Author Topic: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work  (Read 12355 times)

Bry_Shive

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Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« on: November 12, 2015, 01:00:51 PM »
*Skip the first paragraph if you don't want to read our brief financial background*

I'm newly married, Indiana resident, 27, generally made smart financial decisions. I have no debt other than the 6k left on my 2014 Subaru Forester car payment and I'm considering selling it soon to buy a used Prius. I work 30 minutes away for a job with a lot of potential in the next two years and I carpool half that time. I just bought a house well in our means and I have about 25k between a Roth and mutual funds. We paid for our own wedding 4 months ago. We've poured a lot of money into her student loan debt which is about 27k currently and we're looking at getting it paid off in two years.

My wife works just under a mile from our house. She owns her early 2000's Grand Am V6. The tires are worn down (this caused her to have an accident where she slammed into a pole in bad snow), it needs new brake pads, and it uses premium fuel. Basically its a big money pit with the insurance on top of it. I see the costs for getting it fixed up for winter being close to what we would be able to sell it for.

She has concerns about our area which is a somewhat gentrified street straddling some lower income rentals. Honestly in my assessment not a horrible area but a decent number of people walking around who are lower income. She has a decent bike and getting her to ride it in general has been a work in progress.

She has gone back and forth about being open to it but lately seems pretty firm in the "its not fair" "I don't feel safe" camp. She is mostly on board with my new Mustachian ways and thoughts but this has been a hang up for the last month and probably the biggest factor in getting us out of student loan debt and on to a good path.

Anyone else have any experience here with their spouse? I'm trying to be as comforting and encouraging as I can but this is the easiest, biggest, no brainer I can see in getting us debt free. She doesn't care about automobile fatality statistics for our area or charts showing violent crime or theft being rare occurrences. I'm trying not to be a classic analytical "let me fix it" dude here because that's not working. I've never had to be a woman in this world and be catcalled, harassed, or generally ever felt unsafe walking on a street.

Thanks everyone I look forward to your insight.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2015, 01:09:29 PM by Bry_Shive »

Dee18

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2015, 01:16:35 PM »
The issue is not whether you think it is safe.  The issue is whether she feels safe.  I can't tell from your post if you believe she really does not feel safe walking.  If she truly doesn't feel safe, do not ask her to walk.  Feeling unsafe is very stressful.  Are there additional options?  Carpool?  Public transportation? Shift in work schedule so you can give her a ride?

GuitarStv

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2015, 01:32:49 PM »
In addition to the above suggestions:
- Is there anyone that your wife could walk with?
- Maybe something like a scooter or moped would be a cheaper compromise than a car?

Leanthree

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2015, 01:50:11 PM »
I'd walk with her to work a few times to see if that makes her more comfortable. Unfamiliarity might be scarier than actual danger.

I'd also look into crime statistics for that area to see if her worries are reasonable or not. Sometimes logic wins.

If the walk is actually dangerous then is there a way to bike a longer distance that avoids the less safe parts of the commute? Even a mile out of the way should only take about 5 more minutes on a bike.

Also depending on your schedules, maybe you can figure out a way for her to share one car.


Rubic

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2015, 01:57:48 PM »
No opinion on whether your spouse should bike/walk to work, but if she doesn't feel safe in your neighborhood you might consider an early Christmas present:

http://www.amazon.com/Pepper-Blaster-II-LA98001-Kimber/dp/B003L75SSI


Kaikou

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2015, 02:15:24 PM »
Did she like the neighborhood when you were buying the house?

Any who the 1st poster got it right.

So if she started walking then what? Sell her car? Get her a new one?

Argyle

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2015, 02:37:10 PM »
Walking or biking nearly a mile in an Indiana winter?  I think that's asking too much.  I remember January 2013 in which it was -15 F and I got in the car to drive across the street.  (Okay, we have a long driveway.  Still.)  That cold when you go outside and your nostrils immediately freeze closed, and no gloves you've ever owned stop your hands from getting cold, then going numb and starting to turn white at the ends of your fingers?

And this time of the year, she's going to be walking back after dark, am I right?  Walking back after dark in a sketchy neighborhood stressful.

I vote for getting the car fixed and stopping bugging her about it.  Cut back somewhere else in your budget.  That's my vote.

GuitarStv

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2015, 02:43:52 PM »
Walking or biking nearly a mile in an Indiana winter?  I think that's asking too much.  I remember January 2013 in which it was -15 F and I got in the car to drive across the street.  (Okay, we have a long driveway.  Still.)  That cold when you go outside and your nostrils immediately freeze closed, and no gloves you've ever owned stop your hands from getting cold, then going numb and starting to turn white at the ends of your fingers?

And this time of the year, she's going to be walking back after dark, am I right?  Walking back after dark in a sketchy neighborhood stressful.

I vote for getting the car fixed and stopping bugging her about it.  Cut back somewhere else in your budget.  That's my vote.

As someone who grew up and (played outside often) in an area where it would hit -40 for most of January, I vote that you learn to dress appropriately for the weather so you don't have to use your car all the time.  :P

DeltaBond

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2015, 02:56:48 PM »
If you walk with her that's a pretty good compromise, and good exercise.  Asking her to walk alone might not be wise, pushing the issue is going to create resentment and a lack of trust on her part.

Goldielocks

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2015, 03:03:30 PM »
Walking or biking nearly a mile in an Indiana winter?  I think that's asking too much.  I remember January 2013 in which it was -15 F and I got in the car to drive across the street.  (Okay, we have a long driveway.  Still.)  That cold when you go outside and your nostrils immediately freeze closed, and no gloves you've ever owned stop your hands from getting cold, then going numb and starting to turn white at the ends of your fingers?

And this time of the year, she's going to be walking back after dark, am I right?  Walking back after dark in a sketchy neighborhood stressful.




Ha ha haha hahahahahahahahahaha!!   Too cold,  that one is funny.   i walked to school everyday for a mile a -15F (and worse).. as a 5 year old child...

Yes you need a scarf  / head gear, but  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA


I agree about the dark!   No one likes walking home at 5-6pm in the dark, through residential transitional areas.  Evenin  nice areas you can freak out when dogs behind fences start barking madly, or you see people "lurking" (AKA waiting for the bus / having a smoke).    Can you drive her one of the directions, so she only walks in daylight?







seemsright

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2015, 03:06:09 PM »
What is that old saying...happy wife, happy life.

Waking to work is a great idea, biking to work is a great idea.

But you are trying to convince someone to walk to work or bike to work going into winter. I would not want to walk to work in snow and cold. You are going to have to spend money on clothing and boots to make your wife at least a bit comfortable.

And outfit her bike with lights, and fenders, and other stuff (that I do not know as I do not live in snow country) for snow.

It is one thing when the spouse wants to but I could tell you (as a wife) there would be HELL to pay if my hubby decided that I was going to try to tell me that I 'HAD' to bike or walk to work in the snow because he got a hair up his butt to save some money.

I say get her all of the gear she needs to make it comfortable to walk and to bike to work in the snow. Fix her car, or get her a different car. And take time trying to get her on the MMM way of life.


Argyle

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2015, 03:09:55 PM »
I wonder, as a five-year-old, how happy you were to do that?  Would you like to be doing it now?  If you'd be great with doing it now, why aren't you?

Also, I wonder if the OP's wife would be doing this walk in snow boots, or in heels?  Does she have the long underwear, and would the long underwear be suitable for work?  Or would she have to change completely once she got to work?  Would she have to carry those extra clothes and shoes back and forth?  That sounds like considerable hassle, in addition to the cold and dark.  Many of us are fine with that extra hassle in pursuit of our goals.  But I'd bet fewer of us are fine with other people trying to decide for us that we'll endure the hassle.

Jeremy E.

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2015, 03:11:24 PM »
Pepper spray sounds like a good idea, maybe ask if she had pepper spray, maybe even practice using it a few times (be careful), whether or not she would feel safer. Winter weather is no reason not to walk,
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/11/03/how-to-ride-your-bike-all-winter-and-love-it/
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/02/01/the-oil-well-you-can-keep-in-your-pants/
« Last Edit: November 12, 2015, 03:17:02 PM by Jeremy E. »

pompera_firpa

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2015, 03:15:22 PM »
1) Ride a bike yourself. Not to work, obviously, but every weekend, get your butt on a bike and GO, bringing her along with you. It's easier to do things for the first time when there's someone else along, and she'll become more familiar with the route and such.

2) ...seriously, being scared of people because they are LOWER INCOME doesn't sound accurate. Has she been catcalled or harassed or something? Are there no streetlights, broken streetlights, streets covered in broken glass? If so, find a route that doesn't involve the area in question, and remind her that she's a lot faster on a bike than people can run.

3) Or does she not feel safe riding her bike on streets? If so: again, you'll have to break the ice on that one.

4) Better safety gear may help: bright headlight/taillight, for starters, snow tires in the winter.

Seriously, my husband and I bike everywhere, in Chicago, year-round. With a four-year-old, even. Unless y'all are on a freeway or in an area prone to drive-by shootings, I am unimpressed.

(And Argyle, ya wuss: this year we're supposed to have a mild winter. 2013 was insane, but the two years before that were a big nothing, and last winter was balmy by 2013 standards.)

norabird

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2015, 03:24:19 PM »
Handle your own car and commute situation and let your wife do what she wants.

Argyle

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #15 on: November 12, 2015, 03:25:16 PM »
Believe me, I bike in all weathers in the other places I live.  (My Indiana house does not have a bikeable road.)  Sometimes the winters in Indiana are mild-ish.  But here's the thing.  If they get rid of the wife's car, she doesn't have a choice, does she?  The OP leaves for work well in advance of the wife because of his long commute, I'm guessing.  So she has to walk to work and back, whether it's -15 F, whether it's 106 F (ah, our lovely Indiana summers), whether it's a blizzard, whether it's pitch dark and a blizzard (yep, I've known those too), or whatever is going on.  It's walk/bike or miss work.  That doesn't sound like an optimum plan to me, and I'm not surprised that the wife is balking.

TrMama

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2015, 03:30:38 PM »
As the wife of a man who dismisses any safety concerns I've ever had about feeling unsafe in certain neighbourhoods I encourage you to drop your pitch immediately. My DH is a big, strong guy who's had lots of military training. His life experience is completely unlike mine and has made him ill-suited to see the world through my eyes. If you keep pushing, you're going to alienate her and piss her off. If my DH tried this with me, he'd never hear the end of it.

How far is your commute? Have you biked it recently? Ever? I encourage you to walk the walk before you bring up the idea of her walking or biking to work again. Lead by example, it's the way I got my DH to try biking to work.

In the meantime, get her a safe car, some good winter clothes and boots and offer to take some MMA training together (so she can learn what to do in a confrontation). 

pompera_firpa

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #17 on: November 12, 2015, 03:33:37 PM »
I didn't see anything about getting rid of the car.

Look, Bry_Shive, here's a better idea. See if you can car-pool full time. Get rid of her car. Let her drive yours. :)

Goldielocks

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #18 on: November 12, 2015, 03:37:44 PM »
I wonder, as a five-year-old, how happy you were to do that?  Would you like to be doing it now?  If you'd be great with doing it now, why aren't you?

Also, I wonder if the OP's wife would be doing this walk in snow boots, or in heels?  Does she have the long underwear, and would the long underwear be suitable for work?  Or would she have to change completely once she got to work?  Would she have to carry those extra clothes and shoes back and forth?  That sounds like considerable hassle, in addition to the cold and dark.  Many of us are fine with that extra hassle in pursuit of our goals.  But I'd bet fewer of us are fine with other people trying to decide for us that we'll endure the hassle.

I loved it.  The land was Hoth, and the adventure of trying to walk across the TOP of snow drifts was the thrill.   Plunging through icy crusts to the snow below up to my thighs when i failed was just part of the adventure.

As an adult, I walked to work in the DARK / RAIN (drenching) in BC winters for a year, and another year I biked through brown snow / slush in Calgary in the winter....   I much prefer snow and dry biting cold (Walking) versus drenching rain and slush, as long as I have shoes good on treacherous ground.   When you get to work, and it was cold, at least your work clothes are still dry!  Sitting in damp office wear is really not that much fun.

I will echo the others, the dark is a much larger consideration than the cold.   The laughter was because of the hyperbolic description of -15F weather... -30F an colder, okay, but -15F?  BWAHAHAH


to feel safer walking the neighborhood, take a walk on weekends together, often.  Say Hi to people as you go, the more familiar it is, the safer it feels.

Eric222

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #19 on: November 12, 2015, 04:13:24 PM »
Walking or biking nearly a mile in an Indiana winter?  I think that's asking too much.  I remember January 2013 in which it was -15 F and I got in the car to drive across the street.  (Okay, we have a long driveway.  Still.)  That cold when you go outside and your nostrils immediately freeze closed, and no gloves you've ever owned stop your hands from getting cold, then going numb and starting to turn white at the ends of your fingers?

And this time of the year, she's going to be walking back after dark, am I right?  Walking back after dark in a sketchy neighborhood — stressful.

I vote for getting the car fixed and stopping bugging her about it.  Cut back somewhere else in your budget.  That's my vote.


As someone who grew up and (played outside often) in an area where it would hit -40 for most of January, I vote that you learn to dress appropriately for the weather so you don't have to use your car all the time.  :P
+1 on the people need to learn to dress for the weather and deal with it.

Then again, I grew up on the frozen tundra.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2015, 04:15:51 PM by Eric222 »

Making Cents

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #20 on: November 12, 2015, 04:23:54 PM »
I wonder, as a five-year-old, how happy you were to do that?  Would you like to be doing it now?  If you'd be great with doing it now, why aren't you?

Also, I wonder if the OP's wife would be doing this walk in snow boots, or in heels?  Does she have the long underwear, and would the long underwear be suitable for work?  Or would she have to change completely once she got to work?  Would she have to carry those extra clothes and shoes back and forth?  That sounds like considerable hassle, in addition to the cold and dark.  Many of us are fine with that extra hassle in pursuit of our goals.  But I'd bet fewer of us are fine with other people trying to decide for us that we'll endure the hassle.

I loved it.  The land was Hoth, and the adventure of trying to walk across the TOP of snow drifts was the thrill.   Plunging through icy crusts to the snow below up to my thighs when i failed was just part of the adventure.

As an adult, I walked to work in the DARK / RAIN (drenching) in BC winters for a year, and another year I biked through brown snow / slush in Calgary in the winter....   I much prefer snow and dry biting cold (Walking) versus drenching rain and slush, as long as I have shoes good on treacherous ground.   When you get to work, and it was cold, at least your work clothes are still dry!  Sitting in damp office wear is really not that much fun.

I will echo the others, the dark is a much larger consideration than the cold.   The laughter was because of the hyperbolic description of -15F weather... -30F an colder, okay, but -15F?  BWAHAHAH


to feel safer walking the neighborhood, take a walk on weekends together, often.  Say Hi to people as you go, the more familiar it is, the safer it feels.

Yeah, sorry to pile on here but this must be a generational thing.  I grew up in the 80s walking to/from school in Syracuse, NY. High school was a mile and a half from my home. There were kids all over the sidewalks doing the same thing - and yes, we absolutely were happy to do it. We would have been embarrassed to have mommy pick us up and chauffeur us - unthinkable! It was a fun part of our day together, even in temps well below freezing, which just led to snowball fights all the way home. My dad also walked to work in the same weather.

If I had complained about walking half a mile people would have thought I was nuts. It is all what you are used to. Granted, walking is no longer normal, so it isn't a social thing to be out in the neighborhood anymore. I think that is really sad.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2015, 04:26:58 PM by Making Cents »

Argyle

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #21 on: November 12, 2015, 04:31:48 PM »
"The tires are worn down (this caused her to have an accident where she slammed into a pole in bad snow), it needs new brake pads, and it uses premium fuel. Basically its a big money pit with the insurance on top of it. I see the costs for getting it fixed up for winter being close to what we would be able to sell it for."  Doesn't that sound like getting rid of the car or taking it out of commission?

I have to laugh at y'all thinking my reluctance to send the OP's wife out into -15 F weather is a generational wussiness.  I am older than all of you.  And I've walked my fair share in freezing Indiana winters.  Maybe if you're determined to save some money, it's worth it.  (Are you all still doing it?)  But I haven't heard the OP's wife say she's that motivated.  -15 in the dark (and remember those blizzards)?  Really, you all?  You'd really twist your unwilling wife's arm to do this, and call her a sissy if she expressed reluctance? 

Noodle

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #22 on: November 12, 2015, 06:02:00 PM »
Whatever your goals are, your wife does not consider them compelling enough to walk every day in the dark and cold, in a neighborhood where she doesn't feel safe, to save the money you need to put into her car. Continuing to argue with her is going to accomplish exactly nothing towards the happiness and success of your marriage. You can maybe try again in six months when the days are longer and the weather is nicer. But if she continues to say no, I would recommend that you respect her wishes. Honestly, the only thing that might get her to change her mind is to see you make a bigger sacrifice than you are asking of her. If nothing else, you can appreciate that she has a very short commute compared to many on these boards!

The Guru

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #23 on: November 12, 2015, 07:14:50 PM »
I just turned 60; my wife is 58, and we both bike commute on occasion. That said, I'm in the "don't push it" camp. By all means continue to encourage her to consider the option; but in the meantime get her a more reliable ride- used Honda Civic, that sort of thing. Final choice obviously should be hers, though you can certainly exercise your powers of persuasion to dissuade her from a  massive SUV or other clownmobile, if she's inclined in that direction. In any case, channel your Mustachian leanings in another direction; pushing her to do something she clearly doesn't want to will not end well.

Sailor Sam

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #24 on: November 12, 2015, 07:46:45 PM »
Self defense classes. Pepper spray is good, but it's a tool that can be taken from you. Fingers are harder to remove, and can hurt the human body in gut-shivering ways. Also feet.   

Women are taught that they are vulnerable, especially alone, outside, after dark. Many women accept this teaching, and never do anything to make it better. They limit their activities, hunch their shoulders against the cat-calls, and live in fear of certain juxtapositions. But why not learn to kick some righteous ass, instead. There's nothing like successfully gouging an attacker's eye out to make you feel safe.

So, even if your wife never finds the desire to walk to work; self defense class.

Cpa Cat

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #25 on: November 12, 2015, 07:49:37 PM »
If it were me, I would walk. Even in the cold. No problem.

But I don't think you're going to talk her into feeling safe. And imagine for a moment that you did somehow manage to pressure her into walking to work and something bad -did- happen to her. How does that impact your relationship?

I've been told before that women are often pressured to ignore their instincts and enter into situations that they feel are unsafe, often to their detriment. She may well be a giant weeny - but as her husband, you should respect that she feels unsafe walking to work.

FrozenAssets

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #26 on: November 12, 2015, 08:55:33 PM »
*Skip the first paragraph if you don't want to read our brief financial background*

I'm newly married, Indiana resident, 27, generally made smart financial decisions. I have no debtother than the 6k left on my 2014 Subaru Forester car payment and I'm considering selling it soon to buy a used Prius. I work 30 minutes away for a job with a lot of potential in the next two years and I carpool half that time.  I just bought a house well in our means and I have about 25k between a Roth and mutual funds. We paid for our own wedding 4 months ago. We've poured a lot of money into her student loan debt which is about 27k currently and we're looking at getting it paid off in two years.

My wife works just under a mile from our house. She owns her early 2000's Grand Am V6. The tires are worn down (this caused her to have an accident where she slammed into a pole in bad snow), it needs new brake pads, and it uses premium fuel. Basically its a big money pit with the insurance on top of it. I see the costs for getting it fixed up for winter being close to what we would be able to sell it for.

She has concerns about our area which is a somewhat gentrified street straddling some lower income rentals. Honestly in my assessment not a horrible area but a decent number of people walking around who are lower income. She has a decent bike and getting her to ride it in general has been a work in progress.

She has gone back and forth about being open to it but lately seems pretty firm in the "its not fair" "I don't feel safe" camp. She is mostly on board with my new Mustachian ways and thoughts but this has been a hang up for the last month and probably the biggest factor in getting us out of student loan debt and on to a good path.

Anyone else have any experience here with their spouse? I'm trying to be as comforting and encouraging as I can but this is the easiest, biggest, no brainer I can see in getting us debt free. She doesn't care about automobile fatality statistics for our area or charts showing violent crime or theft being rare occurrences. I'm trying not to be a classic analytical "let me fix it" dude here because that's not working. I've never had to be a woman in this world and be catcalled, harassed, or generally ever felt unsafe walking on a street.

Thanks everyone I look forward to your insight.

Would she be open to selling her car and buying something with lower insurance/fuel/other costs? 

Her perception is her reality, and if she doesn't feel comfortable/safe/excited/whatever about walking/biking to work, I wouldn't argue or try to talk her into it.  I don't see how her driving less than a mile to work each day in a paid for vehicle could be that large of a factor in the student loan debt repayment...?  Tires and brake pads are just general maintenance items, any vehicle will eventually need those replaced/serviced.  Take care of this car or get her a different, more reliable, cheaper car.  Don't push your new wife to do something she isn't comfortable doing.   

TheDudeReturns

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #27 on: November 12, 2015, 10:27:16 PM »
Penny wise, pound foolish; that is the MMM model :)

Damn, just let your wife drive...

...And think of a better way to make money rather than pissing her off.

moneyandmillennials

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #28 on: November 12, 2015, 11:01:53 PM »
I agree I asked a similar question about how do people avoid the weirdos when walking to work because I'm small.  Although people pepped me up by telling me to walk with confidence, learn self defense and pepper spray. I might start with once a week and see how it goes....

ultimately...
If she doesn't feel safe, stop pushing it. what happens if something does happen to her?
« Last Edit: November 12, 2015, 11:11:23 PM by moneyandmillennials »

Blany

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #29 on: November 13, 2015, 12:48:25 AM »
First; Read the sticky about getting your sig. other to get on board.

You can really only ask or suggest it once or twice.  Other wise you must lead by example. 

You need to bike to your job before you can get her to bike to hers.  Or at least bike with her to work daily and ride yourself home.  If you're un willing or unable to do that because you must commute to your job then you can't really ask it of her.

Lead by example, show her it can be done and hope she enjoys it.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #30 on: November 13, 2015, 04:07:17 AM »
Until you bike to work, you don't have a leg to stand on so STFU.

GuitarStv

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #31 on: November 13, 2015, 05:38:22 AM »
Until you bike to work, you don't have a leg to stand on so STFU.

Actually, this.  You biking to work would significantly save on wear and tear on your vehicle (as well as fuel) and show your wife what's possible.  Lead by example. . .

Eric222

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #32 on: November 13, 2015, 06:05:55 AM »
Until you bike to work, you don't have a leg to stand on so STFU.

Actually, this.  You biking to work would significantly save on wear and tear on your vehicle (as well as fuel) and show your wife what's possible.  Lead by example. . .

That's a good point that I hadn't thought about in OP's original post. 

Bry_Shive: Not to pile on, and to completely decouple this from the questions about your wife:
How long by distance is your commute?  My commute by bus was >30 minutes and my commute by car was at least 20.  Biking actually saves me time (20 minutes total).  I've also lost weight over the last month.  Seriously, biking to work the first week is difficult - but you slowly realize how awesome it is. 

Checkout the google maps bike directions function.  It isn't perfect, but it gives you routes to scout - both virtually and when driving to work by car.  If you have questions about winter biking equipment, there are lots of great people around here to ask.
A good recent thread talking about equipment is here: 
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/reader-recommendations/discuss-your-bike-bike-lights-tires-fenders-racks-and-panniers/
Also, there is a huge wealth of cycling advice around here - check my posting history, I'm constantly asking for advice. GuitarStv has a longer bike commute and has given me some sound advice!

And think of the potential savings!
30 minutes by car - let's guess that you are going 15 miles each way.
By IRS calculations that is about 30 miles *$0.50, which is $15 a day saved in car depreciation and fuel costs.
That's $75/week!

Over 10 years, that's $75*752 ~= $56,000. 
You could do this Bry_Shive!  And it would make you feel better!  And it would further your MMM-like aspirations!

And this post is one of my favorite:  http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/04/18/get-rich-with-bikes/
Also:  http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2014/09/30/electric-bikes-gateway-drug-to-bike-commuting/

undercover

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #33 on: November 13, 2015, 06:24:33 AM »
Short of creating an elaborate powerpoint highlighting the crime statistics of your neighborhood, the health benefits of walking/biking, and the money saved over time, there's not much else you can do. If the data isn't persuasive, nothing will be.

Plus, do you really want to be the dude that borderline forced your S.O. to do something she's uncomfortable with, only for her to end up hurt? Could you live with that? Not saying it's likely to happen, just saying.

It is definitely very hypocritical for you to be calling her out on this. She would spend less in transportation costs than you even if she came home from work 3 hours for a nap in a Hummer. So, in truth, it really doesn't matter what she does. The commute is so insignificant that it doesn't even matter...

While I admit the likelihood of something actually happening is probably still very low, I think a woman not wanting to walk in a questionable neighborhood (her perspective is all that matters) is perfectly justified.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2015, 06:33:32 AM by undercover »

Khaetra

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #34 on: November 13, 2015, 06:28:55 AM »
ultimately...
If she doesn't feel safe, stop pushing it. what happens if something does happen to her?

I used to ride my bike to work all the time.  I lived in a safe neighborhood and it was only two miles, plus I loved the view and didn't give it another thought.  One day something did happen and if there weren't other people around it could have been much worse.  Two men had been stalking me, watching my route (the only way I could go) and decided to make their move and tried to grab me and pull me off my bike and into their truck.  Other people came running to help me and the police did catch them, but after that I decided biking to work would never happen again as it wasn't worth my safety.

justajane

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #35 on: November 13, 2015, 06:49:09 AM »
ultimately...
If she doesn't feel safe, stop pushing it. what happens if something does happen to her?

I used to ride my bike to work all the time.  I lived in a safe neighborhood and it was only two miles, plus I loved the view and didn't give it another thought.  One day something did happen and if there weren't other people around it could have been much worse.  Two men had been stalking me, watching my route (the only way I could go) and decided to make their move and tried to grab me and pull me off my bike and into their truck.  Other people came running to help me and the police did catch them, but after that I decided biking to work would never happen again as it wasn't worth my safety.

How terrifying. I had a man follow me home from a 7-11 once. I was smart enough to realize before I got to my house that he was following me home (after creepingly addressing me in the line inside the 7-11), so I circled back around to the police station and pulled in. Of course, he drove off. But I had the car to protect me. I can't imagine how scared you must have been.

Gin1984

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #36 on: November 13, 2015, 06:54:19 AM »
I'd walk with her to work a few times to see if that makes her more comfortable. Unfamiliarity might be scarier than actual danger.

I'd also look into crime statistics for that area to see if her worries are reasonable or not. Sometimes logic wins.


If the walk is actually dangerous then is there a way to bike a longer distance that avoids the less safe parts of the commute? Even a mile out of the way should only take about 5 more minutes on a bike.

Also depending on your schedules, maybe you can figure out a way for her to share one car.
HAHHAHAHAHAHAHAH
The fact that you said these seriously is both funny and sad.

hops

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #37 on: November 13, 2015, 07:20:12 AM »
I'm not sure why anyone thinks statistics would change her mind, as I'd venture to guess most women (if they discuss such things with their friends) know more women than you'd imagine who've been assaulted in some way without ever reporting it to police. And while learning self-defense is a great idea for everyone, that also does not guarantee that OP's wife will feel any safer. There are much nobler frugal hills to die on than this, but as others have said, leading by example might eventually make her reconsider.

FLBiker

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #38 on: November 13, 2015, 07:48:22 AM »
Variety of responses here.  Put me in the "don't try to change her mind" pile.

My wife and I work at the same place.  I bike everyday, she bikes once in a blue moon.  Sometimes we bike together.  I don't push.  In my experience, trying to change other people is a fool's errand.

richyf

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #39 on: November 13, 2015, 07:49:32 AM »
The commute is short so the fuel savings would be low and if you replace the tyres and brakes, because of the short commute, they are gonna last for a good while.

Is getting rid of the car going to make such a massive difference to your finances?

If she is not comfortable walking, how about getting a taxi to and from work in the dark/winter months?... does this compare cost wise with keeping her car on the road all year round.

You could meet her half way and offer to let her have the car one week and you have it the next... can't you drop her off/pick her up on your commute.

Sailor Sam

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #40 on: November 13, 2015, 07:53:31 AM »
Women are taught that they are vulnerable, especially alone, outside, after dark. Many women accept this teaching, and never do anything to make it better. They limit their activities, hunch their shoulders against the cat-calls, and live in fear of certain juxtapositions. But why not learn to kick some righteous ass, instead. There's nothing like successfully gouging an attacker's eye out to make you feel safe.

Am I the only one who found this statement upsetting? The first two sentences, to me, read as saying (i) our fears are learned, not real and (ii) to any (debatable) extent our fears are real, we are partly to blame for not learning self defense. This comes very close to victim blaming for me, and I wanted to speak out against that. It's also ludicrously unrealistic to think that all women can just "learn to kick some righteous ass" and will thereby be able to "feel safe". Think about the possible physical differences between an aggressor and a victim, and remember that a very very common reaction in people who are being physically attacked is to literally freeze up out of fear - it's called tonic immobility and has been well documented e.g. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2015/06/23/why-many-rape-victims-dont-fight-or-yell/

Hey annajane83, I'm sorry if I didn't get the tone of my post quite right. Victim blaming was actually the complete opposite of what I was trying to post. I think self defense classes are very empowering, and I encourage them for all.

happypup

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #41 on: November 13, 2015, 07:54:55 AM »
At the very least I'd drop this until spring. I walk to work regularly, but now that it's getting dark so early, honestly I'm a little skittish about it.

It sounds like it might be worthwhile for you both to put some effort into getting to know your neighborhood better. I know my own walk, which takes me through a mostly good but sometimes iffy area, got more comfortable as I started to recognize the people who are usually around and got on smiling / nodding / waving terms with them. Plus if your area has a presence on NextDoor or a facebook page or something, that can be a good way to get to know people in your immediate areas as well as any issues or concerns. (The facebook for my neighborhood is like 90% "I found a cat, is it yours" but the other 10% can be informative.) This may or may not help your wife get comfortable enough to walk to work -- in fact, she may be even more convinced not to walk if there really are some unpleasant characters around -- but I do think it's a good thing to try to eliminate the 'unknown' factor.

GuitarStv

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #42 on: November 13, 2015, 08:19:08 AM »
Women are taught that they are vulnerable, especially alone, outside, after dark. Many women accept this teaching, and never do anything to make it better. They limit their activities, hunch their shoulders against the cat-calls, and live in fear of certain juxtapositions. But why not learn to kick some righteous ass, instead. There's nothing like successfully gouging an attacker's eye out to make you feel safe.

Am I the only one who found this statement upsetting? The first two sentences, to me, read as saying (i) our fears are learned, not real and (ii) to any (debatable) extent our fears are real, we are partly to blame for not learning self defense. This comes very close to victim blaming for me, and I wanted to speak out against that. It's also ludicrously unrealistic to think that all women can just "learn to kick some righteous ass" and will thereby be able to "feel safe". Think about the possible physical differences between an aggressor and a victim, and remember that a very very common reaction in people who are being physically attacked is to literally freeze up out of fear - it's called tonic immobility and has been well documented e.g. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2015/06/23/why-many-rape-victims-dont-fight-or-yell/

Hey annajane83, I'm sorry if I didn't get the tone of my post quite right. Victim blaming was actually the complete opposite of what I was trying to post. I think self defense classes are very empowering, and I encourage them for all.

I'm kinda of split mind on this one.  I've spent many years fighting . . . boxing, kickboxing, judo, jiu-jitsu, etc.  Martial arts are great, a lot of fun, get you into excellent shape, and can help you to control a dangerous situation.  That said, one thing that I've learned is that pure size and strength matter in a fight.  A lot.

Your average woman is smaller than a man.  Women are objectively weaker when it comes to absolute strength.  You combine this with the element of surprise (only the attacker really knows when an attack is coming), and you have a bad situation.  Martial arts training can help . . . but put a two hundred pound guy in the ring with a one hundred pound guy, and regardless of the skill that the little guy has it only takes one lucky punch to put him down hard.

Couple that with some very ineffective classes that I've seen sold to women as 'self defense', and I'm a little concerned that someone might get an inflated sense of empowerment that leads to poor safety decision making.

Jack

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #43 on: November 13, 2015, 08:23:30 AM »
It sounds like it might be worthwhile for you both to put some effort into getting to know your neighborhood better.

This! I mean, if this commute is really under a mile, then the people wandering around are your neighbors. This should be no bigger a deal than walking your damn dog! And if it is a big deal -- if the people are too sketchy to even walk past -- then WTF are you doing living there in the first place?!

(Also, if the area really is borderline, then biking beats walking since you can easily outrun them. And if you ride something like a lightweight fixie you can pick it up and whack somebody with it, if it came to that.)

Bry_Shive

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #44 on: November 13, 2015, 08:31:25 AM »
As a new Mustachian and new forum user I'm impressed with the volume of insight. I appreciate it all and I am happy to clarify a couple things that I did not do a good job of in the first post. I commute 30 minutes away, plus or minus 2 minutes going under the speed limit, to my office which is 30 miles away. Google Maps estimates it would take 3 hours and 8 minutes to bike. I work in sales for a builder headquartered in a (to me) very rural area in one of the windiest areas of Indiana. We have very large wind farms all around if that gives you any idea. :)

I would be perfectly willing to bike to work if I could make the trip in an hour either way but I can't see leaving at 4:30 am and getting back at 8:30 pm to be a sustainable means to get to work. I would also be perfectly willing to drop her off but that would mean me doing that a full hour minimum before she would need to be there at 8:30 and me barely getting to work on time. I get there at least 15-30 minutes to be professional. I'm also starting to leave later and later as I learn the job and my commitments increase to where I'm leaving between 5:15-6. I may get a company car in two years time if I get my own territory and get out of the office. Then yes I would be perfectly willing to let her drive whatever vehicle we have while I use the other car strictly for work.

I would carpool more/only but I can see it getting tricky with the coworkers in my city when I'm on the phone with a customer at 5:30 and they want to get back home to their commitments and families.

When we were discussing walking/biking as an option gear was brought up. I have tons of thermal underwear and socks from my Army days never worn, I have snow pants that would fit her, a friend gave her a nice full length winter coat, and we bought nice gloves and a thick scarf. The only thing left is some good boots and she's golden there.

Her mom expressed that she would be willing to pick her up on bad weather days and our next door neighbor (who works a block away from my wife's office) also said she would be willing to drop her off sometimes. My wife typically feels very guilty for people doing favors for her though.

I have read the post about getting your significant other to get on the Mustache lifestyle a couple times since I first found this blog a month and a half ago.

I love my wife very much and I want her to feel safe while not dismiss her feelings. That's why I stated that while I feel it is safe my perception is different as a dude who's never felt unsafe walking down a street. I haven't been pulling a "things will be this way" just discussing the possibility of it and the benefits. In the larger scheme we're planning on having kids in 2-3 years after we pay the student loan debt down and not having her work so this plays into that.

I don't mean to paint her in a certain light she's a very loving, intelligent, and sensitive person. But my wife is the type to think worst case scenario and be a general worrier about all manner of things. I'm learning how to be encouraging but not feed her fears there. We have walked downtown maybe a dozen times and biked maybe 15 times without any, again to me, incidents or anything suspicious. It's half a mile till you get to the businesses, law offices, and coffee shops which is not a bad area at all.

I have considered selling my well maintained two and a half year old car and using that to buy a used Prius or other vehicle and possibly one for her. The question is not if we would get a car for her but more when i.e. when we see where our future goes with kids in about two years time. Or see if this situation with a company car materializes at all.

I think I will just get us out to her office area more to walk and bike every week and see if that encourages her. Maybe look into getting a headlight/tail light, better reflectors or something for her bike and research a different car. I appreciate the advice there.

Anyway thanks for the insight everyone and the timely responses. Your experiences and advice give me some good things to think on.



« Last Edit: November 13, 2015, 08:53:53 AM by Bry_Shive »

norabird

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #45 on: November 13, 2015, 08:40:00 AM »
Re: the last comment--in baltimore, a friend's husband was beaten up and had his bike stolen while he was bike commuting. He was jumped on the street while riding and the bike did not help him to get away.

Now, I live in NYC and I walk all over, at all hours, in all kinds of neighborhoods, so I don't think being a woman and walking in the dark in sketchy areas is a huge deal (my own neighborhood has a big gang issue, which mostly shouldn't impact me, but could if things went awry). But I have a decade of being used to an urban area behind me, so my assumptions about what is safe are going to be different from someone else's. Sure, it's worth getting to know the area better together, but there have also been places in NYC where I occasionally skipped walking (even if it meant waiting a long time for a local train), just because sometimes safe is better than sorry. It's a very personal calculus and not one you should force.

Anyway, you seem to be coming at this right, in that you're thinking of ride options, other car options, and taking things slow.

skeeder

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #46 on: November 13, 2015, 09:59:57 AM »
Two items are colliding.

Safety and Commuting.

Commuting appears to be relatively awesomely handled.  The only item getting in the way appears to be safety.

The car doesn't appear to be much safer to drive than to walk at this point.  How analytical is she?  Odds are chances of an accident and her being harmed that way are much greater than driving a car with slick tires and bad brakes.  You could make an argument, you want to get ride of the car because it is no longer safe for her to drive.  If parts are prone to fail, it could leave her stranded in the bad area.

Safety for the commute can be tackled a few ways, avoidance (literally going AROUND the bad area) it can take longer but it could be safer.  Or defense.  I'm a little more conservative in my rights.  I'd ask her what she would want to do.  Self-Defense training?  Registered Handgun?  Is there something else that would make her feel safe?  Just some questions to ask.

2ndTimer

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #47 on: November 13, 2015, 10:00:51 AM »
I just turned 60; my wife is 58, and we both bike commute on occasion. That said, I'm in the "don't push it" camp. By all means continue to encourage her to consider the option; but in the meantime get her a more reliable ride- used Honda Civic, that sort of thing. Final choice obviously should be hers, though you can certainly exercise your powers of persuasion to dissuade her from a  massive SUV or other clownmobile, if she's inclined in that direction. In any case, channel your Mustachian leanings in another direction; pushing her to do something she clearly doesn't want to will not end well.

I agree with the above and I speak as a female who did walk through a sketchy part of Chicago all winter to get to work.  The crucial part was that it was MY goal to save money not one imposed by my spouse.

partgypsy

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #48 on: November 13, 2015, 10:20:18 AM »
My first impression, a mile! She can run that in 8 minutes! But I also want to say, I'm glad you brought it up as an option, but it should be her choice. I'm a walker. It has been the main form of my transportation for decades. I have taken a self-defense course. I walk to and from work most day (around 2 miles). The downtown area can still be a little sketchy (people asking for money, also solicitations of other kinds). The neighborhood is quiet and nice but not very well lit (it is dark at night). There was one time I cut across streets to more visible area because it seemed a man was following me, and I know people have been mugged in that area. So I don't know what to say. I love walking, but I do wonder if my number will come up someday. It can also suck if you show up to work sweaty, or home the same way or soaked because your raincoat failed (happened recently). You have to decide whether to wear sneakers, and carry a pair of shoes with you in addition to your crap, or wear out your nicer work shoes faster, or if really hot a change of clothes. In addition to walking talk to her about other ways to make her commute workable (different car, moped etc).   

seemsright

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Re: Trying to Convince Wife to Walk/Bike to Work
« Reply #49 on: November 13, 2015, 01:39:37 PM »
Women are taught that they are vulnerable, especially alone, outside, after dark. Many women accept this teaching, and never do anything to make it better. They limit their activities, hunch their shoulders against the cat-calls, and live in fear of certain juxtapositions. But why not learn to kick some righteous ass, instead. There's nothing like successfully gouging an attacker's eye out to make you feel safe.

Am I the only one who found this statement upsetting? The first two sentences, to me, read as saying (i) our fears are learned, not real and (ii) to any (debatable) extent our fears are real, we are partly to blame for not learning self defense. This comes very close to victim blaming for me, and I wanted to speak out against that. It's also ludicrously unrealistic to think that all women can just "learn to kick some righteous ass" and will thereby be able to "feel safe". Think about the possible physical differences between an aggressor and a victim, and remember that a very very common reaction in people who are being physically attacked is to literally freeze up out of fear - it's called tonic immobility and has been well documented e.g. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2015/06/23/why-many-rape-victims-dont-fight-or-yell/

Hey annajane83, I'm sorry if I didn't get the tone of my post quite right. Victim blaming was actually the complete opposite of what I was trying to post. I think self defense classes are very empowering, and I encourage them for all.

I'm kinda of split mind on this one.  I've spent many years fighting . . . boxing, kickboxing, judo, jiu-jitsu, etc.  Martial arts are great, a lot of fun, get you into excellent shape, and can help you to control a dangerous situation.  That said, one thing that I've learned is that pure size and strength matter in a fight.  A lot.

Your average woman is smaller than a man.  Women are objectively weaker when it comes to absolute strength.  You combine this with the element of surprise (only the attacker really knows when an attack is coming), and you have a bad situation.  Martial arts training can help . . . but put a two hundred pound guy in the ring with a one hundred pound guy, and regardless of the skill that the little guy has it only takes one lucky punch to put him down hard.

Couple that with some very ineffective classes that I've seen sold to women as 'self defense', and I'm a little concerned that someone might get an inflated sense of empowerment that leads to poor safety decision making.

I just earned Black in American Kenpo.

I am a woman.

I agree with this 100%

I can take out men that are twice my size, but they would not have a knee that worked real well afterward. Or they would lose a eyeball. There is a ton a woman could do in a situation. But they have to be confident enough to take out a knee or a eyeball (neither are hard BTW) and if they are not...the likeliness of hitting the guy right wont happen.

Side note sparing those MMA young 20 something guys is way too much fun. Sparing their ego (and winning when the guy is 3x my size) is the most entertaining thing I have ever done. Considering I am female, mid 30's and look like I have no idea what I am doing.