In the heady days of the Celtic Tiger, this question would have had an altogether different meaning. Because in those days many a Paddy did have a landing strip, or failing that – a HeliPad. But now, this question has a different connotation which I will return to later.
As I have come to learn, Cycling is not just the simple act of getting ones self from point A to point B on a bicycle. Oh no, it’s way more complex than that. There are so many associated things that now have to be considered. If any one of these things is not fully thought through, the consequences can be dire!
In a previous post I discussed the whole issue of wearing Lycra. In this post, I must touch on another hugely important area – hair! As a young lad I waited eagerly for the arrival of hair of any sort, to herald the start of manhood. No longer would I just be a kid – I would now be a MAN! And so it (singular) arrived. The joy. My voice hadn’t broken yet, so I had to pretend it had. After all, there is no point parading around in a vest and shorts trying to get people to notice the feeble sproutings – squeaking like a budgie.
My DNA dictated that I was never going to be as hirsute as some of my friends. But my DNA also dictated that the fulsome mane that adorned my head was not long for this world. And so the withdrawal began. This wasn’t some slow tactical loss of ground, this was a full scale panicked retreat! I never had a chance, every ancestor on both sides of the family have been follicly challenged! And so I went from Jim Morrisson to Yule Brynner. But luckily the retreat was confined to my cranium. My legs still retained the odd hair, here and there. But now they are under grave threat from this thing we call cycling!
The big question – To Shave or Not To Shave your legs. That is indeed a perplexing question for some, though luckily not for me. There is no way I am sacrificing my few fearless follicles for anything. God knows it took me long enough to cultivate them in the first place! But for those with Shire Horse like legs, the choice of shaving, or not shaving for that matter, has all sorts of implications. Let’s face it, some guys legs are so hairy, they are an EcoSystem in themselves! All they are short of, is the periodic appearance of David Bellamy popping his head out from betwixt the briars! But these hairs are a mans badge of honour. Should they be touched?
Not according to some people! But if you are wedded to the sport of cycling, and for you the answer is ‘yes, I will shave my legs’, then a whole new set of challenging questions erupt! What to do it with! How to do it? How often to do it? How much to do it to? Mind melting stuff for a bloke, but critical questions nonetheless!
It would appear that there are three main methods for undertaking such deforestation.
At first glance, shaving would appear to be about the safest. Most men have some level of proficiency with a razor which will benefit this approach. However, being an ambidextrous contortionist is also critical to this method. Never before have we been called upon to shave stuff that we can’t see. Only people who have spent years playing ‘Twister’ have any hope of making this particular method work!
Pros: All tools are readily available in the bathroom. Cons: Likelihood of slipping a disc, tearing tendons and requirement of a blood transfusion.
This method is perfect for those who already enjoy pastimes such as self flagellation and watching the Late Late Show! There will be pain, and plenty of it! Is the result worth the suffering? I hardly think so.
Pros: Smooth smooth smooth legs Cons: Longterm mental and physical trauma.
3. Veet for Men
This method is just downright wrong. The things that can go wrong are truly horrendous. For any of you considering this I implore you to click this link VEET for MEN REVIEW – it brought tears to my eyes in so many different ways! One of the funniest things I have ever read 🙂
Pros: Can’t think of any, This Review was written Cons: Armageddon
Now that you have decided on which method you are going to use, the next question is how far up do you go? Well, one would naturally think that just above the hem of your shorts would be perfect. But this can lead to problems. As a MAMIL you have probably started wearing Speedos again. And to be honest, speedos don’t look great (when do they ever) over a pair of ‘hair’ shorts otherwise known as ‘Hamster Pants’!
So how much further do you go? The line of the Speedos? Tip: wrapping masking tape around the desired level on your thigh will make for a well defined line. Or do you go even further to, dare I say it – a Pejazzle? Maybe not such a bad idea. Pejazzling involves the adornment of that hallowed area with small items of beauty – apparently! But it doesn’t have to be just aesthetic, it can also be practical. Properly shaped, it could be a great storage spot for Quick links, puncture repair patches and maybe even a mini hand pump! This personal emergency ‘Toolkit’ could be a real boon on a long cycle.
But maybe this is still not enough for some people who wish to go even further. Which leads me back to my original question – ‘Does Paddy have a landing strip?’. To be honest, I don’t know, but might I suggest you ask next time you meet him 😉
PS If you are going ahead with this shaving malarky, here are a couple of video links from GCN: