How to Convince Your Partner to Come on a Bike Tour

How to Convince Your Partner to Come on a Bike Tour

How to Convince Your Partner to Come on a Bike Tour

How to Convince Your Partner to Come on a Bike Tour

There are a few of us who are fortunate enough to have a travel partner who enjoys bike touring. But I would bet that there are more often than not, partners who do not share the same passion in riding bikes to remote locations, spending the night in a tent, and braving what mother nature has to offer us. When I was part of such a union a few years ago, convincing my other half to come join in on the fun was an impossible feat. She enjoyed the camping aspect of it, but did not like the biking, or even the mere fact of being without a car! Of course, I didn’t do myself a favor when I took her out on a busy stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway and left her to fend for herself on her first ride as an adult. I digress.

Knowing what I know now, I offer you these tips on getting your partners to join you on your next cycling adventure.

1. Take Baby Steps

I would recommend starting slowly. If your partner does not ride a bike, take them out on bike rides around safe environments, like bike paths without cars or people around. Get them used to riding around areas with little traffic before introducing them to vehicular cycling. Don’t do what I did and just throw them into the trauma of riding out in the streets when they’re not ready for it. That’s a sure way to guarantee that they will never do it again.

If they already ride bikes, take them on rides in the general direction of a possible overnighter. For example, if you have a camping spot you want to show them, ride in that direction on your bike rides. Don’t ride all the way. Start small with 5-10 miles. When they are ready to ride further, stretch that mileage goal further until they get closer to the destination. You’ll be surprised how soon your partner will say that they are ready to try bike touring.

Our campsite in Pacific City, Oregon

Our campsite in Pacific City, Oregon

2. Talk About It

Be sure to keep communication channels open and listen to their concerns. Get their buy-in first before moving on to riding in the street. Make sure you review the general laws of the road and how to avoid obstacles. Hear out what their concerns are. Most people have a different perception of what bike touring is all about until they try it themselves. Allow your partner to ask the questions they have about bike touring and ease their concerns about it. You want to ease them into it with the least conflict as possible.

Perhaps their concern is that they don’t think they can physically do it. If you followed tip #1, that would have addressed that concern. I believe open communication without judging, or even criticizing, will go a long way as it tells your partner that this activity is important to you, and that you would like to include them in the adventure.


Our campsite in Gridley Canyon

3. Leave Your Perceptions

There isn’t a right or wrong way to bike tour. You can drive your bike out to a remote location and start a bike ride out and back if you like. You can ride from your home and spend a few nights out in the woods. Any, and all, forms of bike riding and traveling is bike touring. You may have a particular perception about what an ideal bike tour may look like, but remember, what you want to do versus what your partner wants to do are two different things. Both of you will have to make compromises. This means you’re not going to get to do that killer hill or ride 100 miles for the day. If you want to do that, do it on your own, or if your partner is up for it, wait for them and don’t just go off on your own.

As long as you are both out there together enjoying each other’s company and sharing a great activity together, there really shouldn’t be any problems. Just make sure you adhere to the next tip.

My Haul

What I carried on my touring bike.

4. Be Prepared

Many people who bike tour would throw caution to the wind all in the name of adventure. That means that planning and preparation may not be as complete as their partners would like. Therefore, being prepared will go a long way. Knowing where you’re going, where you’re staying for the night, what you’ll eat, and having a contingency plan if something happens, are all part of being prepared.

If you show your partner that you are in tune with their concerns, this will ease their minds, and they may be more willing to join you. Think of it as not giving up on an adventure, but seeing the adventure unfold in your partner’s eyes. There is something to be said to see a person who finally understands why you love bike touring so much.

Up, Up, and Away

5. Bring Friends

It doesn’t have to be just you and your partner on these trips. Ask others to join in on your journey (after discussing with your partner) to help ease the mind of your partner. Show them that it’s not going to be just the two of you. You will have friends around to help and support in case something happens. Making the bike tour social can be a huge plus as other people are sharing the same experience with you both.

If you’re opened to it, go with a bike touring company. They will take the stress out of planning so that you can enjoy the ride and the experience. The only setback is the cost for these trips, they are quite expensive.

Another option is to have a vehicle drive along with you on your journey to serve as a support vehicle. You can just throw all your gear in, have food and water on stand-by, or just ready to drive anybody up if they don’t feel like riding. It just means that not everybody gets to ride as you may have to take turns driving.

Final Thoughts

So what if none of these things work, and your partner is just not into riding bikes, camping, or being outdoors? Nothing you say or do will convince them to join you on your adventures. Then why are you together? Just kidding! There may be many reasons why your partner is not willing to join you, but the most important point is that they encourage YOU to continue to pursue your passion and not stand in the way.

When I had my significant other in my life, she was very supportive of all my bike tours. After traumatizing her on the bike, I knew better not to persuade her into bike touring, so instead, I offered to go camping with the car. Hey, if I can’t get her to bike, but I can get her to go camping, then that’s half of it, right? As I move forward in my life and look for my next companion, having an affinity for being outdoors is a requirement. If she doesn’t bike or camp, then the relationship is not going to last long.

Have you persuaded your significant other to bike tour? Were you persuaded? I would love to hear back from those who have been convinced into bike touring.

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