7 bike enthusiasts
If these hardcore cycling enthusiasts love their rides so much, why don't they marry them? Believe us, they would if they could.
Two broken ribs didn’t stop Sarah Miller from riding, but the injury did change her taste in men.
Sarah Miller collects bikes like Hugh Hefner collects blonds: over time, and in her boudoir. “I have four bikes in my bedroom,” says the 24-year-old bike-mechanics teacher. “But I like to keep the bikes a secret, by keeping them in my closet, as opposed to having them be the centerpiece. There’s room for guests in the bedroom as long as they don’t mind.”
The self-professed bike nut spends 75 percent of her time with cycles: fixing them, riding them and teaching how to repair them, both at West Town Bikes in Humboldt Park and Tilden High School on Chicago’s South Side. Even when she’s not at work, Miller’s still getting some two-wheel play.
“Everyone I’ve dated is way into bikes,” says the Logan Square resident. “I’ve typically dated four types of guys: artists who use bikes for transportation, messengers, mechanics and bike-mechanics teachers.”
The biking bug bit Miller in college, when a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison urged her not to own a car. Since moving to Chicago in 2005, Miller’s remained car-free—and suffered the, er, car-sequences.
“I had an accident on Halloween 2005 where I got a collapsed lung and two broken ribs,” she says. “I wear a helmet now, and I look over my left shoulder all the time. It definitely changed the way I ride.”
It also changed the way she dated—after the crash, Miller says, she became more critical of potential mates. “I judge guys by how they ride,” she explains. “Do they wait for me at intersections? Do they wear a helmet? Can they keep up?”
Miller, who possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of Chicago’s bike paths, says her perfect date would involve a picnic at the South Side’s Rainbow Park. That, and maybe a dude with a cotton candy–colored bike.
“I once dated a guy who rode a pink Cannondale,” she says. “I was, like, That’s a man right there who can do that!”