On Dating: Getting Outdoors and Meeting People

Friday, May 15, 2009

Is it time to go out and play yet?

Gotta be, right? Every possible drop of rain must have fallen by now.

And "outside" is a fertile place for D.C. singles. The area is rife with social groups that meet regularly to explore the region's parks, trails and nature preserves (and you don't have to join the clubs to participate).

Most of the groups are not strictly for singles, but they're all designed to promote friendships among the active-minded in low-stress, fun environments.

So if you have cabin fever and you're looking to meet new people, consider one of the following:

Maryland Outdoor Club (http://www.mdoutdoorclub.org) This club does everything from kayaking to biking to paintball and hiking. And sometimes members meet just to sit, have a drink and talk. On Saturday they're gathering to help with maintenance on the Appalachian Trail. And on Wednesday they'll be biking the BWI Trail.

Northern Virginia Hiking Club (http://www.nvhc.com) If you like long walks in the woods, this might be the group for you. It often sponsors two to three hikes every weekend and usually ends each excursion with a bite to eat. On Saturday the club is hosting a hike in Shenandoah National Park and another in Montgomery County. On Sunday the hikers will gather at Leesylvania State Park in Woodbridge.

Potomac Pedalers Touring Club (http://www.bikepptc.org) If biking is more your thing, you should link up with this crew. The group rides almost every day and is known to be particularly welcoming to newcomers. Just make sure to pick a ride that matches your skills.

Bike and Brunch (http://www.bikeandbrunch.com) Okay, this one is for singles. A "really friendly, Jewish-tinged, mostly single" group is how Ronn Levine, the organization's president, describes it. Every Sunday, the group bikes for a couple of hours and stops for a meal. This Sunday is one of the club's biggest annual events: a bike-and-barbecue at Fletcher's Boat House.

If you could give your younger self one piece of dating or relationship advice, what would it be? Send us your deep thoughts -- and any other D.C. dating tips or rants -- to dating@washpost.com, and we'll share some of the best in the following weeks.

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