To shave or not to shave, that is a question

You'll be surprised to whom these legs belong.

You’ll be surprised to whom these legs belong.

As humans, it is our moral obligation to divide ourselves into the haves and have nots, the doers and the shakers. We must categorize, stereotype and file each person based on our perception of who they truly are. As cyclists, this is amplified. I mean really, what the hell is a gravel bike? I don’t own a bike that I can’t ride on a gravel road. And all of my bikes have seen dirt at one point or another, but I digress…

There are three types of cyclists. There are those who shave, those who don’t and those who shave depending on which bike they ride. As an aspiring professional cyclists, it is important that you choose the appropriate level of leg hair for your chosen discipline.

Does the idea of having tan lines that are perfectly defined on your biceps, thighs and calves appeal to you? Are you willing to suffer through pedaling for hours on ends with some other dude’s ass right in front of you? Have you fantasized about having legs smoother than your girlfriend’s so you can feel them at night when you are all alone? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you need to shave.

I love this view

I love this view

This will also plant you right in the “Those that shave” category. This limits you to being a roady. No that doesn’t mean that you have to ride the road, there is more than one type of roady. Your traditional roady will own several road bikes, several sets of wheels and their biggest concern is speed, and more recently being aero. They love to ride, but more importantly, they love what they ride. There is no component that hasn’t been analyzed, weighed and contemplated. They can explain why they have each part because each part has its logic.

If you choose to throw your body hair in this ring, you will absolutely need a race-day wheel set and a training wheel set. As I mentioned, you don’t necessarily have to limit your riding to the road to be a roady. There are plenty of go-fast guys that rock the dirt. They painfully remove all their body hair, wear clothing that leaves little to the imagination and pound the pedals into the dirt. Not all, but most prefer smooth singletrack because bumps, rocks and technical obstacles mess with their cadence.

Group 2, doesn’t see any reason to shave. The shavers will argue with them incessantly, but they just don’t give a shit. Sitting around shaving their legs is not something that they feel, want or will do. They also don’t know how much their tubes weigh. When they ride, most of the time they are found on dirt trails, talking, hair flowing all over the place. They mostly hit the dirt so they don’t have to worry about how fast they are going. They are a religious bunch and will pass around the sacrament through out the progression of the ride, this can lead to slow moving rides and lots of slurred talking.

Their bikes are dirty, they stink and they don’t give a shit.

If you're friends with Prattipus, you're definitely in the second group.

If you’re friends with Prattipus, you’re definitely in the second group.

And then of course, the last group is our cross dressing friends. They can’t decide whether it’s worth the effort to remove all their body hair or not. They are tempted by the ease of the 2nd group but love the intriguing rituals of the first. You will see them on the dirt all hairy and rocking out through the steep stuff, only to get passed by them the next day clean-shaven and sniffing some dude’s ass in a pace line.

All of these things were bouncing around in the empty hallways of my brain last week. I’m a very hairy person. I’m proud of that fact, but once every couple of years, I feel like a need a change. The possum that pokes out from under my cycling shorts, gets old and I get the hankering to shave. And while I was thinking through these things, I realized that I am who I am and that I needed a change.

So I trimmed.

P. L. and R.

P.S. those are my legs.

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