‘Share the love’ album
A shared bike ride is the perfect way to spark a romantic adventure. We asked our readers to share their bike love stories.
And the winner is…
The Great Victorian Bike Romance
After spending the Great Vic 2009 with a group of six men and having a great time, I (Karen) arranged a catch up ride on Australia Day in 2010 with two brothers, of which one of them, Rob, I was secretly interested in and he in me, but neither person knew how the other felt so I had to involve the brother so it was not so obvious.
While Rob’s brother went to order us a hot chocolate in Healesville, as neither of us like coffee, Rob finally plucked the courage to ask for my phone number and shortly asked me for our first official date on Valentines Day.
Sparks flew very quickly and during the following two years we did another Great Vic in 2010 and then Cycle Queensland in 2011 as well as numerous rides together: Bupa Around the Bay, along Beach Road, Dandenong Mountains and Yarra Valley.
Finally he proposed on New Years Eve 2011 and we were married on 5 November 2012. True to our love of cycling, we had wedding photos with our bikes, our wedding cake had models of us with our bikes and we left our wedding reception on bikes with little ‘Just Married’ signs attached to the back as we rode over Mount Dandenong in specially purchased Bride and Groom cycling attire. Now we are trying to organize our five bikes and boxes of lycra and cycling equipment and we both had virtually a shop of supplies.
— Karen and Robert
— Karen and Robert’s bike themed wedding
For sharing their story of how they found the light of their life, Karen and Robert will receive a pair of Cygolite Expilion front lights thanks to Bikecorp.
The one you really love
I was going to invite my wife on a Valentine’s Day ride as per your suggestion but she sort of beat me to it. I’m a bit confused as to whether this is romance blossoming, but my wife gave me a Valentine’s card today and a voucher for spin classes because she suspects that I love the bike more than her – it was an awkward moment… It didn’t help that I forgot all about Valentine’s Day this morning in my rush to get to spin class!
With a bit of luck I won’t be wearing dinner tonight.
How times have changed
My partner and I have ridden from Adelaide to McLaren Vale twice. The first time was early 2011. I jumped on the fixie and she rode her single-speed. I ran clipless pedals and she had sneakers spinning those flats (90’s Shimano Deore – best pedals ever). It was her first adult bike. We pumped out just over 100 kays together.
The second time was late last year. Since then, her single-speed has been run fixed, upgraded with new wheels and saddle, stolen, recovered and run as a single-speed. She’s built a new bike, pictured, by restoring a mid-70’s Peugeot and building it up with a SRAM Force groupset, high-level Shimano wheelset and an assortment of (mostly) Ritchey parts. It’s gorgeous. She also inherited my saddle bag, it would seem.
I sold the fixie. Then bought it back. Changed the drive-train, saddle and brakes. New bartape. Ran it single-speed with some great flat pedals I bought for $12. Together, we rode around 80 kays.
We’ve both grown up. I’m sure we haven’t grown old.
I’m looking forward to seeing how our bikes look together in 2013. And 2014. And 2084.
— Alex, sent to us via his blog, The Basketcase Biker.
A couple of years ago a mate of mine broke his wrist a few weeks before he was set to participate in the Tour Down Under Challenge ride and was devastated that he had to pull out. Seeing his disappointment, one of his mates who had also signed up organised a tandem and offered to pilot so he wouldn’t have to miss out.
Broken wrist or no, under different circumstances they might have got some flack from their other mates for riding a ‘date bike,’ but this particular tandem had been cobbled together from spare parts and, due to lack of parts, run as a single-speed. Not only did they complete the ride, they left many of their friends behind and got plenty of attention from other riders along the way.
Some guys give flowers, others give bikes
Before I started dating my partner I hadn’t ridden a bike since early high school, but he was right into it. He lent me his mum’s folding bike and we rode around the corner (literally 100m around the corner) to the local cafe. I told him it was fun, but didn’t think much more of it, other than it had been a lovely date. He had other ideas. The next week he called to say he was sick and taking the day off work. I went to his place to check on him that evening and waiting for me in the driveway was Frankie, my first grown up bike, which he’d built for me from spare parts.
Two-and-a-half years later, I still have Frankie along with four other bikes, and the boyfriend’s still around too – we’re getting married next year.
Silly me, asking a girl out at that speed. I was cruising slowly. It was a summery evening, and I was more than a little perspiring in my work attire. She was in front of me, adroitly weaving through the grinding traffic. She was good. She was very good.
Riding is always safer in bunches, so I hugged her back wheel as long as I could. At one point she got ahead, but in the inner suburbs red lights are never far off. Waiting together for the green, I turned her way and told her she was a skillful rider. We chatted for a bit, the light went green and she said something cheeky about beating me up the hill. She was Irish, and her accent suited her earthy, sophisticated charm.
She reached the hill’s apex first. Like I said, she was good. And then, as we began a racy, cadence-free coast down the other side, I said, “Look, if you’re single, can I buy you a coffee?”
She smiled. She said she was deeply flattered, but that she’d just entered into a relationship. As we zoomed side-by-side, she asked for my number. I told her my name, knowing there’d be no confusion looking me up online. In return, she called out hers.
As our paths diverged, the last thing I heard her say, like it was the most important declaration she’d ever uttered in that heavenly Irish accent, was “Farewell, Ben Zipper.” To that I called back over the passing traffic, “Farewell, Janine Farber.”*
Inner city roads can be bumpy as hell. But as I negotiated those potholes, old bluestones and patchy roadworks, I could have sworn I was riding on a cloud. For now, farewell, Janine Farber.
* Dedicated to that beautiful Irish girl on a bike, who is not actually called Janine Farber.
— Ben Zipper – www.itjustgotworse.com
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