Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Why Shave the Legs in Winter?

I was just in the shower shaving my legs after spending 2.5 hours sweating on the trainer. I was considering the absurdity of shaving in winter. No one is going to see your legs. Even on a group ride, you will be wearing tights.

My usual schedule is to shave my legs on Tuesday and Friday evenings. I maintain this same shaving schedule while in training, in winter and summer. I allow my maintenance to lapse when I am injured or otherwise spending time away from the bike.

Then I thought a little harder about it, while shaving of course. And I concluded that it makes sense to continue shaving, even when no one will see that you are. I came up with a number of reasons to shave, which I will list so that you can cart them out if you are confronted about your winter shaving or if you have doubts about whether to shave or not.

First, I am a competitive cyclist and I try to keep that at the front of my thoughts. In the winter when racing is 75 days away, as it is right now (as Kyle Smith recently pointed out), a person can forget that the competition will be fierce, that we need to train hard, that we need to maintain the diet and the discipline if we want to be at the front of the pack. What we do now determines how our season will be. Shaving is a subtle reminder that we are racers and a step in maintaining discipline when our target races are many months away.

Right now, I want a big bowl of ice cream, but my resolve against having it is firm, since I just got done training and shaving. I really feel like my resolve could slip if I still had the stubble. I am serious. As many of you know, I am in an all in or an all out kind of person.

I use embrocation in the winter. Ever tried to apply embrocation to hairy legs? It gets wasted in the forest, coating the trees instead of the floor so to speak. Even worse, how the hell would you remove said substance with all of the hair mopping it up. Your legs could be on fire for weeks!

Ladies like it. Just don't be a dufus and leave hair shorts behind, that they don't like. On that note, mind as well keep all the other areas clean while you are there.

I went to my soignier last week for a massage and she was very pleased that I was maintaining. Also, if you massage your own legs or talk your significant other into doing it, it is much better without the hair.

Riding on the trainer is hot enough, you don't need hair causing you to retain warmth. Also I towel off while I train to minimize the size of the puddle on the training mat. It's easier to dry shaved legs.

People can see your legs when you cuff your pants to ride around the city. You have nice legs, show off your muscle definition.

Surely there are other reasons to shave. Perhaps some of you disagree with my logic. Please feel free to comment on this important matter. I am interested to hear my reader's thoughts on this subject.


Yash Katsumi said...

Just shaved on tuesday since hair was coming in all over the place and not in some areas. Now I feel at least 10% more fit on the trainer.

rosey said...

i think your follow up article needs to be a shoot out between the gillette and schick shaving products. you know, one leg per brand. that's the kind of insightful blogging we fellow racers need.

RMM said...

Gillette is local. Nuff said.

B-Bike-G said...

- serious question -

how far up do y'all shave? (images not neccesary)

RMM said...

All the way up. Hair shorts are unacceptable.

Yash Katsumi said...

I think PVB used to say from your chin to your shins?

RMM said...

Under no circumstances should you take the razor to the yarbles.
Its nice for like one day and then it itches unbearably for the next week or two.

pvb said...

Whoa there, I did not say that. I have heard from nose to toes, though.

Shaving is often the first step of the winter training process for me. I wait until I start to feel unfit and gross, then I shave, which instantly makes me feel fitter. Or, I'll put in a 2 hr week BLOCK, then shave, and feel good about the progress that I've made.