love and bike valentine's day

Who said Valentine’s Day was all about candlelit dinners in cramped restaurants eating set menus and sipping cheap prosecco? If you’re lucky enough to have a partner who’s just as into his two wheeled machine as you are, take advantage of Valentine’s falling on a Saturday this year and make a cycling-themed day of it.

Whether you want to head outside on your bikes, get away for the weekend or snuggle up indoors, we’ve got ample bike-themed date ideas to keep you entertained and help up the romance in your cycle-mad relationship.

The best thing of all? None of them involve waiting lists, overpriced dishes and hoards of sickeningly soppy couples. Perfect.

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There’s something quite romantic about a couple in matching aprons, flour on the tips of their noses surrounded by freshly baked cookies. Perhaps it’s the olden days images the thought draws up, or the playfulness of the scene, but an afternoon baking with your partner this Valentine’s Day has to be much more enjoyable than an evening spent in a too full restaurant shouting to be heard over all the loved up couples, doesn't it?

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Buy yourself a mix of bicycle and heart-shaped cookie cutters, follow the simple recipe below and get all domestic and creative in your loved up duo. For a bit of extra cycling love, pack the cookies into your panniers and cycle out into the sunset together.

Ingredients

450g butter

450g plain flour

220g caster sugar

150g chocolate chips or dried fruit

Method

  1. Cream the butter and caster sugar together in a large mixing bowl
  2. Sieve in the flour and mix together
  3. Stir in the chocolate chips or dried fruit
  4. Tip the dough like mixture onto a lightly floured surface and press flat with the palm of your hand
  5. Use your bicycle and heart-shaped cookie cutters to make your cookies and lay on a baking sheet
  6. Bake in a preheated oven (170C/Gas 3) for 15 minutes or until they become lightly golden
  7. Leave to cool for a few minutes and enjoy
cycling couple romantic love

Going on a bike ride seems like the obvious choice but to ensure it's as romantic and movie like as you're hoping it will be, make sure you pick a route with wide enough paths to allow you to cycle side by side. You may find yourself pedalling down the most picturesque of streets, but if you're forced to cycle one behind the other the entire way there's certainly not going to be much chance of keeping a flirty conversation going.

Big parks and bridleway routes are likely to be your best bet for wide open pathways and clearings to pedal on through together.

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Why not follow the same route you pedalled along on your first ever bike ride together? Or create a brand new memory by picking a route neither of you have ever pedalled down before.

Pack a picnic, or stop by a little tea room or cosy country pub at the halfway point to indulge in a hot chocolate or a portion of chips to share before you're back on your way again.

Hotels_0009_culdearn-house

With Valentine's Day falling on a Saturday this year, there's never been a better excuse to make a romantic weekend of it.

Pick between the Brecon Beacons, the Yorkshire Dales, the Scottish Highlands or the Peak District to experience one of the UK's most fabulous cycling destinations.

Wherever you set off to, be careful to book into a bike friendly hotel so you're not forced to leave your pride and joy tied up to a tree or find yourself out in the sticks without a rental bike in site.

A weekend cycling together down unknown lanes is the perfect opportunity for new found loves to get to know each other that little bit more and for long-term flames to reignite that shared passion for cycling and remind themselves what it is they love so much about each other.

For the perfect weekend break, treat yourselves to a deluxe hotel room with a luxurious spa bath to relax in after a long day's winter riding, order room service, and revel in your time away together.

A_Couple_on_a_cycle_in_Paris.

The novelty of a tandem bicycle never gets old. Get your hands on one this weekend as a surprise for your bicycle-loving partner and pedal out in style on Valentine's Day.

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Just try not to look too smug as you cycle past the Valentine's Day haters - no one likes a cockily loved-up couple on February 14th.

bike ride paris romance love

It may seem a bit clichéd to go to Paris for Valentine's Day but that doesn't stop it being incredibly romantic too.

Jump on the Eurostar or nab some last minute plane tickets and surprise your other half with a day-trip to the lover's capital.

Buy a one-day Vélib’ (the Boris Bike of Paris) ticket for just €1.70 and explore the entire city on two wheels.

Don't miss: Notre Dame, the Sacré-Cœur, the Eiffel Tower and the Pont des Arts bridge.

If you decide to stay for the whole weekend, pedal out of the city on a day-trip to the Palace of Versailles or for a longer ride cycle all the way to Monet's House and Gardens in Giverny.

his n hers cycling gear

If you compete in races together then chances are you already have matching cycling jerseys, but if you rarely ride together Valentine's Day could be the perfect opportunity to get yourself a pair. Sure it's a bit cringey, but it's also kind of romantic too.

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Creative couples can design their matching jerseys together (or if you're really against the idea of looking like twins, you can always design one for each other instead) or if you're not much of an artist, order yourself a matching pair online from a premium cycling clothing company such as Voler.

Once your new couple's kit has arrived, you'll be all set for a crisp Valentine's morning bike ride together. The perfect start to a loved up day.

cycling race road

Get the day off to a heated start by competing against each other in a road race or mountain bike challenge.

If there's no organised events near you, map out your own route picking a start line and finish line just for the two of you.

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Make a pact that whoever wins the race gets to choose the Valentine's night dinner and whoever loses has to cook it (or pay for it if you're heading out).

A bit of competitiveness in a relationship can be a great way to get the sparks flying. Don't be a sore loser or too cocky a winner though, we don't want any post-race break ups on Valentine's Day please.

quiz

Rather than getting competitive with each other, Valentine's Day is also the perfect opportunity to get competitive with other couples (and probably less risky too).

Invite all of your bike mad couple friends round for a night of cycling trivia games, take away pizza and chilled beer.

Really put everyone's cycling knowledge to the test by taking turns to ask each couple questions from The Cycling Trivia Book: 1001 Questions from the Velocipede to Lance or create your own more simple quiz using an online service such as Quiz Works.

A Great Prize Idea

Get prizes in for the winning couple and think up some embarrassing forfeits for the losers and you'll be all set for a great couples night in.

amsterdam bike

There's nowhere better for a loved up cycling duo to weekend in than the cyclist's paradise that is Copenhagen. February is an incredibly cold time of the year to explore this beautiful Nordic city, but if what you're after is quiet streets and a cosy hotel room then you'll certainly be in for a treat.

Be sure to pack your thermals so you can spend the days pedalling around the city centre and its perimeter without freezing to death, and splash out on a fancy hotel room to revel in luxury once the nighttime chill takes over the city's streets forcing you off your bikes and back inside.

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If you've got time on your second day, hop on the train to Sweden and spend an afternoon pedalling around Malmö or visiting one of the country's idyllic islands before returning to Copenhagen to enjoy room service wine and a steaming hot bath.