Cyclist Problems: The War Against the Sun

Cycling essentials to hide from the sun | twentyfourcarat.net

If you read my blog or follow me on Instagram, you know how much I abhor TAN LINES. I maybe a cyclist who loves being outdoors but I hate being directly under the sun, and the only time you would find me outdoors, “tanning, is when I am trying to even out those horrendous lines from cycling gear. Prior to writing this, I was just outside for 15 minutes with no SPF or sunglasses, hopelessly trying to even out my sunglass tan line. This is a reason why the World Naked Bike Ride should be happening everyday. Wouldn’t that contribute to our aero-dynamic obsessed culture, as long as we all stay shavened?

Thankfully, years and years of suffering on bike rides while cooking under the sun actually makes you a more adaptable person. I’ve been riding in this nasty summer heat in Europe the last month (mid-30’s to 40°c), yet I don’t find it as bad as I did last year. I really feel like a completely different person! Maybe it is because I am much more adaptable than I was last year… but really, is it because my mind is too occupied worrying about how to prevent tan lines? I really believe it’s beneficial to our health to be directly exposed to the sunshine to absorb some UV-rays for a quick dose of vitamin D (for only a few minutes a day and preferable completely nude), but as cyclists, we sometimes spend hours and hours in it. No bueno.

Cycling essentials to hide from the sun | twentyfourcarat.net

Combat the sun with these pieces of gear:

Rapha Arm Screens

These are a must for every ride. I would ride in 40°c weather and the everyone would ask me if I’m crazy. Of course not! Rapha’s gear is not only aesthetically pleasing but they are functional because these lightweight arm screens not only keep the sun away from me, but they keep my arms cool and keep the farmer’s tan at bay. I don’t care what you all say, but it’s NOT a hot look.

Summerweight Long Sleeve

California-based Machines for Freedom is my favorite cycling brand. Jen and her team truly tests and tailors beautifully designed gear specifically for women— how many times have you bought a jersey from a popular brand that fitted so horribly because womens’ gear is normally an after-thought?  I have been waiting for someone to design these long-sleeved “summer weight” long sleeve jerseys because since I ALWAYS wear arm screens with my jerseys (nothing worse than a farmer’s tan), it’s always nice to subtract a couple of pieces of gear. Simplicity is everything.

The Most Versatile Pant

These full-length bibs also by Machines for Freedom, are designed for SoCal winters and NoCal summers, and everything in between. When gear is designed functionally and the fabrics are engineered meticulously, you can be sure to stay cool in this bib during the hot summer months. This pant is SO versatile as it can be ridden in 10°c – 23°c (50°f – 75°f). That’s huge and a game-changer for me… I can’t help but to remember all the gear I needed to put on and take off endless layers for my cold weather commutes to work.

Cycling Cap

A cap will cover more of your face. Simple.

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