I don’t often write about my personal life but I thought some of my recent observations might be interesting. The bike date is a common sight here in Portland; especially since the weather has gotten so nice. What could be more wonderful than riding along with someone at a cadence that suggests you have not a care in the world. The sight of a bike date has always made me smile and I always loved going with my sweetheart up the Springwater or out for dinner and a beer.
I had grown so used to riding with my former sweetheart that I forgot how awkward a bike date can be. Spending years riding with the same person often even in the same gear like riding a tandem thats been cut in half. Riding with new people is fun but sometimes trying on the nerves.
The trick with a bike date is taking it easy. Take side street and spend lots of time side by side. If your riding with someone new you also want to make sure your communicate which way your turning and other simple things like that. Your getting to know each other. Unless otherwise stated a bike date is not a race this it is completely unacceptable to “drop” (leave them in the dust) your date.
With the basics out of the way I wanted to mention one of my recent experiences:
I am pretty much a daily rider. I ride to the store, to school, to work and just about anywhere else for business or pleasure. I am pretty open about that, when I meet people bikes usually comes up in the conversation.
I met a nice young man at a house show and we exchanged phone numbers. He called me later and asked me out on the classic bike adventure date. Ride somewhere you’ve never been together and see what happens on the way. He met me near my house and when and we headed to Fubonn riding up Clinton Street. It turns out his bike was in serious disrepair. His front tire pressure was so low he was nearly on the rim and he only had 2 working gears on his 10 speed. This was fine but as soon as I realized this all I wanted to do way go home and fix his bike since he was struggling needlessly. He didn’t want to take me up on my offer so we continued on. His communication skills where poor often taking a turn without warning (a couple times across busy streets) and we would become separated while I waited for cars. I knew he didn’t ride very often but his lack of consideration was a turn-off. So weather true or not I have decided that the way people ride on a bike date is a symbol of their general attitude. If a man is kind and considerate on a bike date he is most likely that way the rest of the time. If he is brash, stubborn and ill prepare he is most likely this way off a bike.
Food for thought during your next bike date.