Our guest poster Don Blount fields a sharp question.
I was caught off guard. I replied: “No. Of course not.”
She looked closer at my legs. “Your legs are awfully smooth,” she said.
“Well, eyebrows aside I’m just not a hairy person,” I said. “After 10 years of marriage you ought to know this.”
She let it go and moved on.
Now maybe I bent the truth just a bit. A more accurate answer would have been I had not shaved my legs in awhile.
Now I am familiar with all of the reasons cyclists shave their legs: better aerodynamics, easier to heal road rash, appearance, easier massage, tradition.
I don’t consider myself a fast rider, I don’t get regular massages and the road rash I have had has not been on my legs.
So why is it exactly that I shave my legs? I think just mostly because I ride and that’s what some riders do.
It isn’t something that I publicize, even to my wife.
So with the weather getting warmer and the thought of putting the leg warmers away for the season, I shaved my legs after my ride that same day.
And being overcome with a little guilt for not being totally truthful, I mentioned to my wife the next morning when I returned from the gym, coincidentally there are men who work out there who shave more than their legs.
“I thought you did something to them, your legs looked just too clean,” she said. “I know that some cyclists and swimmers do that. I just didn’t know if you did.”
I didn’t tell her that I started shaving them last year and she did not notice.
“By the way,” she said. “If you get tired of shaving with a razor, there
are some depilatories in the bathroom that you can use…On your legs. It’s what I use.”
I just stared at her.
“I don’t use depilatories,” I said. “I am a cyclist. We use razors.”