Burn your bra
May 19, 2014 § 36 Comments
It started about three years ago when Surfer Dan showed up on a ride with stubble. Leg stubble. Being a hairy chap, a week later it was a solid coating of fuzz. By month’s end his legs were furry. Gorilla furry. Cavewoman furry. It was the most daring fashion statement anyone in the South Bay had ever made, and it sent shock waves through the peloton. What was worse, we all waited for the inevitable collapse in his cycling performance.
Everyone knows that hairy legs slow you down, lots. People have known this since the 1900’s, when early bike racers tested their legs in wind tunnels. With his hairy legs, it was just a matter of time before Surfer Dan would start getting dropped on group rides, dropped on the climbs, dropped in the crits he never raced, and dropped in the individual time trials.
Oddly, it never happened. Even with all that hair down there, he continued to break legs, put hard legs in the breaks, and remain the alpha Big Orange Cat 3 Who Should Be a Cat 2 Sandbagger.
It wasn’t long before Cavendish followed, and then Wiggins. Although not quite daring to go hairless down there, the British Duo began showing up at real bicyle races with facial hair, even though the old Romagna di Corleone Wind Tunnel tests from the early 1900’s showed that the only thing worse than leg hair was facial hair. (Experts will also tell you that having a smooth visage facilitates face massages, and, when you fall on your face and tear off your lips coming down Las Flores after writing a book about how to descend properly, the absence of facial hair allows the easier application of Tegaderm, etc.)
The inescapable conclusion is that it is now okay to ride your bike with hairy legs and furry face. Apparently the data from the mule-drawn wind tunnel of those early days was wrong: it is possible to ride a bicycle fast, or even fastly, certainly fast-ish, without shaving.
This presents a dilemma of sorts. If you let the hair grow out and enjoy the feeling of the breeze ruffling through the thicket in your thighs you will have to explain to everyone at work how it’s now OKAY and how it DOESN’T MEAN YOU’RE A FRED and most importantly that YOU ARE STILL A FAST BICYCLE RACER. The first few weeks it will, however, be helpful to bring all your medals, ribbons, trophies, juice boxes, etc. to the office if you haven’t already just so people don’t forget that YOU ARE STILL LEGIT.
On the other hand, if you continue with your shaving ways you’ll have to continue that funny pose in the shower where you twist backwards while holding onto the soap dish while not throwing out your lower back as you try to get the little patch of incipient fuzz on those two tendon thingies behind your knee without slipping and ending up in the trauma ward.
For myself, I’m following the lead of Surfer Dan, G3, Wiggo, and the Manx Banana. Henceforth the only razor you’ll find in my medicine cabinet is Racer 5. For those who are on the fence, by going full hair you have nothing to lose but your ingrown red hair follicles about mid-thigh that get infected from sweat and bacteria and end up looking like you rubbed your crotch in an ant mound when you stand there in the mirror sucking in your gut while trying to get the abdomimals to poke out from underneath the protective layer of chub.
Despite feeling like an outcast at the weekly hammerfest with “hair on” I get a counter culture satisfaction out of hanging on and doing my turns at the front among the throng of hairless.
They would never let you post on Velominati with hairy legs.
There was this really fast Dutch dude who was always in the break. He had hairy legs. I asked him (in broken Eurotrashspeak) why he didn’t shave. He said he couldn’t afford massages and his wife wouldn’t give them, “…so why shave?”
I still think about when I see some buffed and gelled tri-eatalot with aero bars desperately trying to stay upright, clad in Rapha.
Balancing is so hard! And shaving eliminates the weight disparity of having one leg weigh more than the other, causing tri’s to tip over.
Your way behind the trend…. no shaving, and back to ridin MTB’s… the men’s version of bicycling 😉
Say it ain’t so Wanky!!!
Damnit, man. Do you know how long it took for me to stumble upon a past-time that legitimizes leg-shaving?
Decades ago when I was 14. I started shaving my legs for racing, massages and Musuclor #3 dictated it. Kids in my 8th grade Phys. Ed. class were okay with it, as I was now one of the majority without hairy legs. It was when the news arrived to the girls in my math class that the trouble began. This would have been problematic had I not had the comfort of a few women bike of the bike racing world. Today, the legs are not razored.
Minor tip, long ago the ticket to keep the red rash away was to rinse with a 50/50 rubbing alcohol water solution. You get used to the sting, but appreciate the absence of razor rash more.
“Girls in math class.”
Most classic line ever.
Damm, after a 10 year hiatus I just started shaving again! Wasn’t it Andy Hampstead that shaving is just a waste of time.
Fashion comes, fashion goes.
I was going to call him Andy Hamster…
Damn, Wanker. You mean to tell me you are bypassing the “halfshag” for a full thicket of germ ridden vein hiding sherwood forest???
Over 25 years and have heard it all…Shaving is aero, good for receiving massages, better to heal/apply bandages after an inevitable meeting with the tarmac…blah blah blah…it’s all bogus. Bikers shave because we’re all lemmings. But not me…I do it because LL likes it.
Anything that leads to nakedness rules.
Welcome to the Club, Wanky! It’s now going to be like when you are interested in something, and you see ‘it’ all over…we, of the Non-Shavers For Men club, are EVERYWHERE!
I guess I better shave.
Now I am back to a 2 minute shower, or less. So much nicer than to sit in there with the water running, and having to keep applying soap before dragging the blade across. I simply used soap, but of course my skin was dryer than a 10000 year old mammoth pussy.
Anywho, it helps to camouflage me. The dirty bike gets interpreted as “I don’t give a shit about my equipment and therefore can’t be serious”, and my hirsute legs seem to always be the last thing they see as I ride them off my wheel.
My response to queries at work? “Well, I guess I was just full of shit!”
“Old mammoth pussy”? How do you know Billy Stone?
nose hairs, yes if you are looking for another less than 1% performance gain, increase your air intake by clearing them out.
Time to trim.
We go waaaaaaaaay back!
The only reason I ride is ‘coz I shave my legs!
The only reason I shave is because I’m gay.
This is calamitous! For years my people have carried on in the fashion of the great Freds, the Flinstones and Mertzs’. Will you leave us nothing? Is the last sanctuary of the noble Fred to be hair extensions, nail polish, and Brazilian waxes? Get your own thing “On-your-left” and leave ours be! Without the nude legs how will I know who to not waste my time waving to?
Match.com will answer the question.
I told SurferD over a year ago that if I had his golden fleece growing out my legs I wouldnt shave em. I doubt most of us posess those precious blonde follicles on our sticks. Therfore the black leg pubes should be scraped. Be glad you arent swimmers/tri guys cause you’d have to scrape everything except the hair on your head.
Thankful I’m not tri for other reasons, too!
But chicks DIG IT. Dang it. You dudes stop shaving, then so do we.
A couple of the myriad things I love about Dan are ‘humility’ and ‘super service.’
We all know Dan loves to surf, as it’s evident in the way he speaks about it… the act of riding a wave. He is confident, excitable and effusive about the subject. It’s why he is Surfer Dan. In a lineup, he can easily catch his share of waves and not bother a soul doing so. That’s an art in itself.
When it comes to riding, Dan acts as though everyone is better; that those behind him are merely his GC leaders; the ones he is protecting from the wind. He does this much in the same way he would while surfing, with enthusiasm and excitement for the the fun at hand, which in most cases is driving the front without a care or flick of the elbow. He enjoys being in service of others and relishes the moments… he’s even visibly excited at doing that which most others hide from.
Dan needs no fanfare, no ‘thank yous,’ no kudos. His satisfaction comes from the experience and the sharing of that experience.
I suspect if Dan wanted he could terrorize many a KOM, but I doubt the thought has ever entered his mind. Unlike some of us who leave the front door on a mission to destroy one person’s KOM or another, checking the wind and garbage truck routes for best possible segments, Dan could care less. It would be like going surfing to see how many waves he could catch–name the quantity–rather than the experience of weighing and unweighting, of slipping and sliding, of rolling and riding; the magic of a wave.
Despite having the ability to do so, Dan doesn’t sit in and wait for the right moment to assuage some egotistical need of digital affirmations underscoring the power of his hair legs. Nope. Dan lives to experience and share in the moment. He doesn’t go to a concert so he can Instagram about it. He goes to take it all in. To be present and perhaps share in the joy with others.
What I love about Dan:
It’s not the photo of the ride, it’s the experience of the motion of the ocean.
It’s not the length of the board, it’s the magician riding it.
However you take these words, you should know I admire Dan, a lot.
So well written, and so true.
And his admirers are legion.
Thanks for sharing this.