Every year I try, and every year I fail to eliminate all my cyclist tan lines. This year, however, not having cycled quite as much, I thought it might be easier. The first to go are always the ones on my face. The line across my forehead and the mark of my chin strap. Next up are my hands. I always wear gloves when I cycle but once the sun starts to shine and I’m out and about, without the bike, my hands quickly tan to the same colour as my lower arms.
My arms progressively lighten as you head toward my shoulders and there’s a definite line where the sleeve of my cycling jersey ends. I never wear sleeveless cycling jerseys. No, scratch that. I never wear sleeveless anything. As it gets warmer, I do lower the zip on my jersey which means I get a v-shaped neckline tan.
I wear very short socks but my feet always tan easily albeit with the readily identifiable “t” from my Birkenstocks. This is much more difficult to eliminate. Since I discovered Birkenstocks a few years ago, I rarely wear anything else all summer long. I have them in pretty much every colour under the sun and some.
Next up is my major problem area, the legs. I have a line from wearing my 3/4 length bib-shorts from Octobet to May compounded in the summer by the line of my cycling shorts, roughly halfway up my thighs. My thighs tan quite readily but my shins do not. In particular, I have a permanent untanned zone from just below my knee. I can confirm that this stripe effect is not a good look.
This holiday, I’ve been wearing knee length tailored shorts exposing my shins to the sun’s rays most days to little avail. I’ve even donned the swimsuit and indulged in some actual sunbathing. My two sister, noted sun worshippers, would be proud of me. Less so probably about the UV50+ sun protection, they never stray into double figures.