It has occurred to me that urban biking is not just great for the environment and for your physique: it's also a pretty good flirtation tool. Had I not been riding my trusty old Raleigh on Thursday night, for instance, I would never have run into my gym crush. And, as you may recall, I first met ol' Jonas Singer (for better and worse) when he started chatting me up in the bike lane.
With all this in mind, I contacted the folks who run a gorgeous-looking new bike store, Ride Brooklyn, in Park Slope (on Bergen Street near Fifth Avenue) to see if they had any tips about how bikers can become better flirts, or how pedestrians can flirt with bikers. And as it turns out, the owners, Pete Kocher and Jessica Murray (who met each other during a group biking excursion planned by friends and are now ENGAGED--!!!) had some hilarious pointers to share ...
1. Says Pete: "A woman should try letting some air out of her tire--and thereby give a male biker who might happen to pass her by an opportunity to be a kinght in shining armor." (Or at least a knight in shining spandex?) "That's something every man wants to be. So ladies, let the air out and look distressed. But just make sure you have some time to spare and that you 'blow' your tire in area where there's lots of bike traffic--because you don't want to be walking your bike home a mile if you cant lure anyone in! It's also helpful to have a back up mini pump in your bag just in case."
And guys: I can tell you from my own experience that I love men who offer to help me in any way with my bike. For instance, I was once out on the sidewalk trying, and failing, to put air in my tires with my mini-pump when a bike messenger noticed my concern and came over to do it for me. This was probably seven years ago, and I still remember his name: Oliver. And since I am often biking in heels, and occasionally need to carry my bike up or down stairs in my heels--if I've taken my bike on the subway, for instance--I LOVE men who offer to carry the bike for me. (To tell you the truth, many of them often struggle under the weight of it more than I do!)
2. "When you meet someone in the bike lane, or see someone cute unliking his or her bike near you, challenge him or her to a race to the local coffee shop," says Pete. "The loser buys coffee."
I love this idea! (Just please, folks, if you try it, be sure to wear your helmets and ride safe.) I wonder if I'll ever have the guts to actually try this one ...
3. "Guys love to be told how fast they are on their bikes," Jessica notes. "It's an easy way to gain some points. A girl can also tell a guy his butt looks great in his tight biking shorts--although it's a little risky for a dude to try the same line on a chick!"
True, true. But there are sooo many other compliments to shower on a biker-girl. I've gotten shout-outs for riding in my heels, or riding in my fishnets, for instance--and flattery gets me every time. If nothing else, say to a woman, "Wow! Biking must be a great work-out because your legs are sure looking super-fine!" and I can guarantee she'll be pleased.
That's Jessica and Pete, above, in front of the new shop. Pretty nifty looking, no?
PS: Also, readers, commenters: hello! It always makes me very happy to hear from you. (J. Nee and S-25: Welcome aboard to commenting-land! And TAMMY! I'm so glad you're reading!) I'm hearing all the advice you guys have on the Rich thing ... but I'm still thinking it might be better to hold off on hanging out. As much as I think he's a total sweetheart, I fear we wouldn't have much to say to each other, after all. Also ... when someone showers too much attention on me, as I fear he might, it can freak me out a little. (Is this a big problem in my dating life at large? I have no doubt it is.)