Friday, January 7, 2011
Chainlinkers' tips for finding love in the bike lane
by John Greenfield
[This piece also runs in momentum magazine, www.momentumplanet.com. Thanks to cyclists from thechainlink.org, a Chicago online bike community for sharing their bike dating ideas.]
There’s something very romantic about winter biking: the snug feeling of being warmed from within as you pedal; that “winter spirit” camaraderie of hanging out with other cyclists; and the hushed beauty of back streets after a snowfall. It’s an especially nice time to meet someone special to share pedal-powered adventures and coziness afterwards, but these two-wheeled dating tips work any time of year.
If you’re going through a dry spell, check listings for bike events in your area and show up for lots of them. Conversation-paced rides like Critical Mass, neighborhood tours and bar crawls are particularly good for meeting like-minded people. I’ve witnessed several love connections being made on the Tour de Tiki rides I lead, pedaling to Polynesian-themed pubs (although not on the ride pictured below).
While on these events, be sure to chat with members of your target dating demographic. If you hit it off with someone, wait until the end and discreetly ask if they'd like to get coffee or a drink afterwards, or go for a bike ride in the future. If it's the latter, exchange numbers.
Preparation and patience are key for an enjoyable bike date, especially if the other person is a newbie cyclist. Bring along flat-fix stuff, snacks and an extra raincoat for your companion, just in case. Figure out a quiet side street route to the restaurant, theater or club in advance so you’ll be able to have relaxed conversation while you ride. Let the slower person lead, and discuss stoplight preferences in advance so you your date won’t be scowling after you blow a red.
If all goes well, you might get to kiss your companion goodnight after escorting him or her home. Smooching while both partners are straddling their bicycles in the moonlight can be oddly romantic, but necking in balaclavas is not recommended.
A few more ideas to get the wheels of love spinning:
· Keep an eye out for stickers and spoke cards on bikes and use those at conversation starters.
· A great winter bike date (and SAD [Seasonal Affective Disorder]-buster): pedaling to your local tropical plant conservatory.
· Make laminated calling cards that double as spoke cards and offer them to bicyclists you’d like to know better.
· If you meet a transit rider for a date and want continue on to another venue together, bring your bike along on the bus or train, or put it in a cab’s trunk.
· Working at a bike shop is a great way to meet (but not hit on!) cute cyclists.