Originally posted on Downeast.com
We plucked a narrow-eyed racing cyclist out of retirement and dropped him into the “vacation on two wheels” that is BikeMaine. Can he learn to relax and enjoy the ride?
By Jim Butler
Photographed by Andrew Hetherington
Every epic bike ride really begins the night before, with one all-important preparation. No, not the carbo-loading pasta dinner (though that isn’t a bad idea). It begins with the shave.
Yessir, you’ve got to make those legs smooth for the long road ahead. When you’re a washed-up old racer like me, such habits die hard. So the evening before I take to the saddle for the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s seven-day BikeMaine ride, I give myself the full razor treatment. Why? Well, if you crash, you lose less skin (and if you don’t crash once in a while, I’ve always said, you’re not riding hard enough). Plus, at least some studies indicate there’s an aerodynamic benefit. I guess it makes post-ride rubdowns easier too. Okay, I might be grasping at straws here — maybe it’s just an affectation, a sign of full-on competitive cycling geekdom. If so, I plead guilty as charged.
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