Should I Bribe My Wife With Cake?

Words Dave Tolnai
Date Apr 25, 2016

Hey Dave,

When I met my wife 2 years ago, I got her into riding. But like with any relationship, riding together could be a bit strained. I would get a bit frustrated by her lack of motivation. She didn’t really want to try anything she deemed hard.

We were in Kelowna and we came up to a bit of a technical section on a climb. For some reason I said “I’ll buy you cake if you make it up this.” “Really!?” she says? “Sure.” She was super stoked to try it. She went for it as hard as she could, but didn’t make it. “Wow,” I thought to myself, “she really likes cake.”

The next time this came up was on a particularly steep part of the legacy climb in Squamish. I offered her cake if she cleaned it. She cleaned it easily! “Shit” i say “that was too easy!” She was super stoked that I was going to buy her fancy cake.

Since then, I’ve been bribing her with cake on increasingly difficult climbing tasks, cleaning them every time. It’s gone from “I’m never riding up to seventh again”, to “Lets go ride, it makes my ass look good”.

I recently cake bribed her to do the Nimby Lite in May. She negotiates now. “It’s going to be the big cake, right?”

Is this weird? Am I doing this right? Is this a typical training regime? Does she like cake more than mountain biking?

Fancy Cake Hubby

Dear Fatch:

This is easily the most practical advice phrased as a question that Uncle Dave has ever received. It’s wonderful. I’m going to put it into immediate effect.

However, at what point does the amount of cake outweigh the actual benefits of the ride?  Could all of this “bike riding” actually lead to weight gain? And what happens when their tolerance builds up and you need more and more cake to accomplish the same thing? Are you eventually going to need a Costco trip every time you pull the bikes out of storage This is developing into a bit of an Erlich Bachmann style math problem.

And how is it possible that you only met your wife two years ago? Was this a hole-in-a-bedsheet, we’re-happy-to-introduce-you-to-your-distant-cousin type of situation?

You’re inspiring more questions than answers.  No matter what though, you’re going to get a prize.

Uncle Dave

Dear Uncle Dave:

My lady started mountain biking about 3 years ago. I must say it has been very fulfilling for our relationship to be able to spend time together on the trails. I must admit that my mind tends to wander often, and we have occasionally made our weekly excursions a little more of an interesting “al fresco” experience. The sweet lady has found pests and fears of acquaintance discovery a little unnerving. Are there any best locations and do you have any trailside advice for “keeping it real”?

His One Ride Now Yearning

Dear Corny:

This took me a little while, but reading between the lines I think I finally figured out what you are talking about.  Though I am a bit confused.  Am I the only person who doesn’t know about this cake thing?

Uncle Dave

Uncle Dave,

I tend to obsess over specs when purchasing things.  It may be because I’m an engineer and I want to know every detail about something so that I can come to my own conclusions in order to make an informed buying decision.  And then when I’m wrong, the only person I can blame is myself.  I was recently researching specs on a fancy set of new hubs, when I came across an interesting design decision by Chris King.  On their newly released “boost” width hubs they used the space on the front hub to make a zero dish front wheel.  The claim is that even spoke tension is more beneficial than an extra 6-10 mm apart (the flange spacing is only 0.3 mm wider than their 100 mm front hub – 57.5 mm vs 57.8 mm).

So, What builds a stronger wheel, even spoke tension or a wider flange offset?

This leads me into my 2nd question.  Industry9 is consistently the most asymmetric in the hub flange offset category.  This may come from the fact that they live in a state run by future Justin Bieber fans who tend to view everyone that isn’t a heterosexual Aryan as a 2nd class citizen.  Now I don’t want to get all self righteous, since our government (in BC / Canada) is not exactly a shining example of moral purity, but I do think that they’re further ahead than our far off neighbours to the south.  I9 doesn’t have much presence out west, which is likely due to being distributed out of Quebexico (it’s far away and there’s a wall known as Ontario that blocks all access); but we do have lots of Cane Creek.  And unfortunately whenever we buy Cane Creek products we are indirectly funding the bigots that run North Carolina through taxes paid by these companies.  So in the future, I’m going to put my money where my mouth is and avoid big[ot] flange offsets until:

 – Cane Creek / i9 move to Canada (cheap dollar = better for manufacturing)

 – I9 releases a rainbow flag wheel (this is less important but seems appropriate)

 – North Carolina changes all their bathroom signs from gender based to “hiker” & “biker” signs (those hikers do as much bathroom cleaning as they do trail maintenance)

I guess this 2nd one was not much of a question, but it doesn’t really matter since you usually don’t answer the question asked and instead choose a question related to the topic that you want to address… and I’m okay with that.

stay sexy,
Big Gay Hub Flange

Dear Bung:

This is a great question with a really easy answer.  Of course cupcakes are way better than cake.  There’s just more frosting to go around.  They’re also easier to pack and serve.

Uncle Dave

Wow.  That’s just…wow.  A column, apparently.  Well, if you still think this is worthwhile, there’s more where that comes from @ReallyUncleDave (Twitter) and @davetolnai (Instagram).  Honestly though….Really?

Dave called it and Fatch wins a RIDE ALPHA Ti alloy-railed 220 gram saddle  – and he’s in the running to win a Commencal META HT AM 650B frame. We’ll be drawing for a winner and announcing on Friday April 29th so tune in then to see who won.

Got a question for Uncle Dave? Send it here.

And let us know what you think about cake as a bribe below.

Trending on NSMB


Deep Cover  - April 29, 2016, 7:04 p.m.

"How can you clean your climbs if you don't clean the cake off your plate?!? " (From Pink Floyd's "The Wall" - Lost Sessions Bootleg).


David Mills  - April 26, 2016, 12:15 p.m.

Some love the cake, some love pie. Whichever way you like it, it's a great excuse to go al fresco.


Steven Reschke  - April 26, 2016, 6:36 a.m.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess the cake bribing won't have to go on forever. Eventually she'll just become addicted to the endorphins. I would suggest cutting out riding for a week to test it and see if she initiates the next ride.


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