Shortly before Ann Klein left her home in Oakland, Calif., to meet Krist Roginski for a first date at an Italian restaurant in Menlo Park, Calif., she began considering her mode of transportation.
“I decided to drive, mostly because I was wearing a dress,” said Ms. Klein, 56, the chief product officer at Tact.ai, a software company in Sunnyvale, Calif.
Recalling the day in March 2016 that would change her life, Ms. Klein said: “What I really wanted to do was ride my bike to the restaurant — it was only 25 miles away.”
Ms. Klein is a recreational distance cyclist, as is Mr. Roginski, 57, an engineering manager at the Inphi Corporation in Santa Clara, Calif., whom she met on OkCupid.
“I’m reading her profile and thinking, ‘This woman seems too good to be true,’” he said. “We both love biking and hiking and other outdoor activities, and we seemed to have so much in common.”
Before meeting in person, each learned that the other had been training for distance cycling races.
“I was training for both a 400-kilometer and 600- kilometer race, so the thought of biking 25 miles for a first date really wasn’t a big deal,” Ms. Klein said.
But there were romantic distances that she could not handle, which is why Ms. Klein programmed her OkCupid account to toss any profile from beyond 25 miles, into a separate discard file.
As a result, she nearly overlooked Mr. Roginski’s profile, which she said “was full of excitement about the outdoors and bikes.”
Mr. Roginski was equally excited. “I was so impressed with her,” he said. “I couldn’t wait to meet her.”
Ms. Klein, divorced and raising a child, drove to their first get-together in a completely different mind-set. “I went with very low expectations,” she said. “You just never know.”
But before their appetizers were served, each was head over handlebars for one other.
“Never in my lifetime had I met someone with so much energy,” said Mr. Roginski, a divorced father of three who lived in Menlo Park. “She was just an incredibly positive force.”
Numerous dates followed through very long, hilly rides at weekend racing events in places like San Luis Obispo, Calif., and Santa Rosa, Calif., and the couple soon began enjoying long backpacks in the Sierras, backcountry skiing and mountain biking.
They also found joy on days they rested, relaxing with Ms. Klein’s dog, Boris, or taking “shorter hikes or bike rides,” as Ms. Klein put it, with their teenage children.
They took adventure trips every year around Thanksgiving, exploring places like Moab, Utah; the Grand Canyon; and Sedona, Ariz. On one unforgettable morning in November 2019 at Zion National Park in Utah, they hiked up the snowy Emerald Pools Trail to a waterfall surrounded by ice, and Mr. Krist dropped to one knee and proposed.
The couple were married Aug. 22 by Denise Primrose, who became ordained through Church of Inner Light in Oakland. She performed the ceremony at Lower Cathedral Lake in Yosemite National Park.
“Never in my wildest dreams could I have met such a kind and generous, loving man who was better suited for me,” Ms. Klein said.
“It’s a good thing I checked that discard file,” she said.