Summer is almost here, and with it comes white tape, high mileage weeks, and insane tan lines. A cyclist's tan line is something that almost defies explanation to a non-cyclist: a striped leg created by shorts and socks, a pale hand punctuated by a dark circle, or the white area in front of your ear from the helmet strap, where literally "the sun don't shine". To a non-cyclist, the tan lines that are so common to us, warrant a double-take.
For me, the tan line is a mark of accomplishment, a sign of your dedication to logging miles on your machine, and a statement that shouts: "despite all of my other commitments, I still find time to ride my damn bike!"
Each season I place the bottom of my shorts on the same tan line I randomly established over 20 years ago. Back-to-back seasons have etched a tan line so defined that it would require a two month, Speedo-induced holiday on the world's finest beach to simply undo it. In the off-season, I barely lose my tan line despite the dark and cold winter and the etched line serves as a great reminder of seasons' past.
Forget tracking the KMs, the quality of your season can simply be measured by your tan.