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Facial hair and the Roadie(32 posts)

Facial hair and the RoadieCar Magnet
May 28, 2001 5:04 AM
As I was flipping through the pages of my favorite cycle 'zine, I noticed that nobody was sporting any facial hair. I looked in a couple of back issues and nope, no facial hair. The only person was Pantani (who was on the cover). Come to think of it, I really haven't seen any locals or non-locals (on my longer ventures) with any facial hair. Only people I see with beards or mustaches are in fact commuters. Just wondering how many of you sporting a goatee or likewise?
re: Facial hair and the RoadieBill B
May 28, 2001 6:47 AM
For a long time the pro's did only what their coaches told them to do and the coaches said facial hair was not aerodynamic and only made the face hotter during races, hence no facial in the pro peloton. If Frank Vandabrook ever gets his act together again he wears a gotee too.
I do not race much anymore so I do have a (grey) goatee. I do not feel any slower or hotter but I feel sorta silly with shaved legs and a hairy chin.
I have a full beard(nm)Dave Hickey
May 28, 2001 6:55 AM
I have a beard, too. (nt)BQ
May 28, 2001 7:49 AM
Abe Lincoln beard ...Humma Hah
May 28, 2001 8:09 AM
... but I'm so slow the drag hardly matters.

I suppose the same arguments apply as to shaving legs. There may be miniscule drag and cooling advangages, and its so much easier to pick grit out of road rash on your chin if you don't have whiskers?
Just shaved off the mustache I grew in VietnamCory
May 28, 2001 2:49 PM
Had beard off and on (off the last five years), but a mustache full time since 1967...I looked at myself in the mirror the other day and saw an aging hippie (which is true, but still surprised me). Before I could think, I grabbed the razor and shaved it off. My wife (married in 1974) and kids (20 and 15) had never seen my upper lip. Widespread horror throughout the family, but I like it fine. And I picked up 3mph on the flat. Or maybe it just FEELS faster with the wind on my lip.
Chris Hornermike mcmahon
May 28, 2001 2:54 PM
The last picture I saw of Horner, he was sporting a pretty long and bushy goatee (ala Alexi Lalas). The rumor was that it may have cost him a few seconds on the TT at Redlands. A few years back, I had a goat and the thing was like a sponge on hot days, especially on long climbs. I got tired of wringing the thing out pretty quickly, not to mention the fact that half the world seemed to be wearing one. I guess Bob Roll waited until his pro riding days were over before he grew his mountain man beard. I don't get OLN: Does he still have it?
Chris HornerRhodyRider
May 28, 2001 5:40 PM
No, Bobke has shaved his lamb chops off. This is OLN's first go at full, live Giro & Tour coverage. Maybe they wanted to minimize the "quirk" factor of Mr. Roll so as not to scare off the casual viewer. Strictly speaking, I think he is an excellent analyst, and the current team of him, Liggett, and Sherwen is outstanding. Always entertaining and incicsive.
With Roll on board,mike mcmahon
May 28, 2001 5:52 PM
I'm even more bummed out about missing OLN's cycling coverage. I always found Bobke's commentaries in cycling magazines to be interesting and entertaining: definitely not the mainstream view of things. I'd love to be able to hear his commentary. At least I'll be able to see a little Liggett/Sherwen on ABC and ESPN for Le Tour.
Nope, no Tour butchering by ABC this yearJ.S.
May 29, 2001 10:56 AM
OLN is the only place you'll see Tour coverage this year. Actually can't really call what ABC did as "coverage" as it was only a vehicle for stupid ass personal interest stories. Bobke has developed into a pretty good color man this year with the help of Paul and Phil. Jonathan Vaughters is a great announcer if he ever decides to go that way after cycling.
Don't know of the aero disadvantages, but...boy nigel
May 28, 2001 9:10 PM
I sport sideburns (to the bottom of my ears) and a "soul patch" (the patch of hair which grows between the bottom lip and the chin). It might slow me down a bit, but the hair missing from my legs makes up for it. :)
Full beard of course...(ACE)
May 29, 2001 12:11 AM
like all real men.
re: Facial hair and the RoadieJimF
May 29, 2001 12:27 AM
Cycling is the reason I keep my beard. It hides faceplant scars and helmet strap tanlines.
unkempt goatee, earrings, do-ragHaiku d'état
May 29, 2001 7:57 AM
parrot on shoulder. arrrrgh!

jk abooot the parrot.
Salty helmet straps on freshly razored face = ouch!Alex R
May 29, 2001 8:29 AM
I'm clean shaven but have often thought about growing a beard for this reason. If I commuted by bike, I'd grow a beard. Shaving right before a ride really hurts.

re: Facial hair and the RoadieDinosaur
May 29, 2001 10:33 AM
I grew a light beard after I retired. It took more time to trim and shape it than it took me to shave, so I shaved it off (ouch). I still have a mustache, I've sported one for thirty years, it's gets kind of messy on hot days, the beard would be unbearable riding in 95 degree heat. I think the reason that the pro's don't sport any facial hair is sort of tradition, it goes along with shaving the legs. I do see some guys with a good amount of hair sticking out of their helmets, I don't think I would want the Pantani look however...
A questionmike mcmahon
May 29, 2001 12:29 PM
In all seriousness, do you know why so many police officers wear moustaches? My uncle, who is my age, is a homicide detective and has a moustache. Most of his cop friends have moustaches. I've never gotten around to asking him about moustaches. At least half of the male cops I see around town have moustaches. Do you have any insight?

A possible answer.boy nigel
May 29, 2001 2:03 PM
I've noticed this type of thing as well. Firemen often do the same. Without meaning any offense to your unc and his mates, it seems like a kind of blue-collar thing. Really stretching it here, maybe it's a cultural thing. I've observed that many "public servant" types sport facial hair (in particular, moustaches). I've also observed that many of these gents are of Italian or Irish descent. People often do what they're brought up either doing or looking at/like. In today's "fashion world," and in many urban (cosmopolitan) centers, moustaches are frowned upon as passe and even cheesy (at least for 20- or 30-somethings). I'm not a moustache man myself, but men of different cultures/family backgrounds/vocations (who may be a bit more "country" in their outlook than "cosmo") often find that this type of facial hair is respectable, and makes them look younger.

Again, Mike, I don't mean to insult your family members or their associates at all, but I've noticed this type of thing as well and have taken a sort of "silent poll" over the years. Often, men in their 40s begin growing them for the "younger look." My dad, who was a Citibank VP did it in the 70s (in his 40s), too. You didn't state your age, by the way. Are you in your 30s, 40s?

An interesting phenomenon indeed, this moustaches-in-certain-vocations thing.
A possible answer.mike mcmahon
May 29, 2001 2:21 PM
No offense taken. Moustaches definitely seem to be out of favor with the under 40 crowd, and I usually assume (perhaps foolishly) when I see someone under 40 with a 'stache that he's a cop. I'm 38 and have had a goatee several times in my life. I grew a full beard once but it only lasted about a month because more than one person told me that I looked like a serial-killer with it. I've never had a moustache and don't have any plans on growing one now that I'm approaching 40. However, if I do change my mind and grow a moustache, it's going to be a big, nasty-looking Fu Man Chu.

P.S. I was thinking of you the other day when I was listening to Apple-Venus Volume 1 while working on my bike. "Nigel is a nice boy and he likes to speak and he loves to be spoken to . . . ."

Right on!boy nigel
May 29, 2001 2:35 PM

I'm really glad you took what I said the right way; thanks. The serial killer thing is GREAT! I can't imagine what I'd do if someone told me I looked like a serial killer! Good stuff, man. :)

Cool to know that there are other XTC fans out there. Andy and the boys (Well, "boy" now, since it's just him and Colin) are my fave band, and I was lucky enough to meet them in NYC a couple years back. (Not luck, really, since I waited for HOURS in the cold outside Tower Records to have them sign a CD or two--including Drums and Wires which originally featured Moulding's "Making Plans for Nigel.") Great geezers (in the British meaning--that is, "men") they are. Andy complimented my blue specs, and I managed a quick photo with them. I'm not a starf**ker at all, but I had to meet them since they were in town. Well worth freezing my feet nearly off!

Oh yeah. A quick correction, if I may: It's actually "Nigel isn't outspoken, but he likes to speak and he loves to be spoken to." This line caused me to name my orange cat after the mollycoddled boy in the tune, since it fit him so well (He was just a kitten when I got him, but it fit, and he looked like a Nigel, for sure). If ever I have a human boy, he'll share the name with the cat. It's become my fave name. Mine's actually Andy, BTW. Thanks for thinking of me when hearing the song; nice. Cheers.

Nige (Andy)
Should have read the lyricsmike mcmahon
May 29, 2001 2:48 PM
Sorry about getting your theme song wrong. At least I got the last part right. Drums and Wires is a classic. I only wish that Andy's stage-fright weren't so overwhelming that it precluded live shows. I'd love to see them in person after all these years.

Yours truly,
The Mayor of Simpleton (or at least a simpleton)
Perfectly okay, MM.boy nigel
May 29, 2001 7:14 PM
No sweat, mate. Just making the connection is a great thing. A while back on the board, there was a "Tell us something about yourself" thread; I mentioned the song in my info. Did you read that, or just make the tie-in on your own? Being a fan, I'd guess you'd get it on your own. Yeah, and seeing them live would just be the ultimate, wouldn't it? I read in one of the books I've got on them about something that happened on an Aimee Mann tour a few years ago. Aimee'd been dating Dave Gregory at the time, and he was playing guitar on her tour. They'd wanted to do an XTC song (Can't remember which one offhand--possibly "Ten Feet Tall"), and asked Andy to sing it onstage. He said "absolutely not" due to his fears and nerves. He attended the show, and when they launched into it (with him in the audience), he went nuts, thinking How can they be playing my song without ME? He jumped onstage and sung louder and with more passion and excitement than anyone else onstage. Where there's a will...

You're no simp, man, you're an intelligent form of life.

The connectionmike mcmahon
May 29, 2001 7:57 PM
I remembered reading in your self-introductory post that your board name was inspired by Making Plans for Nigel and that you were an XTC fan. Thanks for the compliment and look forward to exchanging more XTC references in the future.
The answer is....DINOSAUR
May 29, 2001 3:08 PM
The reason is, back when I joined the CHP in 1971, no facial hair or sideburns were allowed. They relaxed the standards a few years later and a lot of guys grew moustaches as it was the "in thing to do" at the time. The grooming standards are still fairly strict so growing a moustache is a way to feel halfway human. Probably a cult thing also. Most cops and firemen have moustaches. I also grew one to make me look older, as I got tired of hearing "how old are you?" everytime I busted a drunk. I do consider shaving mine off, as it attracts a lot of snot and sweat, especially in the summer. I grew a beard after I retired, but I saw my reflection in a window and wondered who the old geezer was with the gray beard, until I discovered it was me. I also let my hair grow long, but it is easier to have short hair when you ride in the summer.
Mini-Rebellionmike mcmahon
May 29, 2001 3:17 PM
That's a good point that hadn't crossed my mind. In a world where your worklife is strictly regimented, something like growing a moustache might be a subtle way of thumbing your nose at authority.

P.S. I agree about riding with short hair in summer. For Father's Day, I'm buying myself a Wahl electric razor, setting it on #2, and cutting my own hair for the rest of my life. From now on, I'll look like a heavier, dark-haired Bjarne Riis.
BzzzzzzzzVlad the Impaler
May 29, 2001 6:14 PM
I used to have a big mop of curly hair when I was not very active. As I became more active (hiking, cycling, backpacking, mountaineering, etc..), I found it was just a pain. I bought my own electric clippers a couple of years ago and have been shaving my head to 3/8 of an inch once a month ever since. The true no maintanance haircut.
What brand of clippers . . .mike mcmahon
May 29, 2001 6:34 PM
and are you happy with them? I figure I'm going to be in this hair-cutting thing for the long haul, so I might as well spend the dough for something that's going to last.
Good, solid clippers.boy nigel
May 29, 2001 7:27 PM

As a matter of fact, I use a Wahl Homepro Adjustable Powerdrive on my wife's beautiful head about once every three weeks with the shortest attachment on, and it set on #1 (shortest without being totally bald). She's got a wonderful head shape and face, and this not only highlights these perfectly, but she LOVES the zero-maintenance deal (this cut was something she gradually went for--from short, to shorter, to super-short). She can roll out of bed on some mornings, pull on some clothes, and stroll to work.

The Wahl Homepro Powerdrive we use is black and came in a hard, black plastic carrying case. It sold for $30 about a year or two ago; probably goes for about the same in drugstores now. It comes with several attachments, a cleaning brush and operating instructions (not necessary for the one-size-all-around cut), and hasn't given us a hint of a problem yet. Rugged, solid unit, and one we're both very happy with. It paid for itself in ONE cut, too!

Happy shearing and riding,
You can't go wrong with Wahl (nm)Vlad the Impaler
May 29, 2001 8:42 PM
That's what my bald friend Nino tells me.mike mcmahon
May 29, 2001 9:54 PM
He's been using a Wahl for about 4-5 years now and is a picky guy. I found a nice Wahl set-up at It should be mine soon and the barber shop will be a distant memory.
May 29, 2001 6:15 PM
I think it's an age thing also. Back in the 70's everyone had a moustache and sideburns. Now I'm starting to feel old.

Funny thing happened last week, I was on a ride, and at my turn-around spot, which is off the I-80 corridor up in the foothills below Colfax Ca., which also happens to be my old beat, I ran into a CHP Officer. I introduced myself and we chatted for a few minutes. I could tell he was rushed and he was sketching out a diagram of an accident, sort of under the gun, or life always in the fast lane, or whatever you want to call it. He still has ten years to go before he retires. When I departed I felt so happy and content that I'm not in that line of work anymore. Headache city and pressure. All I worry about is if it is going to rain or an occasional flat tire.
Yep, taking that early retirement was a good idea.
Oh, for what it's worth, he didn't have a moustache, he was only 40.
Mini-Rebellionmike mcmahon
May 29, 2001 6:32 PM
Maybe the lack of moustaches among officers under 40 now represents rebellion against authority. The 70s were truly a bizarre time. My dad, who's not exactly Mr. Excitement, was sporting big sideburns and a permanent and driving around in an airbrushed orange and green '76 Econoline van with the famous bathing-suit poster of Farrah Fawcett in the back window. He also had a green polyester leisure-suit. Thank god it at least had long sleeves.