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Gear Prudence: While I know this isn’t a lonely hearts column, I’m writing with a love question. Recently I broke up with a man who claimed to be an avid cyclist, and he was the owner of a very fine, upscale sort of bicycle. Shortly before he ended the relationship, critical information came to my attention. Instead of biking from his apartment (Eastern Market) to mine (near Dupont Circle), he rode the Metro several stops to Metro Center, disembarked, and then biked the rest of the trip and completed the reverse when returning home. He told me he found the journey too strenuous, noting the significant climb up Capitol Hill. This is a distance I rode often on an iron-tank Bikeshare bicycle none the worse for wear. Where would you suggest I begin to avoid the delicate-legged in the future? —Seeking Indefatigable Nice Guys Loving Exercise
Dear SINGLE: Oh, what a tangled web we weave! As we all know, cycling prowess makes one irresistible to romantic partners, and falsely advertising one’s avidness is a most duplicitous deceit. But be honest with yourself: There were probably clues along the way. Did he “jokingly” wear his helmet backwards the first time you rode together? Did he mistakenly believe the Giro d’Italia to be some kind of Tuscan pita sandwich? Did he claim to go for weekend centuries but return a mere hour later citing an undisclosed “mechanical” and smelling suspiciously of a mimosa brunch? While there’s nothing wrong with combining bike rides and Metro trips, if you value a partner who isn’t daunted by a bit of uphill effort, then maybe it’s for the best that this relationship was a DNF.
To avoid such disappointment in the future, you’ll need a new strategy. Try spin classes for a new paramour. Search Soulcycle for a soulmate. Shutter your OkCupid account and scan Strava for prospective mates instead. Only Kings of the Mountains need apply to be your prince charming. Abscond with the results list from a local criterium and call the winners with the offer of an “unclaimed prize”—dinner with you! You could invite your top 10 Tinder contenders on a Tour D’Amour. Virginia is for lovers, so first to Purcellville and back finds you waiting with open arms. Swipe left for laggards. Only date Dutchmen.
Ultimately, though, it sounds like the real downfall of your relationship wasn’t about the stretching of legs, but the stretching the truth. Whether he’s cyclist or not, prize honesty. —GP