I am female. It's a fact and, unless I have very expensive reassignment surgery against my will, it's something that will never change.
Although I rage against my male cycling counterparts who needlessly push me around or assume they're faster than me because I'm a woman, being female does come with some remarkable benefits:
No man will ever look good in lycra, no matter how hard they try. Chris Hoy looks bloody ridiculous in it and he's incredibly toned and quite hot. Women, on the other hand, should revel in lycra. It sucks you in in all the right places and the more you cycle, the hotter you will look in it.
Plus, our genitalia are not generally visible while we're in lycra, todgers on the other hand are highly visible, as are testicles. Hello boys indeed.
2. Asking for help.
Perhaps I live among unusual men, but in my experience men are rubbish at asking for advice and/or help. Yesterday I realised my front V-brake needed adjusting. The crap bike shop that did my last service had rounded off the allen key slot and done it up incredibly tightly. I couldn't get it to budge. Therefore, when I saw the lovely N, a colleague who cycles, I asked for his help. We then met in the car park and he sorted the problem for me.
Don't get me wrong, if I have a problem I can sort myself, I'm happy to do it but I am equally happy to ask for help if I cannot do it alone.
3. The 'damsel in distress' response.
Every time I've had a puncture/mech problem somewhere public, someone has stopped and asked if I needed help. Often, it's been more than one person. When I've mentioned this to male friends they've been incredulous.
'In London?', 'Someone actually stopped?!', 'And you didn't know them?!??!?!?!'.
Yes, it would appear that being female in appearance greatly increases your chances of being offered help. Not only that but, in my experience, men are unwilling to accept mine. I have stopped and offered puncture repair help to many stricken cyclists and have been refused every time. This is despite the fact that a few of them admitted they had no repair stuff with them or didn't know what to do.
So this one's a double whammy. Women get extra help if they want it and men won't take up your time if you offer your assistance to them so you can feel all righteous without actually having to do anything.
4. Extra helpings of admiration.
While women remain in the woeful minority among cyclists it means I get extra admiration and praise for cycling. I am extra brave and a little bit naughty. While I always feign nonchalance at being told this, secretly I love it. 'Well, you know, it's only about 100 miles a week.' Inside I'm preening.
I'm sure I'll think of some more but for now I'll sign off...