Monday, January 4, 2010

I'm in.

Over the past two years I've gotten a little obsessive about cycling. I ride my bike as much as possible. I log every ride religiously on an online training diary. I no longer worry about being seen in spandex. I wear a cycling cap when I'm not on my bike. I keep my bike inside when it's not being ridden. I spend way too much time (at work and at home) looking at various cycling blogs and 'zines.

I race my bicycle.

But today, I surmounted the final hurdle.

Today, I shaved my legs.

Surprisingly, my wife didn't even ask me why I was doing it. I think she understands - as far as I'm concerned, cyclists do it because that's what they do. For the same reason cricketers wear sweaters (I think) or baseball players wear long pants. It isn't terribly conducive to theirathleticism, but you won't see the Yankees step out onto the field in shorts anytime soon. However, there are other reasons put forth as to why cyclists shave their legs, but I won't get into that now.

Also, it isn't the first time I've done it - as a swimmer in high school it was expected, although there you could actually argue a reduction in drag was the impetus. In a strange way it seemed almost familiar.

When I jumped on my bike to ride to work, I was surprised to find that I actually felt nothing. Having done the deed, all the little weather vanes that previously occupied my lower limbs ceased to register the wind direction. Instead of the constant feedback of stimuli, the wind simply slipped around my legs without causing so much as a neuron to fire. I feel it's worth mentioning this, because those that do it on a regular basis probably forget about the abrupt sensational change. Maybe now that I'm less aware of the wind it will make me faster?

Tomorrow is the last race in a five race series, and I find myself in contention for some prize money (a whole other strange concept). That'll be my proving grounds to see if it makes me faster.

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