It takes two – Love advice/race tactics, what’s the difference?

Hi everyone! You remember last week when we solicited your love questions?

Well, thanks for getting back to us. It turns out you’re all pretty badly fucked up when it comes to love, but that’s really not that surprising. Never fear! Super-pro Heather Nielson and myself are here to set you on the path to romantic bliss, success, estrangement, ruin, desolation, adventures! So settle in and enjoy some of the best love advice you’re likely to read on a cycling blog today.

ant1 asks:

i’ve got a thing for female cyclists, especially a few on the pro circuit, but i’m currently in a relationship.  do you recommend buying enough doping products to turn my girlfriend into a pro cyclist or to dump her and seriously ramp up my internet and real-life stalking of current pros?  thanks in advance for your shared wisdom.

Dan says:

Buying doping products for your significant other can be a tricky prospect. For a start, it’s hard to keep it a secret. Until you come up with a plausible reason for your girlfriend to wake up with a needle in her arm and a blood bag hanging from a hook on the wall you might want to consider alternate strategies. Also, there’s the risk that with all that newfound strength and recovery, that her performance will quickly outstrip you and she’ll leave you behind. Just like racing, the short term gains of relationship doping may turn into long term disasters. Instead maybe you should try telling your girlfriend that cycling is a team sport and that it’s essential to the success of the team that she accept new team members into the family?

Heather says:

AARRGGHHH!!!  Story of my fucking life.  I get hit on all the time by guys in the pro/pro-am peloton who are in relationships and i’m getting really sick of it quite honestly.  It’s one thing if you really are unhappy and want to see what your options are and are putting ‘feelers’ out so to speak but trust me, if you go too far with too many of us……WE TALK! You’ll develop a reputation pretty quick so pick a fucking wheel and stick on it until the final sprint…whether you end up winning the sprint or not, your fellow competitors will respect you more if you RACE rather than be a member of the ‘pack fodder’ that can never decide what he wants!!


Anonymous asks:

When my boyfriend and I cycle together, he usually rides in front. This is mainly because he navigates with a Garmin because often we’re riding unfamiliar routes. So you know, I just follow. However, when we go places that only I know the way to, he still somehow ends up in front of me and then when we come to a fork in the road he asks, “Which way?” and it MAKES ME MAD because whyyyyy did he need to move in front of me anyway? Why couldn’t he just sit patiently behind me? Then I say, “If you would stay behind me you wouldn’t have to fucking ask but NO, you have to be SO. MACHO.” and then he looks confused because he is the exact opposite of a macho guy who just wants to ride in front of the girl, he is actually so great, it just kinda always… happens… and I don’t know how. It just really makes me mad and I think it’s a very small thing to ask. How can I keep him obediently following me when it’s MYYYY turn to lead the ride that day? And how can I not look petty when I go about it? How can we avoid faceplanting on the roads of love?(Please note we mostly do not, CAN NOT, ride two abreast unless it’s on a bike path or really chill suburban roads because otherwise I squeal, “STOP BOXING ME IN!” because I need to be a woman with my own free will, able to boldly take my own line and all that stuff)

Dan says:
I understand where you’re coming from Anonymous, sometimes you want to win the sprint outright, rather than always ride the sprint train to the line. Your best bet is to practise your sprint tactics. Road positioning is key. It’s bad form (and may get you relegated) to cut across your boyfriend’s line, but that doesn’t mean you can’t squeeze him into the barriers/traffic. Elbows and headbutts are also acceptable.
Heather says:
I fucking hate dudes like this and i don’t ride with them and if they don’t like riding behind me i drop them…aka: chick them. It’s that simple.  I have the most respect for dudes who ride BESIDE me and don’t have this alternative agenda for showing me how macho he is.  no need. i usually know how strong he is before we ride together anyway so i know what kind of ride i’m expecting.  FYI – dudes like that usually ride the same way with other dudes…not just chicks…like they have something to prove.  They’re not there riding because they love the bike, they respect the sport and they respect the other riders. So my question to you is…why are you dating him again?!

Poochie asks:

My partner caught me riding tandem with another woman. It was just a one-off but I seem to have lost his trust now and he won’t ride with me. How do I earn his trust back and convince him to get back in the saddle? Your advice would be much appreciated. Thanks!

Dan says:

In tandem riding, just like in relationships, positioning is very important. Were you riding pilot or stoker Poochie? Getting your partner back into the saddle is going to take some time and some understanding. You might need to be willing to take a few risks, try new positions and setups, don’t be afraid to experiment together. You’ll find as the two of you become more adventurous and pay attention to each others’ needs and preferences, the trust will return naturally. And who knows, you might even find a new favourite position!
Heather says:
I rather like Dan’s answer…it’s far more gentle.  My answer would be….go out and ride your bike and let him sit at home and sulk. Sounds like there’s other issues OFF the bike that transfer to ON the bike…in my opinion.  He needs to COMMUNICATE during the ‘race’ with his teammates…’i’m on your wheel!’ otherwise…how the hell are you gonna know where they’re at?!

broerie asks:

I have been in love with my hot neighbour for years. Every evening I ride past her house, trying to look as pro as I can. But when she sees me, she acts as if I’m all weird and she tries to avoid me. Is this her way of telling me she likes me? Should I try to grab her ass?
Please, any advice is welcome.

Dan says:
Just like in racing, often overt signals reflect the opposite of reality. Remember in Paris-Roubaix this week when Fabian Cancellara let two (count ’em, TWO!) breaks go up the road and people were thinking he was all weak and battered and washed up and then rode everyone off his wheel, caught both groups and went on to win? Sure you do, it was only a couple of days ago. But it’s like that. Clearly your neighbour is acting weird because she totally likes you and would like to ride against you one day. All of that said, Peter Sagan proved unequivocally this week that grab-ass has no place in bike racing. Instead do what Fabs did on Sunday, attacking over and over again until only Stybs was left on his wheel. Maybe taunt her with encouraging statements like “Wanna go in a breakaway with me? I’ll ride your legs off!”
Heather says:
uuuhhh ever heard of conversation?  I think both of you are making a story out of something you don’t even have enough information on.  COMMUNICATION is everything….ever show up to a race and THINK you kow what the other team is gonna do and it turns out completely different?  Don’t make a story before you even know what’s going on…don’t ASSUME anything. TALK to her! Trust me..every woman wants yout o get to know you before you ask her out and certainly before you grab her ass.  Try talking to her. Do you even know her name?

Friend in need asks:

My good friend is always talking about how he finds it hard to meet single women, but whenever I offer suggestions of things to do, or ways he might meet more people – like joining local online communities that meet up, going out to events around his interests, where there’ll be lots of other people, etc he always has an excuse for why he can’t do that. Maybe I’m going about it in the wrong way? He is an avid cycling fan, so if you could suggest some racing metaphors, maybe I can convince him that he can be more daring, and that if he takes risks, he can reap rewards? Thanks in advance!

Dan says:

Dear Friend in Need, it sounds like you’re trying to assume a DS/Team Manager role in your friend’s life, but are you sure that your friend is on your team? If you’re constantly issuing orders and he’s ignoring them, then maybe he’s not riding for you? Or maybe his earpiece fell out? Or the battery in his radio has gone flat? Also, don’t forget that maybe it’s all this daring and risk-taking behaviour that’s separating him from the bunch. Once you get a gap, you’ve got to ride it like you stole it! Soloing to victory gets the glory, but it’s hard to make friends in the peloton when they’re all behind you. Maybe you should ease up on your good friend and let him ride in the grupetto for a change of pace.
Heather says:
Sounds like your friend is the classic ‘training to train instead of training to race’.  he’s either gonna get out there and take some risks or he’s gonna keep riding his bike alone and FEEL like he’s getting better at it.  He’s never gonna get better at dating, much less relationships if he doesn’t go out and DO it. I’m not one to waste my time so if he was my friend I’d have given up by now and already given him an ear full, but as you can tell….I’m pretty straight forward and i don’t mess around, on OR off the bike.

12 thoughts on “It takes two – Love advice/race tactics, what’s the difference?

      • Why do you have problems with someone riding for the other team Sarah? You’re not prejudiced are you? What happened to loving ALL the riders?

      • All the riders except the ones that make stupid excuses about why they refuse to do the necessary training and race prep, and expect to win the race without paying attention to race tactics…

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