Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Tribal Markings

Lately I've seen way too many pictures of cyclists' legs on their blogs. Yes, I know you check your legs out in the mirror. We all do. But nobody wants to see them online, really. All flexed like your knees are about to explode.

That being said, early September is when one's tan line is at its most extreme, and the best for showing off. Last week I walked into a meeting and noticed that the woman across me had the worst farmer tan, and shamelessly showed it off with a sleeveless shirt. When asked if she was a cyclist, she happily went off about a recent ride in Livermore. The guy next to me perked up, said he too was a cyclist, and proceeded to show me his glove tan line. (His son apparently just competed in Nationals.) I was tempted to roll up my pants and show my own tri-colore band around my (lean and powerful) thighs.

The same way a tattoo reminds you of that one time in Cabo or how to write your name in Chinese (useful in case you're in a horrible accident in China and don't have ID), the tan line brings back long, sun-drenched climbs, and the satisfying grit on your calves after a long day in the saddle. The tan line, more than a $8000 bike, is the mark of a serious rider. (Ergo, triathletes, with their sleeveless jerseys and speedos, do NOT count as serious riders.)

Yes, you will be laughed at by whatever non-cyclist is lucky enough to see you naked. The spray-on arm and leg-warmer look is actually not sexy. But I guess the romance of road riding is not for everyone.

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