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  1. #1
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    The Sun and Cycling.

    We rode up to San Clemente last week...Had breakfast at a favorite outdoor restaurant..The point...The wait staff, she obviouly had spent every minute of her youth in the sun...San Clemente is a beach town..What from Anette Funichello, we call them beach babes..I know sexist.
    But her skin was awful....First glance , I thought freckles that had gone totally mad...No ...Skin damage...As many pock marks as the moon.
    I love being out in the sun...Feels great..Fresh air and sunshine and riding.
    But, in15 years will our skin look like that..? Yet alone Melona problem.
    I religiously wear a sunblock 30... Have a pretty good cyclists tan of which I proudly display to the world.. Does sunblock prevent skin solar radiation damage.
    See there are advantages of living in Seattle.

  2. #2
    My own worst nightmare
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    Curse The Onion; they now require you to PAY, as in MONEY, to view archives of articles more than about four weeks back. Several months ago, there was one titled "Area Woman Proud of Horrible Tan", which would've been an apropos link here. Greedy bast'ds!

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclezealot
    We rode up to San Clemente last week...Had breakfast at a favorite outdoor restaurant..The point...The wait staff, she obviouly had spent every minute of her youth in the sun...San Clemente is a beach town..What from Anette Funichello, we call them beach babes..I know sexist.
    But her skin was awful....First glance , I thought freckles that had gone totally mad...No ...Skin damage...As many pock marks as the moon.
    I love being out in the sun...Feels great..Fresh air and sunshine and riding.
    But, in15 years will our skin look like that..? Yet alone Melona problem.
    I religiously wear a sunblock 30... Have a pretty good cyclists tan of which I proudly display to the world.. Does sunblock prevent skin solar radiation damage.
    See there are advantages of living in Seattle.
    I'm worried about this too. My tan arms don't see to go back to their original color even after a long winter. Besides sunblock, I will never go biking without sunglasses because you'll burn your eyesight. I wonder if wearing a helmet with a Looooong visor would cut down on the suns' rays?

  4. #4
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Steve...Some other thread awhile back talked about the disadvantage of visors for Roadies...Bent neck or something like that... I wear a visor on my helmet...Seems I feel more shaded that way.. Does not seem to get in the way....Watch roadies seems very few of us do wear visors... I shall continue to.
    Here in California our arms never seem to go all the way back to pastie white..But we expect that even if we do much biking in the winter...
    Guess the only thing we can do is really paste on the sunblock.. What got me to thinking about that server up in San Clemente..I have these irregular splotches on my arms...Not sure they are permament... Not dark in color so rule out Melonomia for now...?
    But sure would hate to have skin like shoe leather in 15 years...
    No matter what will not be swayed from the bike...Any long term cyclists have any comments about the condition of their skin...

  5. #5
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Well, I live in the skin cancer capital of the world, but perhaps I'm not old enough to be classified as "long-term" yet. I plaster on the sunscreen as best I can, but at the end of the day, there is a limit to the sacrifice I'm prepared to make here. I'm quite happy to wear the sunscreen and so on, but I'm not going to give up riding over something like this. As far as I'm concerned, a life stuck inside the house wouldn't be worth living.

    I did, however, hear a comment recently (from a friend of mine, so I don't know the source), that suggested most of the damage done to skin cancer sufferers occurs in the first 12 years of their life. If that's true, it changes the equation just a little.
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    Lost in Boston
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    There are 3 main types of skin cancer: melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma, with the latter two being grouped together as non-melanoma skin cancers. All of them have sun exposure as a risk factor.

    From UpToDate, with some of my editing:

    "Excessive ultraviolet light exposure (particularly UV-B) at any time in life is a major risk factor for the development of non-melanoma skin cancer, as it is for melanoma. Having a skin type that burns easily and tans poorly, or light-colored eyes (ie, blue or green) are additional risk factors. Incidence rates in non-white populations in the United States are less than 2 percent of the rates among white persons.

    Chronic exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation in sunlight (particularly UV-B) is the most important risk factor for non-melanoma skin cancer. The relationship between dose and timing of exposure is different for basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). The development of BCC is strongly correlated with childhood and adolescent sun exposure but not cumulative or recent sun exposure, in direct contrast to SCCs, which are related to cumulative and recent sun exposure."

    Chris L's friend was probably talking about BCC, which is the most common form of skin cancer. But cumulative and recent sun exposure can cause other types of skin cancer.

  7. #7
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Yes.Melonomia is a worry..But, the woman I had in mind, just , so far showed dryed up skin...So that she looked really haggish.
    She probably will eventually have skin cancer problems...
    But, should sun block reduce the skin cancer problem...Will sun block also protect the skin from turning into shoe leather as a result of the tanning process?
    I can recall scuba boat staff that spent years in the sun...The sun looked like it aged them 20 years...
    Still no cause to stop cycling..But is there a prevention to the problems of skin cancer and dehyrdrated, aged skin..

  8. #8
    Evil Genius capsicum's Avatar
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    Yes, sunblock will block the damaging UV rays that cause leathery skin.
    If your using spf 30 on a regular basis you shouldn't have anything to worry about [even 15 will do wonders, and I've seen spf 70 sold for the tropics], it does wear off through out the day, even without swimming, so re-application every few hours is nessesary for full effect.
    The spf number, in this case 30, means that under ideal conditions where the sunblock is re-applied often it will only let in 1/30th of the ultra violet[UV] basically you will last 30 times as long before burning as you would bare, full effect is not common however, as people don't feel like re applying it every couple hours and often don't apply it evenly.(there is a purple sunblock for kids thats easy to see if you applied even- the purple goes away in a few minutes when its dry)

    Visible light(below UV) does not harm skin, infer-red(below visible) also does nothing unless it is so intense and for so long that it broils your arm like a toaster does toast but thats a short term[immediate I would say] problem.
    Your skin tans in response to exsessive sun[UV] exposure, it burns due to massive sun damage- the redness is blood rushing to repair the damage. The tan is a chemical called melenin which is a very powerful sunblock and its the same stuff that makes dark skined races dark skined. Light skined people need more sun exposure to release produce melenin than dark skined people and more sun to reach a certain level/darkness so the light skined receive more sun damage while waiting for and maintaining a tan.
    Some sun is nessasary to produce adequate vitamin D, D is nessesary for calcium utilization and in adequate amounts can lead to rickets, osteoperosis and othe bone problems, this is why people more to the north produce less melenin (and why milk is fortified with D). To much sun [in addition to increasing cancer] destroys thiamin and inadaquate thiamin causes birth defects, so peoples with intense sun produce melenin much more readily
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  9. #9
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrimsonCyclist
    Chris L's friend was probably talking about BCC, which is the most common form of skin cancer. But cumulative and recent sun exposure can cause other types of skin cancer.
    Thank you for clarifying that. I have another question -- does regular use of moisturiser do anything to negate the effects of sun exposure? What about drinking huge quantities of water (something else I heard from an "unofficial" source)?
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    Pat
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclezealot
    Yes.Melonomia is a worry..But, the woman I had in mind, just , so far showed dryed up skin...So that she looked really haggish.
    She probably will eventually have skin cancer problems...
    But, should sun block reduce the skin cancer problem...Will sun block also protect the skin from turning into shoe leather as a result of the tanning process?
    I can recall scuba boat staff that spent years in the sun...The sun looked like it aged them 20 years...
    Still no cause to stop cycling..But is there a prevention to the problems of skin cancer and dehyrdrated, aged skin..
    I think Sunblock will keep the problems of sun exposure under control for most people. I live in Florida and the sun here can get pretty fierce. Some of our riders are really fair skinned.... you know the burn don't tan types. Sunblock isn't adequate for them and they generally keep as much skin covered with clothing as they can. They get special clothes that are reasonably cool and wearable whilst cycling and made especially for sun protection. I dunno where they get them since sunblock works just great for me.

  11. #11
    Evil Genius capsicum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris L
    Thank you for clarifying that. I have another question -- does regular use of moisturiser do anything to negate the effects of sun exposure? What about drinking huge quantities of water (something else I heard from an "unofficial" source)?
    The sun isn't drying out the skin, heck most of the time your sweating. What it does[from what I've gathered anyway] is the UV irreversibly breaks down proteins, collagens, and elastic tissues in the skin, much the same as when plastic that sits out in the sun breaks down and gets brittle. That part has little to do with moisture, keeping well hydrated will help the skin to look its best but won't stop or help to repair sun damage.
    "Data is not the plural form of annecdote."
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  12. #12
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    In response to Capsicum...Sun irreversibly breaks down tissue..I am too old to be a beach fanatic so skin will not look crappy at 40. One looks awful at 90 should one make that age.
    So since it is over 40 and the rest is down hill and I like the effect of a cyclist tan as long as melonoma is averted.
    All I can say is, keep on riding...Future wrinkles and all...

  13. #13
    Evil Genius capsicum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclezealot
    In response to Capsicum...Sun irreversibly breaks down tissue..I am too old to be a beach fanatic so skin will not look crappy at 40. One looks awful at 90 should one make that age.
    So since it is over 40 and the rest is down hill and I like the effect of a cyclist tan as long as melonoma is averted.
    All I can say is, keep on riding...Future wrinkles and all...
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    Senior Member bg4533's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris L
    Thank you for clarifying that. I have another question -- does regular use of moisturiser do anything to negate the effects of sun exposure? What about drinking huge quantities of water (something else I heard from an "unofficial" source)?
    I am only 21, so I can't speak from years of experience as to what sun does over the years, but I have had a lot of experience with burns. I am one of those people that burns horribly the first time they are out in the sun for an extended period of time and then barely burns at all after that. Last week I was on the water a fair amount and was wearing SPF 45 reapplied regularly and I am still a bit burnt.

    Moisturizer does seem to help me. I use a lotion called Moisturel when I get burned. Years ago it was available by presciption only, but now it is available OTC. It is just a normal moisturizer, but it seems to help much better than other lotions I have tried.

    Basically, this lotion causes redness to go away in about half the time it normally would and keeps my skin soft and smooth when it would normally start peeling. I have to imagine that helps at least a bit. At the very least it keeps me from looking disgusting.

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    Any recommendations for a strong, long-lasting sunscreen (ideally for sensitive skin)? I use SPF 30+, reapply every 2 hours, and I still have a very silly tan line across my wrists where my gloves are. Looks like I had hand transplants or something....

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    Senior Member Faust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allison
    Any recommendations for a strong, long-lasting sunscreen (ideally for sensitive skin)? I use SPF 30+, reapply every 2 hours, and I still have a very silly tan line across my wrists where my gloves are. Looks like I had hand transplants or something....
    My favorite sunscreen is Bullfrog Sport Gel, in either spray or just gel. It is waterproof, dries almost instantly, leaves no stain or coloration behind, and lasts through heavy sweating.

    Bullfrog sunscreen

    For pricing and availability see

    Froogle Bullfrog search

  17. #17
    Senior Member Seanholio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allison
    Any recommendations for a strong, long-lasting sunscreen (ideally for sensitive skin)? I use SPF 30+, reapply every 2 hours, and I still have a very silly tan line across my wrists where my gloves are. Looks like I had hand transplants or something....


    I made the mistake, two weeks ago, of going out for a 5-hour ride, and forgetting to apply sunscreen. I was a crispy critter when I got home. My wife looked at me, shook her head, and called me a dork. Later, wearing shorts and barefoot, she started laughing. Said I looked like a court jester, with a burn between the bottom of my bike short line and the top of my bike sock line. I have to admit, it is pretty funny. Even funnier was when one of my work associates pulled me aside after a meeting.

    She asks, "Go for a big ride this weekend?"
    "Yeah, how'd you know?" I replied.
    "Your glove tan lines."

    I looked at my hands, and I could see the lines, right across the wrists, and across the second knuckles on each hand.

    AloeGator works well for me, when I remember to apply it.

  18. #18
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allison
    Any recommendations for a strong, long-lasting sunscreen (ideally for sensitive skin)? I use SPF 30+, reapply every 2 hours, and I still have a very silly tan line across my wrists where my gloves are. Looks like I had hand transplants or something....
    I've been using Banana Boat for a decade. So far it's the only thing that has prevented my ultra-sensitive skin from burning. However, if you don't like the tan lines, you could be out of luck. Even filtered exposure to the sun (and yes, all sunscreens are merely filters) is going to cause a tan eventually. Perhaps a long-sleeved jersey is your best option.
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  19. #19
    N_C
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclezealot
    We rode up to San Clemente last week...Had breakfast at a favorite outdoor restaurant..The point...The wait staff, she obviouly had spent every minute of her youth in the sun...San Clemente is a beach town..What from Anette Funichello, we call them beach babes..I know sexist.
    But her skin was awful....First glance , I thought freckles that had gone totally mad...No ...Skin damage...As many pock marks as the moon.
    I love being out in the sun...Feels great..Fresh air and sunshine and riding.
    But, in15 years will our skin look like that..? Yet alone Melona problem.
    I religiously wear a sunblock 30... Have a pretty good cyclists tan of which I proudly display to the world.. Does sunblock prevent skin solar radiation damage.
    See there are advantages of living in Seattle.
    This woman might have had some sort of melanoma at one time which is now showing the results of the damage it did. Or maybe even what was done to treat the melanoma caused this.

    Another huge culprit that can cause early signs of this kind of worn out look on the skin is the use of tanning beds. They are worse then the sun. They cause more problems then the salons & manufacturers let on about. Don't be surprised if in 20 years there are class action law suits similar to what is happening with cigarette companies because the tanning bed manufacturers decided to hide the truth behind their product just like the cigeratte companies did.

    I think the experts recommend the use of at least a 30 spf sunblock between the hours of 11:00 am & 3:00 pm.

    I use the NO-AD brand. I also use a spf 45 clear zinc oxide on my face, ears & neck & a spf 30 lip protectant. I filled a small travel size shampoo bottle, (that I found at Wal-Mart for $.50) & carry it on my bike so I can reapply when & if needed. All of the NO-AD stuff i use protects against both the UVA & UVB rays. My helmet has a visor that I use & it does help.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Seanholio's Avatar
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    Augh! Something in my seat bag (recumbent) punctured my AloeGator, and it got all over everything! What a mess. If you're going to carry it with you, make sure it's in a good container, and you should probably also place it in a ziplock bag.

  21. #21
    Evil Genius capsicum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faust
    My favorite sunscreen is Bullfrog Sport Gel, in either spray or just gel. It is waterproof, dries almost instantly, leaves no stain or coloration behind, and lasts through heavy sweating.

    Bullfrog sunscreen

    For pricing and availability see

    Froogle Bullfrog search
    I was using spf 30 while traveling on my motorcycle a few years ago because my jacket didn't overlap my gloves and but ended up causing great confusion for a dude at a hostel I stayed at. He thought I had been wearing a watch at first but then realized that watches make light rings not dark rings and finally just asked, and there was a gal there that had a sunglasses sunburn and looked a bit like a racoon.
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  22. #22
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Cap.. Before the end of summer, with enough bike riding; that is one thing cyclists and motorcyclists share in common...At least I have...Racoon eyes. Probably even our chin straps markings are white.
    Join the club...Sorry if we might not have a six pack over the belt..At least less so.

  23. #23
    Evil Genius capsicum's Avatar
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    she wasn't a biker of any type she was on vacation from norway(via the bronks) and went for a hike in south CA with no sunblock. Very red except very white around the eyes, her jamacan boyfriend seemed a bit more imune to racooning however.
    "Data is not the plural form of annecdote."
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  24. #24
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    I prefer tan and white racoon eyes, over red and white.ouch.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by N_C

    I use the NO-AD brand. I also use a spf 45 clear zinc oxide on my face, ears & neck & a spf 30 lip protectant. I filled a small travel size shampoo bottle, (that I found at Wal-Mart for $.50) & carry it on my bike so I can reapply when & if needed. All of the NO-AD stuff i use protects against both the UVA & UVB rays. My helmet has a visor that I use & it does help.
    The small bottle of sunscreen is a good idea, I'll be-a loading it in my rack trunk from now on.

    I also use a visor and am toying with the idea of sewing some sort of "curtain" for my ears and the back of my neck to shade them from the sun. Think "foreign legion" flap; maybe I'll have it go around my neck too. I figure it would be easy to tie onto the the vents in my helmet with some lightweight string and if I designed it right, it wouldn't be too flappy.
    I . . can . . . doooo . . . it

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