I don’t know if cyclists go on more dates, but I have been asked out twice while on my bike and I doubt it’s because my helmet looks particularly good on me. So what is my theory? Being on a bike increases our proximity to those around us and thus the possibility and ease of connection. We are on the same level as other cyclists and pedestrians. We can see and hear each other, make eye contact and are not separated by any physical barriers.
In fact, it surprises me that there aren’t more connections between cyclists (or pedestrians, for that matter). As cyclists, we often act like we are driving a car; we pass each other, we speed ahead, we express frustration at those cycling slower than us. We have become commuters on two wheels.
However, biking and walking have so much potential to increase social interactions and this ease of interacting also increases safety. We are able to make eye contact, we are moving at slower speeds and we can stop more readily (although reluctantly) for pedestrians and oncoming traffic. Conversely, in a car we are far away from each other, separated by a metal and glass box and immersed in our world of Top 40 music, audio-books or phone conversations (hands-free, of course).
Walking and cycling in the city give us a chance to take in the city around us, look at others, smile perhaps, and create a (if fleeting) connection.