28 April 2009

Fur or no fur?

"Whatever. I mean, I suppose I believe that cyclists should shave their legs, but they don’t have to. It makes massage better, and bandaging road rash is easier, but for most of us even those claims–not to mention the ridiculous claims of better aerodynamics and stuff–are justifications rather than authentic reasons. Leg shaving is closer to taking the sacrament or singing during the seventh-inning stretch. You’re performing an action that helps you belong to something, and at the same time you’re paying homage to whatever that something is. When you shave your legs, you’re admitting something about yourself, and to yourself. But even that isn’t quite accurate."

Why I Shave - Bicycling.com

I shaved in 2006 - my 'Etape year'. Liked it. I haven't done so since, but am contemplating it again this year. For me, I agree with the sentiment in the linked article. It is a statement to myself that I 'belong' and that I am taking my riding seriously.

What say you all?

3 comments:

mob said...

Like many things in cycling I would shave my legs not for the often mentioned advantages of better healing of road rash, easier massages or improved aerodynamics but for the pure benefit of good looks.

Some years ago, sitting next to Juliane at the birthday party of a friend of us, I noticed her hair-free legs. Well this is not that uncommon and I have to admit that I looked at her legs also at some occasions before the party, but for some reasons this time a new neuron connection opened up in my brain and I thought how well they are looking and that I could easily reach the same effect, if I would shave my legs as well.

Some days later I went ahead and shaved my right leg as a kind of trial run. I didn't had the confidence to do both legs at the same time, I also needed a benchmark to compare the "before" and "after" and I was not sure how high up I should shave anyway.

Looking at my legs afterwards in front of a mirror, I couldn't help to state the obvious: Good looking legs are not only depending on the number of hairs grown out of them, but also on the general shape and color of the legs itself. Somehow these factors were not included in the equation in the first place.

In both cases Juliane owns significant advantages compared to my stubby legs having the color of a dead body in the water.

Moreover the hairs on my right leg refused to grow, after having received such unsympathic treatment for quite a while. On the beach (if I would ever gone there) I would have looked like the typical foreign barbarian if looked upon from the right, and a fat Japanese school girl from the lower right angle.

Since then I decided not to spend any razor blades on my legs any longer.

EdogawaKikkoman said...

I do mine about 3 times a year for 3 main races... I did it last night actually...

David L. said...

This time of year, we are back into the swarms of tiny black bugs along the Tamagawa bikepath as you head in and out of Tokyo.
I ride through a swarm and then notice I've collected about 20-30 in the hair on each of my arms ... but none on my legs, if I've shaved 'em.
Time to get out the razor ...