Illustration by Jack Saunders
As a road cyclist you either shave your legs or your friends assume you do. I have a running joke with my more conservative fraternity brothers from college about it, often reminding them: “I don’t shave my legs because I ride road bikes, I ride road bikes so I can shave my legs.”
Legs account for approximately 36% of the body’s surface. That’s a lot of work and a lot of potential for irritation. For men, add another 3 to 4% for the face and neck and shaving becomes a task.
My dentist once told me that the when it comes to tooth brushing, the brush is what does the work and the paste is there just to make the activity more pleasant. I find the opposite to be true for shaving.
One can buy into all the pizzazz of the latest ‘Wonder Razor’ advertised every Superbowl Sunday but I’ve found a safety razor or twin blade does the trick. All those extra blades just get clogged up, they don’t last very long and they sure cost a pretty penny. It’s the shave cream in combination with hot water that, for me at least, does the work.
More than ever before though, I’ve come to enjoy my shaving experience because of shave cream. Specifically, Rapha Shaving Cream. Just spinning the top off the tin and seeing the embossed “Ventoux” is a pleasant enough mental distraction for me. At that point I’m already in a good place. The cream lathers up just thick enough to prepare the whiskers but not so sticky and thick that it won’t rinse from the blade. I get a nice, smooth finish and my skin is nicely moisturized. Used tins also make great storage for nuts and bolts, treasure, or just for pens and pencils.