People occasionally ask me why I shave my legs, and my answer is always the same: because that’s what cyclists do. Any other answer, be it “for aerodynamics” or “it’s better for treating road rash”, in my opinion, are meant to make it sound as if the person didn’t want to shave his legs, but was forced to by practicality.
My legs are ugly too, so it’s not as if I am showing them off. My calves look like a pair of horrific train wrecks with skin stretched over them, and that’s not even to mention the veins snaking to and fro. Normally I am a vain person, but I’ve been desensitized somewhat by my constant forays in public while wearing brightly-colored skin-tight clothing. That, and I’m getting too old to care.
There is pressure among cyclists to shave, as you can see from rule #4 from the Official Rules of the Euro Cyclist:
4. Legs shall be SHAVED year-round. ABSOLUTELY NO EXCEPTIONS. Certain hair removal creams are endorsed only on a case-by-case basis. One shall never show up to a race (be it large or small) with ANY amount of stubble visible on one’s legs.
When I started shaving my legs, I just used the razor I had previously been using on my face, but lately I’ve started sampling products made especially for women. I pity any woman who has the thickness of hair that I have on my legs, but I have found that products made especially for shaving legs do work a bit better.
I bought a razor called the Gillette Venus, whose tag line is “Reveal the Goddess in You”, something I have always thought I’d like to do.
Actually some of the copy on products for women reminds me a little bit of porn copywriting, but I might be alone there. Only a complete nerd would read, let alone remember copy written about porno movies anyway, now that I think of it.
I have to say, for all the goddess talk, the razor does work better on my legs than a man’s face razor does, even though men’s face razors seem to be more solidly built. It has a round thingy on the end of the handle that makes it easier to hold lengthwise and a big flat head that helps you not slice up your legs. Nothing ruins revealing your goddess like streaming blood, I think you’ll agree.
On top of that, it comes with a little holder that suction cups to the tile wall of your shower so it can fall down in the middle of the night and scare the goddess out of you.
I’ve also been using women’s shaving cream. I used to use men’s shaving cream, but it tends to be better for faces, as you might imagine. I’ve been trying the Skintimates Cream Shave in the “Soothing Petals” fragrance. I like it because it is a thick non-foaming cream that sticks to my legs well in the shower, and stays there long enough to be shaved over. Men’s shaving cream tends to slide off quickly and not help much.
I’m not sure about the “Soothing Petals” part, as to me the fragrance seems to be more like “Overpowering Baby Powder”, but my legs do end up soft and silky smooth. I even got some compliments on the baby powder smell at the track, where normally one is racing in a cloud of the stench of other racers.
I wish the smell were a little less overpowering, but the leg smoothness that comes as a result of using the shaving cream is to be desired for sure. If you’re the sort of guy who is man enough to gracefully acknowledge compliments on the baby powder fragrance of your silky smooth legs, then the Skintimates Cream Shave may be for you.
If you’re not, then you may want to keep your goddess hidden away, deep deep down. Deeper than that, even.
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