Sometimes on your training journey you have the opportunity to observe and sometimes you have the opportunity to think.

As an example; an observation the other weekend on a training ride to Kinglake, after traversing the Main Road from Eltham to St Andrews on many occasions I have never really made the connection, however, it now begs the question – “Why is the Smith Gully General Store at the top of a hill?” Isn’t that somewhat of a conundrum??

This led me to thinking about our riding and some of the etiquette required to make us great riders. Just ensure you follow the guidelines and everything will be fine.

1. Never, Never, Never, Never wear white lycra cycling shorts (If you happen to own a pair, stop what you are doing, locate the aforementioned item of cycling gear and burn it, do not hesitate) There is nothing worse than getting caught behind some well worn stretched to the max white lycra that is covering a sweaty hairy backside. The mental picture is abhorrent, let alone the mental anguish that this causes. How can you expect to concentrate on the road when you are confronted by this extremely poor performance and lack of etiquette?

Imagine, (actualyl no don’t), what this would look like if the material was wet. I can only shake my head in disgust.

2. Talk about three degrees of separation; this brings me to the question of depilation (for the uninformed, this means the removal of hair from the body). What to do – shave, depilatory cream or wax? So here is the run down: Shaving is the cheapest form, although with the price of the Gillete Mach III blades these days it is fast becoming the dearest. Some hints, don’t use your normal razor save this for your face, shaving your legs blunts the blade quicker than anything, it is also possibly the most dangerous form of hair removal, particularly if you are shaving your chest or indulging in a little manscaping. Although it is also difficult to complete the back, sack and crack style with a razor. If you do manage to shave your backside be warned, this is not an area for stubble, as regrowth can be very uncomfortable!

Depilatory cream is very effective for about 3 days, there are many varieties on the market, and the best are the ones that wash off in the shower. Hazards you should avoid – don’t leave the cream on for too long as it burns your skin, it’s also not good for sensitive areas or the bikini line and definitely avoid the ‘rear end’ region, flush with copious amounts of water if you do happen to slip into this area. Do not get the cream onto any areas that you don’t want denuded as this can lead to embarrassing explanations. It can be a little messy so make sure you clean up.

This brings me to waxing, by far the most effective form of depilation. My advice, do not attempt this at home, pay an expert. There are many types of wax products, soft wax, hard wax, gel. Hard wax is difficult to use, it turns brittle and you tend to leave little bits of the wax all over the house, not a good idea with the bride on the warpath. Another pitfall has to do with the heat required to melt the hard wax to a malleable level , you are at risk of burning a hole in your leg, this has the added effect of ruining the tan so a big downer on both counts, not to mention the hole in your leg that you now have.

Using those late night TVN style creams (also advertised on the morning shows) is not an option, I have found these to be next to useless and create more mess than you want to be able to clean up. These are akin to the ready to go wax strips that you heat up under your armpit, another useless and messy product, just think mucking up with honey and all the stringy bits that manage to get everywhere, oh and don’t try using honey as a depilatory substitute….

The best option, go to a salon and get an expert to get the job done. They use the best products and the result is always good.

One final warning, do not, I repeat do not and in case you missed that last one – do not under any circumstance use an epilady! I dips me lid to anybody who has suffered through this unfortunate form of depilation whoever invented this machine should be hung drawn and quartered.

Until my next installment… safe (and respectable) riding.


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