Sunday, 21 November 2010

Flirting on bikes

I wonder does anyone share my conjecture that two people, of the opposite sex (yes I know I am a dinosaur) passing in opposite directions on bikes enter a flirting zone of strangely powerful possibility?

Let me try to explain. I think there is something about the speed of approaching cyclists, their physical engagement in the open air, their genuine proximity, and the angle of approach and passing that has great flirting potential.

Were I to be walking, holding the gaze of a female approaching me from the sort of distance from which I could make out her eyes to the point of our passing would take a passage of time that would probably make both of us feel a little uncomfortable.

Staring at a woman approaching you on foot is not a good way to elicit a smile.....more likely a call to the Police. I am sure there is an equation that someone could develop to explain this....but suffice to say here that approach speed has something to do with it.

Then we have the angle of attack. Cyclists pass each other in straight lines. You ride directly towards each other and this is socially acceptable in the cycling environment. On a cycle path we are all in very close proximity...sleeve brushingly close on occasions....... and although the same effect occurs on roads it is perhaps not quite so powerful.

I think there might also be something around the fact that the bicycle provides something of a distraction -keeping it upright - pedalling - steering - changing gears....... all give the brain something to think about ....a slight distraction, creating an almost Zen like state of un-mindfulness where you are perhaps more open to possibility.

Let me describe a recent example that happened to me a few days ago.....warm day...waterfront location......cycle pedalling east....she west, a beautiful lithe blonde on a maroon Raleigh with black square framed glasses set against the peach complexion of her skin. The sun was behind me (thank God or she might have realised that I was not worthy of such a beauty) we approached I touched the peak of my cap and smiled. She graciously tilted her head, smiled, looked me full in the eye and held my gaze as we past each other with a coquettish turn of the head.

I was was one of those moments in life when it is a joy to be human. Nothing would come of it, but I hazard we both enjoyed the moment, and we were both left richer for the experience.

Perhaps the very fact that we were swiftly moving in opposite directions gave each the licence to take the action we did. Would I have done the same at walking pace? No. Would she?.....Probably there is something about:-

approach speed + passing proximity + un-mindfulness  = Flirting potential
                        direction of attack                                     possibilities

On the other hand....if there is a blonde haired woman with a red coat and a maroon Raleigh shopper thinking she remembers passing a pea-jacketed man on a Pashley the other day down by the water....Do you fancy a coffee sometime?

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