Rule #33 has to be one of the most discussed, deconstructed and divisive of all the Rules. I suppose there’s something about grown men who are non-professional cyclists taking a razor to their pins that brings out some strong emotions and it never fails to generate conversation and opinion. But really, who cares what someone else does to their own body and what business is it of ours to question or berate them for it?
The crux is that hairy legs on a road cyclist look like shit. There’s no getting away from it. On a mountain biker, hirsute guns may even look better, unless you’re an XC racer which is really just a roadie with suspension. If you’re a proponent of both, then you have a dilemna. Unless you’re the World Champion of course, then you can do what the hell you like. When Peter Sagan turned up for the early season with a healthy thatch on each of his pistons, the interwebs went into overdrive; how dare the Rainbow Jersey be sullied by such insolence. The counter argument being: awesome, he looks just like me now.
No, he doesn’t. Never will. No matter if he turned into a wookie overnight, he will never look like you/us. But what did happen back in the pre-Spring was he gave gave us all a clause, an out, a caveat for our own hairiness. Now, I’m not suggesting we all just throw away the razors and party like it’s 1969. That’s careless and irresponsible. But, having endured a winter marked by injury, laziness, lack of motivation and too much work, I am using Sags’ example as an adjunct to Rule #33. See, if you’re not actually riding a bike, and it’s cold, and your legs are mainly out of sight (or seen exclusively on a mountain bike), then why go to the trouble of keeping them smooth? It’s not like there’s any muscle, definition, or tan lines to show off.
So it’s decreed that under certain conditions, as outlined above, that the Sagan Clause can be invoked and a Cyclist––on temporary hiatus––can let their hair down until such time as some form of fitness returns or regular chamois time is being logged. Once you feel like a Cyclist again, then the razor can and must come out, because no matter how often you may try to convince yourself otherwise, that shit just don’t belong.