The Cyclist’s Guide to Body Hair May11

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The Cyclist’s Guide to Body Hair

I don’t know why cyclists shave their legs. They seem to have a million reasons, each of them different, but I think they might all be stupid. The reasons, I mean. Not the leg shaving cyclists. They’ve got their motivations for being silky smooth, I assume. And since all of them are faster than me, I can’t really judge. Maybe hairlessness really does add 5mph in a wind tunnel. But while I feel the draw to cave into their peer pressure, I’m worried that shaving my legs will make me look like I care too much.

It’s like wearing your nicest bloomers when you think you’re going to get to have sex. When you strip down and they see your A-team underwear (A-team meaning the nice ones, not the ones with Mr. T on them), they know that you assumed you might get to have sex, which ruins your sex-having chances because you get red flagged as being overconfident. Which is why you should always wear nothing better than B-team underwear when you assume you’re going to be sexing (B-team meaning the ones with the stretched elastic, not the ones with George Peppard on them). This rule only applies until someone is willing to have sex with you frequently, at which point you can switch to the really tattered stuff (the ones with Howlin’ Mad Murdoch on them).

And this is also why I don’t shave my legs. Shaving your legs as a cyclist is the same as wearing nice underpants; it’s presumptuous. If you show up to a race with shaved legs (and fancy bloomers), you’d better win. Because you obviously meant business when you put the razor to your leg. But if you show up all hairy and unkempt, well, whatever. Because Grizzly Adams never won a sprint.

Also, I have no idea how to do it. Here are what I imagine the results of foolhardy shaving might be:

Hair Shorts: Guys new to shaving will be apprehensive and they’ll quit once they’ve crossed the spandex threshold, the Maginot Line of pelage, and they’ll be left with shorts made of hair. Wool shorts. Like the NPR puzzler guy. But gross.

Porky Piggin’: Men that don’t know well enough to quit will keep moving North, pruning until they reach the waistline. At this point they’ll know they’ve gone too far. Those with some hair will be left with a happy trail to nowhere, dead ended at the recently bic’ed nether region. But those with lots of hair will look like they’re wearing only a T-shirt. This is called “Porky Piggin’” when you do it with a real t-shirt. struttin’ around totally bottomless. I don’t think that there is a name for this when the t-shirt is actually body hair. If there is, there shouldn’t be.

Lobster Bib: Once you’ve crossed over into the upper torso, you’re playing with fire. Things are already starting to look unnatural. Why not just shave all of the exposed areas, so when you take off your jersey after a race no one will see the unsightly pelt beneath the bib shorts. You start shearing what hair is visible, and you end up looking like a Sasquatch casually dining at Red Lobster.

Powdered Dolphin: if you just keep shaving with no limits, you’ll end end up looking like the albino kid in that movie Powder. All pasty and hairless, like a dolphin covered in climbing chalk.

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Note: I really love this medical outline graphic. I think I’m going to use it a lot. Tell me how much it hurts, on a scale of one to seven, with seven being the worst pain you’ve ever experienced..

I’m not Burt Reynolds or anything. But I’ve got enough hair that I would have looked pretty fucking awesome with an unbuttoned polyester shirt and gold chains in 70′s. And I don’t want to look like any of those things I described above. So the only option is some kind of blending procedure. A nice fade from my thighs upward. High and tight. But not too tight.

I’m just not sure how I’d do this right without a Flowbe. So I think I’ll just keep things au natural, wind tunnel be damned. But I’ll be wearing my fanciest underpants to compensate.

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