It’ll Make Me Faster… Right?

So there comes a point in every cyclist’s life at which they’re faced with the question, to shave or not to shave? For me it came the past few weeks. I hadn’t really paid any attention to it for quite a while as my legs aren’t very hairy to begin with. But then a cycling buddy posted on his blog that he made the shave. It got me thinking, do I need to go ahead and shave my legs now? Is this the final barrier for me becoming a real cyclist? So I turn to my friend the internets; the answer is always there. I really was curious the reasoning that other people used to shave their legs. Boy oh boy are there some fun answers out there! Topping the list as a tall tale is that it will make you faster; thus my pun for the post title. Although it won’t necessarily make you faster on the bike, the feeling of the air moving around your legs is pretty sweet. And just like anything else, if you think it makes you faster, do it! I have a little advantage on this theory however, since I’m a beginning triathlete I get the benefit of shaven legs in the water. There were also comments about how people like the way it looks, etc. However one disturbing trend I saw was people saying it made road rash easier to clean on shaved legs. WHAT?!? Who plans on getting road rash so much that they need to keep their legs shaven in order to clean it? Here’s a bit of advice, if you ever hear a cyclist use this as a reason for shaving their legs make sure you slowly move yourself out of a 50 yard radius around them. And then don’t ride near them anymore…

My thought process is usually pretty scattered for those that don’t know me well. So here’s how it played out in my head… “I see a lot of other cyclists who are fast with their legs shaved. I’ve never shaved my legs before, I’m not sure about this. It can’t be as bad as shaving my face, which I hate. I’m really tired of how my cycling shorts look with little hairs sticking out. I need to clean the bathroom anyway. I already have a razor and shave cream. Ahh, what the heck, it’s certainly not any crazier than suiting up in lycra and riding my bicycle for 5-6 hours.” You see, I’m fairly simple. So I pull some instructions (not that I really needed instructions on how to shave, but found a good tidbit on using clippers the first time, then shave with a razor). Holy moly! I just thought my legs weren’t hairy. After using the clippers I was proved wrong. The whole process itself was pretty simple, and didn’t hurt. I gingerly shaved around the knee as a lot of people said it’s tricky, I guess they’ve never shaved their face before. I’ll save any gory details, because I like the fact that you read my blog and want to keep it that way!

End result? Pretty sweet, and silky smooth. Fabrics feel really funny on my legs now. I assume it will go away in a couple of days. I learned that it’s not as difficult as I thought it might be, you just have to take your time. We will see what I think when the stubble appears in a few days. I really do like how my legs look with my cycling shorts now especially since there’s no annoying hair sticking out. I realized it is also extremely difficult to get a picture of the back of your legs by yourself and an iPhone. I also learned that my calves are no where near as impressive as I thought they might be. Guess it’s back to the bike and working out for me. Quads though? Not so shabby 🙂 Good thing I hang out with Austin Cycle Camp and continue to hit the hills in Austin even when it hurts. I’m making this post so that if you guys don’t hear from me tomorrow, you’ll know what happened… my wife came home and freaked out! Any takers on an over/under of her reaction? 😯

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  1. I already know how she feels. It should be interesting to see if you still think why not?

  2. I had to shave my body once for a bodybuilding competition and didn’t mind doing it all. I’m still not convinced it will do anything for my cycling so I am interested to hear your thoughts after your shaving. Let me know if you gain any speed.

    • oldguy
    • March 25th, 2010

    Your wife probably had the same reaction mine did: “oh. my. god!”

    Not sure mine are going to last. Annoying body maintenance chore to add.

  3. If anyone asks why you shave your legs, just look them straight in the eye and tell them the truth: peer pressure.

    That’s been my response so far and I think most people appreciate the honesty – either that, or they are so set on hearing the “usual” reasons it confuses them and they don’t know what to say.

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