Sunday, January 25, 2009

It's HAWT.

Cyclists have shaved legs. Most of you know that. Not many really know why though. There are many reasons. Most of them are BS. OK almost all of them are BS. The only ones that get close to a realistic reason are these:
  • It is easier to care for and keep clean wounds if there is no hair.

  • It is more comfortable to receive a massage if you lack hair on your legs. It makes it less of a PITA for the one who is giving you the massage as well.

OK. That's it. Even those are a stretch (when was the last time I got a leg massage after a race).

The pathetic ones are the ones that most non-cyclists think are the reasons for shaving. Highest on that list is "it's because it's more aerodynamic". It's not folks. Well...OK it technically is but by something like a nano-second over a 1,000 mile race. So....yeah, whatever.

So why do racers shave? Simple: to belong. It is well known that you can look around at the start of a cat 4/5 race and pick out the guys who are either new or aren't serious because they have hairy legs. It's like a badge of newbism.

So what does this mean for me? Well, I used to shave as a junior. Mainly because I knew it was supposed to be done. By junior I mean I was 13-14 and shaving my legs. My parents really must have thought I was strange.

I did it for a while even after I was 'outed' in the middle of a class when the kid in front of me shouted to everyone, "OMG! - Psimet shaves his legs! Look! He missed a spot!" I only stopped sometime in high school. Can't really rememebr why. Probably just got sick of doing it.

When I met my wife I was not shaving my legs. I was not racing either. As I got more and more serious with my riding again over the last 5-6 years the topic started coming up on occassion. It was always met with a "no chance."

I have respected her wishes. I really wanted to do it again though. It's hard lining up knowing that everyone just dropped you down a slot because of the hair. It does actually mean a lot to me to have her approval before doing it though.

Joining up with Bicycle Heaven last fall/late summer made the issue surface with new intensity. Now it was about representing what was, in essence, a team with a bit of cache. Who was this POS with hairy legs doing on their team?!! Time to shave.

Something happened and I think Mrs. P finally saw the light. She started relenting on her stance. I also promised to race the rest of the season with hairy legs and keep them through the winter. Well the season is upon us now. The days of hairy legs are coming to an end again. I know it will be a pain in the butt to maintain it so I am dragging my feet....but it is going to happen...

Here's the before - (Taken 2 seasons ago when the issue first started gaining ground)


aham23 said...

i am giddy over the prospects of the after shot. later.

Julie said...


Alien said...

Nice tan lines!

Velosnaps said...

Shaved legs are hawt.