Everyone who participates in a co-ed group activity has encountered it. It may have happened to yourself! It may even be happening right now and you don’t even know it! It happens all the time, all around us. Falling for someone you spend a lot of time with is part of nature.
Hell, it even happened to Fatty, but most wouldn’t say that they were head over heels for one of their club members. Many will admit to a crush or so but nothing that goes anywhere.
Exercise/recreation induced relationships could be a fantastic case study due to so many variables for a thing like that so many people experience. The whole idea of “stay with the rider or still be the racerboy you are” or: “Uhhh – what can we do together outside of the sports activity that brought us together???“
I think it is so prevalent in cycling because:
Cycling is easily a co-ed sport.
Cycling is naturally competitive.
Cycling usually involves people who don’t look like Rosie O’Donnell, or Louie Anderson
So by all means, with men and women cycling and possibly showing off/competing and looking more attractive than your average American, you can see how at least some check marks on the attraction list could be filled in. Then there is the facet of having similar interests which never hurts the chances of something to spark, no? This all leads to a potential stew pot where two people will eventually hook up. Heck, I once saw a guy out riding with several girls and I almost challenged him to a race to try to gain alpha male status, but I decided against it. What if they all slipstreamed and spit me off the group? That would have been quite shameful and we all know how much ego is important for a cyclist.
How many people do you know who have ended up marrying someone from a club they were both in? Its like a potential/eventual rabbit breeding program in some! Who wouldn’t feel accomplished by meeting the girl of their dreams on a bike ride?
But we all know if you do go after members of the group you must follow the unwritten rule that is the same for dating co workers and get at least one person’s approval, otherwise you are knowingly liable of disrupting the whole group dynamic by crossing that line. Then if the relationship fails… you have the awkward responsibility of: 1.) either seeing each other every ride or 2.) deciding who gets every other week or on the weekday/weekends. :P
Don told me a story of love when he said:
I went for my first “real” road bike ride with my now wife. She was an avid cyclist and some-time racer. We rode up Teton Pass, a substantial climb in Wyoming. She was a gal I’d known from skiing and a member of the local bike club and offered to ‘show you some stuff about real bike riding”
After about 2000′ of ~10%..me on my Schwinn Super Le Tour ~30lb steel touring bike and her on her race-Trek..I said something like…”Hey, let’s take a breather for a minute” and she said..”WE don’t stop part way up a climb” and then accelerated leaving me struggling to turn my about 32 rear cog…. Macho Me, I vowed right then that that would never ever happen again…And after a year or two, it never has-yet….But I guess that simple ride up that hill sold me on both my wife and ‘real’ bike riding…
How romantic, no? For some odd and possibly biological/learned-behavior reason, I always tend to abort my feelings and just keep out-riding my crushes every time no matter how much I like them. For me, I haven’t fallen for someone unless I had to ride over them, and they caused me to crash. (Get it…? Falling for someone…?) :P Somehow, keeping up with the leaders in some local group ride is much more important than an attractive woman to me most of the time.
Does anyone know of a relationship that has started due to cycling, and ended due to cycling? Example: Boyfriend-X being several rider categories higher than his girlfriend never brings the tempo or intensity down on rides, leading to frustration, resentment and eventually a breakup?
How many of you have met your cyclist féminin, ending up in marriage and raising a whole garage of bicycles? Isn’t that what usually happens? Drunk Cyclist agrees with this one.
All in all, let things happen as they happen and don’t worry about the results or end product until it happens. If it was meant to be, it was meant to be. You just never know unless you try~
Links from images/examples I have exploited in this post:
Also: Thanks to RoadBikeReview.com