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Old 12-18-2012, 01:30 PM   #81
Dirty bike
Eval Innovations Inc
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Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Ivins, UT
Oddometer: 864
Some general info, followed by some general observations after reading this entire thread today.

My wife and I ride 30-40k miles a year. She rode before I met her, dirt and later pavement. She has ~200k of street behind her, I have about double that. She is a good rider, but not a great rider and could use more instruction. From my perspective, she can't keep up with my pace, and I'm not hammering or trying to ride the corners as fast as I can, etc. She slows too much, brakes when it's not necessary and yes, I stress about her when we ride together. She's crashed more than I have, but neither of us have crashed a lot. Basically, she is not as confident a rider as I would expect of someone that has 200k of street miles. Her low speed skills suck. Mostly because she won't practice them, instead of turning into a driveway, she will ride around the building to avoid a sharper turn.

I try to offer technique suggestions in a non-judgmental and constructive way. (I would never tell her what I wrote above in a direct conversation, for example) I also realize that I am not the best teacher for her. Often when I attempt to get her to practice with me on low speed stuff, she refuses to participate. This is very frustrating for me, as I would like her to feel more confident and become a better rider. She does acknowledge that she is weak in some skill areas, essentially what I outlined above.

I know quite a few women riders. Some are every bit my equal, others far better riders than I am and many not as far along the skill curve. That same description applies equally to the male riders I know.

I ride at a brisker pace when riding by myself. Riding together, I often set the pace and lead, but I'm never riding at my comfort level, but trying to ride at hers. We have comm, if she wants to up the pace, she'll tell me. Regardless, she rides her own ride and is very good about that. It's not uncommon in the twisties for me to end up farther ahead because I'm riding The Pace and she's braking into turns more than she should. I have to accept that I'm going to end up slowing down to wait for her to catch up.

To the OP, glad your wife is ok. I understand she's not thinking she wants to ride again at this point. IF that changes, the MSF and other organizations offer more than just basic courses. Offer to her that it wouldn't be a bad thing if you both took some of the mid level courses and then consider the advanced ones.

I'm overdue for a refresher course, but typically I take one every few years just to see if I've let any bad habits creep into my riding. I usually come away thinking the course was a waste of time, but the next ride I go on I realize I'm riding better, smarter, etc. IOW, it was worth the time and money to do it.

Consider reading about The Pace, and trying some of those techniques. With or w/o your wife riding, but try to get her to read the info to, and discuss the ideas presented with each other, rider to rider. It may sound like riding slower. It's not. A link to one of the better write ups is below. I ride this way, as does my wife, (but in her own form).

The Pace
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