No, I’m not talking about the bikers who ride around on Harley Davidson’s sporting nothing but black leather and fringed jackets, revving their engines and turning everyone in the community deaf. I’m talking about cyclists, in their gloves, Pearl Izumi shorts and tight, form fitting jerseys. Baggy shirt thats a size too big while riding? Absurd! That article of clothing is not at all aerodynamic–all it does is flap around in the wind, slowing the rider down. Have you ever seen a professional road race with the cyclists wearing cargo shorts?
This post is not about cycling attire, though. (Don’t worry, I’ll touch upon that subject another time.) This post is about the sun and tans. I admit that I used to be “that person,” you know, the one who never exited the building without slathering on enough SPF 150 sunscreen to coat all of Luxembourg’s army. As of late, however, I have been slacking in my sun protection, and it’s noticable. I now have the visible “biker tan”: a tan extending from mid-bicep down to the wrist, and then from the thighs to the ankles. My hands and torso are two shades lighter than the rest of my body. Boy, am I relieved there’s no bikini wearing in my immediate future.
When riding, or running, it’s vital to wear some sort of sunscreen. Even though the majority of Americans today lack sufficient Vitamin D, there continues to be a high risk of cancer associated with prolonged sun exposure. According to the American Melanoma Foundation, dermatologists recommend the use of sunscreen with a SPF of atleast 15 be worn year-round to protect from harmful UV rays.
You may notice I make numerous references to the Tour de France. I’m not sure if you are familiar with the event, but just a FYI, it’s the Superbowl and World Cup combined of the cycling world. On the last stage of the 2010 TdF, members of the American team were caught by officials not wearing their appropriate jerseys and bib numbers (I still cringe when I think of that). The team members were told to switch into their registered team jerseys. So, to be kept from being disqualified from the race, the Americans did what they were told. When they switched jerseys, it was hard to ignore the well-defined biker tan lines on their biceps…
…And incredibly muscular biker bodies.