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April 23, 2005

Boy, what a hassle. So many strange bumps and corners. I'm compelled to salute and thank any woman who has ever shaved her legs on my behalf.

There is schism in the cycling community about whether a rider should shave his legs. The principal argument is that smooth legs make life easier after a crash. (The counterargument is, If you're crashing that much, perhaps racing isn't your destiny.) Most riders, however, would probably concede that shaving is mostly about showing that you're in the club. It's about showing your hairy rivals that you're more serious than they are and that they needn't bother chasing after your attack. One cyclist put it to me in Kesey-ian terms: "You're either on the bus or off the bus. Shaved legs says you're on."

Plus, we work really, really hard to achieve OED-quality definition on our leg muscles. Why hide them behind foliage? It's like hiding a nose job behind a burqa.

In an odd twist, I have in the past year shaved my mother's head and now my own legs. I didn't pay attention enough during college to know what Freud would think of that, nor what he would think about how much I've enjoyed fondling my smooth legs. (Steve Martin said he could never handle being a woman because he "would stay home all day and play with my breasts." My guess is that he could never handle being a cyclist for the same reason.)

I'm sure my co-workers will heckle me next time I wear shorts into the building, but I just shaved my legs for my passions and desires. What the hell have they done for theirs?

Photos taken: April 22, 2005