Look Mum No Hands! recently teamed up with Cycle Speed Dating to hold a ‘Date & Ride’ event. Single cyclists mounted their bikes and rode around landmarks of London while changing partner every few minutes. The group ended the day by getting a cold beer at the bar after the ride, and getting to know each other better. Sounds straight forward and kinda fun, right? And even if you don’t bag a date at the end of it all, at least you get to take a leisurely ride around London and meet nice people en route.
These collaborative events have taken place since 2013 for different ages and orientations. ‘We want to offer a relaxed way to meet new people, offline (for people who are sick of swiping) – and want to contribute to a positive cycling culture in London,’ says Margriet Schuring from CSD. ‘We know about quite a few “success stories”. Having the love for bicycles/cycling in common is a great start for a date and speaking from my own experience, it just doesn’t work when your partner wants to take the bus and you just want to ride your bike everywhere!’
So we know where to meet fellow cyclists looking for love, but what is it that we need to consider when finding a new partner?
Love for Lycra
Not everyone shares your passion for Lycra. They might even think it’s a bit…well, weird. You need to find someone who doesn’t mind tripping over mountains of smelly Lycra shorts waiting to be washed in the hallway. Or, you’ll need to get your act together and actually start washing it and pushing it away in an orderly fashion. You can do it!
Tandem trips for two
Oh, how wonderful it would be to live in an Instagram-filtered montage of riding through fields and winding cobbled streets on a tandem made for two with Barry Manilow softly playing in the background. (Or another, much more relevant singer/songwriter.) Romantic bike rides are dreamy. Just ignore the fact that helmets are the surest way of making even someone as flawless as Beyonce look like the unsexiest human being on the planet.
Training for a cycling event calls for early starts, strict schedules and picky diets. This doesn’t make for the most exciting Tinder bio, but it’s important to be honest I suppose. If you’re happy to leave a lovely person slumber in your nice warm bed while you battle the elements outside – then go for it! Otherwise, find an early bird.
Playing third wheel (literally)
It’s going to take someone pretty darn special to usurp your bike’s pride of place in your life. Can your new significant other compete with the fine frame, firm tyres and oiled up chains? Sometimes, the bike’s just gotta come first and they have to know this from the start.
‘Babe, shall we go out to Nando’s for dinner tonight?’
‘No, I just spent half a month’s wage on new tyres.’
*Door slams and s/he’s never to be seen again*
Avoid this situation by dating someone who prefers a cheap night of Netflix and chill to fine dining and dancing. Although it is important to spend money on spouses as well as bikes, even if it’s just a little teeny-tiny bit.
Cycling cafes are fast becoming the hipster hangout du jour. But we all secretly fancy hipsters, right? The atmosphere in these cafes is friendly, fun and totally positive about cycling. Chances are, anyone you meet who hangs out in one of these hip haunts will have a similar love of all things bikes. They’re probably, like, uber cool too. Maybe even cooler than you to be honest.
‘I’ll pick you up at 8…on my bike’
There are some cyclists in the world who are very nice, good, decent people, but sometimes they prefer driving a car or taking public transport to cycling. Especially on date nights. They at least might prefer to take a romantic trip on the 78 bus or Jubilee line after a night of bad pizza and cheap beer. Compromise is key here, unless the thought of boarding a London bus brings you out in a rash.
The next Cycle Speed Dating event takes place at Look Mum No Hands! on the 26th September.
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.