A Moving Proposal

Unique proposal makes bike ride a memorable one

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Jessica Ahrens
    Fellow riders cheered as Jeremiah Catalano-Reilly proposed to Michelle Simon during a monthly ride.

    Marriage can be a wild ride. So it's  appropriate that a couple of young Chicagoans have started the lifelong journey from the seats of thier bikes.

    On Friday night, Jeremiah Catalano-Reilly and Michelle Simon joined hundreds of cyclists in the monthly Critical Mass ride through downtown Chicago.

    Near the east end of upper Wacker Drive, however, most of the riders in front of the couple slowed to a stop, leaving Simon to wonder what was going on.

    Catalano-Reilly and Simon made their way through the crowd. In front of them, a few of their friends held a large 16-foot-by-5-foot banner that said "Michelle Monique Simon, Will you marry me?"

    Proposal on the Go

    [NATL] Proposal on the Go
    Marriage can be a wild ride. So it's appropriate that a couple of young Chicagoans have started the lifelong journey from the seats of their bikes. (Published Monday, Aug 3, 2009)

    Simon, caught completely by surprise, nearly fell off her bike.

    "Oh my God! This is awesome!" she yelled.

    After she told her beau a passionate "yes," Simon and Catalano-Reilly kissed as the crowd of cyclists cheered.

    The setting was all too fitting for the couple, whose relationship has always revolved around bicycles.

    "They first met two years ago in front of the Museum of Contemporary Photography, where she worked and where he was meeting a friend," reports the Chicago Tribune.

    "As fate would have it, their paths crossed the next night at a Midnight Marauders bike ride. They talked a little and began riding. When one of his tires developed a tiny leak, she was the only rider to offer the use of a tire pump. Simon stayed alongside Catalano-Reilly the rest of the ride, letting him refill the leaky tire whenever he stopped."

    Catalano-Reilly couldn't afford an engagement ring just yet, so instead he offered a symbolic gift: "I bought the same type of pump that she let me use, painted it gold, and I put fake gems on it."

    The new fiancé loved it.

    And we're sure she'd look sweet upon the seat of a bicycle built for two.

    Matt Bartosik, a "between blogs" blogger, never learned to ride a bike.