I feel the need to help coach Fred out this morning. The subject of why do male cyclist shave their legs comes up yet again. Coach Fred gives it the old college try, but falls short of the goal line, so the Lemming is here to help out. On to the questions:
Q: My road riding buddies shave their legs all winter even though they're covered with leg warmers. In fact, I heard one guy say that leg warmers are the reason he continues shaving. Huh? -- Bud P.
Dude! I want to dispel some myths for you, no matter what anyone tells you, cyclists shaving their legs isn't about better cleaning up after a crash. If it was we should really be worried about how much people are crashing. It's also not about how terrible massages feel on hairy legs, although I'd agree with that. How often are we getting massages as recreational riders, unless you are someone with way too much money in this economy, with a prescribed coach, trying to finish mid-pack in a local crit.
Just to set the record straight it's also not about riding in the rain and how water sticks to the hair and makes you cold, although that is a good reason too, most cyclists shy away from the rain... It's not about all those pesky little gnats that get caught in your arm and leg hair and make you look like a freak, you might already look like a freak in the spandex. Lastly, it's not about helping leg warmers stay up better...
Pure and simple, shaving your legs is about showing off your leg muscles. Unfortunately just because a person can flex their calves and see little lines in the mirror, doesn't mean their legs look muscular, and a huge head on tiny shoulders has the potential to offset any muscular looks the legs have anyway.
In conclusion, don't question someone about shaving their legs, let them have their fun. And if you are going to shave yours, by all means, NEVER stop at your shorts line, your wife should never have to see you wearing a pair of wookie shorts!