Sunday, August 16, 2009

Cyclists Checking Each Other Out

When you meet another cyclist do you automatically look down to check out leg musculature and whether they're shaved?

August 20 Clarification: I posted this in haste during a work day after several riders had walked through the shop in civilian clothes. Their manner revealed that they were familiar with bike equipment and comfortable in a shop. They moved with quiet confidence.

Looking at legs is a racer habit. What might this competitor have under the hood? Because a cyclist is both driver and engine, you can take your best guess based on the parts you can see.

In the lower licensed ranks, hairy-legged riders used to get crap from those who had shaved, even if the shaven ones had to chase down the hairy one to deliver their insults. Add a hard-shell helmet and you could find yourself shoved into a parking meter because the smooth-legged majority assumed you were a dangerous geek. At the very least, as a privateer you would not get anyone to work with you if you didn't look serious.

I make no judgments about a rider based on leg hair and muscle tone. Cycling is much bigger than that. I just thought it was funny that I still had the reflex urge to look.

I am a hairy geek on a heavy bike now. That hasn't kept me from dropping a few riders on titanium or carbon fiber when I meet them on my morning time trial to work. But I have no illusions about where I sit on the scale of absolute speed. And who really gives a rat's chamois anyway?

6 comments:

getinlost said...

That and I circle around to get a whiff of the "chamois area" to see what cream they use.

Rantwick said...

I do check out people's legs, mostly for musculature... although I'm never sure how I do or don't measure up, since it's hard to check out the backs of your own legs...

Doug Cutting said...

I look at the bike, unless they're adult females.

Andreas said...

I don't tend to check out women cyclists wearing lycra but if they're not I'm there!

Anonymous said...

It's all about the bulge, guyz.You either got it or you're an empty chamois.

Doohickie said...

Ummm... No.

Not really. I could care less weather a cyclist of either gender shaves.

I usually make eye contact if it's not to awkward and either ring my bell or venture a little wave.