archival and resource material for human powered recumbent tricycles

Trip Tip – Hair on the Human Head

Is there any special consideration that should be given to the hair on your head? What about your hair has anything to do with a tadpole trike trek for days and weeks out on the open road? Well, not much actually, if you are riding a populated automobile route and staying in motels or full service campgrounds each night, where traditional human cleanliness rituals may be easily observed. It simply doesn’t matter in those circumstances. You can look as cool as you ever do on any day in your normal life. But what if you are one of those trike pilots who love the wild places, can’t stand cars speeding by you all day long, and prefer to pitch primitive camps with your tent out in the middle of nowhere?

If you meet that description, lots of people would call you a hermit, maverick, or rogue. Since that mode of triking is my preferred type, this Trip Tip will answer the all-important “hair” question. Consider this: Hair is critical … least if you wish to minimize and maximize that which should be minimized and maximized. Oh, that makes a lot of sense! To put it another way, if you are primitive camping, which can mean no shower for periods of time that may exceed your comfort zone, which would you rather have: long hair or short? Prior to my overland jaunts, I buzz the top of my head, giving me that Marine Corps look – won’t win me any appearance awards, that’s for sure, but it makes keeping my hair clean a snap! Just a couple handfuls of water briskly rubbed on my skull each day keeps all the bugs at bay and the dirt moving on … off my head.

Frankly, since I’m a guy and out on a rugged cross country enterprise, I don’t care if my usual handsome mystique has been vanquished by the barber’s clippers. The other half to this is that I grow a beard prior to departure day. Thus, with my thickening beard and my buzzed head, the ambiance exuded when I stop in a store to purchase food is rather unconventional. Why do I grow a beard? For two very important reasons: 1) Shaving each morning on a primitive trike trek is no fun and absolutely unnecessary, and 2) the beard protects a large portion of my face from sunburn, which is a consideration because trikers are in the sun all day long. Never using sunscreen due to the known health issues, I use a natural screen, one that is built in to the machine ever since my late teens. I also wear a cap under my helmet with a large bill to shade my forehead, and a cape that further shades other portions of my head. On my nose, I do use a somewhat healthy lip balm to keep the tip of the old schnoz from burning.

Hair … you’ve got it, so use it wisely! Of course, if you are female, some of these considerations may not readily apply, both from a physiological standpoint along with the vanity component (what gal is going to take a buzz job just to minimize hair washing, after all?).


One response

  1. Dan Brown

    Never really thought much about hair while on a bike trip. Just give me a comfortable bed and a good chair to sit in and I can ride at least every other day. Gotta admitt this is a tough ride and it sounds like the attitude is good.

    September 9, 2011 at 12:25 pm