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Showing posts from July 6, 2016

Every Thursday, I Shave My Legs--Even in Iraq

Since one of my first big bike crashes in 1994, I have shaved my legs every week, usually on Thursday before racing on the weekend.  I started riding seriously in 1989, but resisted shaving my legs until the crash at the Tuesday Night Training Race. I continued to shave my legs throughout my deployment to Iraq in 2009.  I rode 5,100 miles on Camp Adder, Iraq, so it made sense to keep removing my leg hair.

So why do bicycle racers and most serious cyclists shave their legs?

Crashes.

In 1994 I crashed at 25mph on a rough road surface. I had deep cuts on my right side from my shoulder to my ankle.  The worst was almost two square feet of shredded skin on my right thigh.  Inside all of those cuts was the shaggy hair from my hirsute legs.  I cleaned and disinfected my injuries, but within a few days, the big red mess on my right thigh was oozing green.

My doctor, General Internal Medicine, rotates many residence through the practice.  That day I had a young, fit doctor doing a month-lon…