There are several ways to establish romance in a piece of work, such as including an Accidental Hand-Hold or a Bridal Carry and so on.
Similarly, another common way to establish romance is through having a character, usually male though not necessarily, ride a bike or a horse with a female character (the Love Interest) holding the male character's waist for safety reasons (read: though it's really just an excuse to have her touch the guy; safety is the last concern here). This trope is a staple in Asian media.
The trope can be played out in various ways:
- The guy might pretend that there's something on the road that causes the bike to wobble so he can have the girl cling to him even tighter.
- The girl might be scared the whole ride because it's her first time doing this while the guy drives insanely and laughs at her reactions.
- On the contrary, the girl might enjoy the new experience the ride brings and either put her hands up in the air or stand up on her backseat in joy.
In any way, the guy is mostly a Badass Biker who is there to look cool in front of his Love Interest. It may also happen with a Knight In Shining Armour.
Remember it's not restricted to motorbikes only. Bicycles, horses, and all two-wheeled means of transportation qualify. It also can be gender inverted and include same-gender couples even if it's not quite that common. Also, examples that involve romantic flying go on Flight of Romance, if it's not romantic nor a ride on the ground by any means then it's not this trope.
If a female is doing the driving and the other person in the relationship is holding onto her instead, then she'll most likely be a Badass Biker and this will establish her as the cool, awesome girlfriend.
Sister Trope to Flight of Romance. If it's a tandem bike they're sharing, the person at the back might be a positive Tandem Parasite. See also Motorcycle on the Coast Road if the romantic ride sharing happens on the coast road. Unrelated to Riding into the Sunset unless the lovers' ride happens at the end of a work.
- Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu: Done twice between Sosuke and Kaname. The first time, they were riding a "borrowed" bicycle after retrieving Kaname's notes for a school assignment from Sousuke's apartment. It's a truly tender and touching scene... until a cop tries to bust them for riding double on a bike. Later, after a scare at an abandoned hospital where Sosuke thought Kaname had been hurt, he's carrying her on his bike and admits briefly that he'd been scared she'd been mortally wounded. Kaname was so happy about hearing this that she nearly causes him to crash, teasing him about it.
- In The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Makoto is seen without her signature bike, so Mamiya tells her to hop on his bike instead. He takes the opportunity to ask her out during their ride.
- Hyouka provides an interesting example. When Chitanda offers Oreki a ride home on her bike he begins to imagine two scenarios, one of Chitanda being the one to drive the bike while he's the one holding her waist with a colorful background behind them along with butterflies, and the other is him driving the bike while she's the one holding onto him with angels and birds in the background. He refuses the offer anyway.
- Hilariously subverted in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: JoJolion. Daiya attempts to invoke this trope, with her and Josuke sharing the same bike, and her asking him to sing Queen's "Bicycle Race" once she starts pedaling. Problem is, Josuke is oblivious of her advances on him, and because he's amnesiac, he has no clue what that song is.
- Played With on Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun.
- Sakura, an assistant to shoujo manga author Nozaki, suggests the classic romance trope of having the male and female leads of his manga bike home together, with the female lead behind the male one. Nozaki bluntly replies that such a scenario is now against traffic rules.
- The next day, Nozaki invites Sakura to go home together. Sakura, who is in love with him, agrees; upon seeing Nozaki walk to where the students' bikes are kept, she dreams up romantic biking scenarios such as wrapping her hands around his waist. However, Nozaki unveils a tandem bike because of the aforementioned rule. What follows is a decidedly unromantic bike ride between the two of them; when asked if it felt romantic, Sakura responds that at best, it develops mutual trust. Nozaki even asks her to wrap her arms around his waist, but the seats are too far apart.
- Nozaki then attempts to write the situation into his shoujo manga, where the romantic lead Suzuki unveils his own tandem bike. Sakura says it's not appealing. Nozaki then gives him a four-person bike, has girls fight over who gets to sit behind him, and all four seats get stolen. Eventually, it gets pared down to the leads walking home together instead of sharing Suzuki's bike.
- Upon seeing her classmates comment that the manga's final bike scene was very swoon-worthy, Sakura apparently changes her mind about the tandem bike and invites Nozaki on a ride with her, though the resultant ride is still unromantic.
- In Sing a Bit of Harmony:
- Aya recalls a memory of her object of affection Gocchan driving a bike with her in the backseat holding onto his waist while her face is blushing.
- At the end of the movie, when Shion's friends all go to save her, Aya is on the backseat of Gocchan's bike and lampshading this trope.
- Snow White with the Red Hair: Shirayuki doesn't know how to ride a horse and thus has to ride with someone else or take a carriage for long distances. Her boyfriend deeply wants to ride with her, but his attendants point out that due to his station he can't and she rides with one of them instead. While he does eventually get to ride with her for a short distance by the time he'd be able to ride with her again she's learned to ride on her own, which disappoints him while he tries to congratulate her.
- Teasing Master Takagi-san: Takagi convinces Nishikata to practice riding double on her bike with her to invoke this trope, as she has something of a crush on him, and it's not exactly hidden, though she's also aware that Nishikata is oblivious.
- In Terror in Resonance Twelve comes on his bike to take Lisa away from the cops and she gets to enjoy the air as it hits her face during the whole ride.
- The American illustrator Tom Lovell has a painting of a couple riding a white horse at the beach with the woman tightly hugging the man from the back while looking at the spectators.
- Entergalactic: Jabari takes Meadow home on the back of his bike. Though his friends make fun of him for not at least booking an Uber, the trippy sequence showing them connecting in space that occurs on the ride shows that it was a really romantic moment.
- In The LEGO Ninjago Movie, when Garmadon imagines the life he could've shared with his wife Koko had he given up his evil ways, Koko is shown embracing Garmadon as they ride off on a motorbike into the sunset.
- The end sequence of Amélie, when Nino and Amelie are shown riding down the streets of Montmartre on a motorcycle, teasing one another playfully and generally being so deeply in love that they are completely oblivious to the world around them. Watch the scene here.
- Downplayed in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, which only goes as far as implying mutual attraction between Butch Cassidy and Etta Place, the girlfriend of his best friend the Sundance Kid. Said mutual attraction is exemplified in a scene where Butch takes Etta on a bicycle ride — he steers while she sits on the handlebars — set to the lighthearted song "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head", and the two are very physically affectionate throughout.
- At the end of It, Bill takes his wife Audra - who is catatonic from the horrific events - for a ride on his old bicycle, riding fast and recklessly like he did in his childhood. It snaps Audra out of her catatonia and they kiss, finally able to get on with their lives.
- There are several scenes in The Wraith where Keri rides on the back of Jake's motorbike that are intended to suggest Keri being close to the ghost of her dead boyfriend. There's also a moment early in the film where Jake offers Keri a ride on his bike, but her overly possessive, evil "boyfriend" Packard gets in the way. At the end of the movie, after Packard is killed and Jake reveals his true identity to Keri, the two take off together into the Arizona desert.
- In the The Kissing Booth movie, Elle rides on the back of Noah's bike. This is the beginning of their forbidden romance, as her best friend Lee absolutely hates the idea of her dating his older brother. Later, it shows a montage of Elle sneaking into his room, riding on the back of his bike again, and screaming in delight.
- Little Birds: Over the opening credits, Allison rides her bike while Lily holds onto her at the back. Though their relationship is not explicitly romantic, it reflects the intense co-dependency of their Pseudo-Romantic Friendship (and that Allison is the more traditionally "masculine", responsible friend, while Lily is flighty, irresponsible, and more feminine).
- My Summer of Love: Once the moped of Mona (Natalie Press) is fitted with a working engine, she goes on a ride with Tamsin (Emily Blunt) just as their friendly relation veers lesbian.
- The Quiet Man: While on a chaperoned courting date (as is custom in the old Irish village where the film takes place), Shaun and Mary Kate decide to ditch the chaperone by grabbing a bicycle built for two and riding off.
- Roman Holiday: Joe takes Princess Ann to see the sights of Rome on his vespa. Ann later tries to drive it herself and Joe chases after her to try and steer it properly, causing a disturbance that gets them arrested. They get out of it, and the experience is one that solidifies their odd mutual attraction.
- Top Gun: Maverick: Maverick rides Penny home on his motorcycle multiple times, until she finally invites him into the house.
- TRON: Legacy: Sam and Quorra have some subtle Ship Tease. At the end, he gives her a ride on his bike, with her hugging him from behind, and she admires the view of their surroundings before burying her face in his back.
- The Way He Looks: Early in the film, Leonardo (who is blind) comments to Gabriel (who gives him bike rides) that it would be impossible for him to ride a bicycle. The film ends with Leo and Gabriel confessing their relationship to their friends and riding a single bicycle down a road, with Leo cycling and Gabriel standing on the back wheel and helping him steer.
- Happy Days: Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli is a promiscuous biker. As such, he's often seen riding on a motorcycle with a woman hugging him from behind.
- Itaewon Class: Yiseo asks Geunsoo to take her on a ride on his bike and he refuses but she tells him she wants to go with him or she'll be pissed at him so he agrees in the end and tells her to hold tight as he drives off.
- NCIS: In "Jet Lag," Tony and Ziva are assigned a case that brings them to Paris. They spend a night there before needing to pick up their witness, and the episode begins as Tony playfully pulls up to the cafe Ziva is sitting in on a Vespa, having been sightseeing. She hops on the back, ostensibly so he can drive them to the airport. This moment gets a Call-Back in season 13's "Family First," when Tony finds a framed picture of it in Tali's bag. She points out Ziva, and then him, successfully pulling off a Luke, You Are My Father despite being under two.
- Sesame Street: At the end of the "One Way" song, the biker rides a motorcycle with his girlfriend in the back seat, hugging him.
- Skam: In "Keen for a swim", Isak and Even ditch the girls they were pregaming with and share a nighttime bicycle ride, with Even cycling and Isak behind him. They ride the bike to a pool together where they eventually kiss.
- When Jugyeong from True Beauty (2020) forgets her bag at the Karaoke, and thus has no money to go back home, she asks Seojun to lend her money. He initially refuses but then he gives her an extra helmet and tells her to ride his motorbike instead. They share a bike all the way home and this is the first gesture that shows that Seojun cares for Jugyeong.
Seojun: Hey. (Touches the extra helmet) Hop on before I change my mind.
Jugyeong: Really? Thank you.
- The White Lotus: Invoked. Tanya wants to feel like Monica Vitti, so she rents a vespa for her and her husband to drive through the streets of Sicily. The resulting ride is very uncomfortable for Greg.
- Katy Perry's "Harleys in Hawaii" song revolves around this trope since a Harley is a famous American Motorcycle brand.
You and I, I
Riding Harleys in Hawaii-ai-ai
I'm on the back I'm holding tight-ai-ai
Want you to take me for a ride-ai, ride
- Invoked in Final Fantasy VII Remake when Jessie Raspberry hires Cloud to help her on a solo mission to the upper plate. Biggs and Wedge join them, and both pairs travel on motorcycles. Jessie takes every opportunity to play this trope up, hugging Cloud from behind more than once. It's implied that at least part of the reason she does so is that Cloud's responses amuse her.
- Metal Gear Solid ends with Snake riding a snowmobile into the Alaskan sunrise, with either Meryl or Otacon right behind him.
- In Persona 4 Golden, Yosuke attempts to invoke this trope by getting a motorcycle, and convincing the protagonist to do the same, so he can take girls out for rides (and feel their chests pressed against his back when they get scared). Unfortunately, he can only afford an electric scooter, which doesn't exactly give him the Badass Biker image he was looking for, and his attempt at picking up women only leads to a repeat of the catastrophic "Operation Babe Hunt" from Persona 3: the only girl who's remotely interested is Hanako, who destroys the scooter when she tries to sit on it.
- A gender inverted example in In Seoul 2 where Harim drives her bike to go to the supermarket with Chultto sitting in the back asking her why they're going to the supermarket and she answers him that she wants to spend time with him and to grab tight.
- King of the Hill: In "Queasy Rider", Hank and Peggy get a motorcycle to try and fix their strained marriage. At first, Hank drives with Peggy holding on. When Peggy wants to switch, he makes excuses. Eventually, he reveals he doesn't want to ride in the back because "it just doesn't work that way with biker couples" and the back seat is called the "bitch seat", and they have a fight. By the end, they make up and ride home together with Peggy driving (because Hank's glasses broke). He starts out holding onto her shoulders, but as he grows more comfortable, moves his hands to her waist and holds her closer.
- Muzzy in Gondoland: Bob the gardener takes princess Slyvia out for a ride on his motorbike. Bob rides the motorbike up front, while Slyvia hugs him from the back. They sang a song about how much they love each other.
- Kidd Video: The show's intro features the live-action Kidd and Carla doing this. This being a 1980s Saturday morning cartoon, however, the romance is largely implied.