Ever since wind-tunnel research has proven that a beard makes a negligible difference to a riders aerodynamics, beards have become the new six pack of cycling. With smooth legs and rough faces, the pro-peloton looks increasingly like an advert for a male grooming company. Blurring the lines between hipster and tour-pro, we walked the ranks of riders on the start line of the Scottish Giro Grinduro to bring you the top facial decorations. Witness the awesomeness.
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10. The Wisp Like a badly seeded lawn, what the wisp lacks in volume, it makes up for in cadishness. A roguish challenge to a babyface complexion, though still carrying a whiff of mangy dog. Some Wisps mature into magnificent ‘fully grown’ specimens, though many are consigned to the barber shop floor.
9. The Hollywood Perhaps the start of a ‘The Magnificent’, perhaps an attempt to ease the buying of alcohol. The patchy Hollywood blends an I’m too busy to shave’ with a more practical ‘stubble stops me getting I.D’ed’. In a Freshers bar, the Hollywood makes you king, in this company merely an amateur.
8. The Tennis Ball A beard of champions, long enough to disrupt the airflow, short enough to not create its own draft. This is not only pinnacle of high-performance facial foliage but also useful for lighting matches and removing lint from a well pressed dinner jacket.
7. The Domestique A classic among beards, distinguished without arrogance, confidence without ego. This simple yet elegant beard signifies a gentleman who will do extra shifts on the front, wait his turn at the bike wash before quietly rumbling away in a 1950’s Bentley.
6. The Enigma While the beard is politely saying ‘office job’ the hair is screaming ‘homeless’. This combo troubles us, like discovering an orchid in a haystack. The 1000 yard stare perhaps portrays an internal visualisation of the finish line sprint, or simply the worry that he may have eaten his own sandals in the night.
5. The Etonian Explorer A beard modeled by tomb-raiders and amazonian explorers throughout the ages. Rugged yet refined, it’s wearer is soft-handed but deadly in a game of Russian Roulette. While the full moon glasses add a whiff of bumbling retired maths teacher, wearers of this beard know 100 ways to kill a lion with just a pencil.
4. The Ginger Santa A ravishing raised finger to conformity, the hay-bale like body stands in bristly defiance to the ‘ruler straight’ cropped top lip. This is a beard that says I am my own man, a drinker of fine whisky and incorrigible raconteur. The Ginger Santa is Scotland’s national beard and signifies a man who knows which end of a bagpipe to blow, and who can recite Robbie Burns after 30 pints. Often seen naked at festivals.
3. The Wolf Man A marvelous sculpture in hair, less of a beard, more of a mane. It is legend that the best ‘Wolf Man’ beards are present from birth. A force in a boardroom, a leader of men. Friendly with a smell of dominant masculinity that suggests the wearer owns at least six axes and could take over a wild wolf pack with barely a raised whisker.
2. The Pornstar Cultured yet dangerous, a shining example of ‘less is more’. A man’s man, but never to be left unsupervised with your wife. This is a facial marker that shows a ‘devil may care’ attitude, possibly a company CEO’s who has never been bested in a drinking contest and who undoubtedly has a tatoo of his own face on his back. Simple yet overtly powerful, and only shadowed by The Magnificent.
1. The Magnificent A perfect execution, the most magnificent of specimens. A faultless display of shape, projection and waviness signifying a lifetime of careful grooming. The Magnificent is the facial display that beard oils were born to shape. A daring flash of white shows a radical side, each silver strand marking a conquest with an international supermodel. The Magnificent is unequalled, marking the ultimate human, but be advised, with a great beard comes great responsibility. What’s your favourite type of gravel grinding beard?
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Words & Photos: Trev Worsey