We need to talk about shaving

by M

Actually, we don’t.

In the next couple of months the usual suspects are going to run pieces about whether or not you need to shave your legs, and they’ll trot out a bunch of half-baked reasons, half-truths and bullshit lore. The terms “rite of passage”, “ritual” and “tradition” will come up a lot, and they’ll be accompanied by lots of bulging quad porn.

iamroadiehearmeroar500 (1 of 1)Thank Christ for wide angles.

Essentially, no one cares if you shave your legs, in the same way that no one cares if you have splash bar tape or a helmet from the mid-90s held together with gaffer tape. If those are your choices though, don’t be surprised if you’re shunned for your total disregard of others’ aesthetic sensibilities. Amateur cycling is a game of preening imitation and whether you admit it or not, the moment you pull on your team kit or your club’s jersey (the one with the logos of your local bike shop and the treasurer’s landscape gardening company on it), you are pretending to be a professional cyclist.

Why else would you choose to wear your matchy-matchy outfits? Why else do you “train”? Why else would you pay for the privilege of of earning your 38th place in a Cat 4 road race on grey, unspectated B roads, if you don’t subscribe to some higher ideal of what riding a bicycle means?

It depends on my mood whether I cast this behaviour in a light of noble futility or pathetic self-delusion, but either way it’s pointless in the broader, cosmic sense.

So yes, shave your legs. Or don’t. No one cares.