Marolt: The high cost of sexy legs
I like to ride my bicycle, so it makes me nervous what I might do if I took a razor into the shower with me. I’m almost certain I’d shave my legs.
It’s what serious cyclists do, right? There are plenty of reasons we need to. I’m sure you’ve heard of road rash. That’s a technical term for scabs. If your bike slides out from underneath you as you lean into a sharp corner, you are going to leave skin on the pavement. If your wound is bad enough, you’re going to have to slather Neosporin all over it and wrap it in gauze and then roll tape around it. In a few days you will have to rip it all off. This is when you will be extremely happy you took the time to soap your legs up in a warm, steamy shower and borrow your wife’s Lady Bic to shave them until they are as smooth as boiled bratwurst.
This actually happened to me once when I was about 11. I crashed and my knee ended up in a Band-Aid for a few days. When I yanked it off it stung like crazy for almost 10 seconds; maybe 15. If only I’d kept my legs shaved before it all went down.
That’s not the only reason to shave your legs for cycling, though. Have you ever tried to get your hairy legs massaged after a ride? Me neither. Nonetheless, if you ever do happen to get a leg massage after a long, hard ride, you’ll be glad your legs are silky smooth.
If I ended up shaving my legs, I think I would be tempted to buy a really nice new bicycling uniform. I mean, let’s be honest, any man who shaves his legs and doesn’t admit that it feels, well, you know … sexy, he’s a liar. That admission out of the way, a new, tight-fitting, colorful bicycling uniform would perfectly fill Doctor Feel Good’s prescription.
I’d get the uniform that team AG2R La Mondale wears: matching jersey, hot pants, socks and all. Those things are gorgeous! They are patterned with light blue and yellow in about the same proportions as the sky above with enough white in between to mimic the puffy clouds of a perfect summer day.
You’ve got to admit it’s an impressive team name. I had no idea what it meant so I turned to Google. Turns out it’s kind of an actuarial company in France that administrates annuities and pension plans, kind of like Mutual of Omaha here, I suppose. Who cares, though? If they continue to come up with outfits like that, I’ll be a human billboard for them anytime.
Speaking of which, If I shave my legs and get all gussied up in my new (expensive!) bike uniform, I doubt I’d have the willpower to go off and ride some lonely country road all by myself or, heaven forbid, a bike path. Heck no, I’d want to go somewhere to be seen.
I know the game, so I’d be tempted to play. The object is to be mistaken for an actual professional team rider. I mean, who can tell the difference? Dressed to the nines on a nice-looking bike, I could easily be mistaken for a pro going easy on a warm-up or cool-down ride.
The scary thing is I know what I’d do if nobody noticed me after taking all the trouble to fix myself up fancy. If I felt anonymous cruising along the shoulder of the road, I’d inch my way out into the traffic lane until people couldn’t ignore me anymore. They’d honk and yell for me to get out of the way and then I could get serious and scowl and act like an East German athlete who still has a hundred miles of training ahead of him and can’t be bothered to even acknowledge the lazy morons in their cars who have no idea what it takes to be a World Champion anyway.
The best part, though, would be making a few victory laps around the mall downtown before settling down in the outdoor seating area of a local cafe, sipping cappuccino in one hand and guzzling bottled water in the other, slouching enough so nobody wouldn’t understand how hard I’d just worked out, all the while eyeing my bike close by like it’s the tool I’ll win another million dollars with next week in Italy.
That’s why I’m scared to take a razor into the shower.
Roger Marolt still prefers wearing a cotton shirt to a skin-tight Lycra sandwich board on his back. firstname.lastname@example.org