To shave or not to shave

From what I can tell, men who ride bikes get mightily sick of the constant question, ‘So, do you actually shave your legs?’

Those of you familiar with my musings on cycling will know, that I think you boys all need to HTFU and wax, but alas, I have digressed.

And anyway, it’s not the hair on cyclist’s legs that I’m concerned with, today.

Oh no, it is far worse than that.

It’s the hair on cyclist’s heads that is causing me all kinds of cause for concern.

What is it with cyclists and Ned Kelly beards these days?

Now don’t get me wrong, dear reader, I love a slightly hirsute man as much as the next person and a wee bit of Bernie Eisel designer stubble is quite nice to look at, indeed.


Bernie Eisel - Twitter
Bernie Eisel – Twitter

But seriously, this quasi-hipster, I want to look like a bush-ranger, out of control mane of man stubble, invading half a face just doesn’t do it for me.

It leaves me all rather perplexed, perhaps in the same way we women leave you blokes scratching your heads and wondering, “Women really are from another planet”.

There a couple of overtly, facial haired up examples riding through the peloton as we speak and non comes to mind quicker than Giant-Shimano’s Simon Geschke. He even seems to me to be the ring leader in these hairy shenanigans.

Copyright Brake Through Media via
Copyright Brake Through Media via

His hairy face has been a fixture of the peloton for a while now and it begs the question, ‘If cyclists shave their legs in order to be more aerodynamic on the bike, then surely growing a beard is counter productive to that, therefore male cyclists really just shave their legs cos they like it?’


According to a report posted on the ABC website, Gillette’s parent company, Proctor and Gamble has reported a 17% drop in sales during the December quarter and there are a number of reports out there or men paying up to $US8500 for facial hair transplants, you know, to hide the patchy bits that don’t grow.

Obviously as a bit of feministy chick, I am at no point suggesting that men should be dictated to, in terms of what they do to their own bodies and I suspect there are plenty of chicks out there who dig a man’s face with thick, luscious whiskers, a number of centimetres long, but, is all of this facial hair slowing said cyclists down?

And it’s not just Geschke, what about Katusha’s Luca Paolini?

Copyright Tim de Waele via
Copyright Tim de Waele via

The man could be housing an entire village of Lilliputians in his thick, gingery facial mane.

Geschke and Paolini may have braved Sunday’s very cold Milan-San Remo but quite frankly, had they of found themselves in a situation of famine, there’s probably enough crumbs and food scraps amongst those whiskers to keep them going for a good month or two, plus the afore mentioned residents.

Apparently some men feel they are taken more seriously with their bush ranger-esque facial hair, but I can’t help but think professional cyclists with exceptional facial growth are just confused.

Their legs are primed for speed but their faces are slowing them down.



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