We’ve all been there. Out with non-cyclist and you have this conversation:
Curious George(CG): “Your GF/Wife/Partner/Mom tells me you race bikes”
CG: (looks left, looks right, lowers their voice, makes sure no one is listening) Do you shave your legs?
Me: *sigh*, Yes.
CG: Is it for aerodynamics?
Insert answer about how studies have shown that leg shaving has no affect on aerodynamics, but (like swimmers to water) it provides a feel for the wind with shaved legs. Include self deprecating comments about how cyclist are vain. Mention the words PRO and Fred. Talk about how it makes getting a massage easier (optional: mention that you get about 0.86 massages per year). Then give the real answer.
The fascination that the outside world has with our shaven legs is, well, fascinating. We shave our legs, put on spandex, ride bikes and Crash (or win and look very PRO and not Fred). In an age where American Pie introduced the public to the concept of Manscaping and no one under 25 has chest hair anymore; why is leg shaving so strange? Don’t 340 lb linebackers shave their arm hair?
Racing season is upon us and the weather is warming up. If you aren’t so PRO that you keep your legs neatly shave 12 months a year – it is time to break out the razors. Here are some tips for you newbies:
Use Shaving Cream
May seem obvious, but many a foolish folk have tried dry shaving or using soap. Don’t do it! Use shaving cream and consider using something girlie and leg specific (my wife’s Skintimate works better than the blue stuff I put on my face)
Reduce, then shave
Get out your clippers and take your hair down a level first. If you are like me, this will create a pile of hair the size of a small animal. Don’t go razor first, or you will need about ten to get the job done!
New razor blade
Use a new razor blade. Don’t use the same blade you use on your face. Replace your blade frequently.
All the way up!
Dudes, seriously. You aren’t kidding anyone with your shave up to your tan line. Think about it: if you crash, where will you probably land? Probably your hip or side. (As a personal preference, I don’t shave the hair on my inner thigh. If I do, I generally get razor burn – which sucks. I generally just reduce this hair, so I don’t look funny naked.)
If you miss a few hairs – let them go. You will undoubtedly miss many hairs your first time through. Trying to get every single hair will result in razor burns. If you miss a hair while in the shower, don’t go at your dry leg with a dry razor. Let it go.
Get yourself some manly Lubriderm lotion or something marketed by a cycling company. Using lotion will help with three things: 1) Shaving dries the hell out of your legs 2) Razor burn prevention 3) Frequency of shaving. Yep, if you use this stuff you won’t have to shave as often.
Like your face, if you let it go too long between shaves it will make it that much harder. I can generally go about 5 or 6 days before this happens. I’m super hairy though.
Isn’t that why we do this?