A close shave

March 10, 2017 § 20 Comments

About six months ago I joined Dollar Shave Club. This is an online business where you pay extra money for cheap razors that come with a newsletter filled with fart and manscaping jokes. So, totally worth it.

The idea behind Dollar Shave Club is to convert the average guy into a way-above average guy when it comes to caring about minor appearance areas on your body like, you know, your face. They even did a study that examined men’s attitudes towards shaving. Here are the results:

  1. 98% of men hate to shave.
  2. 98% of men who shave are cheap.
  3. 98% of men who are cheap use a disposable razor an average of six months before replacing it with something sharper, like an old tire or a stick.
  4. 98% of all men ever born think special products for your face are “for sissies.”
  5. 98% of all men would rather scratch their nuts when they itch than get a clean shave (assuming they had to choose, which, thankfully, they do not).

The whole idea behind Dollar Shave Club, which costs a lot more than a dollar, sells a lot of stuff that isn’t for shaving, and isn’t a club, is that once a man actually gets a good, cheap shave, he will change his way of living and eventually buy a more expensive razor, falsely reasoning that if you can get a great shave for a dollar, you can get an even better one for four, much as profamateur masters racers think that if you can go fast with carbon wheels, you can go even faster with carbon everything (that’s actually true).

Anyway, next thing you know you buy more expensive shaving cream, then purchase for the first time ever something called “beard softener,” and then, in an act that will pretty much leave your wife speechless, apply something called “after shave facial cream” which leaves your skin all smooth and smoothy. In short, you’re now a sissy.

You’re hooked on all the implements and then the Ten Dollar Shave Club becomes the Fifty Dollar Shave Club and before you know it you’re trimming your toenails and combing the knots out of your back hair once a month whether you need to or not. This was all happening to me in real time and it made me reflect on what a positive development it is.

You see, from the time I was eighteen until about four years ago I did in fact shave and scrupulously so, but the thing I shaved was my legs. And leg shaving was either something you did carefully, spending an hour in the shower, or you did it quickly, leaving cutter tattoos up and down those tendon thingies on the back of your knee, on your kneecap, and on your Achilles.

With all that time spent hacking up my legs, who had time for face shaving?

Then a few years ago Surfer Dan quit shaving and grew the most thick, luxuriant carpet of golden fur up and down his mighty legs, and guess what? He still rode everyone off his wheel, which meant that the single fake justification for leg shaving was disproven, i.e. shaving doesn’t make you faster. Pretty soon other people were throwing in the razor towel and we started seeing lots of fake racers with hairy legs mixing in with the shaved fake racers.

It was finally cool to be unshorn.

The other good thing about pedaling around with dual shag carpets hanging off his calves was that Surfer offended so many “purists,” especially Velominati wankers who were galled first at getting dropped, galled second at getting dropped by a surfer, and galled third at getting dropped by ol’ gorilla legs.

Anyway, the point is that after all those years of leg shaving I had a lot of pent up hair removal tendencies, and Ten Dollar Shave Club came along at exactly the right time. So now instead of having people look at me funny and ask “How come you shave your legs, old fellow?” and me having to say “Uh bike racer, uh aero, uh facilitates massage, uh prevents infection from road rash, uh uh uh,” they say “Oh my, what smooth skin you have, sailor.”

I like that a lot better. Try it. Maybe you will, too.



For $2.99 per month you can subscribe to this blog and get none of the news that’s fit to print but all the news that’s fun to read. Click here and select the “subscribe” link in the upper right-hand corner. Thank you!

§ 20 Responses to A close shave

  • Winemaker says:

    Outstanding post, Wanky!
    there is a long Socal tradition of non-leg shaving…..
    comes down to doing what others’ aren’t.

    • fsethd says:

      There may be a long tradition, but it is in scant evidence at any of the races I go to … anyway, as The Wily Greek pointed out when writing about leg warmers, “You already have them. They’re called ‘leg hair.'”

      • Winemaker says:

        You are right….it is seldom seen, BUT….!!! It is lurking out there. Talk to Ralph Elliott the next time he is announcing at a race….
        Hating shaving is prominent in the European men’s peloton tradition, too….but then, a lot of massage gets done over there…the main (that I can see) difference between there and here – and that’s why they shave.

        U.S. riders shave, well, because of all the crap you said, but really, it’s because the euros do.

  • shano92107 says:

    Yeah but if I don’t shave the legs how are people going to know I’m an aspiring profameteur cyclist? Oh yeah, from my awesome “South Bay Cycling” sox! (seriously those are the most comfy sox ever, a venerable pair of foot condoms! 🙂

  • Gary Cziko says:

    Shaving is basically a form of lying–denying that evolution has provided us with a protective, if scant in places, layer of hair.

    Shaving facial hair is a bald-faced lie. Many competitive cyclists and wannabes also engage in bald-legged lying. So sad.

  • AssHat says:

    My favorite part is when a big hunky biker dressed in leather calls you “sailor” at the end.

  • Sensei says:

    Safety razors. Ten cents for each double sided new blade.

  • Arkansas Traveler says:

    I fell in love with Harry’s a while back. Who knew the German blades that cost less than half as much could lure me away from Gillette?
    And delivered right to your door? Well that’s as good as Sears and Roebuck!

  • Edwin says:

    If you like the Dollar Shave Club, try the $2.99 Blogger Club. Razor sharp every day and not for sissies either.

  • dangerstu says:

    But, but, but.

What’s this?

You are currently reading A close shave at Cycling in the South Bay.


%d bloggers like this: