Dear Tell All: I bike to work downtown on the southwest commuter path. I see a lot of the same bikers every day, including this guy who's dressed to the nines in his official cycling gear. He's got it all: the helmet with the little rearview mirror attached, the skintight jersey and shorts, the expensive shades and the Tour de France shoes, along with some kind of sleek racing bike. Meanwhile, I'm just tooling along in my work clothes, with no helmet, on a rusty old girl's bike I've had for years. I find these intense bike-subculture people ridiculous, and I always rolled my eyes whenever this guy passed me in a cloud of dust.
The routine had gone on for a couple of seasons until this summer, when Biker Guy surprised me by slowing down to talk. His comment was, "You should get a helmet." I've heard that before, and it drives me nuts - none of your beeswax! But Biker Guy didn't say it in the holier-than-thou tone that bikies usually take. It was a gentle comment, delivered with a sheepish smile. He didn't seem to be upbraiding me - it was more like he actually cared.
I explained why I don't wear a helmet (I bike so slowly that any fall is unlikely to be fatal). He had a funny response, and we chatted for a little while before he zoomed off again. He's stopped a few more times since then, and I've started to warm up to the guy, despite the skintight getup. To be honest, I'm starting to think the outfit looks kind of sexy on him.
The thing is, I have no idea if Biker Guy likes me back, or if he's just being friendly. How can I move this bike-path relationship to the next level?
Banana Seat Betty
Dear Betty: Head immediately to a local bike shop. Get yourself fingerless gloves, front and rear lights and a couple of those DayGlo pants-protector strips for your ankles. To Biker Guy, these items will have a powerful aphrodisiac effect.
If you buy a regulation helmet as well, he'll be practically helpless. Send me an invitation to the wedding.