Guest poster Don Blount has some time management issues, and they’re causing trouble with his family life.
In the history of the world a good conversation never began with the words: “We need to talk.”
But that is essentially what my wife said to me recently.
“And it is about your biking,” she added.
Uh oh. I wondered if I had gotten grease on the carpet.
“I don’t want you to stop riding,” she said. “But you’re spending a lot of time away from home on weekends riding. It’s not the days you have club rides. It’s the days that you don’t have club rides,” she said. “And quite frankly, when the kids ask ‘Where’s Daddy?’ I’m tired of telling them, ‘He’s on his bike.’ “
And of course she was right.
The problem was not the time I spent on Saturday club rides, it was the time I spent on solo weekend rides.
But some background first.
At home, I have two daughters, ages 7 and 10. And of course, I work a job that requires more than 40 hours a week.
I ride about four days a week and go to the gym twice a week. During the weekday, I workout or ride before work. On weekends, well that’s where the problem occurs.
Club rides begin at 8 a.m. during this time of the year. Those ride starts are often a good 45-minute drive or longer from my home. So on those days I am out of the house about 7 a.m. And depending on the length of the ride, I am often not home until well after 1 p.m. By the time I get all of my gear put away and myself cleaned up and fed, it could be well past 3 or 4 p.m.
But that’s only two, maybe three times a month if it is a month such as this one with five Saturdays. I usually clear those dates with my wife to ensure they do not conflict with family plans.
However, on weekends when there is no club ride, I still get out to ride. And although I leave from home instead of driving to a starting point I have often been getting out later than 7 a.m. Sometimes I do not get out until after 10 a.m. Three or four hours out during that time of the day when I have been away a long time the previous weekend does not create for good parenting or husbanding.
It is something that empty nesters do not have to contend with but a working man with a wife and kids at home does.
Fortunately, it is a correctable problem. I do not have to stop riding or even cut back my time on the bike. I just have to better manage my time. The easiest solution is to get out earlier on the non-club ride days. I am confident I can do that.
And I am confident that if I do not then I will be sat down for another talk.