Cyclists shave their legs for any number of reasons. It’s an oft repeated blog topic that I’m not going to cover in depth today. However, the subject is related to a more important happening in my life.
I won’t go into all the reasons (some very good) for why most cyclists go the smooth route. Yes, there is the road rash reason, the massage message, and cleanliness claim. However, the primary point is that any honest cyclist who uses the razor will admit that when it comes down to it, the overriding issue is how it looks.
It is not really a matter of vanity as some people assume. Shaved legs just look fast. When the racers pull up to the line, they can read a lot from the muscle definition of the legs surrounding them. I would also point out that they gain confidence from the look of their own.
That is the point I want to make today. When I first started training this year, I was a hairy man — as I am (except on top of my head). Not only did I look soft and fuzzy, I felt that way. Even after getting rid of the fuzz, I still felt soft — and weak.
Finally, last night while spinning I started to see the legs of last year returning. It’s that little knot you see where your quad meets your knee when you bring your leg up on the pedal. It’s that bowing of your outer thigh muscle as you recoil your leg to start another stroke. It’s that crease that starts to appear over your knee cap when you stand.
What that is telling me is that the training is starting to have some effect, even if I don’t always feel like it. Seeing things begin to take shape in turn starts making me feel better about what is happening. It all builds to help create a confidence.
Cycling is a very mental sport. Yes, there is some strategy and logic involved, but that isn’t what I’m talking about. You must be mentally strong to keep going when the body is saying to stop. Any edge you can create to help you mentally is so very important.
The way you look. The equipment you use. So many things add up to creating the mental environment that can give you just that edge you need.
It may seem odd to those not involved in these types of endurance sports. However, I think if you ever step over to the dark side you will start to see it.