Two hands on the handlebars has been the modus operandi for college cyclists since our parents’ parents rode them – practical, socially acceptable, safe. Biking in the intended all-hands-on-deck style of operation was all it took to impress the pants off students’ desired other-students.
Those days are over. According to a recent psych department thesis study, anyways.
“So. Fucking. Cool,” a freshman expletes, flushed with her first glimpse of a guy riding a bike with no hands. “Did you see that?!” she breathlessly exclaims. Upon further questioning about why she found the act so intriguing, she bolted in his direction and tossed what appeared to be a promise ring into the bushes beside her.
The study tested three hand positions (two, one, and none) and had college students of both sexes rate the rider’s attractiveness. Those polled concluded almost unanimously that less hands means more “rugged, likely to bear muscular children,” and less “likely to be afraid of spiders.”
“Riding a bike with one hand is just more suave, dangerous, devil-may-care than the more traditional two-handed approach,” asserts the leader of the study. “And no hands? My team and I believe that may be how James Bond would ride a cruiser.” He raises an eyebrow. “That’s what we like to picture, anyways.”
Young men and women alike have been learning to ride single- or no-handedly to discover their more virile, appealing version of themselves. The ones who can, now, are also becoming more exclusive.
“I can’t even get excited by bidextrous bikers anymore,” said the young no-hand-riding man who earlier aroused the freshman, when I caught up to and propositioned him on his way into class. “Uni or non, all the way.”
All this journalist can do now, like anybody ever could, is spend a few late nights learning to ride no handedly in the cover and solitude of darkness. At least we can take comfort in the fact that as there is an increase in no-hands bikers on campus, there’s another increase. In all of our pants.
“You watch them whiz by, effortlessly, and you know they know how cool they look,” the author of the thesis. “Why else would they do it?”