Now that I'm single again, I've been out on a few dates. There are the usual venues: bars, restaurants, etc. But one date sticks out in my mind, because a) It was at six am, and b) It was on a bike. Here's the story: I reconnected with a guy who had asked me to go cycling with him before, and when he said he usually goes out on the weekends or six am, I decided to go bold and opt for an early-morning workout. The next day. Hey! Don't judge. I'm really excited to be on the market again. No playing hard-to-get here. So at six in the morning last Tuesday, I hoisted my turquoise Bianchi city bike on my shoulders and climbed down three flights of stairs from my new studio to the street. I wanted to impress without being over the top, so I wore an orange Stella McCartney Adidas top from Goodwill, an old pair of bike shorts, and a pair of Chucks from Salvation Army. I had debated wearing a helmet, and then decided against it. Safety vs. Cuteness: Cuteness wins. My date finally showed up (sans helmet also) and after a quick hug, he shoved off down the street with me following behind. We started up Third Avenue, but traffic was already crazy, so he led me over to First Avenue instead. We wove in and out of the bike lane, avoiding cones and trucks making deliveries. The sun rising over the East River was beautiful, burnt orange through the smog. We talked some, but it was a bit awkward because we would often have to repeat ourselves over the roar of a bus or just the sound of the wind in our ears. He also found plenty of opportunities to make fun of me and my naive bike ways, as I cut him off and nearly caused him to crash. Oops! We cut across town and entered Central Park, making a half loop. I dragged behind my date, since he was on a speedy racing bike. My bike only has three gears, so it will only go so fast. "It's a recreational bike!" I told him. "What the heck is a recreational bike?" he said. I just shrugged and pedaled harder. By the time we finished our loop, I was sweating and panting, and could hardly talk. But I felt awesome. This was why I had chosen a six am cycling date. I wanted to feel productive, healthy and adventurous. The guy was secondary. I'm not tipping my hand on my thoughts on the guy (who knows if he's reading this?). But I will update you if and when there's a second date!
The Pros and Cons of a Bike DateI enjoyed my bike date, with some caveats. Here's what to know:
- Pro: You're date will respect you for not being a diva.
- Con: You are not allowed to wear a lot of makeup. It will melt.
- Pro: Show off your butt in a pair of tight shorts.
- Con: Helmet head if you don't feel safe without your helmet.
- Pro: Exercise!
- Con: Sweat.
- Pro: Novelty.
- Con: Not everyone has a bike in New York City. (Though they are available for rent.)
- Pro: No pressure for eye contact. Potential for awkward moments minimized.
- Con: Shouting to be heard, not much chance for meaningful conversation.
- Pro: If done early in the day, no expectation of a "nightcap."
- Con: Involve alcohol at your peril.
- Pro: Avoid that moment when you're date tries to hail a cab and you have to explain that cabs are kind of un-environmentally friendly, and would he like to take the subway or walk for a half hour to your destination?
- Con: Limits your choices later at night, since you have to either ride your bike home late or take the chance of locking it up out on the street.