I’ll never forget the day I stopped shaving. It was the same day that a quiet girl in my grade twelve art class surprised me with a portrait she had produced for me. It was a flattering sketch in all aspects aside from the awkward shading that engulfed my chin and cheeks and reached down onto my neck. Even on paper that stubble felt abrasive. I could have simply began shaving more often and the stubble would have been less visible, but inevitably it would always reappear. Immediately it became clear that I had a destiny to fulfill. So I put my razor back into the drawer and the skin on my chin became history.

After a short while lived with a sand paper chin, the hair on my face was beginning to take shape. I wasn’t certain about wearing a beard at first, but it really grew on me. And now after nearly six years of bearding have come and gone, I’ve realized my beard to be not only a highly fashionable accessory and permanent staple in my wardrobe, but also an incredibly functional piece of gear for mountain biking. In fact, I think everyone should start riding with a beard. Read more