Photo: Difficult to tell from today’s ride which shadows have shaved legs and which have not.
To shave, or not to shave, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobblier in the knees to suffer
The stings and harrows of outrageous leg hair,
Or to take Veet against a Sea of stubbles,
And by opposing end them: to thigh, to reap
It’s an age old debate for amateur cyclists. Should we shave our legs or not? I don’t know why but I’ve been asked several times by Italian cyclists why I don’t shave my legs, but never by UK cyclists.
I decided to conduct a discreet survey of my Italian club riders on Saturday. The result was that about 50% of the men had shaved legs.
I’ve researched the supposed reasons for shaving:
- aerodynamics (tested in a wind tunnel)
- easier to clean after a crash
- easier and more pleasant to massage
The Velominati, the Keepers of the Cog are very clear what we should do. #33 Shave your guns. “Legs are to be carefully shaved at all times”
So far I haven’t. Until now.
I decided to give it a go to experience it for myself. It took about an hour to de-forest both legs. Do you know how hard it is to shave one’s knees? I also discovered how many blemishes and mosquito bites had been covered up. Then there’s the question of how far up to go. Only as far as the gripper on the shorts is necessary but that just looked weird, or weirder, you might argue. A shave line mid thigh. I went higher. How much higher is definitely in the “Too Much Information” box.
Living on top of a hill means a speedy start to every ride. I thought I’d notice the difference but I can honestly say I didn’t. I thought I’d feel the wind or the cold more, but no. It wasn’t until we started to climb in the heat did I notice one difference. The sweat began to gather in the back of my knee. With no hair to help wick it away it just stayed there. Sweaty, sticky knee pits. Not what I was expecting. It’s only one ride but I’m not sure I’ll keep up the shaving. If I do it will only be for the summer.
As for aesthetics, feel free to use the “Submit a Comment” at the bottom of the blog.
If you think this is all too personal and “Too Much Information” then how about one of the conversations I had before the ride this morning. Bear in mind that I’m giving English lessons to the Pansèrs. I don’t recall giving this lesson:
Colin “Ciao nnnn, come stai?”
nnnn “Good morning Colin, how are you?”
Colin “I am well thank you, how are you?”
nnnn “Very good, last night, big fuck”
I don’t think I need to say any more.
Year to date
8,946 km / 81 rides / 110.4 km average per ride
88,094m elevation gain (9.9 Everests)