Ask Dr. Wally
All this spring I tried and tried to get my boyfriend to go on a bike ride with me. He said he wanted to get out more, ride the bike, and spend time with me. But he always had some excuse for not going, like he had to go to work, or cut the grass, or do laundry, but the latest one has me wondering just how much commitment he's made to riding with me. He said he couldn't go on a Saturday morning ride because the bike wouldn't stay upright. "It's too tired," he said. I'm beginning to wonder about both his commitment to riding and his commitment to our relationship.
Should I dump this guy and find another, more bicycling-inclined boyfriend?
Chagrined in Chouteau
My advice on relationships is kind of suspect, Chagrined. I've been married three or four times, and it's always turned out wrong. There's a fundamental difference between men and women, a difference that can be both celebrated and very perplexing. When those differences become too profound, divorce decrees, restraining orders, and even barbed wire aren't sufficient to contain a woman's fury.
But you've asked for my advice, so I'll give you my thoughts on various prospects for a lasting relationship.
The urban fixed gear hipster. These guys are OK, if you like the idea of fixer-uppers. Sure, they're generally young and in good physical condition, but they're prone to over-use of alcohol and they have a great deal of difficulty finding real jobs. Trust me, mixing up candy flavored coffee drinks in the local Starbucks doesn't count as a real job.
The mountain biker. These guys break things - bikes, bones, and unfortunately, the hearts of any women in their lives. You can impress them by showing your scars, but that makes for a very short lived and shallow relationship.
The racer. Road racers don't break things like the MTB guys, but they're too intent on training to form any lasting romantic ties. Their spare time is taken up with obsessing over a couple of grams on their bikes, weighing out food for the next meal, or snoozing on the couch after a long training ride.
Recumbent riders. Don't speak to them. Don't even look at them if at all possible. They're just plain weird.
The counter culture warrior. These guys have "dropped out of consumer culture" by refusing to have jobs. They dumpster-dive for their next meal and ride battered department store bikes that they 're-purposed' from a local dump. Need I say more?
Middle aged guys on vintage French bikes. Here you have the cream of the crop, men who appreciate the finer things in life like a classic bicycle, a fine dinner, and a good bottle of wine. Middle aged guys on French bikes aren't in a hurry to get somewhere. They value companionship. They've learned to listen well and share their thoughts and feelings.
By chance, Chagrined, I'll be visiting Choteau early next month. Perhaps we could meet for coffee. I'll be riding my Gitane.
Next month: How to escape packs of angry mountain bikers, racers, and other cyclists intent on doing bodily harm for stealing their girlfriends.
Labels: bicycling humor