Not every ride is about trophies and personal records. Sometimes you need to take it easy on your way to the top so you can play harder on the way back down. Learn the fine craft of beard pacing your ride, and join this face follicle revolution.
I am not training to be a xc racer, a cyclocross masher, an endurance machine or a shaved smooth roadie looking to trim seconds in every conceivable way possible. I mean really, what is the purpose of eyebrows anyways, more like mini forehead parachutes. In reality I am the opposite and not training for anything. So to match up with my somewhat lazy grooming practices, weird attraction to logging, and a delayed ability to jump on to growing trends, I am currently sporting a somewhat substantial beard.
I am not usually the fastest rider in my group and somehow having a beard makes that more acceptable. Nobody expects the guy with a chin sweater to be leading the charge up the mountain unless there is a banjo festival or an old prospectors’ reunion at the top. Keep in mind this only counts for full beards. Handlebar mustaches don’t count. Case in point Mark Weir, that guy is crazy fast for someone who looks like they should be driving an 18 wheeler. Those things are aerodynamic and obviously built for speed.
My goal on any ride is to get to the top, not to be the first or the last, just get up there with enough energy to go as fast downhill as my bug strainer will allow. This is where the term and mentality of “Beard Pace” was born.
99% of us are not going to get a KOM (I know you’re reading this Aaron Gwin so I left that 1% for you) so why pretend we are close by pushing ourselves to the point of nausea just to keep up with Gary! C’mon Gary, this is midweek fun ride, no need for the full spandex race kit! I realize healthy competition is a big part of mountain biking and deep down I admit to enjoying that part on occasion. I just want to provide you with an easy out, a visible, dignified badge of honor that allows you to be in the back of the pack on the climb with pride. If you are sporting an epic neck canopy or sparrow sanctuary, nobody is going to ask you if you’re feeling off that day. No one is going to question if you have lost a crank or two. They know you’re there for the experience.
Beard Pace is a state of mind. You don’t necessarily need a face field or a soup strainer to embrace the mentality of Beard Pace. Just ride at your own pace to enjoy the trail… some good face foliage just makes it more obvious you’re in this for a good time.
- Jason F. for Jenson USA