Yesterday I rode over Vail Pass with Sue, met Vincent near the top, then rode down to Frisco and then back again to Vail. I took off with no headband, but it was cloudy. I also left with no lip stuff with sunblock. I always use that at altitude or my lower lip gets really burnt.
Anyway, today my forehead and lower lip or pretty toast. I keep forgetting how much more intense the sun is at altitude than in Kansas. It always surprises me.
I went to a dermatologist a few years ago and the nurse asked me if I’d ever been sunburned. I thought it was a trick question. I hesitated and then just answered yes. She then asked more than 3 times. I laughed. I said yes again and told her I’d been completely sunburned toe to head 100’s of times, if not thousands. She looked shocked.
I told my mom the story and she said something like you always went to the pool with sunblock on when you were a kid. I told her that sunblock hadn’t been “invented” when I spent the whole summer at the pool. The lifeguards and a few others used to put zinc oxide on their noses, but other than that it was full sun.
I couldn’t come close to counting how many times I have been completely fried by the sun. My normal summer look was peeling skin on my face and back. Sometimes when it was bad, I could pull nearly complete sheets of peeling skin off my back.
I have pretty okay skin. I had freckles as a kid, all over my face, arms and shoulders. Most of my friends had freckles too. It doesn’t seem like many kids have freckles anymore. I wonder why that is? Must be sun related. I don’t know why you lose your freckles either? I just they just slowly disappear as you get older.
When I raced The Tour of Southland, on the south island of New Zealand, they have a problem with really bad sunburn. I guess there is an ozone hole that moves around above and that the sun is super intense and dangerous. The race supplied sunblock. Every school kid that lined the courses when we rode by wore long sleeved shirts, long pants and a hat that covered their faces. It seemed strange at the time, but it made sense.
Anyway, I don’t use sunblock on my skin. Well, hardly ever to I use sunblock. I’m not completely sold on the whole thing. Plus, I can’t stand it when it gets into my eyes while riding. I know that I’m going against the grain on this, but I think the jury is still out, scientifically, on this one. I guess time will tell.