Bike Ride
by Dave

Couple on a Date Riding Bikes
Get outside and see different things, explore new areas, and experience the freedom and fun of a bike ride. This is a great no-frills date idea where you're just pedaling along, talking about all the different things that pop into view, and learning more about each other. Take a few minutes to plan out an interesting trip ahead of time and you should have the makings for a fun day.

When planning your ride, there are two main parts: the route and the destination. In a perfect world, you'd immediately know of a beautiful, scenic ride leading to an amazing restaurant or bakery, but in the real one you may have to fudge it a bit. That's ok, perfection is overrated and the main point is to be out doing something together, the rest is just extra. To come up with a plan, sit down and consider what your area has to offer. Use a little imagination; what would be fun to see up close? Where would you like to go? Maybe some of these thoughts will get the ideas flowing:

  • Drive out to a small town and ride bikes through the country until you find a nice hilltop for a picnic
  • Stay in the city and bike out over a bridge to a trendy new Japanese restaurant.
  • Is there a scenic park around? Explore it on your way to a French bakery for coffee and dessert.
  • Have you heard about a particular part of town with great architecture? Bike through it and then have lunch at an unusual restaurant.
  • Head down to the beach at low tide and cruise along the water's edge until you're ready to take a swim and eat lunch.
  • Look up local landmarks or historic spots and bike from place to place, learning new things about your city.
  • Here in San Diego we might ride along the bay, take a ferry ride over to Coronado, and then have lunch at the Hotel Del.
  • Couples in San Francisco may decide to bike out over the Golden Gate Bridge and then have lunch at Fisherman's Wharf.

Remember, even with a plan there are no set rules, be flexible enough to change it up and stop anywhere or do anything you like. If you see an arcade and both want to stop for some pinball, then that's the new plan! As long as you're having fun. Those of you still drawing a blank, try contacting a local bike shop or bike clubs for recommendations. Also, try to pick routes with little to no traffic, and bike paths if possible. A call to your city's parks and recreation department should yield a map of local bike paths.

When it comes to bikes, we all know the standard romantic scene where a couple is blissfully riding along on a tandem bike, huge smiles on their faces. But in reality, tandems can be a little restricting, especially on a first date. I know some people really like them, but maybe hold off until the next time you go for biking. If you come up short on the bikes, and can’t borrow from friends, rent from a local shop, or even pick one up on craigslist. Rental shops will usually charge you $30 or so for the day and many times you can buy a bike for not much more than that on craigslist. Plus, some of the ones for sale are these really great old junkers. Keep in mind that your standard 10-speed won't do well on the beach or over uneven surfaces, and cruisers aren't good for long distances.

You will need at least one backpack to hold water, food, sunscreen, wallets, maps, makeup, and whatever else. If the plan is to picnic, you may want a second backpack to hold a light blanket. One thing I always recommend for active outdoor dates is bringing a few washcloths along to freshen up before lunch or at some point during the ride. Use a little water to dampen the washcloths and wipe down your face, neck, and arms. You will be amazed at how much better you will feel for lunch after this one little thing. Bring a Ziploc bag for used washcloths.

As a last thought, you may also want to build an element of surprise into the date. For example, if your date likes Indian food, find a restaurant with great reviews and end the ride there. Or if they like art, take them on a ride through the city that finishes at an art exhibit they've been wanting to see.

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Bring along easy food that you can carry in a backpack like a baguette or crackers, cheese or dip, olives, cookies, and wine. Don't forget water!

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