Balancing Family/Riding (other stuff) Life

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by kazlx, Oct 11, 2017.



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  1. kazlx

    kazlx Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Tustin, CA
    Name:
    Joe
    Current Bike:
    Yeti SB5.5
    Thought I'd throw this out there, as it always seems to be the thing 'discussed' the most in our household. Just wondering if anyone has any tips or tricks they have had success with as far as balancing family and riding (or other hobbies that your spouse has no interest in).

    My wife doesn't ride, I definitely don't think she gets the appeal. I've taken her out a few times even back before we were busy with kids and it just isn't her thing. So riding together or things of that nature aren't really an option. We definitely do other things as a family.

    I guess I'm mainly curious as to how everyone manages their time for riding or other things that their spouse/SO couldn't care less about. I think most of us here, given the option, would probably ride even more than we do now. I know if I won the lotto or didn't have to work, I'd be out more often than not and travel even more to ride.

    I'm in my late 30s and have two younger kids (4 and 1). It's getting a little easier now that the baby is getting to be more of a toddler and doesn't need as much intense attention, but it's still tricky to balance time with the family and time alone to ride. I don't want to strain my relationship with my wife, but I also want time to myself to enjoy what I do. I know a majority ride less than they did before kids, I know I do and that's fine too.

    You guys/gals with kids and partners that don't ride, how much and how often are you riding? Anything you've done that you feel like has helped your relationship go smoother?

    Questions/Comments/Suggestions? Just trying my best to make it fair for everyone.

    -Side note, I already start work pretty early, so getting up early and riding isn't really an option. Otherwise, that would probably be my first choice.
     
  2. BonsaiNut

    BonsaiNut iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Laguna Hills
    Name:
    Greg P
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower CC XX1
    My main riding time is early Sunday morning. I target to be home by about 9:30 AM... just when the rest of the family is starting to stir :) I don't as a rule bike on Saturdays - for the very reason you mention in this thread.

    I am otherwise not a good example because I am retired and only have one child left at home that I have to help with her high school studies and driving. So I have a lot of flexibility during the week during the daytime.
     
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  3. MrGreedom

    MrGreedom Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Name:
    Ryan
    Current Bike:
    BH Lynx6
    Take them to Sky Park, get a family season pass.
     
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  4. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Ssnake"
    Current Bike:
    Vassago/Trek
    @kazlx, other than weekends, you are in a tough place at this point in your life with kids in this age bracket. I too was limited when mine was that young. All I can say is that it gets better with time when your kids get older as they become more capable and more self reliant.

    There is no formula for you in your position. Too many variables. Just do the best you can, as I am sure you are already doing.
     
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  5. Sidewalk

    Sidewalk Well-Known Member

    Location:
    The road is where I call home
    Name:
    Josh
    Current Bike:
    N+1
    I bike commute to work, that's one way. It used to be 2.5 hours EACH way, but now it is only 40 minutes.

    I don't have kids, but have a lot of critters I am responsible for and that creates a lot of work. My pup just had surgery and will require close attention for the next 3 months, so that is making things hard. I have a smart trainer for times like this so I can train at home.

    My wife gives me a lot of freedom to enjoy my life. She has no interest in riding either.
     
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  6. littlewave

    littlewave Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Newport Beach
    Name:
    Brett
    Current Bike:
    Ibis Ripley LS
    Didn't you just do 2 Whistler trips and some Big Bear trips?!?!
     
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  7. Poofighter

    Poofighter Member

    Location:
    Cypress Hill
    Name:
    Noel
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Shortboy
    Similar to @BonsaiNut I try and start the ride around 0730 and be home close to 1030. And when I do get home I usually cleanup the house, so it keeps the warden happy. :) When my kids were younger I could be home later, but as my kid got older sporting events came up and threw a monkey wrench into my biking plans. It now revolves around basketball and my rides are more frequently solo rides now because of the irregular schedule. My good buddy Tim on str gave me some good advice and said to try and make as many events as I could, because you can never go back and will regret it if I missed games. I remember my dad doing the same thing as a kid, so it is a sacrifice I gladly make. I'm not saying I miss going on good rides like SART or big bear, but I just learned to postpone the good stuff to later or when not in sport season. Good luck with the kiddos.
     
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  8. kioti

    kioti iMTB Rockstah

    Name:
    Jim Jennings
    Current Bike:
    ibis ripley
    Lunch rides during the week?
     
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  9. kazlx

    kazlx Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Tustin, CA
    Name:
    Joe
    Current Bike:
    Yeti SB5.5
    Yes, one of them was with the family. Trips are usually planned and scheduled in advance, so that isn't as big of a deal. I've been getting in better riding shape lately, so I really want to try and make sure I can get saddle time without short changing the family, especially since time change is when it usually get trickier. I really want to stay on the night riding and I guess the benefit of that is dark is dark, from 6pm to whenever, so a night ride is the same no matter the time once it's dark.

    My oldest is pedaling now and it's definitely in the cards to start taking him to easy trail rides to get him used to it. Working on getting the baby familiarized with the Strider. That's one of the things that I'm planning (hoping) for is that the kids are at least interested in riding with their old man, so that we can do it together. My wife has zero interest in bikes, besides maybe the boardwalk on the beach.
     
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  10. BonsaiNut

    BonsaiNut iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Laguna Hills
    Name:
    Greg P
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower CC XX1
    It is tough to "force" someone to bike... particularly mountain bike... if they aren't interested. Instead I tried to find activities that they ARE interested in that required some cardio so that you can keep the family happy while at the same time staying in shape so that the infrequent bike rides were rewarding and fun instead of death marches.

    Also... if at all possible... work out during the week over lunch. Even 2x per week is a big bonus. All you need is access to a shower; I have yet to have had a job where I couldn't figure out some way to get a lunch workout in.
     
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  11. kazlx

    kazlx Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Tustin, CA
    Name:
    Joe
    Current Bike:
    Yeti SB5.5
    Definitely. It really doesn't bother me at all that my wife doesn't want to bike. We do go hiking and other stuff that keeps the kids entertained. It's more of the split time stuff and trying to find time to do stuff on my own without impacting the family as much as possible. I know there's no silver bullet and burning the candle at both ends only seems to work out for so long.

    I should work out at lunch, I'm sure it would help. I have worked out before work and usually once I'm up and going I'm ok, it's that continued motivation that's hard to get out of bed. I'm not a morning person at all and being at work at 7am is already hard enough. Been doing it for 11 years and still isn't any easier.
     
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  12. Redman

    Redman Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Cypress, Ca
    Name:
    Kevin
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Nomad CC 27.5
    I'm in a similar position... 2 boys, 5 & 10. Every Sunday evening I ask the boss what days are open for me to ride. Usually it is only a weekend day. So, I make the best of it. I am lucky if I can ride twice in one week. And, if it is a weekday ride it is usually the floop. As my shop is 10 minutes from Fullerton. I try to make my weekend rides at least 3 hours long. Recently I have started working out again. And, that really seems to help with my sanity. I turn into an ******* if I do not get some me time at least once a week. The boss knows this, so she is understanding of my needs. Good luck things will get easier.
     
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  13. kazlx

    kazlx Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Tustin, CA
    Name:
    Joe
    Current Bike:
    Yeti SB5.5
    My job pretty much requires me to be ready to go all day and I'm usually out in the field, riding would be hard. Working out is more feasible. I don't have an office job.
     
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  14. Torrent77

    Torrent77 Member

    Name:
    Dave
    Best thing is to put a 3rd wheeler for your young'un. Nothing beats pedalling with 40 extra pounds in the back.

    For the most part. I take the family to Irvine Park and hop on the trails there. There are plenty of things for the Wife and kids to do and then we all end with a BBQ in one of the pits. My kid is 9 and starting to ride pretty well, but his cruising speed is still pretty slow on the trails so there are a lot of stops along the way.

    Way to go on trying to incorporate the family! :thumbsup::thumbsup:
     
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  15. HBkites

    HBkites Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Huntington Beach
    Name:
    Sharone
    Current Bike:
    Why Cycles S7
    I ride early. I got a group of friends that I ride with midweek.
    We stars riding around 5:45 am and finish by 7.

    Additionally, I try to ride both days on the weekend. Start around 7:30. Be home by 11.

    My wife loves the fact that I’m passionate about riding and the positive affect on my life. She tries to cut me some slack.

    Kids sport/activities are always an issue. Now that I only have two kids at home it’s a little easier ( vs. 3). As a parent I don’t need to be in every event. I try to attend as much as I can, and show interest in the outcome of the ones i missed.

    I used to spend 4-8 a week at soccer practices and games. I wouldn’t do it again.
    At times you have to be a little “selfish” and do what you want to do (vs. what others expect you to).
    Life it too short!
     
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  16. kazlx

    kazlx Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Tustin, CA
    Name:
    Joe
    Current Bike:
    Yeti SB5.5
    That's pretty much the situation. It's got nothing to do with not being with the family, but keeping myself challenged and occupied, physically and mentally. Riding is my main huge hobby. Machining is the other, but I'm usually at home in the garage for that, so it isn't as big of a deal, along with more easily being able to tinker after the family has wound down and the minions are in bed.

    Let me know when you want to ride the Floop haha. We are usually out there once a week on Weds/Thurs, but the work crew is lazy once it gets dark.
     
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  17. kazlx

    kazlx Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Tustin, CA
    Name:
    Joe
    Current Bike:
    Yeti SB5.5
    Been looking into this as well. My little one would be easy to tow. My oldest is probably at the point he wouldn't want to be even if I did. He's too independent. I saw a pretty sweet European single track suspension trailer, but the price is steep ($1400). I wish I would have known about it 4 years ago and would have been a no brainer. Now, it's borderline worth it, especially at that price.
     
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  18. MattB

    MattB Member

    Name:
    Matt B
    My kids are 20 months apart and when they were really little I didn't ride at all. When my oldest was around 2, my wife found a small women's gym she liked (she never really liked working out, and definitely not mountain biking) that targeted moms and had really good built-in child care. She started taking the kids there Saturday mornings, so I decided it would be a good time for me to get back into mountain biking without sacrificing family time. Eventually, she stopped going and I kept waking up early to go mountain biking:). I basically rationalized that I was sacrificing my sleep on weekend mornings and I was back by the time we would want to do anything together as a family. That has worked pretty well overall, but it requires constant adaptation as the kids get older. They're now 8 and 10 yrs old. They have consistently gotten up around 6am on the weekends without an alarm clock for years. So much for me riding while the family sleeps. Fortunately, they're pretty self-sufficient so my wife can sleep in if she wants ... unless they start arguing ... then I'll hear about it when I get home. As others have said, I also have to plan around kids' sports/activities more now, but I also agree that it's well worth being there with them for the events (there aren't a crazy amount at this point) ... I wouldn't miss it.

    Like others, my wife knows that my mood suffers if I don't get some fresh air and exercise at least once per week, so that helps me get out at least a little. I've been a stay-at-home dad for the last year, but when I was working I would almost always get out to ride once a week, usually early on a weekend morning. A lot of weeks, I would get a 2nd ride in, either on the other weekend morning or on a weeknight after work. Those were good weeks. It was a great week if I managed to get 3 rides in. And most of the rides were in the 1-2 hour range, so I would tend to push it a bit and go non-stop to make the most of them. Big, half-day rides took some extra approval, and usually meant sacrificing some of the other rides.

    I've also tried taking the wife and kids mountain biking together and separately with mixed success. Not as much lately, but I'll try again sometime. Can't force it or it's no fun for anyone.
     
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  19. kazlx

    kazlx Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Tustin, CA
    Name:
    Joe
    Current Bike:
    Yeti SB5.5
    Thanks, definitely interesting hearing perspective from people that have been there and have kids a little older. We have two kids and juggling feels insane sometimes. There's no way I would want more.
     
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  20. Torrent77

    Torrent77 Member

    Name:
    Dave
    I have an Adam's trail a bike if you like to give it a try. My daughter pretty much grew up on fullerton loop with the 3rd wheeler age 3-5. Hit me up if you want to take it out for a weekend to see if your kid likes it. When you have kids, you learn very early that stuff have a short lifespan.
     
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  21. mike

    mike iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    GG Smash
    kazlx, I saw this issue coming early on, so I held out for a lady that likes to do the things I do. Not helping... :unsure:

    But...in any time constrained situation, jacking up the intensity increases the value. :thumbsup:
     
  22. pwe312

    pwe312 Member

    Name:
    Eric Thai
    Similar position. 2 year old at home, 2nd one due next week. A few months ago I got an Ibert child seat that attaches to the fork below the stem. My son loves riding with me on that around Fullerton loop and central park in Huntington Beach. He's obsessed with animals so we stop a lot for ducks, horses, etc. Not as fun riding as my usual trails but it keeps me in riding shape and my wife gets a break.

    I'm glad to hear it gets easier and others were able to increase their riding as the kids grow up. I'm inspired when I see older riders smoke me on the trails. At least biking is something I can keep doing unlike basketball which hurts more every year.
     
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  23. 7Mary3

    7Mary3 Member

    Name:
    Andrew
    Current Bike:
    LaPierre Zesty 427 650b
    Well, I also have two kids and the best advice is to get your ride on early. (When my kids were the same age as yours I was a big golf nut..same story..had to tee off in the weeee hours of the morning to get home early). Both my kids are active in sports so I'm tied up either way, but the Sunday that I am free I will start early..this seems the best advice..c'est la vie.
     
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  24. MattB

    MattB Member

    Name:
    Matt B
    I hear you on that! I always had visions of having great basketball games with my kids when they get to high school, like my friend and I did with his dad. Now I'm teaching my 8 yr old basketball and I feel like a creaky old man out there. I need to keep/get my joints healthy and try to stay limber so I don't pull a muscle trying to keep up with him on the court. I feel much younger on the trail than I do on the court!
     
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  25. MattB

    MattB Member

    Name:
    Matt B
    Whenever she gets annoyed by my time out on the trail, its usually really about wanting her own time to herself too. She doesn't always know what she wants that time to be, but once she finds something that works with the family budget/schedule, I try to do whatever I can do support it and cover the kid/family stuff while she does it.

    Lately for us, that was finding a better way for her to get some exercise. She had been trying to work out at home, but kids, a dog, and life were too distracting. Even when it didn't stop her, it wouldn't let her really escape. Then she found out about a women's gym nearby that some friends from work loved. I try to cover whatever's needed at home so she can go right after work any day she wants. It's a short class, but intense and a great outlet with no distractions and kind of social.

    We each get some time for ourselves, but we're not so absorbed in our own things that we don't have time for whole family stuff. And hopefully it keeps both of us in shape enough to keep up with the kids when we go hiking on vacation or when the weather cools off enough around here.
     
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  26. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    Easy for me to say since mine are now 31 and 19, but appreciate the time when they're small. When my younger daughter was in junior high/high school she got into English riding, and since my wife is also into the horses I got to go riding (usually) while they were at the lessons/shows. Win/win.

    But that doesn't help, I know. I didn't get back into riding until the kid was already 14.
     
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  27. konakc

    konakc Well-Known Member

    Name:
    kc
    Floop lunch helps.
    When kids were little... the neighbors knew me as the dad w the bike trailer.. i went every where w that..towed 2 little girls to cinderella play even...
    I lov mtbkin.. n i love spendin time w the little ones.. now they almost all grown...
     
  28. Danimal

    Danimal iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Mission Viejo
    Name:
    Dan
    Current Bike:
    GG Trail Pistol!
    No kids and only a cat in the house.
    My late wife knew MTB is important me and insisted I get out and have fun.
    Now my girlfriend also insists I MTB for the same reason.
    Having a activity you're passionate about is something not everyone has.

    Of course it might be because I turn into a little bitch when I don't ride for a couple weeks.
     
  29. dustyyoungblood

    dustyyoungblood Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Ladera Ranch
    Name:
    Dustan Baker
    Current Bike:
    Foes Mixer Trail
    You got my number. I can talk for hours about this topic. It's really difficult to be honest. There is no balance. But there are peaks and valleys. Stay on the peaks as long as possible. Climb out of the valleys with tenacity.
     
  30. Redman

    Redman Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Cypress, Ca
    Name:
    Kevin
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Nomad CC 27.5
    Great thread and great input from everyone.
     
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