For those of you old enough to have watched the Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour or at least to have seen pictures of them in the 60’s, you probably remember the ridiculously funny mohair vests that they often wore over their crazy-funny 60’s clothing. Sometimes Cher even wore these awesomely silly furry leggings or leg warmers or whatever you would call them; like you see in the picture above that I found somewhere. Why would I possibly be talking about this in a blog about cycling?
New England just experienced record warm temperatures for 3 days. Generally, after my last race of the season (usually early to mid-January), I stop shaving my hairier than normal hairy legs for a few months or until the first time that I ride outside in shorts, usually in March or April. The feeling of riding with exposed legs with a full bush from ankle to the bottom of my shorts is like I am riding in Cher’s fuzzy leggings. You can feel the wind blowing from every direction and, at least psychologically, the wind resistance from my leg “freak flags” seems like it is sucking at least 2 or 3 miles-per-hour from my ride. It might be great training, I suppose, but nothing compared to the feeling of freshly shaved smooth skin as I slice through the air.
I did not shave my legs (my weed whacker was in the shop) on my ride on the first warm day and I kept looking down to see if a newspaper or something had blown up from the road and had wrapped around my legs to make them feel so weird. My rides on days 2 and 3 were with smooth legs and, I have to say, felt like I had about an extra 50 watts at my disposal. No comparison. Back in the old days, before I raced and therefore before I shaved my legs, it just felt normal. So this is the new normal and as climate change results in warmer days, maybe I’ll just have to shave year round. I know at least one person that’s not going to be happy about this and it’s not Cher.