BikePGH!

dating and bike commuting…

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Anonymous

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Dec 8 2012 at 5:36am #

So when I moved to Pittsburgh for grad school, I found that unlike Florida, I could easily do everything I needed on a bike. Pretty quickly, I was putting more miles on my bike than I was on my car. Most of the car miles were for driving to and from the airport, or doing favors for friends. After a year here, and using my car so infrequently, I decided I might as well sell it. That way I could have the cash, not have to pay for insurance and yearly fees, and I wouldn’t have to worry about the car falling apart in disuse on the side of the road. In the roughly four months since I sold the car, I’ve used Zipcar once to go to Greensburg for a concert. Otherwise, I’ve been able to do everything on the bike, save busing to the airport when necessary. Anyway, I consider this to be a huge financial gain on my part.

The downside, which I recognized but may not have understood the true extent, is that girls (generally speaking) do not want to date a guy without a car! As sexy as I think I am on my bikes, it just doesn’t cut it for some women. Tonight, I was talking to a girl, who as soon as she found out I didn’t have a car decided it was a deal-breaker. I’m certain this is not the only case either. I already feel like a misfit in this town. I don’t know what a Steeler or Penguin is, and I don’t know how to say Yinz. Add the biking and not having a car, and I’m a total weirdo! =(

Has anyone else experienced anything similar, or am I the only one?


Drewbacca

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Dec 8 2012 at 7:30am #

If the woman doesn’t get it, then she isn’t worth the trouble! ;)

The Penguin thing, on the other hand… just hop on your bike and pedal out of town before this gets ugly!


Pseudacris

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Dec 8 2012 at 9:21am #

Pseudacris

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Dec 8 2012 at 9:43am #

One simple thing to do would be to make the transportation upfront and a fun part of the date plans.

“Let’s rent a Zip car and drive to DC for the day” or “Let’s ride bikes to the point and watch the sunset” etc.

Definitely do not ambush anyone with the fact that you don’t have a car because they may have gotten gussied up with high heel shoes and water soluble hair products and due to the cultural expectation of everyone having a car, they might feel insulted not to have all that hard work taken care of and appreciated.

If you are dating and she is the car owner and the car gets used on dates, make sure you are offering to help with gas, parking and driving.

If you already know the person a little bit and they know you don’t have a car and that is the reason for not wanting to date you, then as Drewbacca says, move on!

and…try not to call us ‘girls’


Vannevar

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Dec 8 2012 at 12:13pm #

“The car” is definitely a social norm. I also wonder if a lot of people aren’t unfamiliar with the circumstances of a grad student.

Because for a lot of people, a 26-year old that doesn’t have a car sounds like somebody still living in Mom’s basement. NTTAWWT. But the long-term prospects of a robotics grad student doing leading-edge work are pretty high.

So while “most people” see the car as an indication of normality, we look at the fools who try to kill us everyday with their cars and tend to reject the car as a status marker.

It’s kind of interesting in that you have a Thing to manage. The good news is: it’s not a communicable disease, a quirk religion, or you’re deaf in your left ear so please talk louder in that quadrant, etc.

So to examine the title of the thread: First Dates and Car Commuting, I’d say: don’t.

I’m thinking you avoid confronting people with a make-or-break first-date decision, given that there’s a widespread use of Car as success-marker.

Get the ZipCar, have a car for every single one of the first several dates. Show how well it works before it comes up.

Demonstrate that you’re going to have a car at every ‘normal’ event where there’s an expectation of a car. When the question comes up, hey how come this is a different car, you say: Zip Car. All the grad students are doing it.

It’s a major hurdle and your situation really demonstrates how car-centric we are. It’s perverse that being car-free bears a greater stigma than any of several other things that we over-judge. It would be easier to be a felon or a vegan, etc.

And you can watch them process the issue and learn about how/if they expand their thoughts.

But I must say, I don’t think my wife would have gone on our first date if I didn’t have a car. And it’s ridiculous that owning a Chevy Nova qualified me for anything.


stefb

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Dec 8 2012 at 12:15pm #

If someone doesn’t want to date you because you don’t have a car, forget about her. Someone who doesn’t mind will probably be a more interesting person anyway.

When I started to date cburch, he had no car. I grew up in Beaver County and had no idea that it was possible to be car-free in the city. I saw that it is possible. I don’t even want a car now.


Anonymous

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Dec 8 2012 at 12:19pm #

First of all, I’m very sorry to hear that you don’t feel welcome/accepted in the ‘Burgh. :( Believe it or not, most of us native Pittsburghers have never actually used the term “yinz” outside of teasing/making fun of ourselves. We do, however “redd up” the house often.

Although you may not bleed Black n Gold like a local, that can be faked and most of us will be very happy with that effort.

As for the lack of a car… (I don’t think this phenomenon is Pittsburgh specific BTW.) Isn’t this actually a good way to weed out incomparable companions? If you’re asking someone to go to Lemont on a bike then yeah – she’s going to think you’re a nut. (With good reason.) Have you taylored the event to the mode of transportation? Like Pseudacris explained, if you want her to get all gussied up then it behooves you to provide an experience where all of her efforts are not destroyed in the first 5 minutes of the date. Now – if you’re not into actually doing the sort of things that would require/encourage the lady (I’m not offended by “girl” but some are) to dress up, then the mode of transportation shouldn’t be a big deal. Here’s where the weeding out begins. If you want someone that shares your practical nature; your love of biking; simple pleasures, etc, then the ones that run when they find out you don’t own a car are probably not going to be very compatible with you in the long run.

Of course, if you aren’t thinking long run and just want someone for the moment, then you might want to do the zip car thing and not even bring it up.


stefb

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Dec 8 2012 at 12:21pm #

I can assure you that no one in this city bleeds black and gold. It is red. I see it at work frequently. The day someone does actually bleed black and gold, I am sure it will be on the news :)


edmonds59

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Dec 8 2012 at 12:58pm #

I am old and haven’t had a dog in this fight in a long time, and I was horrible and awkward at it when I was in those years, but I can’t help but muse on it a little bit anyway.

To expound a little on what others said, if you had just met this person and were just talking, she may have jumped to the conclusion that you couldn’t afford a car, rather than choosing not to have a car. If this person wasn’t at least a little curious as to the “why” at that point, then probably not a great loss. The ‘burgh, while a beautiful and wonderful city, is still rife with people of either sex who are not possessed of great enlightenment (trying to be culturally sensitive here).

There are however plenty of amazing, enlightened, creative people in town who are not looking for the dude with the closet full of Stillers jerseys and gold neck chains. I have encountered many young women who make me terribly wistful (and man, I love women sooo much). You just have to make friends and move (or ride) in the right circles. Make connections.

The silver lining is that once you get farther along in a relationship with the right person, your S.O. will appreciate all the benefits of a dude with a cycling lifestyle. A long time ago, after a particularly long night of the more intimate parts of a date, the woman told me enthusiastically, “man, all guys should…bike”.


Pierce

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Dec 8 2012 at 1:44pm #

If my only dis-qualifier was not owning a car… the possibilities :P

You fill your spandex well.

I think there’s an increasing number of women coming into town that seldom drive themselves. I regularly (more often in the warmer months) see women I don’t recognize on my commute.

I think the same segment of women would be open to misfits or weirdos

I’d look at it more as an opportunity to enlighten your potential partner (I wouldn’t use that language with her though) “Yes! You can go do things without a car!”

My fSO and I were just recently talking about how on our first date she drove from Greenfield to Oakland and looking back how absurd that seems.


StuInMcCandless

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Dec 8 2012 at 1:54pm #

I’ve been out of that game so long, and never really played it when I was that age, so take what I say with a grain or two of salt.

If she’d really dump you solely on the basis of transportation, that indicates a degree of shallowness, but that also assumes there isn’t a surprise involved, i.e., the question “We’re going by *bicycle*?” should not have happened.

Sure, I’d do LeMont by bicycle, but not on the first date. Work up to that. Zipcar a couple of dates, get her on a bike for simple trips around town, like maybe do the Strip on a Saturday, or tour the Nationality Rooms at Pitt, where a car would be a real PITA. Does she own a bus pass? Show her how to mount a bike on a bus rack.

To do LeMont by bike, you would have to figure out how a female would get gussied up to go out in fine style on a bicycle. Plenty of help here on this board; also check out sites like dandyhorsemagazine.com that cater to that segment of the riding community. Were you around town when we had the Bridesmaid Dress Ride a couple years back? It’s not like it cannot be done.

Maybe even try out the MtWash trip without going specifically there. Use the Duquesne Incline to go up, and if doing this in daytime, offer her the choice of going back down by either incline, or the 40 MtWash bus, or coasting down the hill. Be sure to check those brakes before setting out!

However you do it, ease into biking, don’t force it on her. We already have threads about that topic. But if she can really get into it herself, if she decides to figure out how to do the town on two wheels, then you’ve made a true find.


Anonymous

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Dec 8 2012 at 2:32pm #

LOL. Oh, Stu… Hate to rain on your parade there, but it’s going to be a rare female that’s going to get dressed to the nines and then be OK with walking into a fancy restaurant with helmet hair/the-wind-blown-look, or a greasy chain stain on their $300 dress. It’s one thing to play dress-up in an old, ugly I-want-to-burn-this-dress-anyway rag and ride for fun and laughs. It’s a whole ‘nuther kettle of fish to wear something NICE (and not especially bike friendly) and see it get ruined. And it will get ruined doing something like that. Don’t even try to tell us how easy it would be to wear 3″ heels and stockings while biking up Mt Washington. Bet your bridesmaid dress wasn’t form-fitting either! Try peddling with something that you can barely walk in. Really, you guys have no comprehension of what goes into an event like that. If she actually likes the guy then she’s going to be trying to look good for him. That can be a PROCESS that requires effort (more for some than others) and if the recipient of all that effort neither respects nor appreciates it then he might as well call it a day.

While I understand that you’re very into the whole green, public transportation thing, Stu —and I respect that — MOST of the rest of us are more middle of the road so to speak. Bike/bus when we can, but car when we need to and when it’s more convenient. Trust me on this one: If you’re taking a date to a fancy, romantic, dress-up event, unless it’s a gorgeous night and you’ve rented a horse drawn carriage you’d best DRIVE if you want to have another date with her.


Vannevar

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Dec 8 2012 at 2:37pm #

Talking about early-dating and first-dating, let me mention a story about my friend Bob. Bob early 50’s, gainfully employed, tall and lean, articulate. Bob is also a frugal man.

Bob meets a woman online, they agree to meet for dinner, nice restaurant. On the way over they talk about their careers and jobs. She mentions some of her thoughts about the role of women in contemporary society.

Bob immediately agrees, says that society is whack, and says – in fact, the notion of dating with the man buying dinner is anachronistic, disrespects the woman’s economic autonomy, and puts her in a bad quid-pro-quo situation.

The woman happily agrees. Bob goes further and suggests they should go with separate checks for dinner (which was an unexpected turn), and they go out to eat.

Dinner is great. Time for the bill, Bob says to the staff “separate checks”, they bring two bills. She hands over her Amex card.

Bob reaches in to his jacket pocket and pulls out a coupon from a coupon book, BuyOneGetOneFree, says I got a coupon, she’s paying for hers, so my dinner is free, right? (absolutely true story. I know Bob personally)

No second date. But my friend Bob really doesn’t understand why. He has explained the math to anybody who will listen.

His original intent was to pick up the bill for both and use the coupon to cut the expense in half, but when the conversation came up he got a bit carried away with his frugality. Maybe paying for both bills and using the coupon wouldn’t have been so disastrous.

Several people have told me that using a coupon on a first date is a deal breaker. Logically and ethically there’s no sin in it.

Dating has funny rules.


edmonds59

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Dec 8 2012 at 2:49pm #

Wow V! What a story, actually hard to believe! Poor man.

Also brybot, one more word from an old guy. You will meet a nice woman by making friends with other women and they will decide who you should go out with. That is how that works. Dudes do not decide these things, in spite of what you may currently think.


B.S.

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Dec 8 2012 at 3:03pm #

Have you considered going the hipster route? The ladys don’t seem to give a %*#! About owning a car, and tight black jeans are more comfy than expected! Good luck me lad


Pierce

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Dec 8 2012 at 3:46pm #

@srpit “Really, you guys have no comprehension of what goes into an event like that”

Paging the Burches random wedding photo…


salty

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Dec 8 2012 at 4:26pm #

Yeah, it’s hard to fight the battle to cure the ills of society when you’re just trying to get a date… But I think if I were back in that situation I’d look at it as weeding out undesirables. If she’s really that closed-minded then she’s probably not worth my time anyways.

Of course, easy for me to say, given my wife lived in the N. Hills and I lived in Shadyside when we met, and I drove everywhere. In the city there are plenty of ways to get around that don’t involve biking or driving, although they don’t work as well for the burbs. Of course, that’s a whole other issue, but… Last night we got “dressed to the nines” as they say, took a bus to my company holiday party and got a cab home. Saying “you’d best DRIVE” is not cool in my book.

You could also compromise and get a motorcycle/scooter. Cheaper to insure and maintain than a car you rarely use. I sold my car when my yearly mileage dropped to <500 and put about the same miles on my Vespa.


nochasingiguanas

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Dec 8 2012 at 4:46pm #

For what it’s worth, I once decided I didn’t want to continue seeing a guy (after about a week – it wasn’t a long term thing) BECAUSE he insisted on driving everywhere. It drove me absolutely nuts. We have feet for a reason.


stefb

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Dec 8 2012 at 5:27pm #

Srpit- I disagree. There are skirt guards available to put on bikes. Maybe I am bad at being a “woman”, but I don’t mind arriving some place for a date on a bike. I got rid of most of my hair, and that is just about as easy to manage as putting it up in a pony tail when I had hair. I also think it is pointless to spend a bunch of time on getting ready for a date, but that is just me.

And yeah, my wedding dress did get caught in the chain of a tandem and I cared not.


StuInMcCandless

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Dec 8 2012 at 5:54pm #

To get to LeMont on a bike, physically, no sweat is involved. Level ride to the base of the Duq Incline, up incline, level ride for a bit of Grandview.

Mentally, though, is a different matter. She has to buy into biking. She has to feel comfortable riding at all, riding on streets, and knowing how to dress for riding. It’s not going to be the same as arriving by four wheels, and she’s going to be OK with that. But getting to that will be a journey, and I don’t mean physically.

Elsewhere in the world, women (and men, too) have figured out how to get from A to B on two wheels in nice clothes. We just have to learn that, too.

Like this lady. [first link broken, link toward the bottom works]


Anonymous

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Dec 8 2012 at 6:22pm #

Thanks for the advice everyone.

The majority of the dating that I’ve done here is online dating, but I have met a few people in person first. Meeting women can be difficult in a male dominated field and when I’m supposed to be working 25/7 so thats why I opt for the online dating.

For my combination of generation and cross-section of society, the typical first dates tend to be mostly coffee, lunch, drinks, and sometimes dinner. I have also met in a park, gone to yoga class together, and tried expensive fancy dinners as first dates. Especially with online dating, it would often not be appropriate to pick up a date in a car, or otherwise, before meeting. Even when I had my car, I’d often walk or bike depending on the location. So in that sense, there has never been a gotcha moment when I explain that I sold my car, use zipcar when necessary and bike whenever possible.

As for the whole LeMont argument, I have no intentions of forcing a date or SO to bike instead of drive. I’ll use a car when necessary as well, especially when I’m dressed up.

Haha, hipsters. I’m about as far from a hipster as one can be. Plus my bike has gears. Lots of gears. They may not care about my lack of car, but I’m sure they would care about my lack of hipsterness.

@Pseudacris, my apologies for saying “girl”. I was not aware that it was offensive to some.

For those of you who suggest that not having a car is a good way to weed out undesirable companions, I can only agree to a certain extent. Yes, my ideal woman would be someone who could appreciate not having a car. However, that criteria probably cuts out a rather large section of the population. Add my other preferences, and suddenly I’m left with so few people that the chances of meeting any of them AND being right for them is quite slim.


Pseudacris

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Dec 8 2012 at 6:23pm #

@V that Bob story is priceless: I know a few Bobs!

Incidentally, I do date someone who is deaf on the left. When we first met, he made some comments that led me to believe he might own or desire to own a Hummer, which would have been a deal-breaker for me. I guess we all have our judgements — it’s some work to find complimentary ones :-)


Anonymous

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Dec 8 2012 at 6:53pm #

@brybot FoC and Bike Pittsburgh got a lot of young ladies on bicycles. :) On one of FoC I got a long talk with two lady students in 21-25 age range. One form Europe, one local. They rode together.


Pierce

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Dec 8 2012 at 6:55pm #

Meant to say tandem, not random :P

P.S. I love Bob’s story


edmonds59

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Dec 8 2012 at 7:28pm #

Dude you should work less. Life is short.


helen s

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Dec 8 2012 at 7:44pm #

My philosophy was always to do what I enjoyed doing, and I would meet people there with at least some similar interests.


salty

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Dec 8 2012 at 9:03pm #

Vannevar – I don’t agree with your statement “logically and ethically there’s no sin in it” because in fact he did take advantage of his date. He could not have gone to the restaurant alone and received a free meal, he required her participation. So, whether she had a problem with him using a coupon or not, she’s certainly right to object to being used in that manner. If the coupon was unconditionally “one free meal” that would be a different story.


Anonymous

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Dec 8 2012 at 9:09pm #

I read over most of this thread and one thing strikes me as odd: If you tell your date that you don’t have a car, but you do have a ZipCar membership, why should that disqualify you from dating them? It seems that any level-headed woman (or man) should see the practicality in not owning, but still having access to, a car. If your date doesn’t see it that way, it’s their problem.

From my own experience, I’ve been car-free since February, and I got back into dating around the same time. I was finishing grad school and saw online dating as a great way to meet women. Over the course of the spring, summer, and early fall, I was “lucky” enough to have several first dates. Out of about 6-8 first dates (~1 per month), less than half seemed to be hung up on the fact that I don’t have a car.

The key for me was using the dating website’s search tools to only show me women that live close to me. Since I live in the east end, dating someone from Cranberry would not exactly be convenient for either of us. Also, setting the first date in a location I could easily get to by bike and/or bus was a big help. On most first dates, as long as I showed up looking normal (i.e. not a sweaty mess, and dressed appropriately), how I got there wouldn’t even come up. Once it was established that I’m not a complete weirdo, my lack of car ownership was generally a non-issue. There was actually only one girl I met that flat out said, “I don’t want to have to drive us everywhere.” And she lived in E. Liberty! Does she not realize how much there is to do in that part of town?

But I digress. My point here is that it is entirely possible to find a date that doesn’t care whether or not you have a car. Use the search tools on the dating websites, read the profiles carefully (some women flat out state that you must have a “good job, good looks, and a nice car” (those women are also what I call “shallow whores”)), and make it seem like the non-issue it really is.

After about 6-8 months of searching, I finally met a girl that is also car-free, loves her bikes, and will probably make me into a much better cyclist.


cburch

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Dec 9 2012 at 2:12am #

When I met stef (on a dating site) my profile explicitly stated that I did not own a car by choice, that if the woman wanted to go somewhere she felt required driving that it was on her to drive and that anyone interested in dating me would not only not have an issue with my lack of a car, but see it as a positive. My profile was like this for a year or more and it never caused me a problem. The biggest issue I had was with stupid people seeing my tattoos and thinking I was some sort of bad boy to parade around and piss off the folks.


Swalfoort

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Dec 9 2012 at 2:18am #

I’ve been following this thread with some interest, although I am undoubtedly old enough to be Brybot’s mother. I find that a couple of things that resonate with me in all this dicussion.

One, while the goal is to eventually find yourself with someone who shares your core beliefs (including the question of whether car ownership is essential), the dating process is a difficult one, and there’s that old adage that you may have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince. Therefore, limiting his (first date) dating options to ONLY those women who share his willingness to go car free might be overly limiting – potentially not enough frogs to kiss?. He might not find that ideal woman who has just not yet seen the light on car ownership, etc. So, I agree on the Zip Car thing. But, when it first enters the realm of discussion (as in “so, what kind of car do you drive?”) it is essential (in my mind) that the zip car option be presented in a very positive manner. Something simple like, “I like the flexibility of Zip Car. It gives me access to exactly the kind of vehicle I need, and I don’t need to find on street parking in my neighborhood” or something. The economies of zip car might best be saved for a second date, for fear of being perceived as a cash strapped grad student. Few women outside of the university want to date the cash strapped element of that equation.

The other thing that resonates with me is that Brybot is presumably trying to date women of his own age range. Unfortunately, when it comes to online dating, so are guys 10 and 20 years older than he is. That 23-33 year old female market seems pretty universally sought after. So, to a young woman who is looking for someone to meet, have some fun with, and potentially start a relationship with, a grad student with potential (but no car) may be significantly less interesting on the surface than a guy with a good job, and all the trappings of success, including a nice car.

I am clearly NOT saying that all women feel that way. However, online daters make decisions based on the (very limited) available data, and pick and choose to meet/date people based on some element of that information. To presume that this is a truly educated decision on either party’s part is probably unwise. So, if a woman is simply looking to limit the options of who she actually wants to date, any single factor could be the determinant. A car, a job, color of hair, whatever. Unless you KNOW from something in the profile, or from direct discussion, how she might feel about cars, best not allow that to be the “personal trait” that makes you unique enough to drop from the pool of contenders.

Again, I am not making a judgment call here. I am simply suggesting that in the environment of online dating, anything that makes you unique or unusual will be either very interesting, or very, very uninteresting. Tread lightly, and don’t be overly eager to share your carfree status (and the merits of a carfee life) until she has a little more information on which to maker her determination of whether she wants to get to know you better. Passion is good, if it is shared. Passion can be good if one sided, but appreciated by the other. Passion can be very bad if there is a presumption that you will also be expected to share this passion. On anything.

Just my two cents worth. It’s been fun to follow this dialogue.


Anonymous

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Dec 9 2012 at 3:25am #

That really sucks, @brybot. No advice other than don’t give up–I guarantee there are more females out there than you might think complaining to their girlfriends about yet another date with another shallow, boring jerk who talked about nothing but his car.


Mick

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Dec 10 2012 at 5:36pm #

I’m in my 50’s and, for the most part, I’ve lived without a car.

I’ve run into this problem repeatedly.

I often try to make a little game of not letting a woman know I dont’ have a car – I mean, I would expect a woman to have a bike date without knowing what was up, but she dont’ have to know the car I use is rental. If I meet her somewhere and we are not travelling together, she doesn’t need to know I’m biking.

Living in the east end makes things easier because most thing are accessible without killing Arabs to get there.

Some of my female relatives are quite insistent that a woman has a right to know what kind of car a man owns as soon as they date. That model of gender relations squicks me.

There are a bunch of non-dating social problems that happen too. There are people that I’ve told a dozen times that I dont’ want to put my bike in the back on their SUV and get a ride home.

I beleive I’ve missed an opportunity where a woman was really trying to take advantage of my innocence and purity – and I would have been eager to let her had I a clue.


pearmask

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Dec 10 2012 at 5:52pm #

Just a shout-out from the 20-something female grad student car-hating bike-loving (arguably-not-even-that-hipstery, bikes-with-gears-loving) population… we totally exist. You’ll find the girls who think your lack of a car is an endearing quality eventually… I promise, they’re out there.


jonawebb

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Dec 10 2012 at 6:01pm #

I was thinking about this, not that it concerns me in any way, and I can see how not having a car would impact dating in ways other than simply transportation. Picking up a woman in a car has an element of trust, gallantry, and intimacy to it that is not present when going on a joint bike ride or, especially, when using public transportation. So I can understand a woman being disappointed when a man does not have a car, or even when that car turns out to be a rental. You make some kind of judgment of a person based on their car, and if it is a rental that modifies that aspect of the early dates. It might take some getting used to, and some women might not want to do that.


pearmask

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Dec 10 2012 at 6:05pm #

Bleh… I think that’s totally true, but I think it says really gross things about our society being way too car-centric and having super messed-up ideas about gender roles. I wish that idea would go away.


Pseudacris

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Dec 10 2012 at 6:09pm #

This must play out differently in places like New York, Cairo, Singapore, London where you have to be wealthy, lucky, or both to have a car.


Mick

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Dec 10 2012 at 6:19pm #

Being wealthy, luck, or both has always been an aid to dating.

“How about if I send the limo around to pick you up?”


that guy

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Dec 10 2012 at 8:59pm #

Lots of ladies I know don’t have a car. My special lady included.


Anonymous

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Dec 11 2012 at 2:29am #

Who wants to go on a date by car, anyway? Then you can’t drink with abandon!


Anonymous

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Dec 12 2012 at 6:01pm #

This post has been edited by TeamDecaf to remove a spam link. Usually, I delete entire spam posts, but, as suggested by Steven, I left the amusing copy that accompanied the spam. See below:

For the cause of cycling and bicycle commuting to take root globally, cyclists of the world need to band together and help a certain Pennsylvania bike rider find a date.

While forward-looking cities such as San Francisco may have bicycle-themed dating scenes, other parts of the country can be matchmaking wastelands, suggests Brybot, a poster on a Pittsburg, PA bike-commuting bulletin board.

Brybot’s lifestyle choices might make him a hipster hottie in Berkeley or Brooklyn:

After a year here, and using my car so infrequently, I decided I might as well sell it. That way I could have the cash, not have to pay for insurance and yearly fees, and I wouldn’t have to worry about the car falling apart in disuse on the side of the road. In the roughly four months since I sold the car, I’ve used Zipcar once to go to Greensburg for a concert. Otherwise, I’ve been able to do everything on the bike, save busing to the airport when necessary. Anyway, I consider this to be a huge financial gain on my part.

In Pittsburgh, however, some women view a man who gets around by bike as a loser.

The downside, which I recognized but may not have understood the true extent, is that girls (generally speaking) do not want to date a guy without a car! As sexy as I think I am on my bikes, it just doesn’t cut it for some women. Tonight, I was talking to a girl, who as soon as she found out I didn’t have a car decided it was a deal-breaker. I’m certain this is not the only case either. I already feel like a misfit in this town. I don’t know what a Steeler or Penguin is, and I don’t know how to say Yinz. Add the biking and not having a car, and I’m a total weirdo! =(

Has anyone else experienced anything similar, or am I the only one?

A social movement that interferes with its participants love lives is bound to fail. Witness the Shakers, a Christian sect that reportedly attracted 20,000 converts during the 19th century. They banned sex, however. Unable to reproduce, the faith disappeared.

Despite its rapidly growing popularity, Bicycle commuting lives a tenuous historical moment. Even in burgeoning San Francisco, around one-thirtieth of commuters go by bike. If the movement is to survive, it must reproduce. To reproduce, it needs to shed the capital “L” that seems to have attached to cyclists in the minds of certain Pittsburgh women. Obviously, Brybot should make the first move and purchase several jaunty Gobha hats in colors that coordinate with various outfits.

The rest of us, however, need to help Brybot find someone to love. Women of Pittsburgh, we assign you to recognize the fitness, global-mindedness, practicality, economy and health of your city’s cyclists. Date them. And watch the dream of a better world unfold.

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