Home
Oh really? says every cyclist and their significant other, ever

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.

24 comments

Avatar
AyBee [85 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Riding with your date is crap when they can't keep up  3

Avatar
Skidz [6 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Not a good idea to show them your helmet immediately too.  13

Avatar
bikebot [1817 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

They missed another advantage.

You'll be able to borrow his car a lot.

Avatar
srchar [152 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

A direct quote from my girlfriend: "I can't remember the last time I saw you in normal clothes. You're always either naked or in cycling gear."

Avatar
farrell [1950 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

The first time you get spotted in just your bib shorts - That's not awkward, oh no.

Avatar
notfastenough [3673 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

The first time my wife saw a pair of bibshorts, she uttered two words: "Borat. Mankini."

My mate's missus walked in on him getting ready for a ride, to see him in bibshorts, a HRM chest-strap, and a pair of armwarmers. For a minute she thought he was Liza Minelli.

"Do you really need to go for a ride today? I thought we could go to Ikea/paint that room/drive somewhere nice for the day/watch some nonsense on TV."
"Yes, I really do."

Avatar
farrell [1950 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
notfastenough wrote:

My mate's missus walked in on him getting ready for a ride, to see him in bibshorts, a HRM chest-strap, and a pair of armwarmers. For a minute she thought he was Liza Minelli.

Ace.

That's one of the things that makes me laugh about cycling, all the hard man imagery, tough talk of muscles suffering against brutal weather conditions, boasts of ever skyward inclines and the constant references to "MTFU". Yet, despite all this, there's always going to be that point before or after a ride where someone could walk in on you looking like a Right Said Fred tribute act.

Avatar
WolfieSmith [1317 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Interesting interview with Fern Brittain in Waitrose magazine this week. I realise how achingly middle class that sounds but bare with me. Fern urges more women to cycle as it gives you 'a firm bum'. It's the best incentive I've heard to get more women on bikes.

As my wife rarely has a pot if tea brewing when I get home she might as well come out with me....

Avatar
cisgil23 [55 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Aybee wrote -
"Riding with your date is crap when they can't keep up".
It's also crap (AND embarassing) when I can't keep up with her !

Avatar
portec [116 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

After years of honing bike-maintenance skills, your date will be up for fixing things around the house, too.

After coming home from a long ride, your date will shower, eat, park himself on the sofa, and watch some bike race on TV until he falls asleep.

There, fixed that for you.  1

Avatar
MNgraveur [66 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Really, there's nothing that turns a woman on so much as discussing leg shaving and weight loss with her guy.

Avatar
The Acai [12 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

“Cyclists are handy,” says eHarmony. “After years of honing bike-maintenance skills, your date will be up for fixing things around the house, too.”

I was cleaning my bike and didn't know the gf was watching til she piped up with "That's three times you've cleaned that chain!" I've had a loose tile on my roof for two years  4

Avatar
movingtarget [144 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Or trying to explain to your mother-in-law why that large tub of "face cream" is not really meant for moisturizing ...

Avatar
Tjuice [183 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
farrell wrote:

The first time you get spotted in just your bib shorts - That's not awkward, oh no.

And just wait for the first time you're caught applying the chamois cream just before climbing into those bib shorts...

Avatar
notfastenough [3673 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
Tjuice wrote:
farrell wrote:

The first time you get spotted in just your bib shorts - That's not awkward, oh no.

And just wait for the first time you're caught applying the chamois cream just before climbing into those bib shorts...

I was nearly caught doing just that while wearing only armwarmers and kneewarmers. Now if that doesn't look deviant I don't know what does...  21

Avatar
notfastenough [3673 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

//3.bp.blogspot.com/_Zhg_lxt3lTw/SgTOkaL7wRI/AAAAAAAAAaU/0sk29ORVhMY/s400/Garbage.gif)

Avatar
Belaroo [44 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I can vouch for that, I met my husband through Matchmaker.com back in 2002, both of us had put that we were members of the LCC, then simultaneously we emailed each other saying "i see you are a member of LCC" and it took a moment for us both to realise we had sent each other the same email at the same time.
We both cycled everywhere in London, I was working at Bikefix at the time - so me, the girl was the more bikey one. He came to one of the Spin classes I taught at the YMCA and almost died of exhaustion.
We've been married since 2005 and earlier this month rode the 10 miles from Ely to Reach Fair and back with our two sons, the eldest, who is 7 was racing me back and winning as I had his 5 year old brother on the back of my bike.
We are moving to NL in the Summer and I can't wait to get my eldest his first road bike.

Avatar
racyrich [243 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
MercuryOne wrote:

Interesting interview with Fern Brittain in Waitrose magazine this week. I realise how achingly middle class that sounds but bare with me. Fern urges more women to cycle as it gives you 'a firm bum'. It's the best incentive I've heard to get more women on bikes.

As my wife rarely has a pot if tea brewing when I get home she might as well come out with me....

Bare with you? I know it's a dating article, but that's very forward of you.

Avatar
Him Up North [235 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Mmmm... Sorry, girls, he's married

Avatar
abudhabiChris [692 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

We were married before I got seriously into cycling but my wife has firmly stomped on my fond hopes about the allure of cycling.

The decisive blow was a few years ago when I was in the shower and she was out in the bedroom.

It was an en suite, the door was open and I could see her looking at me in the shower.

But it wasn't a passing glance. She was gazing at me intently, and definitely looking below the waist, as I started to imagine what intent she might have.

Sure enough she started to walk over into the bathroom and by this time I was well on the way to being ready and willing.

As I waited eagerly for any suggestions she said "Your tan lines look utterly ridiculous."

Couldn't have been more effective if she'd just turned the cold tap on.

Avatar
levermonkey [659 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I have found over the years that the best way to keep a relationship going is to have no interests in common at all.
Hell, even when it comes to holidays we go separate ways.

And never, never, never ever try to convert a loved one to your interests.
1) They may prove to be better at it than you.
2) In the same way that you lent them your best jumper 3 years ago because they were cold and now it's buried in the depths of their wardrobe. You "gave it to them!". You "don't wear it anymore!" (Not that you've seen it since they 'borrowed it'). You will find all your best bits of kit migrating, your tools will disappear mysteriously and all the cleaning products will be down to the dregs because 'you' need to get some more.

The wife has just read this over my shoulder, 'Harrumphed!' and stormed out of the room. Judging from the banging about upstairs I'm either getting my best jumper back or she's off to her mother's.  21

Avatar
mikroos [257 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
AyBee wrote:

Riding with your date is crap when they can't keep up  3

It's even worse when YOU can't keep up  3

Avatar
matthewn5 [748 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

The mankini thing is the worst. To the extent that I won't put the straps on until the last moment before putting on the jersey. In private, in the bathroom. The one time she saw them in full she fell about laughing fit to burst.

On the other hand, she loves the bike (celeste green won her over) and seems curiously fascinated by bum butter. Says appreciative things when I show her a new widget/tiny improvement. Looks in awe when I show her my (crap) Strava times. Admires new jerseys. Is thrilled by the leg muscles and slimmer waist.

As for cycling together, we occasionally go out for a tootle around London on the weekend. A couple of times she encouraged me to go out riding with her seriously toned female friend. She was miles faster than me.. I think she was trying to hint at 'out of your league buddy'  3

All pretty positive actually. But we have been together a long time!

Avatar
ragtag [207 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

"No, no, no, they are leg warmers!"