Each entertaining rider carts a lovey lady, with her hair blowing in the wind, along in his or her pedicab headed for Base Camp Brewing for beers, New Deal Distillery for a tasting and cocktails and Grand Central for bowling, pool, darts and more drinks.
All the while, ladies, we crack jokes, pick up on your hidden quicks and dig up a little dirt to better match you to a worthy date.
Let me guess, you’re young, fun, single in Portland and tired of trying to meet cute, classy women or quality men at the club.
My biggest anxiety, though, was that I had no idea how people would pair up to ride the lifts together. When I arrived at the bottom of the lift, I was surprised to see so many other speed daters milling around.
More than 200 people had signed up, with an almost equal split of men to women and far more skiers than snowboarders.
The man from Luvbyrd was pairing whoever seemed to be in his immediate line of sight within the same age group. ” When I said no, he looked at a tall guy standing three feet from me and asked, “Wanna go with her? As we headed to the lift, I explained that I’m not a skier who climbs—instead, I’m looking for a climber who skis, just like me. “Oh, mostly top roping and some bouldering,” he said. Much as I hate to admit it, I want a partner who climbs and skis better than I do—someone I have to keep up with.
I said this throughout the day, partly to be honest about what I was looking for, and partly to put a disclaimer out there about my mediocre skiing abilities. “I don’t go outside much because I don’t really have the gear.” Dammit. I rate my abilities in both pursuits as average, so I don’t think this is asking too much. Even though he seemed like a great guy, it was early in the day, and meeting someone more compatible seemed probable.
Throughout the day, I asked questions and took mental notes about my dates, identifying aspects as pros (tall, easy to talk to, accomplished in the mountains) or cons (really into cars, self-absorbed, inconsiderate). As soon as I arrived at the base after parting from Date Number One, I heard a voice behind me say, “Hey, what color ribbon are you? Before we could get matched with anyone else, he invited me to ski.
” I turned to see a cute skier boy (at least from what I could tell based on the five inches of exposed face under his goggles) smiling widely. Asking the ribbon question here seemed akin to asking, “Hey, how old are you? Our chatter flowed from work to college to the outdoors.
This would prove to be the most awkward part of the day: letting my dates know I wanted a new match.
Each guy was good in his own way, but speed dating is like getting a handful of tasters at a brewery: sample as many as possible before you commit to one. The one thing my logical approach to dating didn’t account for is the, the It Factor, the spark.
Luvbyrd, a dating app for outdoorsy types, has organized these speed-dating events since 2015 and hosted a day at New Hampshire’s Crotched Mountain and two days at Colorado’s Loveland this year.
I signed up for one at Loveland the weekend before Valentine’s Day.
I thanked him for the fun time and mumbled something about getting another match.