Ride Home 6/25: Can I Lease a Vowel?

This blog, first and foremost, is about urban bike commuting, but it's also about urban bike commuting and men's facial hair and I've noticed a number of urban bike commuting men with luxurious, thick, full beards and I can't even imagine what that's like when it's 100 degrees with 300% humidity. You would think for summer that these bike commuters might shave down to mutton chops (which also have the benefit of being more aerodynamic) or maybe just some kind of push broom mustache, like an 1890s postman, but no. Beardos ride among us. They ride bearded regardless of the heat and the invariable face sweat. It is not some follicle folly. It's an affirmative decision. They don't let their facial hair choices impact their bike commuting lifestyle. They ride past barber and barber and barber, eschewing them all. They cock back their heads and laugh at razors and strops and thermometers and hygrometers. "Hi, grometer! Bye, grometer!" And away they ride, borne on bikes, throughout the summer and into legend.

I cannot grow a luxurious, thick, full beard. I might be able to muster a wispy and wan beard, more gap between hairs than hairs themselves. I could pretend to be bearded. I could go to a costume shop and ask for the "full Lincoln." (Lincoln did indeed know about beards).  I am not confronted with the choice of whether to carry on boldly bearded, beat upon by the summer heat. But some gentleman bear this choice and so they do. To the bearded bike commuters of DC, we salute you. I mean, I guess. Whatever.


  1. Beard count is significantly up relative to last summer here in Brooklyn as well. Maybe even relative to this past winter, though perhaps beards are just more noticeable when it's hot. I also have the word Beardo go through my head when I encounter these fellows at intersections. That makes me think of Birdo from Super Mario Brothers 2.

  2. I'll tell you what it's like: it's hot. I finally had to trim mine back. This has the added advantage of not being confused for a hipster. While I know the grey in my beard probably sets me apart from the hipsters well enough, still...