Saturday, June 8, 2013

The badge of honor for bikers

Warning: I'm pale and thus burn easily, and only certain body parts' skin will adapt to this by developing a base tan. 

Nearly constant talk of sunburn, sunscreen and tan lines will not end until RAGBRAI does, so if this bores/repulses you, unbookmark my blog until August.

Recently, fellow runner/biker Emily and I were trading updates on our various sunburns that had faded into farmers tans (for her, the back; for me, the neck/upper chest).

The talk went from past to future damage when Emily mentioned how she was looking forward to spotting a bike-shorts tan line on her thighs.

A few days later, as I surveyed my own skin situation, I realized that we each are measuring our biker creds by our tan lines.

While Emily's keeping an eye on her legs, I'm watching my wrists. Apparently, my skin reflects my farmer ancestry and not my Italian descent, because I can only really, truly darken my arms and neck.

So while my forearms grow darker — emphasis on the "er" and not the "dark" — the padded bike gloves I'm so fond of have been shielding my hands from the sun.

(Which, according to a recent conversation I heard about Diane Keaton, is an incredibly wise move — the backs of your hands will evidently show the most signs of aging.)

This is turning my wrists into a definite border. It's most prominent on the inside, because of how I tilt my arms as I hold the handlebars, but I'm willing to bet that within weeks, those who haven't been tipped off by this blog post will start commenting on it.

It may look silly, but like Emily with her future two-toned legs, I'll wear the proof of my training with pride.

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