Balancing other hobbies with cycling?

We don’t. :slightly_smiling_face:

I was at my fastest when my son was still really little. I think I knew it was my last shot at being “fast” - and it probably was. Now that he’s older, my weekends are designed to spend time with him. Luckily, he likes bikes too. But training 15 hours a week aren’t a thing anymore. Maybe again when he’s older and/or if he takes to racing. It’s all good, life has different chapters.


I have a 1 year old and can really only find time in the early mornings to train (and that’s if I have the energy). And maybe a 2 hour outdoor ride on the weekend.

I was my healthiest I’d been in nearly a decade a week before my 1st was born. That’s all gone out the window.


I really don’t know what you all do it :thinking:

Excellent topic! Having just turned 37 this week and having a 3 and 4 year old I spent alot of time mulling this over during covid. Im not perfect, but here are some recent thoughts of on the topic.

I used to have an inverse relationship with the bike and work. If work was going well, I didnt bike much, if work was tough then I escaped on the bike. Now Ive matured to approach them both separately and give them their due, but no more.

As a younger man I approached many hobbies and activites for external noteriety, the approval of my peers or superiors, i.e. because they were cool. I think when you become a parent you just dont have energy to care about what others think anymore. Becoming a parent really helped me to let that go.

Cycling and hobbies feed different needs for me…

Cycling-physical well being, constant/consistent forward momentum, large events, seasonality, competition, NATURE, self confidence, social with similar people

Hobbies-a place to experiment, try new things, learn to recover from failure, be artistic, can do at night, can leave for a week or 2 and then come back, cheaper than cycling :slight_smile:

Release yourself from guilt about that mtb in the basement that you havent riden for 2 years. You are the only one who feels bad about it. Guilt is largely something we do to ourselves. Release yourself from “hobby guilt” about things you havent been able to do consistnently.

Figure out what you need to feed and keep yourself fed. On the podcast about a month ago Hannah mentioned that you should try to be a complete, happy, and whole person outside of cycling. If cycling is a major piece of your pie, then something else may be out of whack. That mentality has helped me to be happier when Im not on the bike and when I am on the bike.

Thanks for coming to my TED Talk.


I think it’s really important to do the rocking chair test, for me that’s when I’m 95, sat in my rocking chair, looking back, do I wish I’d had a 10% higher ftp at 46 or do I wish I’d spent more time with my wife and daughter. There’s only going to be one answer. (just to be clear, the answer is more time with wife and daughter! :slight_smile: ) I do about 7 hours a week, that way I can be pretty good and still have lots of time and energy for all the other things in my life.


So guitar came in early. Will need to find a new amp because this 20+ year old practice amp does not do this guitar justice. Neither does my ‘playing’ but that’s neither here nor there.



Good thread.

Be kind to yourself. It’s ok if you finish a race midpack or DFL or defer it to next year; it’s ok if the woodworking project gather dust in the garage for several weeks.
It’s not ok if you beat yourself for not doing xyz , get so little sleep that you get sick or injured, …

I have a stressful job in high tech with long intense hours. I do long distance triathlons and all that training (~12h / week+overhead ) provides a way to burn stress off, go into nature, stay fit and healthy plus disconnect and recharge my mental batteries. It doesn’t matter how many ironman i’ve done, i will not complete the next one unless i put enough hours. It taught me to be more efficient & purposeful with my time. While I 'd like to improve my PR, i accept that there are so many things i don’t control and other important things in my life needing my time and attention that I’ll do my best training for it and perform on race day but i won’t lose sleep about some arbitrary goal of sub x hours.

I also learned that there are Saturday mornings where i need to just be: not working, not training, … and lounge. After a few hours, i 'll jump on the bike or go running.


Yes sir you need to upgrade that amp asap!!! Awesome guitar :star_struck:

Tone is a subjective thing of course but if you haven’t kept up with gear stuff for a while (like me), I think you’ll be suprised what you can get out of an afforable amp. Check out the Line 6 Catalyst line if you don’t want to break the bank! Great tones IMHO and a USB out to plug into your computer.

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If you do want to break the bank, the Fractal Axe FX is fantastic–every amp, effect, speaker you could want, works with headphones/speakers/computers. Replaced a 10 space rack setup for me when I was actively playing/gigging.


My biggest issue is that I like to do my hobbies at a pretty high level, so I’ve ended up dropping a few over the years because I just wasn’t happy/engaged doing them at the kind of standard I could realistically expect with the time I have available. I’ve come to really appreciate reading for that reason- I can squeeze in 15 minutes on the train or during my lunch break and if I don’t really lose anything if I forget about it for months at a time.

Used to play in an orchestra and I really miss that, but things get a little more tricky when you have other people relying on you.:confused:


What instrument?

I “play” violin and piano as hobbies.

Agreed. While I didn’t study music in uni, I did most of my practicing as a youth and now am able to return to a previous level without too too much work. Haven’t done much solo gig work as a violinist (none as a pianist), mostly ensembles. But I was just asked to play in two different weddings in June, so I should probably break out and practice a little. :violin:

4 kids, 5 and under. I also like my hobbies at a high level and tend to operate at 110% or nothing, which drives my wife nuts. :man_shrugging: I like the rocking chair test mentioned by @awoffinden. Definitely need to find out what your priorities are and try to align your schedule, on a daily, monthly, annual level. And like several mentioned…things may have a different order of priority depending on the season of life you are in.

Not sure if I’ve said this before :thinking: (Let's see your Steel builds! - #83 by mackeenj), but having a cargo bike with a power meter and several good training loops nearby allows me to take the kids out on my workouts, get them out of the house and into nature, give my wife a break…


What are these ‘other hobbies’ you speak of ? :rofl: :rofl:

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Great topic and i think one of the keys that people have mentioned is the eb-and-flows of different hobbies depending on life circumstances, age etc. I’m a 50+r with fulltime job, married with 3 kids (8,12,14). I’m a lifer cyclist Road, MTB, grvl, CX(been racing my entire adult life…never missed a year without at least a few races and one big race…now good for racing a couple dozen X a year and about 10hrs a week avg…not bragging just trying to paint a picture) Like others i’ve tried to pursue other hobbies and mix them in with sports interests (skiing, surfing, climbing). Like other photography was a big one and, like others, found that to get good shots you really need to spend time at it both pre and post shots (BTW cycling is not an easy sport to capture well). Other hobbies which i kind’ve persue but not well and half-assed…motor sports (race autoX now and then), RC Cars, gaming and maybe grilling)

I think the key is to be able to ride out your door and not have to drive to ride. It makes for boring riding but you get your hours in without burning time away from family, other hobbies, work etc. My strava profile is the most boring thing ever and i do the same sh&^ out my door every day (which sucks for MTB skills) but i get’r done and am fairly fit. Having a good indoor set up and tool like TrainerRoad is key as well, it gives you the flexibility if you have to miss an outside workout because of life (being able to train while the fam sleeps is a particular boon for me as is riding with the family…which is rare). Commuting by bike is training too and gets the hours in…don’t let any coach tell you to the contrary.

My in-laws and extended family are big golfers and they rip into me about the time i spend away from my family because of biking but i counter it with their drive time to the course or driving range which can be 25%+ percent of their total participation time. The biggest focus for me needs to be being a good dad/husband and realizing the time suck that cycling is i try to find hacks to mitigate the time spent from my family but its not easy.

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Just turn you hobbies into careers, that’s what i did to make life simple… I was a HVAC tech running 60-80 weeks with no end to my day on call every other week. No time to do anything but brew beer here and there… then it happened I left HVAC to brew beer full time and bam I had more time to cycle and explore…

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I found it easiest to quit everything else and focus on family, work, and riding my damn bike.

That said, cycling is my exercise, my hobby, my social circle, and I love it.

Other stuff I can pick back up later, but the way I see it, clock’s ticking to see how far I can really push this riding bikes thing.

Give myself another 3 years and start to re-evaluate if I decide to start racing masters instead of elite ( I could already, but having fun with the elites atm )


IMO it’s not really possible. Maybe that’s just me, but maintaining relationships, a job, and cycling is tough. I find to keep an acceptable level of fitness requires 12-14hrs a week. I know others do it on less, but hasn’t worked for me.


I think a lot of us are putting too much pressure on ourselves, a lot of us are eyeing the workload of full-on pros but with the commitments of a regular person.

I’m currently doing 10–11 hours per week, sometimes a bit less when I replace the outdoor weekend ride with an indoor ride. I don’t think I could add much more time on the bike unless I got a divorce and never saw my children again. Not gonna happen. Plus, my wife is a gym rat and there has to be some give and take in a relationship. Love my kids, love my wife, love my job and love my two bikes. In that order. Ok, we could get into a philosophical discussion about how the love for one’s spouse differs from the love one feels for their kids, but I’ll leave that for another post in another forum. :slight_smile:

Cycling for me is trying not to be so obsessed and single minded about other hobbies in my life, but it’s easy to pendulum in this direction too and I’m that type of person. I’m getting more and more towards the mind that you should have multiple different things that you enjoy, and be able to focus on whatever’s giving you the most enjoyment at one time in life. But if you get injured or have a setback, it’s nice to have something else.

I used to play a ton of golf. Used to scuba dive, boat a ton. Had a race car, wrenched on cars, worked on them way more than I drove them. Used to ski all winter, now I’m out way less. Still fish some throughout the season, and had a renewed interest in fly fishing and fly tying this year. Been a fairly obsessed hunter for 20+ years and went the rabbit hole of archery and while I still head out west for a big DIY-trip by myself every year, and get out a bunch locally during the fall, it’s nice not to be thinking about it ALL the time.

So short answer, balancing to me is about rotating in and out of what makes you happy, and that can and will change. And, if you injure yourself the impact is less (I’m dealing with shoulder issues now, not impacting me much on the bike, but no way I’m drawing a bow or swinging a golf club…)

But I am with others - Cycling has moved up to the top of my list now. I do turn 45 this year and have some fitness and racing goals, and am enjoying the process so far… I can come back to other stuff, but it is going to be harder and harder for me to improve and get faster on the bike as the years tick by.

Glad it’s not just me


I also agree with you that balancing is about rotating in and out of what makes you happy. I also have other hobbies besides cycling, such as table tennis. I find that playing table tennis helps me improve my hand-eye coordination, reflexes, and agility, which are useful skills for cycling as well. I usually play table tennis once or twice a week with some friends or colleagues, and it’s a fun way to socialize and relax. Sometimes I join a local tournament or club to challenge myself and learn from other players. I think cycling and table tennis complement each other well, as they both require physical and mental fitness, but they also work different muscle groups and energy systems. Cycling is more aerobic and endurance-based, while table tennis is more anaerobic and explosive. By doing both, I feel like I’m getting a balanced workout and avoiding overuse injuries. Of course, I also make sure to rest and recover properly, and not overdo either activity.
I don’t see cycling and table tennis as competing hobbies, but rather as complementary ones. They both bring me joy and satisfaction, and they both help me stay healthy and fit. But I love mostly table tennis/ ping pong. I think it’s important to have a variety of interests and passions in life, and not to limit yourself to one thing. That way, you can always find something to look forward to and enjoy, no matter what the circumstances are.