Reader Guest Blog: First-date bike mayhem
I went on a first date last week.
He called and suggested that we bike to this funky little restaurant.
Biking. I am new to bike riding. I mean, I have a bike, a new one that I really love with a basket and a bell and this little computer thing that tells me how far I’ve gone, but for right now I can only figure out how to get it to tell the time. I was very clear about my novice bike riding and I told him this. Several times. However, I said that I would bike with him provided we take the easiest route. I mean, c’mon, I didn’t want to be the sedentary girl.
The thing is, at the moment, I have a bit of a rocky relationship with hills. The hills are there, no denying this, however, I can’t seem to get up them. I try, but am rarely successful. Rarely. When I do, it is with much heavy breathing, excessive sweating and all the symptoms of an imminent heart attack.
Despite my misgivings I had agreed, however, I was nothing if not clear about my skills, or lack there of.
This was a first date though, and I wanted to look cute. I didn’t want to look ‘athletic’, because this would be a complete misrepresentation of myself, but I needed something that I could bike in that wouldn’t make my ass look fat. So I wore yoga capri pants and a t-shirt. He showed up dressed in I-Am-Ready-For-The-Tour-De-France gear. I was clearly out of my league.
We started biking towards the restaurant. There were some hills, but I made it up them… with extreme effort. Thankfully there was zero conversation at this point, as there was absolutely no way that I could have formed words or sentences as I was concentrating on not breathing loudly.
We arrived at the restaurant, and he did this fancy dismount thing. I know, and when I say I know, I KNOW, that for me attempting this would end up with me in a heap on the ground. So I stopped my bike and climbed off of it, similar to the action someone getting in and out of a hammock. I am nothing if not graceful.
We locked up our bikes. Or I should say, he locked up his bike. I attempted to lock up my bike, but my lock wouldn’t lock. It has worked every single time, however, when I least need to look like an idiot it acts up.
I removed my helmet and suspected that the less than stellar haircut I had received earlier in the day had not been improved upon by helmet head. I didn’t want to seem high maintenance, so I casually excused myself to the restroom, where much to my surprise my short pixie cut hadn’t done too badly, however there was a red band from my helmet running the width of my forehead. I applied some lipgloss and hoped that the shine from my lips would distract him from the hair and what I hoped would not be a permanent red indent in my forehead.
We had great conversation, good beer and good food. He had some sort of meat sandwich and I had the edamame.
By now it was dark and after we had paid our bill it was clearly time to head towards home. We unlocked our bikes, fortunately mine unlocked because I’m not sure I could've balanced the whole way home on his handelbars. We biked besides one another, chatting, obviously the road was flat at this point. And then, there it was. Before me. Looming. The Biggest Hill Ever. My own personal Gray Skull.
There was absolutely no way that I was going to be able to do this. I had had alcohol. It was 11:30pm at night. I was tired and had bad hair. I told him, in what I hoped was a confident tone, that he shouldn’t wait for me and that I would meet him at the top. He rode up the hill like a gazelle, he didn’t even have to slow down. I got off my bike and pushed it up the hill like a tractor-trailer approaching the summit. It was a big hill and even walking up it made me pant and wipe my brow. He was at the top of the hill riding in circles waiting for me. I was cursing all hills known to man. At the top of the hill I got back on my bike and apologized for my sub-par biking skills. He didn’t deny this, but instead said that it was fine.
We biked the two, relatively flat, blocks to my house, at which point he told me that he didn’t think there was a lot of chemistry, but that the conversation had been great, and maybe we could hang out again.
Absolutely, I said, in full agreement. Secretly vowing never to bike on a first date again.
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