Biking with another human

I’m a biker. I have been for about 12 years now. And by biker, I don’t mean one of those Hardly Davidson types. You know what I’m talking about. Those 60-somethings with their $30,000 motorcycles and faux Hell’s Angles ensembles, that look like something you could probably get at Kohl’s.

No, I’m talking two-wheeled, bicycle. I look like a completely different kind of idiot. One of those guys festooned in skin-tight sausage casing styled clothes. Picture NASCAR. Instead of cars, it’s dudes in Spanx and sponsors from yuppie brands and craft beers. I’m kind of one of those guys. The only difference is none of my stuff matches.

For most of the pandemic, I have either been riding alone, or on a single, stationary wheel – aka my Peloton.

While walking the dogs yesterday a new neighbor I had met a couple weeks ago saw me. In our previous conversation, she mentioned her husband rode too, and didn’t have anyone to ride with. When she saw me, she came out of her house, stopped me and got her husband. I was introduced as “that guy she had been talking about.”

He and I exchanged phone numbers, and tentatively had a lunch “date” to ride. Within in an hour, I got a text that he couldn’t do lunch a lunch ride and was 50/50 for post work. Pangs of dread bubbled up in me. At first, I didn’t understand these feelings. Then I realized, these were emotions I hadn’t needed since my 20s when I was still in the dating seen. My wife had to remind me, it was just a bike ride.

Erring on the side of optimism, I squeezed into my best biking stuff and stared at my phone. At 5:25 the text arrived. He would be over in 5 minutes, just like he said he would. We hit the road, and like many first dates, I worried that I might have talked too much or came on too strong. But for that moment in time, I was back in the game baby. But now I’m confused, because I don’t know whether I was more excited to go on a ‘real’ ride again, or on a fake date.