Monday, April 9, 2007

Sideburns. A must have for the properly groomed male cyclist.

I was thinking back to a recent club meeting as I was looking at the pictures on our website from previous races and I realized a disturbing trend. When we cyclists (specifically male cyclists) are on the bike we look fine. We have our shorts on, jersey's, helmets, sunglasses ect. But things change when we get off the bike. Things change and it's not pretty. It's no secret that cyclists, and athletes in general, sport some blatant and strange tan lines. These tan lines include the obvious and socially acceptable tan lines caused by jerseys and shorts, to the more sinister tan lines caused by socks, watches and Livestrong bracelets to the down right annoying tan lines caused by gloves. I for one don't wear gloves when I ride, so to avoid wearing "pasty skin colored" gloves when I'm off the bike. The most pervasive tan lines though are the ones on the head. Tan lines caused by sunglasses are bad, but skiing has become such a popular sport that sunglass tan lines have become fairly well accepted in almost all social circles. The head tan line that I think is the worst, and I didn't realized this until I was surrounded by PAA members, is the helmet strap tan line.

Tan Lines 2 A supurb (albeit small)example of helmet strap tan line.

Aaahahh yes, the helmet strap tan line, God's cynical gift to those that choose unmotorized two wheeled vehicles as a means of transportation/sport. If you are eternally youthful and unable to grow thick, bushy facial hair you have some choices:

A: you can be eternally damned with this blasphemous tan line or

2: you can ask for permanent brain damage by not riding with a helmet because you 're sooooo 1970's euro. or

iii: you can wear lot's of sunscreen and look like a geisha.

If you are blessed (or cursed, depending on how you look at it) with thick, full, groves of facial hair I recommend growing full, jaw length sideburns.

I've never realized the personal nightmare caused by helmet strap tan line because I've always rocked this fashionable side burn style. I've watched with sorrow and pity as friends of mine are pointed out and laughed at because of this tragedy, only to pray too late that I could have done something to prevent this. Well now I am. Avoid this tragic mishap. If you ride a bike, value your brain, and can grow sideburns do yourself this favor: grow sideburns. Other facial hair styles that can avert this problem are the mutton chop or the full beard. I recommend any of the three.

If you can't, wear lot's of sunscreen. You'll save all of us a lot of pain and suffering.

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