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Old 05-07-12, 12:47 PM   #1
sprintfree
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Shaving on Tour

I recently discovered that the blades on my electric razor have become very dull and that the replacement blade costs almost as much as what I payed for the shaver. I'm not a fan of razors because I almost always cut myself or irritate my face. I'm leaving for a cross country tour in a week and i have decided that I'll just let my facial hair grow out for the two-three months the ride takes. I don't really see any bad things about having a beard while on the tour but I could be wrong? I mean Forrest Gump didn't shave when he ran across the country and he didn't seem to have a problem. I'm about to turn 19 and have been shaving four or five times a week for about six years now, I've gone for 4 days now and its only a matter of time before I have a bountiful crop of facial hair.

What are your thoughts of shaving while on tour? I'm looking forward to the weight savings of not having to bring my electric razor and constantly having to look for an outlet to charge it. I'm riding with two others and we plan to camp whenever we can. Hopefully I don't look to much like a bum.
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Old 05-07-12, 12:58 PM   #2
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I let my whiskers grow while on tour whether the tour. It is usually a week or so of slight itchiness and then fine.
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Old 05-07-12, 01:00 PM   #3
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I likely wouldn't start out shaving if I were you. However, your beard may get annoyingly long. I stopped shaving during a month-long vacation and near the end food was starting to get stuck in my beard. I shaved it as soon as i got home. But, a giant beard can be kind of a "souvenir" of your vacation, and make for some interesting pictures/conversations when you talk about your trip years from now.

If it gets long enough to start annoying you, just buy a cheap disposable razor and shave it off. You may need a pair of scissors to knock it down that far. Or stop off at a barber shop along the way and have it cut off for a few dollars.
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Old 05-07-12, 01:22 PM   #4
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You do realize that Forrest Gump is not a real person, right?
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Old 05-07-12, 01:41 PM   #5
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if you smile, brush your teeth, don't stink too much, walk with a bounce to your step you won't look like a bum, just a weathered bicycle rider. If you've never worn a beard you might be surprised to find that when you're in a bad mood or tired you will get more wary looks than you did before when clean shaven, especially from children. I had a beard for the last three years and noticed that happened more often. I used an electric razor until I was 25 but didn't have much of a beard. When the screen on the electric razor broke I switched to a disposable razor while looking for an electric and discovered pretty quickly that shaving in the shower was less bother than buzzing in front of a mirror. I tried an electric razor after a few years and found it more irritating than the razor. If you want to shave on a tour it's not difficult and the three bladed disposables with the soap strip don't weigh much.
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Old 05-07-12, 01:45 PM   #6
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Forrest Gump is not a real person?
Haha, sorry I didn't mean to confuse you, just trying to be a little humorous
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Old 05-07-12, 01:49 PM   #7
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if you smile, brush your teeth, don't stink too much, walk with a bounce to your step you won't look like a bum, just a weathered bicycle rider.
Will do!

I realize that It wont be hard to find razors if I decide to shave, I guess I'm just curious what it feels like to have a beard and what I would look like with one. I figure this tour is a good opportunity to experiment with it.
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Old 05-07-12, 01:51 PM   #8
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I'm a wet shaver, so I tend to go overboard with my shaving kit. I use a folding brush, one of the little Gillette razors (kind of like this), plus a few assorted soaps and creams. Despite being rather over the top, the entire kit comes in a tad under 8 ounces.

Of course, if it's just a short tour, or I'm not going to really by interacting with people, I'll just let it grow.
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Old 05-07-12, 01:58 PM   #9
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fuzz you bring up something that concerns me:
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Of course, if it's just a short tour, or I'm not going to really by interacting with people, I'll just let it grow.
Do beards really change social interactions between people that much? A big reason I'm going on his tour is to meet new people and I dont want a beard to prohibit that. Another thing is that I'm hoping to be invited to camp out in people's yards if invited. Do you think not shaving will lead to less invites? I sure don't want to be scaring anyone off because of my beard, I'd consider myself to be a very friendly and nice person. Wont people understand that I'm on a bicycle tour and might not have the ability to stay clean shaven?
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Old 05-07-12, 01:58 PM   #10
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Will do!

I realize that It wont be hard to find razors if I decide to shave, I guess I'm just curious what it feels like to have a beard and what I would look like with one. I figure this tour is a good opportunity to experiment with it.
bring a comb. It'll take out the bugs, boogers and bits of food you don't notice accumulating while riding but the folks in the grocery store do.
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Old 05-07-12, 02:29 PM   #11
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^starting to rethink the beard....
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Old 05-07-12, 03:14 PM   #12
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I have a AA battery powered Phillips shaver , cutters and heads
are the same as their triple head home rotary shavers.

NB: Norelco is Phillips NL in north america..
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Old 05-07-12, 03:29 PM   #13
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I've toured for years with a short, neat beard. Keep it that way with a disposable. Whole lot less hassle than shaving each day, not to mention the time savings. Seem to do plenty of interacting on tour. Being a young guy, you'll likely do a lot more. One reason touring is so much fun.
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Old 05-07-12, 03:30 PM   #14
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I did a 13 month tour with my brother, and I think I shaved 4 times - every three months or so. The beard didn't hurt our interactions with people - I think it almost helped, by giving a good conversation starter. After 3 months a beard gets really long. Plus it helps with pictures to be able to quickly identify how far into your tour you were, based on beard length.
I say go for it and don't look back.

Here's one of our shaves, in Peru:
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Old 05-07-12, 04:09 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by fuzz2050 View Post
I'm a wet shaver, so I tend to go overboard with my shaving kit.
I am also a wet shaver, I use the Merkur travel razor, carry a couple of spare blades, use the same soap to shave with as to wash my face, and have a normal shave brush which I carry in a plastic tube. Not a lot of weight, but I feel so much better with a good shave in the morning.
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Old 05-07-12, 04:23 PM   #16
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Buy a $30 wahl beard trimmer on Amazon. It's what I bought when I didn't want to replace my last $120 electric razor that crapped out on me. I've had it for over a year and that's all I use to shave. It doesn't get razor close, but it keeps you from looking like a bum. Beards, whether full grown or well trimmed, definitely change the way people look at you, both positively and negatively depending on the person. If you're going to grow it out, at least keep it tidy. While some can see through a wild scruffy beard, most will look at you in a negative light.
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Old 05-07-12, 04:47 PM   #17
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fuzz you bring up something that concerns me:


Do beards really change social interactions between people that much? A big reason I'm going on his tour is to meet new people and I dont want a beard to prohibit that. Another thing is that I'm hoping to be invited to camp out in people's yards if invited. Do you think not shaving will lead to less invites? I sure don't want to be scaring anyone off because of my beard, I'd consider myself to be a very friendly and nice person. Wont people understand that I'm on a bicycle tour and might not have the ability to stay clean shaven?
It depends on the beard, but I think being able to look clean and well groomed is always a benefit. Most people don't care if you have a weeks shag, but when the opportunity presents itself for you to do something that requires a more formal appearance, it kind of sucks to miss out. Granted, that advice is taken more from general traveling than bike touring in particular, but I know I've had experiences granted to me that I wouldn't have had if I looked more scruffy. There have been art openings I've attended, VIP lounges I've infiltrated, Galas I've gate crashed and a few fancy dates I've been on that wouldn't have been possible without some attention to appearance.

A neat beard is fine, but it's probably best to avoid the mountain man look. If you're camping, looking to meet fellow travelers, or in an area with a lot of tourists, scruffy is more acceptable, but almost without exception, a neat looking person will have a better response than a scruffy one.
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Old 05-07-12, 05:08 PM   #18
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Let it grow,unless you cross the Mason/Dixon line,then just shave the left side......

The problem,if any,is with the person without the beard.

When mine gets to close to the front wheel,I trim it.

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Old 05-07-12, 05:48 PM   #19
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I use regular Gillette Fusion and use sunscreen cream instead of shaving cream.
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Old 05-07-12, 05:57 PM   #20
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I haven't shaved in 40 years (more or less). I don't see the problem.
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Old 05-07-12, 06:28 PM   #21
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bring a comb. It'll take out the bugs, boogers and bits of food you don't notice accumulating while riding but the folks in the grocery store do.
I would also suggest bringing a small pair of scissors. When I don't shave, I find that my mustache quickly grows to the point where it starts to interfere with eating and drinking! A small pair of scissors allows me to keep it trimmed.

These days, I bring a travel-sized can of Edge shaving gel, a Mach 3 razor, and some replacement blades. I can usually get away with shaving every other day.
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Old 05-07-12, 07:31 PM   #22
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I'll throw in one idea for anyone in favor of shaving: It was brutally hot and humid when I rode across Kansas. Previous experience with a beard always had me shave it off about March, because the beard was too hot. I was glad to be shaving when I had to cut the riding short every day when the heat index got too high, and it would have taken me even longer to get across Kansas if I'd had to stop an hour earlier every day.

Also, it's easier to apply sunscreen evenly if there's not hair in the way.

But honestly, that's mostly a rationalization for why I like to stay shaven. (As most of the reasons on the other side seem to be, as well.) Do what you want.
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Old 05-07-12, 08:18 PM   #23
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I did a 13 month tour with my brother, and I think I shaved 4 times - every three months or so. The beard didn't hurt our interactions with people - I think it almost helped, by giving a good conversation starter. After 3 months a beard gets really long. Plus it helps with pictures to be able to quickly identify how far into your tour you were, based on beard length.
I say go for it and don't look back.

Here's one of our shaves, in Peru:
hey Sprintfree, look at those handsome guys! don't they look better with beards? grow it and have fun.
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Old 05-08-12, 01:28 AM   #24
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Been wearing a beard for 25 years and haven't scared anyone too much. I taught elementary school and was loved by most of the kids, so I wouldn't worry too much about the social aspects. I do trim around my beard with a disposable razor, even when touring, so I don't look unkempt. I can't imagine carrying an electric razor on a self-contained tour. Just grow it!
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Old 05-08-12, 01:29 AM   #25
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I use a straight razor, cheap and works quite well on the road. It's great because it doesn't really care whether you have a beard or not, whatever is in the way is just gone. I take one merkur blade and that will do for months.

One thing about the look is that if you don't have a beard now, or later, you may find it slightly annoying meeting people who might be friends for life, or looking at the photographs, when your look will change right after the ride. I wear a beard, so serial occasional shaving is fine for me.
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