Words - Alex Dickinson - Illustrations by Peter Rubijono
Cycling, as far as activities go, is relatively easy on good old mother earth. To be fair, we cyclists do our share of driving to races and eating out of plastic wrappers, but traveling on two wheels is a heck of a lot better than traveling on four. Of course, there are always things you can do better.
I read an article the other day purporting that the livestock industry was mostly responsible for the water shortage down in California. Now, that might have something to do with it, but I think we all know who the real culprit is. With the recent rise in cycling’s popularity, crit bros and weekend cruisers alike have taken to the age old tradition of leg-shaving, resulting in longer showers for a significant percentage of the population, and a subsequent water shortage across the American Southwest.
It could be the 12,000 gallons of water it takes to produce one pound of sizzling ground chuck, or it’s the cyclists. You be the judge. Anyways, cyclists aren’t the only ones that are hyper-concerned with aero-aesthetics. Runners, swimmers, and non-sport-affiliated peacocks (“NSAPs) have taken to shearing off gristle in pursuit of smooth, permanently greased up pins.
Even some women have started shaving their legs. Okay, in truth, quite a few women have actually been doing this for a while now, and they could probably teach us less experienced shavers a thing or two. Many can shave their legs to perfection as they lather, rinse, and repeat, taking up no more time than a regular shower, but it could take years to develop the kind of mental focus and dexterity required for such advanced techniques.
It’s no secret that in most cases leg-shaving makes your showers longer, leaving thousands of spouses bickering over bathroom time and thousands of Californians wondering if they’ll have anything but vintage Napa Valley Cabernet to drink tomorrow.
Never fret, we’re here to give you a better, more convenient, and more water efficient way to shave, even if you’re not in California (solidarity, man).
What you’ll need:
One mug, vintage birdbath, bedpan, urn, or other such receptacle. Fresh out of receptacles? Our friends over at Spartan Shop will set you up with something somehow classic, modern, and on trend all at the same time.
One razor. Straight razors recommended, triple blade accepted, electric just stop reading right now and go away.
8 oz. warm water. That’s right–just eight ounces.
Shaving cream of your choice. If you’re looking to get real #tevaswithsocks on us, coconut oil will lubricate and rejuvenate your body tissues simultaneously.
One wash cloth
The Very Best of Otis Redding, Volume 1
Step One: drop your razor into your water and set the needle down on that Otis record. Feel the rhythm. You’ll want to align your razor strokes to the beat.
Step Two: strip down to your skivvies and butter up. Start and finish one leg before starting the other. Of course, you may want to thin out your cream of choice by dipping your fingertips in your warm water.
Step Three: shave away. Think long, smooth strokes and be sure to clean your razor after every two or three, depending on the length and consistency of your fur. Like my old man used to say, “shaving is a bit like mowing the lawn. You want to have a little bit of overlap so you don’t leave any strips of long grass. Align the center of the blade with the edge of the remaining shaving cream.” Wise words, pops.
Step Four: When all of the shaving cream has been swept up from your legs, dampen your washcloth with warm water and give the leg a wipe down. This is the perfect opportunity to give your handiwork a lookover. Pay special attention to the backs of the ankles and all sides of the knees. The back of the thigh stubble can be sneaky, too, if you’re already breaking out the “summer length” bib shorts.
Step Five: Repeat on opposite leg.
Step Six (optional): Quick rinse. If you really feel the need, shower up. At least it will be a shorter one.
In all seriousness, we might not be able to solve the water or environmental crisis by shaving in our living rooms, but every little bit helps, and it’s a hell of a lot easier than shutting down big ag.