Everybody knows that getting on a bike gets you svelte, but the perks to cycling don't stop there. From insta-friends to instant street cred, there's more to cycling than just feeling fit. Here are the top ten reasons being a babe on a bike is rad:
1. Everyone loves an underdog.
Look, I’m not a fan of people having low expectations for me, but I am an enormous fan of proving people wrong. In high school, I used to roll up to stoplights in my Mustang and smile at the car in the next lane, ready to race as soon as the light turned green. The car is gone but the muscle is still there and I’m still revving at stoplights to prove that matching my lipstick to my kit has nothing to do with who’s going to take the bike lane first.
2. Single scene.
Do you like to date athletic people with penchants for coffee and beer drinking who also happen to share your favorite hobby? Well, welcome to cycling! Go to a crit or a gran fondo and enjoy the show because you’re about to see the full package in spandex, literally. Not only does getting on a bike give a girl insta-hotness amongst a sea of men, but there’s no getting stuck at a table having awkward dinner conversation. The longest awkward conversation in cycling is only the length of a stoplight. Plus, no better way to judge a mate than seeing how they handle you bonking, or better yet, how they handle watching you drop them.
3. You can QOM all over this city.
On a sheer numbers scale, there are not as many women riding. You can QOM all over your hood because it’s unlikely Marianne Vos or Mara Abbott are riding around Louisville, Kentucky. So while the guys have 700 other dudes who’ve ridden that segment, it’s a little easier to crack top ten when there’s only 40 women who have.
4. People want to fix everything for you.
I know how to fix a flat. But I’ve also very recently learned how to give myself a cool manicure, so when my tube punctures and a guy offers to fix it, who am I to say no? Look, I get it, it’s rad to do it yourself, but it’s a little ridiculous to not be appreciative of the fact that if you’re bonking and mad at the road and your tire pops, it’s likely that one of the guys on the ride with you will offer to fix it. I’m not much of a damsel in distress, but I’m happy to be a damsel in appreciation.
5. Insta-friends when there are other girls.
There’s nothing like going for a group ride with all guys to have another woman roll up. It’s like hearing someone drop a “y’all” on a train in Brussels - good God, are you from North Carolina, too? Sweet tea n’ biscuits, give me a hug!
6. Six hour slumber party.
It’s great to get drinks with friends or grab a nice meal, but two hours in a public setting can only get so intimate. Six hours on a bike in the heat of the day in the middle of nowhere gives you time to get slumber party weird with people. By mile 30, I know how you feel about your boss, but by mile 70, I know how your boss feels about your new coworker in the bathroom at the Christmas party.
7. I can eat EVERYTHING.
The major bonus to burning 2,000 calories on a ride is that you get to eat those calories. From waffles and rice cakes to Coca-Cola and Paydays while you’re on the bike, to hamburgers slathered in sauce, dripping with cheese, and wrapped in bacon as soon as you’re done, you get to eat everything and still have Fitness cover arms.
8. You’re allowed to be aggro.
The struggle to be all things all the time is a real issue for women, but on the bike, you don’t need to be sweet and polite while simultaneously being strong - you just get to be aggro-as-hell. And it’s encouraged. Make that bike face, drop people, climb harder, and when you pass the bro who thought you couldn’t keep up, flick your braid and smile.
9. The cattiness is gone.
Whatever reputation women might have for being catty in the workplace is evaporated on the bike. This is a sister help sister environment. We’ll get through this. We’ll get over this hill. We will get to the finish. There are few things more satisfying in this world than chasing a line of ponytails down a mountain.
10. You look rad.
Let’s face it - seeing a chick bombing down a mountain in her favorite kit on her dream bike is about the coolest thing ever. Having someone ask how far you biked and seeing their face when you say “65 miles” is a better confidence booster than three margaritas.