I leave the house one morning, the skies were grey and looking as if there was a chance of showers. YAY! No tan lines to worry about and no sunscreen needed today! Or so I thought. I come home a couple hours later with a line across my thigh. I was soooo mortified!!
There isn’t much I fear on two-wheelz. I will climb any mountain or ride any distance with or without training. I will wing double centuries last minute. I will ride with the guys even though I know I’ll get dropped. I’ll show up for group rides not knowing anybody. BUT there is one thing I fear: TAN LINES!! Apparently cyclists prize their razor-sharp tan lines as a symbol of how awesome they ride but as a vain-cyclist, I am too vain for that shit. I never think about the hurt on the bike, but the thought of those damned tan lines are always on the back on my mind, hence you will see me fidgeting with my shorts and sun sleeves all the time, moving them around hoping to keep the lines as subtle as possible. Tan lines just don’t look good with cocktail dresses… and non-cyclists just won’t get it. Like they don’t get when they see us unshamefully waddling around like idiots in our cleats, making a disruptive clacking noise in serene coffee shops.
I never get on my bike without spraying sunscreen all over me, even on top of my kit because you CAN get a sports bra tan line under your kit. I always have a SPF stick and lip balm I can reapply during rides. I am all about natural and non-toxic products, especially when it comes to sunscreen… but as a cyclist, I know I am forever doomed with the tan lines because no matter how many times I reapply my sunscreen, I will sweat it all off within minutes. But as long as you are diligent with moving the hem of your shorts around and always wearing sun sleeves, it won’t be that bad.
A lot of non-toxic sunscreens have a high zinc-oxide content which will create a whitish cast over your face if you don’t take your time to massage the product into your skin, and hopefully your fellow cyclists will be kind enough to let you know of white stuff all over your face when you reapply during a ride. SPF lip balms also tend to dry out my lips so I make sure to moisturize either with my trusty argan oil or my favorite La Mer lip balm when I’m off the bike.