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Love/hate contest winner: the bike trip that wouldn’t end

We read your stories. They made us cringe. They made us laugh. They made us “awww.” But this one took the prize because, well, we cringed hard. Congratulations, we guess? To help this unlucky soul recover from this traumatic date, we’ve awarded them with a two-night stay at Thompson Miami Beach! If you are still looking for love join us at The Love Shack Saturday night!

My worst date was in rural Ecuador three years ago. I was new to the area and a doctor I worked with offered to show me around and take me biking in the mountains. I wasn’t feeling well that morning, but I had already committed to the date and I ran out of minutes on my pay as you go phone to cancel. It took an hour for him to find me because he misunderstood which park I was waiting at, and the place I was living didn’t have a real address you could MapQuest. “Pick me up at the house after all the bus stops end, after the water tanks, and around the corner from where the graffiti is” doesn’t really work.

We set off to the mountains and beautiful lake, and everything seemed like it was going in the right direction. He unloads the car and takes one bike out of the trunk. My understanding was that we were biking together, especially considering he already knew I needed to borrow one. Instead, he drove next to me and talked while I wobbly biked very slowly for an hour. When this method of communication failed, he started slowly jogging next to me. My stomach hurt the entire time and I had a feeling I was getting a UTI, something a hard bicycle seat between my legs didn’t help. He was friendly with some bikers in the area and he asked them if I could ride with them. I was under the impression that these were people he knew. Instead, it was a random couple neither of us had ever met who he asked if I could ride a 10km trail with. I didn’t know this until halfway through the trail. Thankfully his abandonment didn’t lead to anything serious! He lapped us with his car now and then to take pictures of me with his camera phone. The route went around a lake so I couldn’t even turn around easily if I wanted to.

Two hours later he greeted me at the finish line of the race I didn’t know I was participating in, and asked if I wanted to walk to get some dinner. He said it wasn’t far. We walked for an hour. At this point, I wasn’t even hungry and my stomach pain was becoming severe. When we finally got to the restaurant, we had fried fish and a heavy potato dish which I could barely touch. He asked if I wanted to take the bus back to the car instead of walking. This route took 10 minutes. We eventually made it, and he dropped me home after a 10 hour date, most of which was spent being confused and without him. I proceeded to be up all night with a fever, multiple parasite infections, and a UTI that the doctors described as “muy fuerte”. I was so sick that I was hallucinating, and I continued to be sick for the next few weeks. Needless to say, I did not go biking again, and there was certainly not a second date.