As the owner of a bike shop I always suggest going for a bike ride together, which can be a wonderful way to get outside and enjoy time together, but all too often couples have dramatically different levels of fitness or experience when it comes to cycling. This tends to lead to problems and frustrations when attempting to ride together, as the more seasoned cyclist tends to want to go farther and faster than the novice. As a long time racer, I know how this can be, and I have some solutions to allow couples to ride together even if they have drastically different ability levels.
First, try getting the less experienced rider on an E-bike (meaning a bike with an electric assist motor). The electric assist provided will allow the novice to ride much faster and farther than they ever would be able to on their own. This way the more experienced cyclist can still get a solid workout and both people can still stay together and enjoy the shared time. In the last few years E-bike popularity has grown exponentially, so now there are many options available and most bike shops now stock at least a few options.
If that isn’t an option, try having the more experienced cyclist do a hard workout before riding together. Whether it is a hard ride, run, strength training workout or other exercise, by pushing themselves before going riding together, it turns the ride together into a recovery spin instead of the main workout. This way the desire to push hard and ride tough terrain is no longer the goal, and they will gladly tone down the speed and take the time to talk and enjoy
A third option is taking a day trip to one of the many beautiful mountain towns here in Colorado and renting very basic path bikes rather than bringing your own bikes. Riding in street clothes on a basic bike that isn’t set up for you prevents any serious rider from pushing too hard or going too far. Plus, with the outstanding scenery surrounding many of our mountain towns, it is very easy to focus on the beauty around you as you are riding rather than focusing on how far or how fast you are going.
Pick easy terrain for
Take breaks often
Bring a cycling computer
Ride ahead and circle back
With so many amazing places to explore in Colorado, a bike ride together can be an awesome way for couples to enjoy time together and at the same time get some fresh air, exercise, and stress relief. Just remember that the goal of time together is time together enjoying each other’s company and enjoying an experience together, not setting a new PR or challenging yourself. Save the personal challenges for when you are riding on your own.