring me here then" ? Only he can answer that one. If you are trying to get your wife on a bike, this is not the way to do it. You have to take your wifes abilities and disabilities in to account. Take her to a beginner trail that has bailouts or just ride the Katy and hit a winery or 2. It may not be exactly what you want to do, but its not about you right now. Start small, build confidence, and then you can go to the next level. I know, common sense again. Always check out a trail before hand. If it is difficult for you , chances are it will be hell for her. Remember , this has to be fun or you will be back to going solo.

I plan to elaborate more about this subject at another time. I have to get packing today since TTM is volunteering at The Berryman 36 hr Adventure race this weekend. Since I dropped Jim off at Bell Mtn Tues evening I am responsible for packing. I am pretty organized , very important to be,so it shouldnt take long.

***** Update****

Shalini is doing awesome. She is riding around her neighborhood with her boys sporting a permagrin. I have felt guilty since creating this monster, since most of my free time has been spent training for Burnin'. I do not get to ride that often , so when Syd is at preschool I have to use that window. She says she understands, but it doesnt help my guilt. I plan to introduce her to the Katy in 2 weeks, since my training will be less intense the week before Burnin'. Hope you all have a great weekend. Get outside.

I recently joined the Facebook Revolution. I know its about time huh? Wanna be my friend?

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