Hair today, gone tomorrow

 By The Free Rider, Craig Richards, 17 August 2016

I’m going to get this out of the way up front – I like wearing a helmet. Before you launch a Twitter storm my way, please listen to my reason: it gives my hair a break from judgement.

Humans just can’t stop judging each other’s hair. What was the trending style one day is a source of scornful hilarity the next.


RIP Farrah and Patrick – you’ll forever be style icons in my book.

I know my mop isn’t remarkable. Over the journey I’ve been told my hair just sits there. Doesn’t do anything. Is too straight. And the one I like the most, ‘You don’t even have a hairstyle you just have hair.’

At school I got a fair dose of helmet head because of my not on trend bowl cut. Which is a scrumptious irony considering my hair now gets a break from judgement by hiding under a helmet.

One of these photos is me at school, I’ll let you guess which one.

This is the part of the blog where I apologise for some cruel judgmental barb I’ve fired someone’s way. Well this week I’ve got a double apology. I remember calling someone the Hair Bear Bunch after the Hanna Barbera cartoon. But I can’t remember who it was. So I’m very sorry for being mean and even more sorry for forgetting who I was mean to…or if you’re judging my English, ‘to whom I was mean.’


[I was actually more of a Magilla Gorilla fan. I never understood why two of the Hair Bear bunch permanently wore hats].

Now, back to the anti-helmet crusaders (who hopefully haven’t taken to social media yet). Yep, I get it, ‘If you want to hide your hair you don’t need a foam hat!’ You could rock a fashionable fedora or don a shower cap.


Given by how much these two are enjoying wearing a shower cap there should be more of them I think.

But it is a beautiful part of bike riding that because us riders all know our hair will look bad after wearing a helmet, we don’t judge each other’s hair harshly. Well our head hair that is.

When it comes to legs that’s a whole other story. For men on two wheels, leg shaving is a key judgement criteria. Don’t shave and you’ll be judged by many serious riders as not worthy. Do shave and you’ll be judged by those who don’t ride as a weirdo.

Me, I’ve never taken the razor to my legs. Just can’t see the point. Seems like time I’d rather spend actually pedalling than sitting in a bath trying to stem bleeding.

Although I have to admit: alone with your thoughts and a yellow duck does seem like a pleasant way to spend an afternoon.

I did weigh up the top 3 pros of leg shaving and found none stacked up.

  1. 6 seconds faster over a 35km time trial: cutting down my time from 3 hours, 12 minutes, 14 seconds to 3 hours, 12 minutes, 8 seconds doesn’t seem worthwhile.
  2. Easier care of grazes: doesn’t cut it when I don’t plan on falling off.
  3. More pleasurable leg massage: in the words of Sweet Brown, ‘Ain’t nobody got time for that.’

I did get close to leg waxing once. The taunts of yeti legs got the better of me. So I snapped and said, ‘Fine I’ll do it, provided you wax your sasquatch arms!’ As soon as I said it, I wanted to grab the words floating in the speech bubble above my head and shove them back in my mouth. But as my wise Dad told me, ‘There’s two things you can’t get back: the spoken word and the lost opportunity.’

The good news was my bluff wasn’t called. The challenger opted to keep the pelt on his arms (even though I’m sure the constant threat of poachers means he never gets a good night’s sleep). So my legs, like a Sesame Street character, lived on as their happy, fuzzy selves.

One of these photos is my legs. I’ll let you guess which one.

So riders let’s set the standard. Embrace your fellow riders whether their legs are silky smooth, rough as guts or prickly like a pair. And when it comes to what’s growing on the top of someone’s head, do what Thumper’s wise father told him.


Ride free!



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