It’s that time of year again: when the holiday aisle at Smith’s is an eye-raping explosion of pink and red, when boyfriends start getting anxious and girlfriends prepare for the impending disappointment that will be Feb. 14 (if my lesbian sister’s relationship has taught me anything, it’s that gays probably have the most mutually satisfactory holidays out of anyone). For those of us whose Facebook statuses are lacking heart icons, and who must suffer through a two-wheeled journey in single-digit temperatures anywhere we go, it’s the month of the “duck and binge.” It’s a simple move, really, but it can only be successfully executed by the most anti-social of humans. The duck and binge consists of ducking out of social engagements to go home and binge on whatever it is you like. I happen to be a professional duck and binger: You can find my bike on most Friday nights thawing in my shed from the snowy commute, and myself lying at an obtuse angle, watching 30 Rock DVDs with a bag of salt and vinegar chips that I WILL be eating all of tonight––don’t look at me like that.
This year, I decided my figure can’t afford a duck and binge of the magnitude required for Valentine’s Day, no matter how long I’m in the saddle, so I (gag) put myself out there. Yes, people, I signed up for OKCupid, the online-dating website. The worst part is that I got the idea from a Mike Brown column.
Since I spend a decent amount of time on a bicycle and/or organizing bicycle events (and writing a column about bicycles), that’s obviously something I added to the interests portion of my profile. It also just so happens that all of the coolest, most attractive photos of me include my bicycle, so I put those up as well. After getting a handful of messages from “granola” types whose profiles lauded cringe-inducing key words like “hiking,” “climbing,” “camping” and “outdoors,” I realized I was inaccurately marketing myself as athletic, and because I live in Utah, I must surely have a love affair with nature. Now, lemme tell you about the urban cyclist, which is how I would loosely classify myself. We are not athletes. We were the right fielder on our softball team in high school, which we quit to focus on AP classes. We stubbornly sit in the car and read while our family disappears into the mountains. We almost dumped our prom date when he forced us to climb Angels Landing as part of our day date, and most definitely screamed at him while gripping the chains that kept us from falling to a rocky death … Well, I’m sure someone did that once. The point is: Bicycles do not equate to athleticism for all of us, and I, for one, am not interested in anyone who claims to be above watching television.
Needless to say, I deleted my OkCupid account. I’d much rather spend my Feb. 14 in leggings and no bra, stuffing my face with a sandwich and laughing at Tina Fey, than wearing Spanx and pretending to be interested in some hippy’s self-righteous thoughts on climbing gear. If I feel the need for something different this year, I can pedal my way to the grocery store for another bag of chips with the best S.O. a girl could ask for: my trusty, unassuming, asphalt-loving city bike.