A Couples’ Ride from Darcy Turenne on Vimeo.
This video is brilliant. Anyone who is in a polygamist relationship with their partner and mountain bikes will nod emphatically at all the simple insights.
In issue 135 of Dirt Magazine I dabbled with a similar topic. It is in no way as funny as the above video but it might strike a chord or two for some riders (or partners of riders).
The Dating Game
Dating and mountain bikes can be a tricky combo. It might seem like a good idea for your bedroom partner to share your other true love – mountain biking, however, there are often more pitfalls than joys. You might even think that you have enough love to share between your lady and your two wheeled best friend but more often than not things go sour, and unlike your squeaky chain, no amount of lube will give you a quiet life.
I’m not saying a polygamist relationship is impossible where your better half shares your love of another ride, but there is an endless list of troubles and woes when you introduce another love to your bike or you try to come between a rider and their bike.
Here is a summary of some of the dating games most consistently awful break up scenarios, the early signs to look out for and how to avoid them.
Love Me, Love My Bike
Situation: Boy meets bike. Boy falls in love with bike. But, then boy also meets girl. Boy and girl move through the stages of awkward dating, romance, comfort, moving in together, getting a puppy, opening a joint bank account, going to Sunday farmers markets together…and this is where things start to unravel. He spends all his free time riding bikes when his lady would strongly prefer he go to dance classes with her, spend the weekend with her parents, or go to Ikea.
Result: Boy is now torn between getting dirty with his favorite ride in the woods or not getting any at home.
Analysis: Those few hours you spend in the woods hooting and hollering, covered in filth, and making forts (trails) will keep you feeling young. The problem is, once you become so old that you start wetting the bed and dribbling into your food then a bicycle won’t help you out one bit. It will just sit there taunting you.
Out Of Town Standards Are Down
Situation: Racer-X travels all summer long to various exotic locations (or perhaps not so exotic in the case of the BDS) to prove their worth between the tape and against the clock. After the race is done, no matter the result, they will want to cut loose a little. This often leads to a few drinks, a little excitement, and a quickie behind the back of the pub with Lucy The Local, the saucy and accommodating lass who finds the visiting “athletes” quite the catch. If just for the five minutes that is necessary.
Result: Back at home Racer-X’s spouse/partner/long-suffering significant other is unaware of the adultery. They are told all winter long, while Racer-X spends time on the spin bike or pumping iron at the gym, that this year they are taking the racing seriously, not pissing up the winnings against the wall. The same wall they are pumping Lucy The Local against.
Analysis: Racers get the gladiator complex so feel like they deserve to satisfy every one of their needs after putting their neck on the line. Either expect to be cheated on by Racer-X or just stay well away.
Out Of Action
Situation: Longtime partners and riding buddies go on a biking holiday to their dream location. Unfortunately, on the first day one of them gets injured and has to spend the rest of the time in a cast.
Result: The conundrum for the healthy rider is how much to nurse the ailing rider while still filling your boots with the best riding. The quandary for the ailing partner is how much to suck up the pain and let their partner go and have the time of their life, without them.
Analysis: This is the litmus paper test. How guilty you feel while riding and how guilty they feel for reducing your riding should tell you a lot about the person you thought you would spend the rest of your life with.
Lover and Coach
Situation: Girl wants to get better at riding so asks her boyfriend to coach her a little the next time they are riding together.
Result: Boyfriend–girlfriend coaching WILL NEVER WORK and could lead to a trailside break up. If your girlfriend asks you coach her then just save your relationship and sanity by breaking your arm in the car door, loose your voice, or just hire a coach for her.
Analysis: The power dynamic in any relationship is delicate and subtle. Some people either deny it exists or haven’t realized it, but trust me, try to show a girl how to ride and you will see that she very much doesn’t like to be “told what to do” even if all you are demonstrating the science of riding or just gently suggesting she try not to sit down while trying to navigate through a rock garden.