Friday, December 10, 2010

Why do Cyclists Shave their Legs?

I was sitting in a meeting yesterday, with the bottom of my pants riding up above my ankle exposing my bare leg, when a woman (and friend) I work with said, "Do you shave your legs?".  To that question my first reaction was one of embarrassment.  My first words were, "Uhh, yup!".  I already knew what her follow-up question would be, since I'm asked all the time by women- "Why?".  To that question my reply was, "It's a cycling wouldn't understand".  Well, she didn't buy it.  At that point, the entire meeting stopped and the six people that were sitting around the table were looking at me for further explanation...bleh.  To that, my reaction was a beet red face..and nothing out of my mouth.  I was speechless.  Why?  Because it really is a good question, "Why do I shave my legs...even if I'm a cyclist...especially in the Winter when I don't race and nobody can see them?".  For me, it's primarily peer pressure. I ride with elite athletes all the time, both indoors and outdoors, and they shave their legs.  In fact, on one recent ride one of the athetes I coach said, "dude, shave your hairy-ass legs".  So, I did.  haha. 

Anyway (Nicole), here are the top 6 reasons why cyclists shave their legs:
1. BETTER AERODYNAMICS- less leg hair, less drag, faster racer.
2. EASE HEALING OF ROAD RASH- when you race bikes, you's part of the sport.  Shaving of the legs makes healing of road rash that much faster.  No hair in the wound, and less chance of infection.
3. MAKES MASSAGE MORE PLEASANT- there is no doubt about feels much better to have your quads, hamstrings and calf muscles massaged with no hair on them.
4. MORE ATTRACTIVE- dark tan legs that are cleanly shaven and smooth just look more muscular and lean.  That's why bodybuilders do it.
5. TRADITION- cyclists have been doing it for years. 
6. PEER PRESSURE- if you line up at a race with hairy legs you are quickly tagged as an inexperienced UNSAFE rider that riders should stay clear of.

The more I think about addition to peer pressure, I probably also shave for vanity reasons.  Just this past summer another woman (and friend) asked the SAME question, "Do you shave your legs?"  This time, my wife was with me and she answered for me.  She said, "yes he does, he does it for cycling".  End of discussion.  I think the reason why this particular woman didn't delve deeper into questioning is because she was afraid I'd say, "What you jealous that my legs are more attractive than yours and guys will be looking at my legs instead of yours?"  Which they were/are more attractive by a long shot..although I hope guys aren't looking at my legs..haha.  After all, my wife has commented in the past that there are a lot of women out there that would LOVE to have the smooth toned legs that I have. 

So, the next time a woman asks me if I shave my legs I'm going to proudly lift my chin (and pant leg), smile and say, "You're damn right I do..don't they look great?  I think they're sexy". haha

Power ON!  Coach Rob

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