My friend Stu recently retired from an overly-long corporate career. He's a cyclist and has ridden an average 20-25K miles annually since the late 80s, even though it meant waking up at 4am to sneak a ride before going to work. The beard represents freedom.  

The reference photo:

reference photo

 

The completed piece:

retirement-beard

 

 Progression Day 1-65, click for larger views and comments: