The day I shaved my legs

bike race start

You still have some big decisions to make in life, even when you’re about to turn 60.

One of the instructors at the gym castigated me recently for going in a bike race without having shaved my legs:  “You get out with the Gillette before the next race,” said definitely-less-than-30 Will.

I didn’t accept the advice.  But lining up at the start of the Woodford to Glenbrook race last month I was regretting that, surreptitiously checking out the other competitors – even the blokes in the over-60 category mostly looked to have shaved down either for the event or because that’s just what you do as a bike rider.

So I’ve got the Kanangra Classic in a couple of weeks, and I figured it was time to make a big decision – to shave or not to shave.

And now it’s done, and I look down at the place where my hairy legs used be, at skin that hasn’t been bare since I was maybe 11, and it’s a bit – well – weird.  Like:

  • There was a lot of hair on the bathroom floor
  • How far up to you have to go, like right up to the top or just where your shorts come down to?
  • I don’t remember where all those scars came from
  • I didn’t realise my legs were that skinny and white
  • Isn’t it a bit girly, actually?

Maybe not.  In self-defence at the unveiling, I said to Brigitte, “Sonny Bill and Sam Burgess shave their legs too.”  She said, ”You’re about as alike to Sonny Bill as I am to Angelina Jolie.”

It didn’t help saying, “But you’re as pretty as Angelina Jolie,” because I got back “Those boys are in their 20’s and you’re nearly 60.”  Fair point, if not exactly the hoped-for seal of approval.

But at that start line, at the next race, nobody will be casting aspersions.  We’ll be cool and hairless together, stripped for speed.  I wonder how much faster I’ll go?

And what’s the worst outcome anyway, that I just let it grow back?  The only big decision left now though is, do I have to get some spray tan?

[Image courtesy of]