If you listen to my colleague Brooke Tully, partners that ride together rant together. I think she's got it all wrong, and here's why:
1 Lycra should never be worn alone
Whether you were initially reluctant, or alarmingly eager to embrace it, there is a time when everyone accepts that Lycra is indeed better for riding. However, there is no denying that there is something a little bit conspicuous about the material.
When you share your passion for riding with your partner, you share the potential Lycra burden.
Put it this way, wearing Lycra on your own is the equivalent of turning up to a party in fancy dress costume, to be met at the door by someone in a t-shirt and cargo pants – while standing beside your partner, both clad in Lycra, is like putting on a fancy dress costume and finding that the party is actually Comic-Con.
Furthermore, as soon as you first try on the cycling clothes, someone will be there to affectionately tease you about your supposed ‘love’ for the fabric. And you can be sure that one of those people will be your other half. However, if you’re both wearing the magic fabric, then you stand there facing each other at a stand-off.
It’s a negated tactic where you both win. Well… kind of win.
2 The experience factor
Let’s be honest, the sentence, “Do you remember that time I took that massive fall at…” is so much more enjoyable than, “Do you remember that story I told you about that time I took that massive fall…” Of course, not all experiences have to be painful or humorous. Anyone who has spent time on a bike will have an amazing moment out of nowhere; an incredible scenic view … sudden rolling fog … an unexpected wild animal … light bouncing off the water … and so many more. Now imagine you get to share that moment with your partner and reminisce about it forever. Having said that… reminiscing about that humorous fall is pretty awesome too.
3 A new world of holidays
When your love affair with cycling is official, a whole new world of travel experiences opens up. From climbing the Swiss Alps, to an epic trail through the USA, or a scenic peddle across Vietnamese plains – a cycling holiday opens up your senses like never before and you see the world in a new light. It is a holiday in which you literally breathe the world in which you travel. It’s no fun experiencing that dream holiday on your own.
4 Less guilt
“Hey hun, have we got anything planned for the weekend?” “I was thinking about going for a ride with the guys on Saturday.” “Sounds good – how long do you think you’ll be?” “Well, Sam was talking about this awesome spot off the back of the ranges. I think it’s about a two-hour drive – get organised and set up – about a three-hour round trip – we’ll need a caffeine fuel stop – probably some food – and the drive back. So, if we leave early I should see you for dinner.” [insert look of scorn/anger/sadness] Of course, if you’re partner rides as well, then Saturday has just become a joint adventure. Double win.
5 Let’s talk about it
Anyone can have a bad week. Stresses at work or little issues with family and friends can easily weigh you down and the next thing you know you’ve closed up under the weight of the world. Then you get out on the bike, and the legs get moving, and the heart gets pumping, and the wind flicks across your face, and the weight drops away, and you can think clearly. Suddenly you’re able to verbalise everything going on and you see the positives in life. And if you’re doing that with your partner – well, you’ve got a serious leg up in the healthy relationship stakes.
6 Maximising the endorphins
Everyone knows that exercise makes you feel good. And a good session on a bike in beautiful open spaces – as opposed to say … a cardio session at the gym – adds another element of energy to set you up for the whole day. Of course, while your endorphins are buzzing, you could come home to a partner who has the accumulated energy of a cup of coffee on the couch watching music video clips. However, if you’ve both been out for a ride then you get home on the same page – an awesome, endorphin-filled, feeling alive page. And whatever the two of you want to do behind closed doors with the blinds down in that sort of mood is entirely up to you.
7 Increased budgets
From a flash new outfit to cool accessories or even the ultimate dream bike, everyone loves an addition to the cycling armoury; however justifying said purchase to the other half can be difficult. But if you share the passion, then you have an easier task in selling the need. I mean, I really do need this. My old one is well beyond used-by date. This improves performance. And this is new technology. It will make my riding safer. Don’t you want me to be happy?
Where was I…?
Ah yes, a new purchase. When you understand the passion, you understand the purchase. Not that it’s a guarantee of course, but any salesman will tell you that it’s more effective to sell on an emotional level than an educational level.