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11th May 2005

Opinion: The Hair-Bear Bunch

What is it that prompts motorcyclists to sport facial hair? Jim Rendell considers the RealClassic readership and the various forms of hairy and hairless...

Some RealClassic contributors yesterday.

'...the male beard communicates an heroic image of the independent, sturdy, and resourceful pioneer, ready, willing and able to do manly things'

Microsoft Clip-Art has some interesting ideas on Beards. We're either Pirates...Like kickstart a big single on full advance?

In the broadest terms classic bikers (and the Harley fraternity, but that's another matter) seem to fall into three categories as far as facial growths are concerned:

The hairies, those with the full blown facial array; the half hairies, those with some form of mouse on their lip, what the Americans jokingly call a 'flavour saver'; and the clean shaven.

In the hairy category there are further subdivisions as typified by the unkempt, in yer face, ZZ Top look. ...criminals...This growth is so luxurious that birds have nested therein and pest control officers have removed wasp nests from them.

The second subdivision is full but kempt (is there such a word?). Manicured to an even covering and sometime beautifully sculptured. I have deliberately avoided references to designer stubble as that seems to be a scruffy, no man's land between clean and hairy. References to opinion postings will reveal all the three major subdivision of hairiness among the RC ranks.

...or Jesus.Is the beard worn to convey the image, when away from the bike, that 'Hey I am a biker'? Mind you the leathers and helmet are also a bit of a giveaway...

Does the beard promote laminar flow inside the helmet thus improving ventilation and lessening wind noise? Does it improve warmth in the coldest of winter rides or is it just a repository for ice crystals? At some time in the future do wearers contemplate committing some heinous crime and, by the immediate removal of the growth, adopt a perfect disguise and avoid detection?

I wonder if there is a hidden philosophy of 'You can't see my face so you can't see what I am thinking!' or was it simply that they looked in the mirror and said 'I am an ugly sod -- better grow a beard and cover up!'

By the way do you ever gel a beard, or do you use Brylcreeme?

The Navy allowed full beards but not moustaches (or mustaches if you prefer) and from the following site, for those of you in two minds as to which way to go, I offer the following:

I am quite bemused by the walrus moustache and wearers having to lift the hair mass to facilitate filling of mouth, often parading around with part of the breakfast egg still lodged in the appendage. Nice!

I am equally bemused by the miniscule vestige of fuzz seen under some bottom lips. Are the sporters making a statement 'I am trendy and different'? If so I don't think anyone is listening.

A recent article reminded me of a comment made that of the 0.01% of people who can figure out Microsoft ATL programming, all of them without exception have beards and glasses.

I know it was meant to be humorous, but part of the humour comes from the feeling that it's fairly accurate. Am I way off here, or is there some correlation between beards, glasses, and highly technical subjects? Probably not as, by present standards, classic bikes are not highly technical pieces. (Discuss!)

Apparently cats do not like men with beards (nothing is mentioned about ladies with beards). Perhaps the poor felines perceive the beard as another cat and thus feel territorially challenged!

Random Beard Stuff on

More Clip-Art nonsense. Man eating sausage-on-a-stick plagued by flies?Are there economic factors a work here? Economies of time and money. No time wasted shaving in the morning, no electricity or disposables cost, but more on hair care products and drying time.

Gillette spend millions in telling you how best to avoid a beard. Is there anyone on the Gillette board daring to sport a facial growth and ride a bike?

So why do folks grow beards and moustaches?

Dave Minton Does Fancy DressThe answer is 'I haven't the foggiest.' but there is some undoubted link between bikes and beards!

There would appear to be some association between beards, bikes, tattoos and earrings but that is for another time perhaps.

Footnote: MS Word suggested that 'kickstart' should be 'kicks tart' Need to be very careful with spellcheckers lest offence is given!

Would you buy a Used Website from these men? Author Jim Rendell is far right.


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