Hair Hot Pants

I grew up riding mountain bikes, and even raced a bit when I was a junior. I didn't start racing road bikes until I got to college. After several years of racing on the road, I thought it was time to get back on the dirt and start racing some cyclocross. I had a couple of friends who raced cross and they gave the sport a solid thumbs up. So one summer, I bought a cross frame and pieced it together component at a time. By August, I had my first cross bike ready to race. I had no idea where the start learning about the sport.

This was before the dawn of Cyclocross Magazine, so my exposure was limited to the internet. Sites like Mud and Cowbells kept me informed so I didn't look like a total tool at my first race. I soon ordered a couple of DVDs; Transitions 1 and Transitions 2. The latter chronicles life in Belgium as a US cross racer. Along with following the tales of the Euro Cross Camp riders, it features Brandon Dwight. I've never met Brandon, but he runs Boulder Cycle Sport and is also a master's cyclocross national champion. Indirectly, he taught me a lot about cyclocross, as I learned about the intricacies of barrier technique from the old Velonews videos.

While escaping the New England winter and trying to get in shape for spring, I started watching Transitions 2 again. In one of the opening scenes, I noticed one of the largest faux pas of being a cyclist...the dreaded hair hot pants.

This happens when one neglects to shave the entirety of his or her legs, stopping only inches above the tan line. Hairy Short Shorts!

So please readers, next time you're cleaning up your legs before the big race, just go that extra step and so it doesn't look like your wearing hairy hot pants. You'll thank me next fall when you roll your shorts up to apply the embrocation and it goes on silky smooth.

For further reading, please see the old Ask a Pro Column on the ECCC site:

Only one week till the World Championships. Who's going to take it this year?