To shave or not to shave, that is the question:
Whether ’tis Nobler in the mind to suffer
The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of Leg Hair…
Brilcream Spokespear, 2012.
I’ve been asked a few times lately if I am going to shave my legs. People look at me, and the hair on my legs, and they think, you can’t be serious about cycling with all that fur on your body.
You knows what’s serious? Viking Lumberjack Dudes. Totally serious.
If you have never seen the proud timber, my glorious thatch, my O.E. leg warmers, think Neanderthal. You’ll be close enough. A girl once asked me if I could tell if I was shaving my ass or my face?
She totally didn’t get a Christmas card this year.
I have not taken a razor to the legs in years. Years. In fact, upon reflection, I honestly don’t know how long it’s been. At least seven or eight summers past. Somewhere just shy of a decade. A big, hairy decade. Long enough that the reasons I ever bothered with such silliness have dissolved into the fading wisps of memory.
That, and I’ve got early-onset Alzheimer’s from all the canned beer.
About those legs. I just can’t seem to commit. I can’t stand shaving my face more than a few times a week these days. And, yes, I can tell the difference between my face and my ass most mornings! (Full disclosure: I have never shaved my ass. Count me among the minority here at DC in that regard.)
I cannot think of one possible benefit I’d realized from shaving my legs. OK, one. When I was smooth as a babies bottom, I noticed that crashing upon smooth legs made for a less gruesome wound and faster healing. Either that or I was high and didn’t know what the fuck was happening. Nevermind.
The pros and cons of this cycling specific oddity has been long discussed in various important forums. This one comes to mind: http://www.bicycling.com/training-nutrition/training-fitness/why-do-cyclists-shave-their-legs.
Stand-out quote: “It always just seemed stupid to me.” —Multitime Leadville Trail 100 winner Dave Wiens.
When Dave Wiens talks, people should listen. Dude has more class in his big toe than Lance Armstrong has in his entire body. (Oh, snap.)
Another problem for the hairy folk out there (i.e., your humble author) is that where does one stop with the razor? At some point you have to stop grooming and just let Mother Nature reign free. There will be hairy bits, hopefully well ensconced within the safe trapping of multi-colored lycra. (Which is really like throwing a plastic tarp over a crime scene, isn’t it?)
Jokes about shaving my ass-face/face-ass aside, have you ever witnessed the glory which is Hair Suit?
Gay bear style, son.
When you got it, you flaunt it. Right? I mean, why keep all this to myself? I gotta share it with the world.
Or something. Here’s the problem: When you look like a friggin’ bear, you pretty much have to shave everything if you’re going to shave anything. Otherwise you end up with a jarring line of demarcation where the razor stopped doing it’s magic. It’s like a wall of fur about four inches above the tan lines on your thighs. I mean, it’s ridiculous. Non one should have to live like that. Not you, not me. No one.
The alternative? Keep heading north with the razor until you hit your forehead. What’s the problem? You end up shaving your entire friggin’ body because there is a seamless carpet of hair which covers your entire friggin’ body. It is a binary choice, my friends, either a zero or a one. The one represents the thin blade. And I chose zero.
If you walked away from this information overload totally confused, you are not alone. I woke up confused and will undoubtedly go to sleep tonight confused. Ask anyone, I’m dumber than a box of hammers.
It’s a thick wicket. Sorta like my leg hair.by