So You Wanna Teach Your Girlfriend or Wife How to Mountain Bike?

While this blog’s primary target audience is women, there are plenty of guys who read this blog. With that in mind, there are some things to consider if you want to get your girlfriend mountain biking with you:

1.Your old helmet will fit her fine. She doesn’t need to spend any money to get a helmet or gloves in something that you want her to be interested in. Save it for a used hardtail.

2. Give her the rigid bike from 1986 that you won’t ride anymore because it’s not cool, or give your 5’2″ 120 lb significant other your 6″ 200lb brother’s bike to borrow. No need to tune the bike for her body position because she’ll feel natural on the bike just like you do. And even though she’s can’t reach the pedals, she’s definitely going to have a great time.

3. She’ll be fine on whatever the default suspension settings you have setup, no matter who rides the bike regularly. Even if she’s not used to feeling like she’s on a two-wheeled pogo stick.

4. Don’t tell her how to use the shifters and brakes. This will be completely intuitive on how not to cross-chain or make sure she’s not going to accidentally hit the front brake and endo. Also, don’t tell her when to shift or brake-she’ll figure that out on her own.

5. Take her on what you consider an “easy ride.” That black diamond run at the bike park will be just perfect for her first-ever bike ride.

6. Don’t wait for her. She’ll be more inspired to ride faster if you’re this little speck in the distance while she’s still trying to figure out how to shift while chasing you down. If you do wait for her, make sure to leave as soon as she reaches you so she knows exactly which way to go next.

7. Any climb you take will be an enjoyable climb for her. And if she rides paved trails regularly, she’ll enjoy that 20% grade you take as a warmup to the main ride.

8. For an ideal first date, don’t forget to find the steepest and most technical downhill so you can get the adrenaline rushing for the both of you. That technical downhill will give her that “whoo-hoo!” factor.

9. Tell her what to do constantly (“Lay off the brakes!”) because she clearly needs good advice. Girls like getting yelled at while they’re trying to survive their first ride.

10. Don’t worry, she’ll have a wonderful time no matter what and only blame herself when she falls. After all, girls usually enjoy blaming themselves because it’s their favourite pastime.

11. Most importantly, tell her she’s doing pretty good for a girl. That will make a great end on your way back home, and she’ll definitely enjoy spending the evening with you after a wonderful day on the trail.

If you said, “yeah so I don’t get it, I’m doing everything right!” you’re not. Try again.

Anne Henmi

I love mountain biking. Won't shut up about it, so now writing about it. Mountain biking has owned me since the early 1990s when it seemed like a fun thing to do in college. A few years ago, it was about doing everything perfectly. Now, it's about the ride experience itself not the distance or trailhead you're trying to get to at the end of the ride.

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13 Responses to So You Wanna Teach Your Girlfriend or Wife How to Mountain Bike?

  1. Love this, I enjoyed it Anne.
    Can you do one now from our gals perspective as we try to break in our newbie boyfriends that believe that since us chicks do it, they can do it better?

    • Cricket, thanks. I sure can. Let me know if you’re looking for something in particular that you’d like me to mention on it.

  2. “Don’t tell her how to use shifters and brakes” . . . .”Tell her what to do constantly” . . . There’s no winning!!! :)

  3. Thanks Cricket. I’m planning on doing something on teaching skills, particularly to beginners. I do like the idea of how we should teach our men 😉

    Keep the rubber side down,


    • Been talking to my husband and trying to figure out how it works in the opposite direction. He said you could easily filp it, but maybe a teach a macho guy how to mountain bike? :)

  4. I was reading it, and all the time I was thinking, this does not make any sense, they´d kille me if I do any of that stuff.

    …until I read the last sentence!

  5. I must be weird: took my daughter for her first trail run (even though I’m really a roadie). Told her to lay off the front brake, encouraged her up the minor gradients, but got off and walked with her when she needed to, I kept her watered, watched out for snakes and cheered her up the final climb :) The streamers on the handlebars and Dora saddle did look a bit strange though. :)

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