How To Cycle And Flirt Successfully

Get your bike love, you've pulled. A guide to cycling and flirting ...
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Get your bike love, you've pulled. A guide to cycling and flirting ...

While other forms of transport may elicit the odd snatched glance, raised eyebrow or even a suggestive “Does this go to Cock…fosters?”, nothing gets the flirting juices going more than the bicycle. All aspects of it lend themselves perfectly to this dark art. You’re hot and sweaty and slightly out of breath, the endorphins (ie love hormones) are pumping around your body and there are members of the opposite sex around you with great pins. You’re primed; this is your hunting ground, so go forth and conquer, with this handy guide to pulling on two wheels.

Firstly, a word to the guys out there: don’t be shy. You may feel like a letch cycling unfeasibly slowly behind a tight bum in hot pants, but the chances are, there is a girl on a Pashley, cycling behind you getting distracted by the sight of the way your muscles in your calves move as you pedal. This game is open to everyone.

Step 1: As any marketer will tell you, you need to understand your target audience. Are you going to be surrounded by East London hipsters on fixies with barely-there handlebars or are you more South/South-West suits and mountain bike combos? Clearly a tailored approach is required. I would never normally encourage conformity, but with a sport with such clearly delineated tribes (ref: Bike Snob), some degree of tribal identification will help your cause. Personally, I tend to favour a mini-skirt/Converse option, which gives me access to a range of groups.

Step 2: And the look is so important, from a very shallow point of view. But then how are we as cyclists going to earn the respect of other road users bombing around in brightly coloured Lycra and questionable footwear choices? Boris Johnson would never have been elected mayor of London in a holey t-shirt with egg down it and Birkenstocks. The man cycles in style. Not only that, but crucially, if you are using your bike as a vehicle for seduction, you’ve got to look as hot as it does. It’s a busy marketplace and you’ve got competition for attention.

No one will take you seriously on a fold-up bike, it indicates that you can’t cycle your whole journey and need to take a breather and pop your bike on a train at some point.

Step 3: So you’re almost ready. You’re randy, you’re looking good, you’ve identified your prey but wait! What’s missing? Something between your thighs of course: your choice of bicycle. What’s it to be? I favour a single speed as my commute to work is entirely on the flat, and having to change gears would use up valuable thinking space that would be better suited to focussing on the task in hand. No one will take you seriously on a fold-up bike, it indicates that you can’t cycle your whole journey and need to take a breather and pop your bike on a train at some point. MAN UP! Furthermore, a mountain bike in London is both inelegant and impractical and I have recently launched a one-woman crusade to have them outlawed from our fair streets.

Step 4: Finally, the moment happens and you are on the road. What’s your approach now? Start gingerly. The classic approach of cycling up behind someone to check them out from behind, then speeding up and over-taking to check them out from in front is still so popular because it’s reliable. It’s a classic. But it won’t get you very far, you’ve got to come out of your shell and start working your chirpz. As with charm offensives in all situations and on all modes of transport, the classic moves are the ones that will hold you in good stead. New forays into flirting can come back to bite you (and not in a fun way). What any cyclist worth her salt wants from a fellow rider is simply courtesy, good manners and maybe a “Hello, nice bike!” at the traffic lights. Smiles, winks, maybe even a race. Races along long stretches of road are a sure-fire way to get someone’s attention. Men and women on fast bikes are competitive creatures and an evening’s sprint home along Ken High St is always improved by the company of an attractive man with decent thighs.

Step 5: Be into men. The ratio of boys to girls on bikes in London is 3:1, the odds are heavily in the girls’ favour at the moment. Girls, if you don’t cycle yet, get on your bikes. Online dating sites are roughly 65% female, we don’t stand a chance in cyberspace. Instead, go into a field where you stand out. Hop on the pedals and stand out in a marketplace where you will get noticed. Come on, ladies, join us on the road. Think of the possibilities!

One final word on this: you don’t have to restrict yourself to cyclists alone, you can cross-pollinate with other road users (but steer clear of bus drivers – you won’t get anywhere there). A pedestrian crossing at the traffic lights, a motorcyclist just getting his helmet on, by following these handy hints,  they are all fair game to you on your bicycle.

Cycling in London: The Rules

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