In his song, “Too Damn Young,” Luke Bryan brags that “in that moonlight, I saw her tan lines.”
Luke, you handsome country crooner, you. I just want to tell you (in my heaviest Tennessee Southern drawl) that, “I’m no longer too young, and I’ll hop up on your tailgate and flash my tan lines at you any time of day.”
Sadly, it’s true. You and anyone else in a 50 foot proximity.
Now before any of you get your hopes up (or run for the hills, for that matter), let me tell you why you won’t have to wait until the moonlight…and why it really won’t be all that exciting…
I am a cyclist. (You’ll need to go back and read my Intro paragraph to my Cycling 101 post #1 at the Remedial phase to fully understand why I use that particular term to describe myself – it’s really just meant to make me sound tougher & more proficient on those pedals.)
If you read my introductory post, you’ll find that there are different classifications of cyclists, but unless you’re dealing with the kind who puts on a gingham dress to go to the countryside market by carrying her bread in a basket, the rest pretty much share one particular characteristic that marks them (I mean, us) as cyclists. (Sorry, I’m not used to personally sounding so tough & proficient yet.)
It’s the distinctive summer tan lines.
Despite the fact that I do most of my riding in the evenings (and occasionally in the mornings) and that I wear SPF30 on my body and SPF50 on my face, I’ve managed to get tan lines – and when I say distinctive, boy do I mean diSTINKtive!
My shoulders and tops of my legs (the lower parts not covered by the biking shorts) take the brunt of the heat – along with my cheeks and nose (which get some windburn too). The backs of my legs get nothing, and the tan gradient lessens down to my ankles, where my clipped-in, covered feet are white (which is quite noticeable when wearing summer sandals). More noticeable than the white feet are the white hands from the cycling gloves (which don’t cover the fingers, but those spend all their time wrapped around the grips).
Did I mention the tops of my ears? Okay, I’m just teasing on that one – the helmet pretty much keeps those shaded (but me putting sunscreen on them doesn’t keep my family from mercilessly making fun of me!).
Then, of course, there’s the reverse raccoon sunglass lines. (I’ll wear these even as the sun goes down. The bugs have a harder time sky-diving into my eyes that way. Notice I said harder time – not impossible…unfortunately.)
That other white line on “my” face up there is for my helmet’s chin strap. I’m hoping that, besides keeping my brain intact (no cracks please), it will also keep me from having to have a face lift one day…
And please don’t mistake that dark patch on my chest for fur. My cycling tops have zippers, which is how I get my air conditioning while I ride – and a V-shaped tan.
So maybe my tan lines aren’t as sexy as the ones Luke Bryan saw on the dock by the moonlight. But if he’s a true country boy who hangs out in the pastures with the cattle, then I have just one thing to say to him. “You should see the muscles in my calves, cowboy!” 😉