Adventure: Just add Spouse

My wife is slow. Really slow. On foot and on bike but here is the important part, she is a total gamer. Rain, shine, the cold, wind, etc. She doesn’t care. She is famous for asking “Hey, can I go?” regardless of how intense the activity is. “We are going to ride the spine of the Andes on unicycles.” “Hey, can I go?”

My view for hours on end.

But for people like me who ride and hike with her or any of you who hike or ride with a slow spouse the key is in staying behind. Now, this slow spouse thing goes both ways. Man vs woman, woman vs man. If we went snow skiing my wife would ski circles around me and has several times. In fact, she normally tries to get me to make pictures of her while she skies. I can barely stay upright on skies so what this means is I have to ski ten yards then crash so I can shoot from the ground. Then I get up, ski ten yards and crash again. I’ve even done this with a bad point-and-shoot with a huge delay which meant I had to crash about twenty times before I got it right. Was I capable enough to stop without crashing, well, a guy can dream right?

Park City fall hike.

Stay behind people. It took me far too long to understand this. I kept blazing out and back, out and back, out and back. This means you are both basically hiking alone and that is never good in the long term. So, staying behind eases all this artificial tension and eases that selfish person in your brain saying “Jesus, I can’t ride this slow, I’m losing it.”

Did I mention you can draft off your spouse? It’s awesome.

And here is another thing. It’s fun. You get to see so much more. And you get to think about things, in detail, that would be certain death if you were riding alone and at high speed. Sometimes when I’m hiking/running or riding alone I’m so in my head I miss things like an out-of-control dump truck headed into the bike lane or that mountain lion devouring a fellow hiker.

Santa Fe fall hike.

So, next time you are out and about with the old spouse take your time, ease into their slipstream and enjoy the ride.

8 Comments on “Adventure: Just add Spouse”

  1. Dan – 100% agree with this advice. This has been my approach to riding with my wife for years. I would rather go at her pace and enjoy the experience together. Now, she does have a competitive streak and will occasionally decide to put the hammer down and drop me, but I just let her go as she has a freakish ability to accelerate that I cannot match. She always eases off after a minute or two and I’m back on her wheel riding at her pace again. Makes the riding a bit more interesting and she enjoys showing me up from time to time. She tells me she just keeps me around to fix her flats and keep her bike in proper working order. I just nod and agree. I really appreciate the fact that we can share many activities together, she even pulled me into yoga class earlier this year and now I’m hooked.

    1. Jim,
      I think we are the same only my does not have the attack mode. The fixing things, assembling things, loading things, planning things, yep. That’s on me. Yoga is the best. If I had to commit to ONE mode of exercise for the rest of my life it would be yoga without hesitation. It’s dual-core, mind, and body.

  2. My wife and I have been hiking together a lot recently. Because of all the cycling I’m pretty fit so can blast up the hills and often find myself leaving her behind unintentionally, but she often saves me from myself and forces me to slow down which is great.. But when we hike back down she absolutely blows me out of the water! I really don’t know how she does it – she actually runs down while I’l lumbering over rocks like and overweight walrus.

    1. Sean,
      Downhill is tough. My left knee is not right, hasn’t been for a long while but lately, it’s worse. Are we becoming the sick wildebeest? Wandering too close to the river?

  3. Now you tell me! Maybe that explains the current situation I find myself in. Or maybe it’s another reason, but I’ll stick with this one!

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