cycling truths

Cycling Truths #6

The more you joke about leg-shaving, the more you REALLY want to shave your legs

Leg shaving is the classic joke about cyclists. 

Let’s be honest, if you are looking for a way to suggest that your average cyclist is a bit weird there are no shortage of ways to do this; the tight clothing, the obsession with body weight, the strange and archaic language. Perversely, these are exactly the same reasons why your average cyclist thinks they’re pretty cool actually, but that’s a whole other story.

My point is, out of all the ways to make fun of cyclists the leg shaving issue is king; to your average non-cycling British male it is odd behaviour in the extreme. In fact, even among cyclists it provokes lively debate.

In one camp you have the racing snakes who, once they’ve taken the plunge, just see shaving as part of the ritual. Then you have those who are hairy, and who are clearly staying hairy.

Here's the shaving kit, now off you go! (Photo: Evan-Amos Public Domain - Wikimedia)
Here’s the shaving kit, now off you go!
(Photo: Evan-Amos Public Domain – Wikimedia)

In between, you have those who are undecided; the floating voters in the debate. They are forever rattling on about how they really feel they should take the plunge but “it’s all a bit weird isn’t it”, and “what’s next, pre-ride eyebrow pluck”, or, “I’d do it tomorrow but the wife would never forgive me” etc. etc. etc. “she prefers my legs to be hairier than hers” blah blah.

On top of all this, if you’re a racer, you’ll get all the old lags watching the racing and telling you they “can’t believe they even let you race with legs looking such a mess.”

If you want to go for it get yourself in the bath, mood music on the go, light some candles if you like, and be a man and shave your legs.

Now there’s a sentence I never thought I’d write.




13 comments on “Cycling Truths #6

  1. I have been sitting on the fence for years. I am not a racer but I somehow think it is part of the road cyclist’s culture.


    • That’s right; part of the ritual, following in a long line of leg shavers etc. etc. I reckon you have to at least super quick to get away with it (and for the record, I’m unshaven!)


      • Good read. I agree with it being part of the ritual and culture of road cycling. I am a non-shaver but as I keep improving year on year I ponder whether I would ever make the leap if I become “pro” enough.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks! I reckon there’s loads of ways to either justify it or not justify it. Just go for it, I reckon, boldy, unashamedly, and with no apologies…what’s the worst that can happen? 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  2. sxeveganbiking

    I’m not sure why guys get so hung up about leg shaving. It certainly doesn’t emasculate a man to shave his legs. There are plenty of cyclists, athletes, bodybuilders, etc. that shave their legs (and in the case of bodybuilders, even more). There are plenty that don’t too. And… it doesn’t matter either way, if you choose to or not. Guys just seem to like to give each other a hard time over this when it’s really a non-issue 🙂


    • Exactly! You get hammered if you do, you get hammered if you don’t. I shave ’em and they look spectacularer!


      • I like your style bgddyjim, loud and proud, i’d expect nothing less!


      • Loud yes…Proud? Well, I don’t know about that. I shaved them because it’s such a deep internet meme, the day before my first club ride. I didn’t want to be the only guy with hairy legs so I bit the bullet. Turned out there were only two of us who had smooth guns.

        Note to self, don’t believe everything you read on the web.

        My wife, however, loves the smooth legs and asked me to continue so I’ve kept up with it since.

        Definitely worth a chuckle, that one.


    • You’re right of course, it’s a none issue…but the whole point is to give each other a hard time; I don’t know anyone who genuinely gets hung up on this stuff and fails to see the funny side (though i’m sure they’re out there).


  3. I’m doing a fondo in my home town in nov and its sponsored by my local bike shop i was going to do it for this event just for shits and gigs


  4. Pingback: How many more bike rides before my wife divorces me? | ragtime cyclist

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