Life In The Loops - No Beard, No Ride

Mar 28, 2014
by Dylan Sherrard  
Style.

I’ll never forget the day I stopped shaving. It was the same day that a quiet girl in my grade twelve art class surprised me with a portrait she had produced for me. It was a flattering sketch in all aspects aside from the awkward shading that engulfed my chin and cheeks and reached down onto my neck. Even on paper that stubble felt abrasive. I could have simply began shaving more often and the stubble would have been less visible, but inevitably it would always reappear. Immediately it became clear that I had a destiny to fulfill. So I put my razor back into the drawer and the skin on my chin became history.

After a short while lived with a sand paper chin, the hair on my face was beginning to take shape. I wasn’t certain about wearing a beard at first, but it really grew on me. And now after nearly six years of bearding have come and gone, I’ve realized my beard to be not only a highly fashionable accessory and permanent staple in my wardrobe, but also an incredibly functional piece of gear for mountain biking. In fact, I think everyone should start riding with a beard.

I never hit the trails without my beard, and I feel like it has really helped me grow as a rider. I'd recommend riding with a beard to anybody who would enjoy taking their mountain bike experience to the next level. Please read on to discover the many benefits you could enjoy if you were to take a shot at biking with a beard.

Image courtesy of Joe Sales konaworld.com

1. The Ultimate Sense of Freedom
I have met many silly people in the world who dislike wearing a bicycle helmet while riding their bicycle. Rather than the feelings of safety and security experienced while wearing a helmet, they choose the feeling of the wind blowing through their hair and often describe it as "the ultimate sense of freedom." These people have obviously never felt the wind blowing through their beards.


2. Increased Safety While Riding Enduro
Since the recent inception of Enduro, mountain bike manufacturers have been presented with the difficult task of developing safety equipment that is lightweight and breathable for the ugliest of ups, yet safe and structurally sound for the most daring of downs. There are great options to maximize the coverage of your cross country helmet or minimize the bulkiness of your downhill helmet, but an ultimate middle-ground has been difficult to decipher.

With a beard, riders can safely enjoy enduro-ing with a perfect hybrid. An elite Australian road cyclist who has recently crossed over to enduro in Kamloops believes that his beard functions much to the same tune as d30 armour – the beard remains soft and flexible while in use, but the hairs erect and become rigid upon impact. Beards are very enduro.


3.Immunity To Common MTB Superstitions
Many mountain bikers believe that once speaking the words “one more time,” the forest hears their greedy call and answers with a deadly trap. Perhaps a large rock rolls into their line, a new root grows from a turn, or a wind gusts as they approach the arc of a sizeable air.

Any of these scenarios could result in utter catastrophe, but beardedness has allowed me the awareness to see such subtleties in the forest, and the clarity to shred confidently outside the confines of such silly superstitions that enslave my chilly cheeked friends.

...

4.Respect From Wildlife
We’ve all seen the shocking videos of people being disrespected by wildlife; chased by Grizzly Bears or laid out by Antelopes. Although the topic has seen little research, one should assume that those poor victims were not riding their bikes while wearing beards.


5.Superior Sense Of Direction
In all my years of riding a bicycle and wearing a beard, I have never found myself legitimately lost. I often visit new places once and find the most efficient route to be engrained in my internal map for life. But if I ever did get lost, I have a beard. And so I would chop some wood, prepare a fire, and provide myself with shelter until the morning light.


6.Increased Accuracy
Nearly everyone who rides a bicycle has been riddled with gauging speed over a stunt or wiggling between tight trees at some point in time. But ever since I started riding with a beard, I have forgotten about these obstacles entirely.

Beard hairs are embedded much deeper in the skin than other body hairs. They connect directly to nerves and muscular tissue that create a heightened sense of awareness. Much like a cat’s whiskers, beard hairs detect sudden changes in surroundings like speed and the distance between objects. I must admit it was a sensory overload initially, but now that I have familiarized myself with the information, I haven't cased a single jump or hit a single tree in as long as I can remember.

Morgan Taylor loves mountain biking with a beard. Photo courtesty of Cam McRae NSMB.com
  Morgan Taylor loves mountain biking with a beard. Photo courtesy of Cam McRae / NSMB.com

7.Temperature Regulation
Just like your favourite merino wool products, beards provide warmth on the cold rides but keep you cool on the hot ones.


8.Seeing More Wildlife
This is not to claim that wearing a beard will make your eyesight better. Without a doubt, relentless bearding will create a slight fuzz around your peripherals. But if you find yourself in the wilderness and bearing a fierce buff, animals will realize you are not a threat and they will come out from their hiding. A friend of mine owns several acres of property with many bicycle trails and many bearded riders happen to go biking there. The wildlife has taken note and now treats his property as a safe haven. Just in his yard we have seen a Moose, a Northern Pigmy Owl, one hundred thousand Deer, an antisocial Alpaca, two Goats with anxiety issues, a great grey owl, Brad, some unidentified black winged beasts, a Fox and an Osprey.


9.Increased Attractiveness to Female MTB Riders
I’ve met a lot of guys who fantasize about shredding the gnar and finding a woman mesmerized by their skills and in love at first sight, right there on the trail. With a beard, that imaginary on trail hook up is entirely possible. Don’t believe me?

Views: 97,410    Faves: 371    Comments: 47


10.No Need For Strava – When I go riding with my beard, I don't need a smartphone app to tell me I'm the king of the mountain.

Mountain biking with a beard will help you pick up chicks on the trails. Image courtesy of Joe Sales konaworld.com

Just in case the aforementioned benefits I've discovered still haven't convinced you to try going biking with a beard, I've collected testimonials from a few of my friends to aid in your decision making...

Image courtesy of Jerry Willows
  Image courtesy of Jerry Willows

bigquotesI prefer to mountain bike with a beard for a variety of reasons, but my main motivations are practical in nature. A beard keeps you warm in the winter, cool in the summer, and prevents sunburns. It's science. You can't argue with science, unless you're a politician. - Morgan Taylor, Curator of Beards at NSMB.com


Shredding the shovel and the bike.

bigquotesNow that the secret is out I can finally admit that before I had a beard I was a complete hack of a trail builder, and an even worse mountain biker. I bought into all the negative beard hype: that they increased aerodynamic drag, that they don't grant you bicycle wizard powers, that girls don't find them attractive. Finally mustering the nerve to let my beard grow I discovered just how wrong I had been. As it grew so did it's influence and I slowly realized that there is no going back, the benefits are too great to go without. Future trail location vision, wizard-like bicycle repair skills, +4 to crash avoidance, the list of benefits is endless and the beard grants it all effortlessly. - Bill Mclane, noted trail-building dirtbag and very manly-man

I don t always ride bikes but when I do it s with a camera bag. Photo Claudio Olguin.

bigquotesThe beard is so much more than an unruly collection of hair follicles sprouting from the face and neck and chin. It is not the result of a broken face machete, nor is it caused by lazy grooming habits. A beard is a symbol. You've got to be willing to withstand the lean times, the awkward state between youthful peach fuzz and thick pelted maturity. A beard is a celebration of manliness. If you were lucky enough to be born with the gift of beard growing then you've inherited genes that have belonged to some of the finest explorers, athletes, musicians, lovers, artists, and scholars that the world has ever known. Beards are one third of the manliness triumvirate. If you can acquire a bike, and beer too? Well, that's living. - Scott Secco, Doesn't have a beard, but someday...

Speed.

bigquotesI love the way the earth softens beneath my bearded gaze. - Ron Penney

Image courtesy of Joe Sales konaworld.com

bigquotesNothing turns me on more than a man with some fur on his face who also knows how to ride a bike. Or maybe I'm thinking about those bears in the circus who ride unicycles. Both are pretty impressive, but I'd much rather be on a trail with a grizzly looking man than a grizzly bear. - Diana Brucculieri, Extremely famous female mountain bike model and production coordinator at Anthill Films

Well there you have it folks. Will you try mountain biking with a beard this season?

Banner image courtesy of Riff Stills
Keep up with Dylan between issues of Life In The Loops on The Kona Cog, Facebook, Twitter, and Instragram.

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135 Comments

  • + 187
 Dear Pinkbike, This is, by far, the most awesome story you guys ever posted. Please give Lord Sherrard a Beef, medium rare. Sincerely, The bearded biker
  • + 5
 Sir YES Sir !
  • + 4
 that video is like my favorite video on this website hahaha
  • + 2
 A true love story
  • + 4
 Little did I realise my purchase of an Enduro bike perfectly coincided with my decision to grow purposeful facial hair. It all makes sense now.
  • + 48
 Guess I'm going to suck for the rest of my life then, #canonlygrowbumfluff
  • + 43
 You get all the above in a condensed and lighter, enduro specific moustache.
  • + 31
 I think the new saying is "Pick a facial hair size and be a dick about it"
  • + 3
 Moustaches are to beards what fanny packs are to backpacks.That said I have no issues with fanny packs or moustaches. Real men could give the mathematical impossibility of less than absolute zero shites about what others think of their facial hair, gear carrying preferences or manhood.
  • + 1
 Every now and then I'll break out the beard but the moustache is a year round practical necessity.
  • + 1
 Proper facial hair transcends mocking of other facial hair styles, except for having none.
  • + 18
 I like riding with my beard when out with a group because others assume im their leader....
  • + 13
 Beards; not just for cult leaders or Jesus anymore and currently allowed within 50 meters of playgrounds. I will say that the longer the beard gets the more difficult eating soup becomes. Morgan's beard is amazing in those photos. I wonder if he misses it?
  • + 5
 I don't miss it getting in my soup!
  • + 12
 The beard thing, fashion. Those of you who are true beard men are fine. The rest of you who grew one when you bought your skinny jeans... Oh dear. I see groups of lads now, all with beards. Sad. It's just another bullshit way of saying 'I am a man really' in a world where you get your steak shrink wrapped and the worst thing you fight off is man flu (don't get me started on that). Watch the majority of fashion victims drop the beards when the fashion gods say so. Stubble for life.
  • + 10
 Well said . A beards for life not till the hipsters tell you other wise
  • + 2
 Having a beard is the new not having a beard!
search for that on youtube - good fun Wink
  • + 1
 word.
  • + 6
 Ha! tobiusmaximum the irony of dissing hipsters in a sneery hipster tone. You must be the hippest person ever!
  • + 1
 The non-beard thing, fashion. Beard is beard is beard...who the hell cares? Haters be hating.
  • + 1
 Wtf is a sneery hipster tone? Show me proof of claim. Given that tone is impossible to judge in type. I'd say, possibly, 'oh the comedy of being defensive about my comment because it describes you'? Wink
  • + 2
 @tobiousmaximus, you decry beard as fashion yet finish with 'stubble for life'. Priceless. 30 yrs ago it was earrings, then tattoos, then goatees, now beards on people who spend zero time outside in inclement weather. Form follows function, everything else is fashion.
  • + 1
 Yeah you're right, I'm growing an Abu Hamza.
  • + 13
 Shaving my beard now that it has been deemed enduro.
  • + 10
 I've been thinking of shaving my beard recently, just for a change, but this has made me realize the great bearded benefits I have been so graciously receiving. I don't think I'm ready to part ways.
  • + 5
 the beard use to signify certain qualities about a man. it meant, i live outside, i cut down trees and hunt. I don't have normal trappings of life, like running water and and access to shaving cream. now it's a fashion statement, and fashion is for shallow ass bitches
  • + 2
 A man doesn't grow a beard, a beard grows a Man!
  • + 0
 nickidaniels.com/2014/01/06/beardedhipsters, i rarely can take anybody serious that has a beard anymore, i'm old enough to remember when only rodeo contestants, lumberjacks, and ranchers had beards, not some prissy ass college kids that think their badass 'cause they "mountain bike" and got beer w/ a fake id
  • + 6
 Don't forget that a beard is also useful for catching all the flies, mosquitoes and flying insects as you're barrelling through the forest. If you forget your lunch - run a comb through the beard and hey presto.
  • + 3
 Bearded people don't eat files or bees but hives, yummy.... Razz
  • + 5
 This is a fantastic point! I've likely overlooked this information since we do not have many annoying insects to worry about in Kamloops, but I fully agree with your statement.
  • + 9
 Grave before shave
  • + 6
 I'm afraid to lose all except for one gear, when I start growing a beard. I have seen that happen a few times before.
  • + 6
 A man who shaves his beard for a Woman deserves neither.... Its what i tell my Mrs when she moans about prickles...
  • + 4
 how did morgan get interviewed for this????.... he's a sell out..... here's proof

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEhySzO14ik

IFHT shows up with a camera and all his hair is gone.....
  • + 1
 You missed the memo. He's beardless and fearless these days

www.nsmb.com/morgan-taylor-beardless-fearless
  • + 1
 I did get the memo, but when it has a 1 + minute intro I toss it.....
  • + 2
 Down hear in the wild lands of orange county ca., your simply not hip unless you've got:
a beard; combover/crew cut hybrid; rolled up skinny jeans; boots (no taller than said rolled up pant leg); a beenie to be worn halfway in head (like a condom) no matter of temps.

Maybe wiki can draw us a diagram in case you visit!
  • + 2
 Yeah whats with that beiber beanie look? The worst is when its on 40 yr old men with pattern baldness. We used to call that "Gaper gap". I have also never understood wearing a beanie when its not cold. And I'm old
  • + 5
 Sadly i am Old so my beard has no bearing on my 'lack' of speed and power, and i just look like a tramp
  • + 2
 Have a 14'' long one that I wrap and call my Root. Kind of a koan. Been rockn it for over 13 years and have been bearded for over 20. I tell the lil ones that at night it turns into a snake and protects me, or that it's my tail. Gets a smile everytime. Can't shave for it for fear global chaos will ensue. Zippers are my only nemesis.
  • + 2
 I feel the caption on the 3rd photo should have been: It is obvious in one glance at this photo that Morgan Taylor is riding one of the many amazing trails in BC, but could you also know that, because of the length and fullness of his beard, he can tell you the current temperature, humidity, precipitation and windspeed on every track on every world cup stop this season?
  • + 3
 I never post in the comments, but I just spit coffee all over my screen and keyboard after seeing that video! Just what I needed on this soggy Fraser Valley morning, and you know what I'm not shaving today!
  • + 4
 "No Need For Strava – When I go riding with my beard, I don't need a smartphone app to tell me I'm the king of the mountain"

Best line in the article!!!
  • + 5
 Stevie Smith just got a whole lot more nervous about this season, unless he's been secretly bearding.
  • + 2
 Riding with a beard means:

All of Dylans Comments and a lot of the comments in the comments section, but did you know that in the winter it has a whole new list of benefits:
1) While out riding in the snow, it means you don't need a water bottle or camel back, cause the your beard catches snow and ice and you can suckle at your beard for water
2) You don't get and ice burned face because your beard blocks the wind
3) It can be used as camouflage during a snowball match cause it collects snow and you can be one with the snow
4) If your friends need a drink they can use your beard
5) If your wife/girlfriend needs a wind break during a break on the trail she can use your beard as a windbreak....

Beard FTW!
  • + 1
 Lets also not forget, the beard creates champions.. I have proof! Those with clean shaven faces suck the virility and manly awesomeness directly from their soul.

Have a read!
www.inceptioncyclery.com/7/post/2014/01/why-the-beard-is-important-to-cycling-performance-roadies-take-note.html
  • + 4
 My last name is Beard and I have a Beard. Do I win?
  • + 1
 Yes....yes you do!
  • + 2
 LOL! Goatee is the best I can do. Only +1 to technical skill Frown

Also heard that men who shave their legs probably shave their vaginas too.
  • + 1
 ill be bearded for life. I shaved clean once in the last 5 years (right before my wedding). My wife looked at me and said "ahhhh, get it back"

also keeps lips from chapping on winter rides!
  • + 0
 Dude with the rake looks like a man. Dude with the ginger chin bush... Ridiculous. Then he thought, 'beard not ridiculous enough, must don crappy retro road cap'. If the name of the game is 'look ridiculous' I'll just make a helmet out of a watermelon like that famous Internet cat.
  • + 0
 Absolutely, the best appearance description ever.
  • + 3
 I wasn’t certain about wearing a beard at first, but it really GREW on me.


HHHHAAAAAAAAAAA
  • + 1
 My beard has given me extra strength. I carried a 3 seat sofa up a flight of stairs on my own the other day. A few months ago I could hardly lift my own arm.
  • + 1
 it must be a Canadian thing, as that's where I grew my beard, I returned after 8 weeks riding more of a man than before I left.
  • + 1
 I risk the "dirty murderer" look if I'm not clean shaven. I have long hair and end up looking like Bob from twin peaks. #thindirtyeards
  • + 0
 Beards are fine for hermits who live in remote cabins with bears for companions, but they are also great for blending in at JJ Bean while secretly despising everyone around you.
  • + 3
 My wood splitting skills went up 10%
  • + 1
 I would grow a beard but there is to much drag co-efficient, thus it would nullify my 650b upgrade speed advantage when I am running an enduro.
  • + 1
 Love this article! Tis my justification to the misses as to why i have my beared!

Wonder if there are any 'enduro specific' styles and how much more they cost?
  • + 1
 This article is great! I especially love this sentence: "I wasn’t certain about wearing a beard at first, but it really grew on me."
  • + 3
 I hope that one day my beard will start growing too..
  • + 1
 Thats some funny shit right there lol
  • + 1
 Hey, I dissed beardies so my comment has been considered below threshold; never mind, better to remain hidden as I am not one of the bear dies - oops, a dying ouse!
  • + 3
 Yet another stunning story from PinkBeard!
  • + 2
 watching way too much lord of the rings movies
  • + 1
 Beards, the tribal tattoo of 2014.

The next step is riding (& worshipping) fatbikes.
  • + 2
 real man can grow beards on their chest.
  • + 2
 I have a back beard... I win!!!
  • + 1
 There's no better feeling than having the wind blow through your beard while you are firing your pushie down a trail
  • + 1
 this is the obvious reason why im not sponsored, just wait a couple of years and then bam
  • + 1
 #9 is true. Beards are hawt. As long as food detritus caught in said beard is kept to a minimum...
  • + 1
 beards are cool. it's those hipster ironic mustaches that are truly annoying.
  • + 1
 Speak of the devil, Dylan I hope you enjoyed those burrs I threw at you at the ranch today.
  • + 1
 Awesome :-D It's what cycling needs: MORE #BeardsAndTats! (and more cowbell of course!)
  • + 2
 Didnt win a national title till i had the beard
  • + 2
 THERE IS A NAME FOR PEOPLE WITHOUT BEARDS - WOMEN!!!!
  • + 4
 OH REALLY?
AND WHAT ABOUT THE BEARDED LADY?
  • + 1
 Well go ask her Big Grin
  • + 3
 I did, she said her name was BOB!
  • + 3
 #10 is FAKT
  • + 2
 see profile pic for confirmation.... Big Grin
  • + 1
 If I had known that beards were enduro specific, I would have started one ages ago.
  • + 1
 if i would be a man i would have a beard Big Grin
but if you have red hair shave every hair you can find!
  • + 2
 Wise words well spoken from a fellow bearded biker!
  • + 2
 I was going to shave in a little bit... WAS
  • + 2
 Here's a warning for first time beard growing youtu.be/GeX2ZI5KL3E
  • + 1
 definetly not going to shave my beard Wink
  • + 1
 "Beards are very enduro."

Genius.
  • + 1
 I have no power. I am not bestowed with a beard.
  • + 1
 Grow one then
  • + 1
 I would if I could.
  • + 1
 Im always riding with my beard. MY BEARD IS MY POWER.
  • + 1
 so the Taliban had it right?
  • + 1
 No, the're affraid they'd shoot themselves shaving.
  • + 2
 more of this
  • + 1
 whats with those super skinny dh tires on the v10?
  • + 1
 This is absolutely hilarious.
  • + 1
 Im sorry, but fuck beards in the summer
  • + 1
 And the bearded beast strikes again!
  • + 1
 My beard is my power. My power is my beard.
  • + 1
 Does bush give her more power?
  • + 2
 Yes, but she's required to carry a trappers permit. Wink
  • + 1
 Oh shit thats funny!
  • + 1
 I thought it said no brad no ride. An old article by Reuben Krabbe.
  • + 1
 another good article by dylan !
  • + 1
 Yeah ya Bearder belive it. lessens wind howl coming through helmet allso
  • + 1
 What if I have a baby face?...
  • + 1
 growing a beard is like going through puberty. a slow transformation but it will turn you into a man
  • + 1
 The moment when you cant grow a beard :'(
  • + 1
 The beards got a point!
  • + 1
 Shave when you're dead!
  • + 0
 Pubic hair on my face, no thanks
  • + 1
 SMILE - great vid !
  • + 1
 I cannot grow a beard ;(
  • + 0
 She likes it best when I eat with a beard.
  • + 0
 But is it a 27.5 beard or a new hybrid that hasn't been picked up on yet?
  • - 3
 Beards are for creepy dorks that think having bad grooming habits makes them more manly. They don't, they just make you look like a nonce.
  • + 7
 complaining about beards is for little bitches who can't grow a proper one and have to shave everyday to hide their patchy shame.
  • + 1
 Patchy is only shame if you don't have the prerequisite eff-it attitude. Bad grooming habits are just easier than fighting a losing battle.
  • + 2
 If thats what you think about a person who looks a certain type of way.Dude you got so much to learn about life.
  • - 1
 go areo and shave those pups
  • - 2
 I grew a beard this winter, I hated it...
  • - 1
 Besides, beards remind me of hipsters and a hipster is not what I am or do I ever want to be.
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