Ride lots? Think your toned calves, Lycra shorts, obsession with grams and ability to adjust a derailleur make you sexy? No, us neither, but the experts at eHarmony beg to differ: cyclists make great dates, they say.
In a recent posting, the match-making site listed 15 Reasons to Date a Cyclist, only to have them thoroughly debunked in a comment by cyclist Andrew Stackhouse.
Number one on the list is indeed shorts. The site says: “Two words: bicycle shorts.”
Stackhouse certainly isn’t convinced. He responded: “No woman, ever, ever, evereverever, has looked at a dude's sweaty bulge, semi-transparent crack covering, or dawn-over-the-sahara tan lines and said, ‘THAT looks like dating material.’ “
The barely suppressed fits of giggles from my girlfriend when I pull on bib shorts support his opinion.
We may look silly, but at least we know how to fix things, right?
“Cyclists are handy,” says eHarmony. “After years of honing bike-maintenance skills, your date will be up for fixing things around the house, too.”
Before every bike shop in the land chimes in with tales of mile-eating riders who can’t so much as fix a puncture, Stackhouse says his wife dictated a simple response: “HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA”. He’s not exactly Tim the Tool Man then.
But surely eHarmony has a point when it says we cyclists are hard-working and dedicated when it comes to our training? “No lazy bums here, just toned ones,” it says. “Cyclists are disciplined, often rigorously so, and will withstand the elements to get their rides in.”
Yes, and no, says Stackhouse: “Like Great Danes, cyclists look hard working, but pretty much spend all their non-cycling time eating and sleeping. Unlike Great Danes, they whine. A lot.”
It’s said that great relationships are based on having things you can do together. (No, not that. Well, not just that.) Surely going cycling together qualifies?
EHarmony thinks so. The list includes: “You can start cycling, too! Your date will be thrilled to share his/her enthusiasm for the sport. In fact, the whole family can join in, should the two of you eventually procreate.”
Not so fast, says Stackhouse. “Your date will be thrilled to share his enthusiasm for all things cycling related: bicycles, bicycle parts, bicycle riders, bicycles races, bicycles, bicycles, BICYCLES!
“If you mistakenly try to actually ride a bike with your date, it will either be on a "recovery day" when, despite the pace and distance being roughly double what you agreed to, he will whine about his training, or during the "off season" which will be even longer, faster rides that take place while it is snowing out.”
But surely our green credentials are impeccable? “Love the planet?” says eHarmony. “Cycling is as green as it gets.”
Well, yes, says Stackhouse: “Your date, like a hemp-wearing vegan Prius driver, will never, ever, let you forget how green he is. Ever.”
So who’s right? Let’s have your dating tales — and the thoughts of your significant others on your bizarre bike-related habits and obsessions — in the comments.
Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.
Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.
Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.
The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.