I’m a Dad Now – Should I Sell My Bike?

Words Dave Tolnai
Date Nov 2, 2015

Hey Dave,

I remember my first mountain bikes pre SPD.  We put roadie style toe clips on them to improve climbing and flat efficiency. Then shimano created SPD! That was great, until you ended up cartwheeling of some skinny with a bike you could not get rid of.  Anyway since that moment the majority of the MTB population calls them “Clipless”.  This makes me a little nuts.  So why are we still using the antiquated word clipless when we are clearly clipped in to a pedal?

Sincerely,
Clipless? How about Clipfull! Amiright?


Dear Clippo:

Twenty-five years ago, Shimano brought clipless pedals to the mountain bike world. This has resulted in twenty-five years of pedants and junior Seinfeld’s asking “why do we call them clipless pedals when you clip in to them!?”

That’s what they’re called. I wouldn’t worry about it.  Other things to not worry about:

  • Why do they still call a Cannondale Lefty a “fork”?
  • Why do we call them “tubeless tires”?  Why aren’t they just called tires and tires with tubes called “tubed tires”?
  • Why do we still refer to the “top tube”, “head tube” and “down tube” on carbon fiber bicycles that are clearly of a monocoque construction without any actual tubes?
  • Why are dropper seatposts still called seatposts and not “telescoping seat support structures”?

It doesn’t matter. Nobody cares.

Sorry,
Uncle Dave


Our main feature today is a question in two increasingly desperate parts, sent to me a few months apart.

Hi Uncle Dave –  

I’m a fully addicted rider in my early 30s and with my first kid on the way this fall. Everyone tells me how “my life will change completely,” I’ll get no sleep and that there’ll be no time to ride.  Not sure if you’re Dad Dave in addition to Uncle Dave, but if not, I’m sure you’ve had riding buddies that are now fathers.  

Is there any hope for me? Not sure I’ll still enjoy riding if it’s only once a week, or god-forbid, once a month. Should I just quit while I’m ahead and take up RC cars?  Or should I limp along for a few years until I have more time to get back into it?

Thanks,
What Have I Done?!?!

– – – – – – – –

Hey Uncle Dave –

Just sending again since the little one is here now!

Thanks
What Have I Done?!?!


Dear WHID

These e-mails scare me a bit. Is there really somebody out there writing in to a childless man on the Internet for parenting advice? Well…parenting avoidance advice? This seems like a tremendously horrible idea and I wonder what sort of precarious situation this gentleman finds himself in, having to resort to such desperate tactics. Somebody should really reach out to him and make sure everything is okay.

I do have friends that are in your situation. I see them maybe once or twice a year. They get by on a mix of bargaining and selfishness, hammering out quick rides with the hour or two they have to spare each week. That is until their children reach a certain age. Then it feels like their families don’t really have much of a need for them any longer and it’s all “Let’s do another lap! No? How about a beer?!” as they try to drag things out before they have to face going home.

So I don’t have direct experience, but if I do ever find myself in this situation, this is how I would handle it.

Skip out on work

Who is it easier to lie to?  Your spouse or your boss?

Make riding bikes a part of your official life duties

I find this one works in my life pretty well. “I need to go for a ride today because I have to get a review out on this thing this week.”

Get a bit fat so that your spouse is disgusted with you and then promise to get in shape once she feels you’ve hit rock bottom

Show her what happens if you don’t ride your bike.

Come up with some really insane requests that she’s bound to say “no” to and then pitch a bike ride as a reasonable compromise

This probably will only work a few times.

Prize Givers – Please give this man a prize. Hopefully it will be something large and flashy and impossible to hide. We all need for this conversation to take place:

“Honey, why did you buy this impossibly large and flashy object? You know we’re on a budget now that young WHID is here.”

“Babe!  Don’t worry!  I didn’t buy that!  I got it from writing in to some guy on the Internet asking how I can best shirk my familial responsibilities.”

Keep us posted on how that goes.

Sorry,
Uncle Dave


hats_socks

Sorry Dave – and WHID (you win btw) – not big and flashy. But we think they are pretty cool. An NSMB.com snapback (choice of colours) and some of our wool blend socks. And the rest of you can actually buy these hats now as well for the first time. Check them out here.


Can you think of other things in our world that have names that make no sense? How about dads with advice on how to keep riding now that you’ve become a dad?

 

 

Trending on NSMB

Comments

poo-stance
0
Poo Stance  - Nov. 3, 2015, 10:15 p.m.

If you're a shitty person you'll have nothing but free time to ride bicycles as women won't want to be with you!

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nat-brown
0
Nat Brown  - Nov. 5, 2015, 9:27 a.m.

And well all be better off if you dont reproduce.

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poo-stance
0
Poo Stance  - Nov. 6, 2015, 12:50 p.m.

The lady friend and myself follow the controversial, yet effective book "Your Mouth Can't Get Pregnant" by Tina Fey, M.D.

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nat-brown
0
Nat Brown  - Nov. 6, 2015, 2:23 p.m.

Does it cover any options beside what's stated in the title?

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poo-stance
0
Poo Stance  - Nov. 8, 2015, 1:14 p.m.

I don't know. I'm illiterate and I always judge a book by its cover bruh!

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wig
0
Wig  - Nov. 3, 2015, 4:49 p.m.

Try the Stay-at-Home-Dad thing. Just get a nice bike before you quit work.

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angel-rodriguez
0
Angel Rodriguez  - Nov. 3, 2015, 4:15 p.m.

Interesting read as I actually got into Mountain Biking because of my children. Before they came along I was quite happy wheeling my Wranglers and Rovers in the woods. MTB has had the most positive physical and social impact of my life. I have my little ones to blame. 🙂

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powderturns
0
Mike  - Nov. 3, 2015, 2:25 p.m.

Hmmm… aren't clipless pedals are called that because they lack the old school roadie toe clips at the front of the pedal that goes over the forefoot? Hence, clipless pedals… Though perhaps they should be called cleated pedals instead. To make matters more confusing, friends and I refer to riding with clipless pedals as being "clipped in". Jeez. I think i just made myself dumber. Didn't think that was possible.

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TeCeBe
0
TBurton  - Nov. 3, 2015, 12:46 p.m.

The time available for exclusively you in the short term will be greatly reduced. No question. 1-2 hour max laps became my go to ride in those years and still are for the most part with a 5 & 6 year old at home. Headlights are also excellent to extend your availability.

But, long term, once WHID can ride as well, you are on a new level of fun. We are just about there.

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nat-brown
0
Nat Brown  - Nov. 3, 2015, 11:19 a.m.

I've got a 6 month old and a 2.5 year old at home, so I've got some views on this. As a preface to everything I write below, there are many different ways that people choose to parent their kids, and many parents have extremely strong views about it, more so than the comments section of a pinkbike article on suspension tech. My own take is to follow your instinct, listen to your conscience and find your own balance.

If you're serious about your kid and partner, the amount of time you spend on yourself has to take a hit. You don't need to be serious about that though, but you should be prepared to be considered an asshole if you don't. Assuming you do take these people seriously, unless you had an abundance of free time before young WHID arrived, you'll probably be riding less, and I understand that's going to be an unpopular stance on NSMB. When I just had the one kid, I probably cut my social life down by 2/3, maybe more, but managed to ride almost as much as I did before kids. With the arrival of the second kid, and little room to compromise, I now have almost no social life and am probably riding about 1/3 as much as I did before kids. I'm progressively riding more frequently though- the first 6 months is reasonably intense in terms of workload but it gets better. To be dryly analytical, outside of the time you spend on yourself, you also have time you presumably spend working, commuting, enjoying family time, enjoying time with your partner without young WHID, and time doing chores around the house. If you can compromise your work or shorten your commute without too much consequence, I recommend doing that. Personally, I value my family and partner too much to run the risk of deteriorating relationships there, and I enjoy that time anyway, so I take from that for riding fairly minimally. And, leave all the chores to your partner at your peril- remember, your partner is going to need time for him- or herself too, and we're in the 21st century.

Depending on your financial means, you might also find it more difficult to upkeep your bike(s). It became fairly obvious to me that I had to cut back to one bike from two (N-1, shock horror). I love my one bike though, and the compromises in terms of capability mean that I have had learn to appreciate different things in order to enjoy riding. That's the big lesson in all of this though, it's not all about you. It was never all about you, but having a kid brings that into much sharper relief.

Don't stress all of this stuff though. You'll still enjoy your life, probably more, and you'll change, so embrace that. With a little thought, you'll get to ride and have an awesome family life.

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reini-wagner
0
Reini Wagner  - Nov. 3, 2015, 1:58 p.m.

I second that! Entirely!

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colin
0
colin  - Nov. 3, 2015, 11:19 p.m.

i live a similar life. when brand new dads said "i'm not going to change and still ride the same amount" i always thought cool, i guess, but then why are you being a dad, and what kind of dad are you going to be? there has to be some give

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jesse-berg
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Jesse Berg  - Nov. 3, 2015, 10:45 a.m.

I'm a new father and a mountain biker, I think owe it to your kid to keep on doing the things you love. You will obviously have a different schedule, but maintaining things in your life that make you happy eg. biking will make you happy, therefore a better partner and father. If possible see if you can make cycling into a part of your day eg.if you can bike commute (no substitute for mountain biking) it will keep you in shape for when you get to go riding

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - Nov. 3, 2015, 11:25 a.m.

Great point about commuting by bike. It's not a substitute for riding trails, but there's a modicum of enjoyment in just turning pedals on pavement, and plenty of benefits in terms of fitness, health and state of mind.

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vhdh666
0
vhdh666  - Nov. 3, 2015, 9:42 a.m.

are flat pedals "clipless" too?

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0
Ted Roome  - Nov. 3, 2015, 9:41 a.m.

Nothing good comes from not riding. Avoid the resentment and depression, and present a happier, healthier you for your wife and child.

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Captain-Snappy
0
Merwinn  - Nov. 3, 2015, 9:16 a.m.

Hey WHID,

Yes stop riding and just give me your bike as it is simply gathering cobwebs and dust. Don't worry, I'll keep it for my 2 yr old son.

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mammal
0
Mammal  - Nov. 3, 2015, 8:51 a.m.

Not a father, but if your anything like I am (fully addicted, in your 30's), your wife won't want anything to do with you after you give up biking. When riding has been an outlet for exercise, endorphins, and reflection for so many years, it's a requirement that puts life back in balance. I'm a real a**hole when I stop riding.

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satn
0
satn  - Nov. 3, 2015, 6:16 a.m.

I'm too old to have another kid so my next dogs name will be Whid. And yes I will still ride 3 times a week with the new dog.

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kaz-yamamura
0
Kaz Yamamura  - Nov. 2, 2015, 11:42 p.m.

Why are they called narrow-wide chainrings and not wide-narrow.
Spoke wrench? Why not nipple wrench? After all they tighten the nipples.
Is Uncle Dave really an uncle? Does he have a sibling with a child?

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whatyouthink
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whatyouthink  - Nov. 3, 2015, 7:05 a.m.

I don't think we want to hear about your nipple wrenches…

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vhdh666
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vhdh666  - Nov. 3, 2015, 9:41 a.m.

you turn the nipples and tighten the spokes

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kaz-yamamura
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Kaz Yamamura  - Nov. 3, 2015, 10:43 a.m.

That's my point exactly. The spoke doesn't turn at all, the nipple does. You're fastening the nipple onto the spoke.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Nov. 3, 2015, 10:54 a.m.

How are narrow-wide rings not narrow and wide? I think they are actually.

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kaz-yamamura
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Kaz Yamamura  - Nov. 3, 2015, 10:59 a.m.

I meant that as in who decided to put the word 'narrow' first and the word 'wide' last? If you look at the wide tooth then move onto look at the narrow tooth you could call it a wide-narrow.

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bagheera
0
Bagheera  - Nov. 2, 2015, 10:36 p.m.

Not sure if one should take Uncle Dave or any of the questions there seriously, but: Rejoice, future (or new, or whatever) dads: As a father of two, I still ride 3-4 times a week, sometimes more. Yes, those 6hours+ epics are fewer, but still happen. And yes, making your work family-and-riding- compatible is a big part of it.

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