On the Tour of California - and shaved legs

News & Results

03/9/2006| 0 comments
by Allen Parsley
Photo copyright Allen Parsley/Roadcycling.com.
Photo copyright Allen Parsley/Roadcycling.com.

On the Tour of California - and shaved legs

Each of you readers knows why you shave your legs, but don?t tell anybody why, just do it.

All serious male cyclists shave their legs. Some say it is to decrease wind resistance. Some contend that it makes treatment of road rash and chain abrasions easier. Some have claimed that the tight band of spandex on cycling shorts pulls those sensitive hairs. And some probably think it is just plain sexy.   Each of you readers knows why you shave your legs, but don?t tell anybody why, just do it. And each of you knows how far up the leg you go, but again please don?t tell.   This reporter started cycling only three years ago, in order to participate in Thomson Bike Tours? annual trips to the Tour de France.   I had heard about the shaved leg thing, just common knowledge, in the same way we have all heard that swimmers shave their whole body before important races.

 

 

In order to ride with the Thomson group to the Tour de France in the
Pyrenees, I had to learn to ride the skinny bike.   I had to learn to ride in a pace line. I had to learn to eat snacks and drink water and talk with my mates while pedaling and not fall over.   I had to learn how to unclick the shoe cleats upon stopping, and I fell over like a dead tree only twice on the first ride. Now I do all those things without a thought. I had to learn to ride more than fifty miles in a single day, something I could not have imagined four years ago.   However, the one thing I did not have to learn to do was shave my legs.   It turns out I haven?t had hair on my legs for years. No reason, it just turned out that way. I have a good mat on the chest, a full beard, and a full head of hair. From the torso up I could be mistaken for James Bond.   Some of these crops have turned a bit gray of course, but that is because I am nearly as old as Sean Connery himself. I just wish I could do his accent.

 


The teams that came to the first Tour of California on February 19 th were of the same caliber and in many cases were the same teams as those in the Tour de France. Many names on the roster would have looked familiar to a French cycle fan accustomed to reading ?L?Equipe?, the premiere French sports newspaper, throughout the month of July. Hincapie, Landis, O?Grady, Leipheimer, and more.   Gerolsteiner, Discovery Channel, CSC, Davitamon Lotto, and more.   The 8 days 596.2 mile Tour of California was just like the Tour de France, the classic European stage race, almost.   Not as many days of course, not quite as long, not in kilometers, and with fewer helicopters and floats.   No floats, to be exact.   But the crowds were good, they were loud, and many of them knew about cycling. That was clear because many of the male spectators had

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