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.
John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc founder Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.