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  1. #1
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Fighting the Sun

    Fellow cyclists,

    With summer just around the corner, I thought I might ask how you protect yourselves from the sun while riding. I'm particularly concerned about the rays beating down on my face. I use sunblock, but I don't have much faith in it. I'd much rather keep the sun off with a physical rather than a chemical barrier as a first line of defence.

    I wear a helmet, but the visor is not really long enough to provide serious protection, so I wonder if there are any extra-long visors on the market. If not, I've thought I might devise some sort of an extension. I've tried wearing caps under my helmet, but that is a hot and uncomfortable solution.

    I'd be interested in finding out how some of the rest of you deal with this problem.

    Regards,

    Ekdog

  2. #2
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    Ride in the woods.

    That was not a funny answer. I have trouble getting enough sun while riding the trails under thick tree cover.

  3. #3
    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
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    I thought this thread might have to do with rebelling against Ahknaten. Sorry.

  4. #4
    Ride Daddy Ride Jet Travis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Weak Link
    I thought this thread might have to do with rebelling against Ahknaten. Sorry.
    Are you sirius? (Double sorry).
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  5. #5
    Senior Member freeranger's Avatar
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    I use my mtn.bike helmet on my road bike also. I think they might have a bit longer visor. I've just gotten over sun poisoning (no fun!), and I will definitely be using sunscreen or long sleeves from now on. I'd never had sun poisoning like that (took 3 wks and itched like crazy!). In fact, can't remember when I ever had sun poisoning before. The UV's must really be getting through nowadays. Sunblock does work-I will use an SPF 45 if I plan on being out long now.

  6. #6
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, sun poisoning or sensitivity to the sun appears to get worse with age. Although heavy tanning is bad for us I think some exposure to the sun in limited amounts early in the riding year helps when July and August get here.

    The visor and some polorized dark glasses help the eyes a lot when passing quickly through patches of shade/sun/shade.

  7. #7
    tsl
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    Sunshine? I've heard of it.

    Living in Rochester, I protect myself from the sunshine with a thick layer of overcast. We have the dubious distinction of being the second-cloudiest city in the lower 48, after Seattle. Coffee sucks, though.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freeranger
    Sunblock does work-I will use an SPF 45 if I plan on being out long now.
    I'm afraid there are some serious questions about just how effective sunblocks really are:

    http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news0...sunscreen.html

  9. #9
    el padre
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    I do use the sunblock and yes it does do some good...yes, the visor,,,,,I use one of those visors that does not have a cap with it so you don't have the extra material to keep the heat in. Adding an extension to one of those would be easy..............peace

  10. #10
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Moving to a colder, cloudier clime is not in the cards for this Southern California native and long-time resident of the Iberian Peninsula.

    Has anyone tried the Buff Visor?

  11. #11
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    This is a serious issue for long distance biking. We may be going for 6-10 hours with the sun burning on one side of the body. I was with experts who do/did this often. I followed their advise and was not harmed. We traveled through CA deserts and southern tier states of the USA. Here is what they advised:

    Helmet with visor and scull cap with neck protection.
    Sunblock below the eyes. (It worked. I seem to remember that we used grade 50)
    Sunblock on arms and legs. Repeat apply every couple hours.
    Never biked without shirt or helmet.

    I did not follow my own advise this past Sunday. It was over 80 degrees and very stormy. That means I did not feel the sun. I also was on a trail and used no helmet. (A no-no). I just had a headband. It was a 6 hour trip. I was burned above and below the headband and subject to funny looks and remarks on a party I went to.

  12. #12
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    Its also a pretty serious issue if you spend a big chunk of your life outside in south or west Texas, which I have.

    First, I don't use any kind of alcohol based lotion on my face or skin. After shaving I use Lubriderm, and pretty much use Lubriderm all over for skin care. About 10 years ago they started making Lubriderm with an SPF 15 rating. That is what I now use. If I could find Lubriderm in an SPF 60 I would use it. I've bought Lubriderm in Great Britain, don't know if they sell it in Spain.

    The best sunscreen, IMHO, is Mary Kay SPF 45. Bullfrog brand is good for sunblock.

    Always wear sunglasses once you step outside the house. If prescriptions are needed, spend the money for them. Wear a cap. I wear a fisherman's cap when doodling around in the summer. Makes me look like an oldtimer, but the back of neck doesn't look like leather.

    I've never tried this (link below), but I may get one someday for touring. A helmet with visor and some neck protection on the skull cap would be more aerodynamic, as will dehne reports.

    http://www.adventurecycling.org/stor...Product_ID=202
    Last edited by Monoborracho; 04-26-07 at 08:36 AM.
    Most economic fallacies derive from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another.....Milton Friedman

  13. #13
    Senior Member jmccain's Avatar
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    I use sunblock (SPF 50 or 60) every ride. I know it works really well for me.

    How do I know? I can see what happens if I miss a spot. Ouch!

  14. #14
    Senior Member RockyMtnMerlin's Avatar
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    As indicated above there are some questions about the value of sunblock. But I still use them. Also good sunglasses which block harmfull rays (my contacts also block those rays) Do you have the luxury of riding in the mornings or late afternoons? My understanding is that due to the angle of of the sun at those times, the UV rays are attenuated as they have to pass through more of the atmosphere before they try to fry your skin. Most things I have read say the hours before 9 a.m. and after 6 p.m. are better for outdoor activity if you are concerned about the effect of the sun on your skin.

  15. #15
    Hypoxic Member head_wind's Avatar
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    I use Dermatone with an SPF in the low 30s. It has zinc oxide which
    may help but definitely shows where I have applied the slime and where
    I haven't.

  16. #16
    Senior Member SaiKaiTai's Avatar
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    I live in Pacifica
    '13 Felt Z3 - '08 Jamis Aurora Elite - ('07 Giant OCR C2)

  17. #17
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Don't get bothered with sunburn- except at the back of the neck so I wear a bandana tied loose with the tail down the back- whenever I think of it.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  18. #18
    Live To Ride Another Day! MarkAJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by will dehne
    This is a serious issue for long distance biking. We may be going for 6-10 hours with the sun burning on one side of the body. I was with experts who do/did this often. I followed their advise and was not harmed. We traveled through CA deserts and southern tier states of the USA. Here is what they advised:

    Helmet with visor and scull cap with neck protection.
    Sunblock below the eyes. (It worked. I seem to remember that we used grade 50)
    Sunblock on arms and legs. Repeat apply every couple hours.
    Never biked without shirt or helmet.

    I did not follow my own advise this past Sunday. It was over 80 degrees and very stormy. That means I did not feel the sun. I also was on a trail and used no helmet. (A no-no). I just had a headband. It was a 6 hour trip. I was burned above and below the headband and subject to funny looks and remarks on a party I went to.
    +1 (I don't use a visor on my helmet because I always thought it obstructed my view at times.)
    I use Sport 50 (SPF50) on all rides, but never apply above my eyes and it works well for me. I also have a nice pair of riding sun glasses I always use. I would look pretty cool except for that mirror thingy hanging from my glasses frame.
    I'm pushing it "High and Wide".
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  19. #19
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    Yeah, I forgot the lessons about sun glasses. The dark ones are no good because the iris opens too much in response to the dark tint. You need GOOD sun glasses. I am no expert on that. So my solution was/is to spend money and pray that works.
    Well, I am an old guy and still use no corrective glasses or contacts. Perhaps I do the right thing or is it just genes?

  20. #20
    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaiKaiTai
    I live in Pacifica
    I was once assigned to the Presidio for two years, heading down to Pacifica for the "Pizza and Pipes". Wonder if it is still there.

    Anyway, after a month or two in the summer we were so sun-deprived that we would drive down to San Jose and hang around Happy Hollow Kiddie Park and Petting Zoo just to gather some rays.

    Nothing was more brutal than a summer in San Fransisco. They should put Prozac in the water supply.

  21. #21
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by will dehne
    Yeah, I forgot the lessons about sun glasses. The dark ones are no good because the iris opens too much in response to the dark tint. You need GOOD sun glasses. I am no expert on that. So my solution was/is to spend money and pray that works.
    Well, I am an old guy and still use no corrective glasses or contacts. Perhaps I do the right thing or is it just genes?
    Cheap sun glasses are fine, as long as they block UV.

  22. #22
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by JanMM
    Cheap sun glasses are fine, as long as they block UV.
    The very experienced tour leader warned about dark glasses. Made sense to me.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmccain
    I use sunblock (SPF 50 or 60) every ride. I know it works really well for me.

    How do I know? I can see what happens if I miss a spot. Ouch!

    Before applying sunblock, wet your skin with water. The sunblock will go on more smoothly.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    Assuming you do the sunblock and visors and the back of the neck things, then afterwards after a long ride, you might also treat the skin with some healing.

    Try applying Aloe Vera gel on the skin after you shower. We use "Skin Gel" unscented by aloelife international. www.aloelife.com

  25. #25
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    I believe in effective sunscreens - SPF30 and above. Similar to jmccain, I have also missed spots - just above one sock, or just the top of feet in rare instances when I wear sandals or go barefoot. After one spring ride I could actually see where my fingers stopped spreading the sunscreen just above my sock line. The northern european heritage makes me quite vulnerable to sunburn.

    My personal preference is for the 'Sport' sunscreens that to not stay greasy - some actually state that they are not greasy. The 'sport' sunscreens tend to not run as much with sweat, and stay out of your eyes longer in hot weather.

    I don't use the 'spray' sunscreens either - they also make for a mottled appearance after you apply them and can see where each droplet dried on, and where you missed part of a shoulder, instead I apply the creams.

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