The other day, I was at a party and began to chat with a women who is just getting into triathlons.  She told me she was about to buy a bike, and I remarked that I was so jealous that she was going to buy a new bike. “I would love a new bike,” I said. “I just really can’t justify the expense right now, especially considering my current bike does the job.”  I paused and laughed.  “You know, a few years ago, I bought my husband a bike in hopes of getting him into triathlons.  He hardly ever rides.  I should’ve bought myself a new bike with that money.”


And that’s when I realized… I am a walking (riding?) triathlete cliché


Please note the layer of dust.


This is how it goes – one partner in the relationship (let’s call her ‘Caitlin’) really wants their spouse to get into cycling or triathlons (let’s call him ‘Kristien’), so Caitlin decide to try to get Kristien excited about the sport by buying him a brand new bike. Despite the fact that Kristien has expressed minimal interest in the sport, Caitlin buys him a shiny new bicycle, a sweet helmet, and lots of other fancy gear. Because, after all, if someone bought Caitlin a bunch of awesome new bike stuff, she would be on her bike all day long.


Kristien is excited to have a bike and goes riding with Caitlin a few times.  She is in heaven.  But then… weeks pass without a ride.  Months go by.   Eventually, years pass.  The shiny new bicycle begins to gather dust in the garage.  After all, cycling was never really Kristien’s hobby at all; he didn’t initiate the bike purchase.  Caitlin is left riding her secondhand bike all by her lonesome.  She tries to convince Kristien to sell his bike, but he protests, claiming that he will eventually use it again one day, which is probably true….  Still, Caitlin is sad, knowing this whole mess is her fault.  She should’ve never pushed her hobby on her husband and can’t blame him for wanting to keep the pretty bicycle ‘just in case.’  She wouldn’t want to part with it, either!


The great irony of this story is that Caitlin’s secondhand bike was once a shiny new bicycle that a man bought for his wife to try to get her into the sport, and said wife only rode it twice before storing it in the garage and eventually selling on Craigslist.  It’s the circle of cycling life.




  • The following reasons are inappropriate motivations to buy your spouse a fancy new bike:  You really want a riding partner; you just know they would like triathlons if they gave it a try; you want to spend more time with them (um, doing what you want to do). 
  • If your spouse wants to get into cycling, he or she will express the appropriate interest.  Buying them expensive and fancy toys rarely initiates such interest.
  • The following reasons are appropriate motivations to buy your spouse a bike:  They start training for a triathlon but don’t have a bike; they look sad when you leave for your long rides and say, “I wish I had a bike so I could come with you…”; they begin to look at bikes online; they ask you to come with them to a bike shop to help pick out a bike; they begin to save money for a bike.
  • Approximately 87% of secondhand bikes on the market are the result of the “I want my spouse to get into my hobby” phenomena.  And 98% of statistics are just made up.


  • Sean May 28, 2012, 1:12 pm

    Oddly enough I bought myself a bike on a Saturday morning and my wife was totally cool with it. By afternoon, around 1pm I hear “Seaaaaaan, I waaaaaaaaant a bike toooo” – We headed back to the shop to get her a bike that afternoon.

    • Caitlin May 28, 2012, 1:18 pm

      Can I be a sister wife and you buy me a bike, too?

  • Sunny May 28, 2012, 1:18 pm

    I like your reasons to buy your spouse a bike at the bottom. I totally fit into those. After 2 years of running by myself I finally go my hubby into running now we are preparing to train for a triathlon. He bought me a bike for my birthday and I love it 🙂

    • Caitlin May 28, 2012, 1:19 pm

      Aw happy birthday. What a nice gift 😉

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat May 28, 2012, 1:19 pm

    LOL! This is so true, but if you happen to know of any women whose hopeful husbands bought them new shiny bikes and they are looking to get rid of them, there’s a willing taker over here! I’d love to get into triathlons but sadly I don’t have a bike at the moment so I’ve gotta get on that first!

  • Ramona May 28, 2012, 1:50 pm

    Girl, I know what you mean! I always buy my hubby things he doesn’t need and collect dust! But I think he secretly loves me doting on him!

  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats May 28, 2012, 1:59 pm

    hahaha I love the made up statistics. But this is a great life lesson in general: you can’t change people!

  • Sam @ Fit for My Fork May 28, 2012, 2:09 pm

    LOL, all of the above is so true. I want my boyfriend to get into horseback riding with me… I guess it’s not very practical to buy him a horse…

  • Annette@FitnessPerks May 28, 2012, 2:13 pm

    Haha. I love it. The ‘story’ is a good one. And yes, I try to never force anything on my husband–it always backfires. Always!

  • B @ Crags and Veggies May 28, 2012, 2:14 pm

    Love your statistics! I got my boyfriend golf clubs hoping he would play with me….not so much! We both love biking and climbing so I guess those are two sports we can do together, but it would be great if I could get him into golf too!

  • Sana May 28, 2012, 2:30 pm

    LOL. Ahah, I have a feeling with the baby your husband will bike and you can attach the baby seat to the back 🙂

  • Christine @ BookishlyB May 28, 2012, 2:40 pm

    I try to push my hobbies on the people in my life ALL the time- running, yoga, cooking, reading… It’s totally for their own good.

  • Ashley May 28, 2012, 3:11 pm

    Haha, both the husband and I want bikes but we’re trying to wait. We figure we’ll hold off on triathlons until we’re older and our knees give out.

    When we’re older we will 1) be sick of running and ready for a new sport; 2) have enough $$ for new bikes; 3) have a brand new sport to PR in!

  • Miriam May 28, 2012, 3:18 pm

    lol That’s funny! I bought a brand new bike for myself a month ago… and because my boyfriend don’t have a bike, I rarely go for a ride… I’m trying to push him to buy a bike but I don’t think he will… However, last week he bought me a helmet, a nice shirt with matching gloves to encourage ME to go for rides. 🙂

  • Natalie May 28, 2012, 3:19 pm

    I love how the third observation pretty much says the only appropriate time to buy your spouse a bike is if their already in the bike shop picking one out LOL. I totally believed your made up statistics were legit! 🙂

  • Glenneth May 28, 2012, 3:26 pm

    Hubby got a bike last year then bought me one only AFTER i borrowed a bike for a month to make sure I liked it. Then he took me to the bike store to try out bikes. Now we have fun riding together.

  • Rebecca May 28, 2012, 3:54 pm

    Hahaha. My mom would love to buy my dad some of his running/biking stuff, but she gives him gift cards or whatever instead because he needs to decide on stuff for himself. He got a new bike a couple of months ago and is having fun with it. It’s a legit Tri bike, compared to the one he’d been using which was an old mountain bike or something.

  • Bec May 28, 2012, 4:25 pm

    The husband and I were just discussing that maybe next years anniversary gifts to each other can be bikes 🙂 This summer we will have a lot of purchases since we will be new homeowneres. Hopefully next year we will have more fun money to spend!

  • Linda May 28, 2012, 6:38 pm

    Why don’t you just ride his shiny blue bike? Judging from photos of the two of you, he’s not really much taller than you(?) so I’m guessing it’ll fit you well enough. I know men’s and women’s bikes are a bit different, but surely it’s better that the nice new bike gets well used, even if you have to learn to get off without stepping-through girl-style.

    • CaitlinHTP May 28, 2012, 9:15 pm

      He’s about 5 inches taller than me – MAYBE I could ride his bike if I pushed the seat down as far as possible but I think the space between the seat and the handlebars would be too wide.

  • Erica May 28, 2012, 7:53 pm

    This is so funny! I got my used road bikefrom a guy who bought his girlfriend a bike. It had 12 miles on it when I bought it, haha! Fortunately my hubby and I both enjoy biking for dates, even though he doesn’t do triathlons (he hates swimming, ha!)

  • Lexi @ You, Me, & A World to See May 28, 2012, 8:59 pm

    Hahha oh the irony..We do that in my house too, only someone ends up nabbing the brand new bike as a self-present after enough time passes 😉

  • Dental Accountant May 29, 2012, 5:18 am

    Haha funny post! And I’m sure a lot of women could relate to this! And those racing bikes don’t come in cheap too, right? So getting someone into the habit of keeping fit and healthy needs a lot of coaxing and a really a big investment!

  • Finding a skinnier me May 29, 2012, 4:19 pm

    HA! I totally agree with this. Luckily my husband LOVES to ride and when I bought my bike, we were finally able to ride together. But if he had bought me a bike before I was ready, I would have left it gathering dust as well 😉

  • John October 1, 2012, 11:02 am

    There’s a middle ground here. Whoever buys it, make the first bike less expensive. If the rider gets hooked, they’ll probably have their own ideas about the ideal top end training bike. If they don’t, let the cheap bike sit in the garage for occasional use.

  • ilan April 25, 2013, 11:59 am

    I had multiple bike shops in Charlotte, NC for many years.
    Industry rule: if a guy buys a girl a bike they will break up. 100% guaranteed! (Does not apply to married couples) We saw this SO many times over the years.
    If a girl buys a boy a bike there are many other issues, but they will break up too. Any guy that lets a girl buy him a bike is either a con man or weak, either way it won’t last.

  • Abby April 25, 2013, 12:10 pm

    Not only does this apply with bikes but running shoes, exercise apparel, yard equipment, electronic gadgets, etc. He wanted a bike after I got mine…he has ridden it twice! I bought a really nice pair of running shoes (a day and a half of pay!) and now he wants a pair. Maybe sell the bike for new shoes?

  • Kelsey April 25, 2013, 1:18 pm

    I loved this post! I never try to get B to run with me…but little does he know he’s going to become a runner while we’re on vacation so I’ll feel safe!

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