Biking and Home Maintenance

“Are you riding again tomorrow morning?” asked my wife, as we were driving home from dinner out with friends.

“Yes,” I said.  “The club is taking a 66-mile hill excursion.  I’m going to leave with them, but I’m only going half as far.”

She was silent for a moment.  Then:

“I think we’ve reached the point where biking is taking over other important things in our lives.  When you ride on the weekend, you’re gone all morning, then when you get home, you crash on the bed for two or three hours.  There’s a lot of work around here that’s not getting done.  Now that your 100-mile ride is out of the way, it’s time to start pitching in more around here.”

Ouch.  She’s right.  Well, I’m usually not gone all morning on Saturdays, but Sundays can turn into three or four hour rides.  And yes, I do seem to be prone to napping after an exhilarating ride.

She ticked off a couple of must-do items: “We need to do the windows, especially the glass in the arched tops.  That bush on the front corner of the house needs to be drastically cut back.  The garage needs to be cleaned out.”

Right again.  Okay, I’m still doing the Sunday ride, then I’ll plunge right in to cleanup when I get home.

I had planned a B-level ride of about 35 miles, heading out in the same direction as the rest of the club, but stopping short and turning back before they hit their hilliest part.  As it turned out, no other B riders showed up, and 10 miles into the ride, I struggled up a tough hill.  Everybody waits in a parking lot at the top of the hill, but as I approached the crest, I saw them pulling out of the lot.  I flagged down the last rider and told him I was peeling off from the group.

Pat was surprised when I walked through the door just an hour and a half after I left for the ride.  She had on her bike clothes, and was just about to head out for a ride of her own.

I got the windows done, and did some maintenance on our old Kirby vacuum cleaner.  But after a short lunch break, her prediction came true — I flopped on the bed for a two-hour nap.

Okay, the bushes and the garage will get their due next weekend.  I’ll still ride — but I have a hunch my riding will take up a lot less time through at least the end of the year.


  1. says

    Life Rule #1: Keep your wife happy! I’m kinda going through the same thing myself. I have an organized ride next weekend and then I think I’ll begin to dial it back a tick.

  2. Melvin Hughes, Jr. says

    Balance is always a work in progress. It is difficult to arrange all the important things in your life, especially when you become committed to cycling. My main cycling partner and I have this discussion often. We have come to the conclusion that being able to cycle regularly is a luxury, granted a very necessary luxury, but a luxury none the less. It helps keep us sane, fit, and basically much better people to deal with. But being able to dedicate not only time but also money toward propelling one’s self along the road on a bicycle requires all kinds of balance.

    Then too, there is the guilt I also feel when I choose to cycle rather than focus on something more central to home life. I too have a garage that needs organizing, a riding mower waiting for a trip to the repair shop, a tool shed that is a disaster area, and too many small things that need attention. But all in all, my wife and I seem to balance my bicycling and her horses fairly well.

    I just really have to try and be cognisant of my own tendency to be obsessive in my interests. Some days it feels as if it would be too easy to just order that custom built rear wheel with the zero-friction bearings that would increase my efficiency by an unmeasurable amount rather than pay a few bills…

  3. johnt says

    As a father of 2 small boys I try to get wheels down at 1st light on the weekends to get in a 25 mile weekend ride or I break off from a group ride early to get home for daddy duty or chores or work etc.

  4. says

    I’ve found resisting the call of the nap is a useful tactic. I’m willing to trade being tired for getting to ride, and still getting to spend time with the wife, or getting things done around the house. Coffee helps.

  5. says

    LOL, your situation is the ONLY time, I’m glad were “Too Poor” to afford a house!! 😉 The wife and I went for ride on Sunday and “SHE” told me we shouldn’t head home yet!! I think I’ve trained her well! :)

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