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An advertisement for a bicycle leads to lasting romance for buyer and seller

SALT LAKE CITY — Online classifieds ended up getting Tyler Newman far more than he bargained for. While looking for a good deal on a road bike, the 27-year-old Riverton man ended up with a wife, too.

"I thought it was a great deal," he said, standing hand-in-hand with Michelle Oliverson Newman, 22, at the Salt Lake LDS Temple. The two were wed Friday, following almost a year of courtship, which began with an advertisement posted online last May.

Newman had been looking for something to help him train for an upcoming triathlon and a used Dawes Lightning bicycle he found on seemed to have the perfect price tag — just $300. Several other callers had inquired about the bike, but Oliverson said she held onto it for the seemingly "serious" first caller.

"Turns out I was really serious," Newman joked.

When he showed up to check out the merchandise on a May day in 2010, Newman said he had a hard time keeping his eyes on the bike. He was pretty taken by the seller.

The two exchanged a few questions and Newman soon became a little uncomfortable with the fact that Oliverson was acquainted with a former girlfriend of his, and had recently waited on his father at a jewelry store where she worked.

"She knew all these random things about me and I knew nothing of her," he said. "I was pretty weirded out at that point, so I decided not to ask her out, even though I had wanted to."

Although the ad indicated she was willing to negotiate, Oliverson said her customer just handed over cash for the asking price and walked away.

"I ran downstairs after and said, 'Dad, this cute boy just bought my bike,'" she said.

It wasn't too long before Newman mustered the courage to give her a call, pretending to have a question about the bike. … and the rest is history.

"She was really outgoing and I could tell she just loved life and had a good attitude about things," Newman said about a first impression he recalled of his bride.

In addition to their unique story, the happy couple now has a bit of advice for anyone still looking for that special someone.

"Roller blades, skateboards, anything you might not use could get you your eternal companion. It's free on," Oliverson said. "It definitely worked for me."

At any given time, hosts more than 350,000 general merchandise classified ads. Approximately 11,000 new ads are posted every day.

Oliverson's mother said the events that transcribed from a single posting, "put eHarmony to shame."

The bicycle, though it has changed hands, remains a part of the couple's life. It was a focal point in a commemorative display at the entryway of their wedding dinner celebration Friday night.

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