The Shade Problem

09.3.2009 | 7:32 am

There are many good things about being a Beloved and Award-Winning Internet Cycling Celebrity, such as myself. There’s the adoration. The respect. The way a room goes quiet upon my entrance. There’s the realization that, when I am in a given public place — like a supermarket at 11:30pm, purchasing milk because I just barely realized that otherwise cold cereal will be a problem the next morning and that would be very very bad — I am quite likely the most famous person in that building.

It’s breathtaking, really, how awesome I am.

More wonderful than all the other wonderful things about me, however, is something which actually has very little to do with me. And that wonderful thing is actually two wonderful things. And those wonderful things are my legs.

Gaze upon them, if you will.


I know, I know. You are saying to yourself, “Are these truly legs of a man, or of a Titan?!” And I understand your awe. I really do, for I stand in front of a mirror daily, experiencing that same sense of wonder.

By the way, please pay no attention to the scabbiness of my right knee and the dry scaliness on both my kneecaps. What I want you to focus on is the fact that my legs are well-muscled (and very-recently-shaven, which goes to show you exactly to what lengths I will go to to get beautiful images on this blog). Those are strong legs. Climber’s legs. Cyclist’s legs.

And yet, perfectionist that I am, I am not satisfied. For I notice one important problem, which gives me untold sadness.

Namely, my quads — which are nicely tanned and (I think you will agree) almost unbearably sexy — are about thirty shades darker than my shins, which are pasty white.

To get the full effect, it may be helpful to have a side-by-side comparison of one of my forearms to one of my shins.


Now you understand my pain.

Also, I should point out that it was not at all easy for me to take this picture. To see what I mean, try holding your camera with one hand while taking a side-by-side shot of your other arm, all whilst in the middle of a deep knee-bend.

It’s not easy. But I did it anyways, for you. I go to great lengths for my art’s sake.

This leg-tanness dissonance, dear reader, is not intentional. I do not apply baby oil to the top of my legs, followed by SPF 3,000 sunblock to my lower legs. It will surprise you to know that I in fact apply the same strength of sunblock evenly, to all parts of my legs.

And yet.

Now, some of this tragic darkness discrepancy is due to expected causes. My quads, which are frequently somewhat horizontal when I am on a bike, are of course more directly exposed to the sun. So of course they’re going to be a little bit darker than my lower legs.

But I believe there is more to it than this.

I believe that my shins — and my calves, which you will have to trust are in no darker a condition than my shins — are milky white because of shade.

Specifically, because of the shade of my quads.

Yes, my quads are so daunting, so enormous, so downright shade-producing that no light gets past them, leaving my shins to believe it is midnight or perhaps the day of a solar eclipse, even when I am riding in the brightest daylight.

If my shins were plants, living through photosynthesis, they would have withered and died by now, murdered by my quads.

And what is tragic — really and truly tragic — is that I do not know how to remedy this problem. Oh, sure, I’ve brainstormed a little bit and have come up with some ideas:

  • Wrap electrical tape around my quads before each ride until they fade to the same near-transparent hue of my shins.
  • Apply that weird fake-tan lotion stuff to my shins.
  • Lay in the sun, baking myself to an even tan.
  • Get a full-lower-leg tattoo. Not of anything, just a nice even color wash tattoo the color of my quads in Summer.  

I do not find any of these methods entirely satisfactory, however, for the following reasons:

  • Electrical tape: If I were to wrap my quads, nobody could see them. And I don’t want to deprive the world of the sight of my quads; that would be cruel.
  • Fake tan lotion: I don’t think I could ever get a decent color match.
  • Traditional suntanning: I don’t think my shins would ever catch up.
  • Full lower-leg tattoo: Actually, I can’t think of any cons to this.

So you see, dear reader, that while my legs are indeed almost unimaginably wonderful, their very magnificence brings problems of their own.

Let that be a lesson to us all.

PS: Don’t even get me started on the freakishness that is my wrist-hand tanline:



  1. Comment by km | 09.3.2009 | 7:42 am

    WOW! What can I say?? I’m stupified with awe at the magnificence of your quads. The canopy they produce surly is what is dooming your calves to perpetual darkness and blight. But the greatness…..sheez I just threw up….

  2. Comment by VA Biker | 09.3.2009 | 7:50 am

    White hand mittens. Mark of a good cyclist.

    (Proving you’re not vain, the folks who do not clasp the cycling glove closure in order to get an even hand tan, or ride gloveless – you’re not one of them.)

    Triathletes local to me always ride gloveless, even when training with roadies. I always tell ‘em that they’ll only do it until they go down in a heap… I know the race issue is T1 and T2, but what about in training?

  3. Comment by dbk | 09.3.2009 | 7:52 am

    What you are experieincing is a sports specific variation of the Utah Farmer’s Tan.
    Be patient, in 6-8 weeks (with the change of seasons) this too will pass.

    Admirable quad display too …

  4. Comment by greg | 09.3.2009 | 7:55 am

    I feel your pain, fatty. I too suffer from the hand glove tan line and under the right lighting conditions they look downright prosthetic.

    Looking on the brighter side, through some freak genetic mistake my fingers simply do not tan. I’d rather the world knew of my freakish cycling addiction than my freakish lack of pigment power in my digits.

    As for the leg tattoo, have you considered getting a picture of your quads tattoed on your shins? That’s at least three…maybe even four kinds of awesome.

  5. Comment by Powerful Pete | 09.3.2009 | 7:57 am

    Cyclist’s tan gets me a lot of grief from the non-cycling family members. Wear it with pride. It makes us instantly recognisable to others in our elite circle.

    As for the calf thing. Who cares? All are too impressed by the awesomeness of your quads!

  6. Comment by Clay | 09.3.2009 | 7:58 am

    Another possible solution…creative shaving. Try shaving just your quads and letting the leg hair grow on your calves and shins. The dark hair should shroud your lower limbs in a cloak of faux darkness.

    Worth a shot.

  7. Comment by dicky | 09.3.2009 | 7:59 am

    You need to start riding a mancumbent… without gloves.

  8. Comment by Heather near Atlanta | 09.3.2009 | 7:59 am

    Jesus forgives all your shins.

  9. Comment by Nancy | 09.3.2009 | 8:00 am

    I think you just hit upon the reason why the room goes quiet when you enter- it’s your freakish stripy tan. People are probably wondering how you do it…or maybe even why.

  10. Comment by Kevin M | 09.3.2009 | 8:01 am


    Words have escaped me…

  11. Comment by Boomer | 09.3.2009 | 8:03 am

    You’ve further shown your dedication to your biking awesomeness by making your head more aerodynamic. Hair? Pshaw! Avacor? That’s for wusses! Hair Club for Men? Throw those ads away! When it comes to your public, no sacrifice is extreme for a Beloved and Award-Winning Internet Cycling Celebrity. You da man!

  12. Comment by whitney | 09.3.2009 | 8:03 am

    I am in stitches! This should go on a list of Fatty’s Phattest, or whatever, if there is such a list!

  13. Comment by Marrock | 09.3.2009 | 8:05 am

    It’s simple, ride a recumbent…

    That way your legs are stretched out before you and able to soak up those tanning rays evenly.

  14. Comment by justrun | 09.3.2009 | 8:08 am

    I, for one, am very thankful for your striped, wonky tan lines. It’s an equalizer. It makes this mythical Beloved and Award-Winning Internet Cycling Celebrity just like me. It makes me think “Wow, is it possible this huge celebrity could possibly put his pants on ONE LEG AT A TIME?!” It may be freakish to some, but to others, well we know.

  15. Comment by Beth | 09.3.2009 | 8:09 am

    oh gosh……..fake bake perhaps? I am still a bit dumbfounded as the first thing I saw was said quads on my monitor.

  16. Comment by Jenni Laurita | 09.3.2009 | 8:14 am

    Cry me a river. At least when you go to the pool, you’re wearing swim shorts. Try having those tan lines and wearing a bikini.
    I’ll start the bidding at $100 donation to Livestrong if you post a pic of you in a bikini.

  17. Comment by Jaime O. | 09.3.2009 | 8:17 am

    I think if you’d bask in the adoration that is due your quads, perhaps it would color up those pasty calves/shins. There’s always bronzer. I now live in Texas, and makeup is sold in bulk buckets, so I could send you some foundation that matches your quads and a paint brush (or you could use an airless sprayer)!!

  18. Comment by Amelia | 09.3.2009 | 8:21 am

    Those are some awesome quads! The thing is, the leg tanlines don’t matter that much if you wear long pants when you’re not on the bike (though that might hinder quad exhibition). The glove tanline is what people always notice on me. My hands look like a fungus that grew under a rock in their paleness and my arms are a roasty brown.

  19. Comment by Maik | 09.3.2009 | 8:23 am

    Just start wearing knee warmers on every ride.

    (I’m not saying I won’t make fun of you; I’m just saying that would resolve your little tanning problem.)

  20. Comment by Cyclin' Missy | 09.3.2009 | 8:33 am

    Wow! Strong quads, strong tan lines. Impressive! I was a little nervous for a second that this post would not be safe for work. lol

  21. Comment by Brent | 09.3.2009 | 8:34 am

    Maybe this is why cars won’t let you pass. Could it be that such pastey white flesh would blind a driver. A driver would have to flip the switch to night mode on the rear-view mirror to deflect the light.

  22. Comment by Ryan | 09.3.2009 | 8:34 am

    First the Orbea….. and now the quads. Good hell!!
    Begs the question:
    Q. What just happened?

    A: Elden smacking us in the face with awesomeness just happened.

  23. Comment by Lisa | 09.3.2009 | 8:38 am

    Nice quads. The shaved leg thing is kind of freaky!

  24. Comment by Mikeonhisbike | 09.3.2009 | 8:38 am

    Those cycling tan lines are something that you earn and thus demand respect. That is why when you enter a room there is a quiet hush that precedes you. As for the glove line I’ve got small holes on the tops of my gloves which gives me what appears to be large bruises on the tops of my hands. Quite the conversation starter.

    I have similar tiny-hole tans on the back of each hand. I like to put my hands together and say, “Snake Eyes!” This is why I am so popular at parties. – FC

  25. Comment by Khirsten | 09.3.2009 | 8:39 am

    Okay laughing out loud today! Had to post and say hey!

  26. Comment by whumpus | 09.3.2009 | 8:42 am

    Please tell me you were wearing shorts when you took that picture.

  27. Comment by Malia | 09.3.2009 | 8:43 am

    You just wrote an entire essay on freaky tan lines. Wow. And I (and apparently a few hundred other folks) actually read it. The whole thing. Now *that* speaks volumes to your awesomeness.

  28. Comment by db | 09.3.2009 | 8:43 am

    I have a slightly different circumstance: my shins remain ghostly white, while my calves are nicely tanned. Not sure how I lost all the melanin in my shins, but apparently I did.

  29. Comment by MattC | 09.3.2009 | 8:45 am

    I’m sorry, but I must be missing something…you claim there were shins somewhere in the picture? Must have missed them, in no doubt due to the supreme majesty of the quads. I’ll have to go back and check……

    nope, still don’t see any shins. Just the magnificent quads. oooooohhhhh…aaaaahhhhhhh…

    AND you have the Orbea…I humbly bow before your most obvious supremecy.

  30. Comment by JAT in Seattle | 09.3.2009 | 8:48 am

    If I may paraphrase power trio Rush,

    (jingle jangle acoustic intro…)
    There is unrest in the fatty,
    There is trouble with the legs,
    For the shins want more sunlight
    And the quads ignore their pleas.

    (thumping power chord transition)
    The trouble with the shins,
    (And they’re quite convinced they’re right)
    They say the quads are just too mighty
    And they grab up all the light.
    But the quads can’t help their feelings
    If they like the way they’re made.
    And they wonder why the shins
    Can’t be happy in their shade.

  31. Comment by Ms. Tart | 09.3.2009 | 8:54 am

    You should be more careful shaving your knees. Those scabs look dreadful.

  32. Comment by UphillBattle | 09.3.2009 | 8:56 am

    I stand in awe at the magnificence of your quads. They are beyond human.

  33. Comment by Heather | 09.3.2009 | 9:08 am

    Great post!! Thanks for the laugh! I so needed that this morning… And I can only hope that one day my quads will be close to the awesomeness of yours.

  34. Comment by becky | 09.3.2009 | 9:09 am

    I have snake eye tan on my hands too. I’m olive skinned,thank good genetics. I don’t recognize myself in the summer, I get so dark I don’t know who I am, and I use tons of sunscreen, but I am immune to it. I have weird quad tan lines and I look really stupid in a bathing suit, which is why I don’t wear one. Wait-that sounded bad. I can’t swim, which makes wearing a bathing suit pointless. Well, I can swim, just only in salt water, but now I live in the middle of the biggest freshwater on the planet-the great lakes.

  35. Comment by Dr. Lammler | 09.3.2009 | 9:09 am

    I feel so inadequate.

  36. Comment by kiwi | 09.3.2009 | 9:10 am

    This is funny to me….A week ago someone said to me
    you are so pale! No this is pale! I move my cycling shorts up…Got to say my knees better than yours!

    Fight like Susan!


  37. Comment by 100poundsago | 09.3.2009 | 9:11 am

    You would think by now I would have learned NOT to have a beverage whilst reading some of your posts.

  38. Comment by Charise | 09.3.2009 | 9:12 am

    Wow, I’m stunned. I’ll be even more stunned after you get the tattoo and then post a photo in the winter with the tan in reverse.

    And triath-a-letes look even more like zebras. Swimsuit lines, cycling lines, and running lines. Mmm hot.

  39. Comment by Dan J | 09.3.2009 | 9:16 am

    Tan lines schmam lines! Can we somehow convince you to get a Costco 5-gallon drum of lotion for those knees?!?!

  40. Comment by Allison Fontana | 09.3.2009 | 9:16 am

    Very funny post! Maybe you can do what me and my husband do to even out our bad South Florida cycling tans. Lay out in the privacy of your backyard wearing only arm and leg warmers and let the sun do its work Of course, in your case, you’ll only need knee warmers. Good luck! Great quads!

  41. Comment by becky | 09.3.2009 | 9:19 am

    While on the subject of tattoos…
    I think a tattoo on a smoothly shaved head is sexy. Like the biker dude I saw with a dragon on his head, and one earring. I keep trying to get my follicly challenged husband to get a dragon tattoo on his head, but he resists. The bike helmet would cover it up anyway.

  42. Comment by ChefJT | 09.3.2009 | 9:23 am

    Perhaps another color? I have a lovely swollen, purplish ankle courtesy of a bout of celluitis (sp?) picked up during or shortly after the Philly ride. Just got home from the hospital yesterday. I’m off the bike, out of work and on antibiotics until at least Tuesday. But the color is slammin’!

    Except it’s only on one leg.

    PS Love the new ride. Enjoy it.

  43. Comment by frilly | 09.3.2009 | 9:24 am

    Fatty it could be worse. I have 3 sets of tan lines on my legs: 1) shorter women’s cycling shorts 2) medium length Pearl cycling shorts 3) longer Specialized cycling shorts. I try to rotate them to even things out but still. Not to mention the differing tan lines on the arms–short sleeve vs sleeveless vs swimsuit.

    Oh, and might I say, “Nice gams!” And 100% Frilly seal of approval on the shaved legs.

  44. Comment by Metric Jason | 09.3.2009 | 9:28 am

    Between the cgi-esque pictures of your quads and the topic at hand this post seems like something straight out of 300.

    Fatty: My quads will blot out the sun.
    Me: Then we must ride in the shade.

  45. Comment by Rick B | 09.3.2009 | 9:33 am

    I’m just wondering how to explain to my co-workers why I’ve got pictures of mens legs on my screen….Doh!

  46. Comment by josh | 09.3.2009 | 9:40 am

    If all men’s quads could be like unto fatty’s quads. The peloton would tremble and Shake.

  47. Comment by Aaron | 09.3.2009 | 9:42 am

    I had the same problem, until I strapped tanning mirrors, face up, to the fronts of my shins. Now my shins are bathed in sunlight whenever I ride.

  48. Comment by Erik | 09.3.2009 | 9:45 am


    Seriously, we should start a post with all of our tan line pics.

  49. Comment by Rose | 09.3.2009 | 9:47 am

    I actually think you want to get rid of the quad tan so they look EVEN bigger – because, you know, dark colors are slimming and all that.

  50. Comment by Philly Jen | 09.3.2009 | 9:53 am

    Too funny!

    I have discovered that wearing a skort during shorter rides results in a nice, gradual tan gradient. Perhaps this may work for you, too…

  51. Comment by SaraSpin | 09.3.2009 | 9:55 am

    Nice legs. ;)

    Self tanners have come a long way. It’s what I use to even out my shoulders and legs so I can wear that bikini without having to resort to tanning beds.

  52. Comment by AngieG | 09.3.2009 | 10:15 am

    You could always talk to some of the pageant folks. They actually air brush tans on. Then you could have someone air brush dark colors giving the perception of depth. Then your calves would appear as large as your quads.
    The quads are indeed awesome. And the cycling tan is quite sexy. :-)

  53. Comment by Chris | 09.3.2009 | 10:15 am

    If your calves had more meat (like mine) they would break the shade barrier of your quads. I hate to be the one to tell you, but your legs are only HALF awesome.

  54. Comment by Alison | 09.3.2009 | 10:16 am

    Oh the hilarity! I have to agree, the shade from your giganto quads most definitely is effecting your lower leg tanning. You should try a spray tan, just from your knees down. That may work.

    On a side note, my husband who is in the military has to wear gloves for his work. There is no worse wrist tan line than that left over from spending 15 months in the sandbox wearing gloves. Its actually quite freaky!

  55. Comment by erin | 09.3.2009 | 10:20 am

    be thankful you tan rather than collect freckles… :)

  56. Comment by Elizabeth | 09.3.2009 | 10:28 am

    Nice gams! Legs like that come from lots of hard work. You SHOULD show them off. Tan line be damned.

  57. Comment by Rantwick | 09.3.2009 | 10:31 am

    Hey man, as sexy and impressive as those things are, that was skin-closeup overload for me. Strangely, if you weren’t a recently shaven Dude, I might have been OK.

  58. Comment by KanyonKris | 09.3.2009 | 10:38 am

    Knickers. Black, please, so the slimming effect will reduce my inferiority.

    Oil up if you’re going to take body photos. Surely you’ve seen body builders. If you shave your legs you might as well keep sliding down the baby oiled slippery slope.

  59. Comment by Clydesteve | 09.3.2009 | 10:39 am

    No, lets DO talk about your scabby knees. They make me feel like you a human.

    And my shins are worse. Fish-belly-white AND scarred & scabby.

    Also, do not lock your knees like that. It will make you faint. Didn’t you learn that in 6th grade choir?

  60. Comment by Laura Lou | 09.3.2009 | 10:51 am

    Good grief! Coming from a total non-cyclist, I think somebody in this blog is a bit high on HIMself. Why don’t you just war cargo shorts? Then nobody will see (or worry about) the tan lines of Super Quad Man! Tee hee.

  61. Comment by Fuzzy | 09.3.2009 | 10:57 am


    Quality Quads there Sir!

    I must disagree with the cause of the non tanned shins though.

    The world and I all know thet you Sir are a serious and hard cyclist. teh quality of your quads is testament to the power in your legs. Power equals speed. Watch a fellow cyclist as he or she pedals (this is science not letching!) The lower leg of a cyclist moves further and faster thah the upper leg. The awesome powere of your quads means the speed of your lower legs is FASTER THAN THE SPEED OF LIGHT!

    If your legs are moving faster than the speed of light, how the hell do you expect them to catch a tan?

    Fight Like Susan!

    Luv ‘n Stuff
    Fuzzy from the UK

  62. Comment by Kathleen@ForgingAhead | 09.3.2009 | 11:02 am

    My takeaway is your calves are like ferns that live under the wide canopy of a redwood tree. Cool.

  63. Comment by darrell | 09.3.2009 | 11:11 am

    Nice quads but you gotta do some lifting to develop the calves to make them pop out or you will look unbalanced. Let the hair grow back on your legs. It will help hide the discrepencies in the tanned areas.

  64. Comment by Haven (used to be Kt) | 09.3.2009 | 11:14 am

    As with the other lady cyclists commenting here, your tan lines pale in comparison to ours (Ha! Tanning joke!).

    At least you get to wear shorts at the pool (please DO NOT tell us you wear a speedo, that’s way TMI), we have to suffer with stupid bike tan lines while wearing a bikini.

    And forget about wearing strappy dresses. The cyclist tan (aka farmer tan) looks really dumb with sleeveless or strappy dresses. As does the sock tan line. And the glove tan line. Thank goodness my glove tan line isn’t too bad this year.

    Oh wait, that means that I haven’t been riding as much. Shoot. I knew there was a downside.

    Anyway: yeah, don’t lock your knees, you’ll pass out. I know, you were just flexing your muscles, but seriously. Stop it.


  65. Comment by Anonymous | 09.3.2009 | 11:21 am

    I almost can’t read your blog when at work because I laugh way too hard to be professional!

    Love the link to wikipedia.

    Love the quads.

  66. Comment by Joel | 09.3.2009 | 11:23 am

    A few years ago when I was doing ~ 30 miles per afternoon commuting, in CA, my “hand tan” was so finely developed that the crocheted pattern from my gloves was visible, making me look like some kind of a mutant leopard or something.

  67. Comment by Jessica | 09.3.2009 | 11:29 am

    WOW! So, when you shave your legs, does it clog the drain? Aparently you just need to ride with our legs straight out, and maybe with capri’s on. Baby oil on the shins? Don’t pull your socks up to your knees? Wear knee pads?

  68. Comment by Marc | 09.3.2009 | 11:31 am

    Hmmm, I think you have officially “jumped the shark” as they say… :-) Keep fighting!

  69. Comment by g | 09.3.2009 | 11:37 am

    I have been sitting here laughing out loud.

    And I am not usually a person who laughs out loud.

    Thank you!!

  70. Comment by getinlost | 09.3.2009 | 11:37 am

    There is but one answer, and only the awesomeness of Fatty can pull it off. Ride only on the east coast shoreline at dawn and the west coast shoreline at sunset. The extreme angle of the suns rays will only strike the lower legs leaving the shade giving quads out of the equation.

    Your welcome.


  71. Comment by Anonymous | 09.3.2009 | 11:40 am

    Jergens Glow lotion is the answer my friend. It’s cheap, it isn’t like other fake tan stuff, AND it comes in “firming” as well (not that titan legs would require any firming)

  72. Comment by jamie | 09.3.2009 | 11:41 am

    it’s good to have you back, fatty!

  73. Comment by Snarky | 09.3.2009 | 11:56 am

    Shin-mirrors on the downtube!

  74. Comment by Shlepzig | 09.3.2009 | 12:07 pm

    Remember the old days of the crocheted bike gloves, you would end up with dark fingers a wierdly mottled hand and dark oval right on the back of your hand.

    I sadly no longer get the iconic biker tan. My bike commuting hours limit me to 5:30 AM ride and a 7:00 PM ride. The window of the year that I can actually put in a couple hours on the bike under the sun, is surprisingly narrow.

    How can I develop an awesome tan under the relentlessly flashing LED taillights and my High Intensity LED headlight.


  75. Comment by Mike Roadie | 09.3.2009 | 12:11 pm

    Snarky: I believe you have hit on something!
    Philly Jen: Skort for men courtesy of Zang Toi??

    But honestlt, as someone who rides a lot in the sun…those quads are the bomb, my friend. You are to be rightly proud of their awesomeness (but easy on the pics, K?).


  76. Comment by grog | 09.3.2009 | 12:16 pm

    Freakin’ freak!

  77. Comment by sarah | 09.3.2009 | 12:22 pm

    having just gotten off of yet another phone call related to a several-months-old health insurance mess, i really super extra appreciated this post. thanks, fatty!

  78. Comment by ricky | 09.3.2009 | 12:42 pm

    stop what you’re doing right now and call the insurance company. get those things insured. stat!

    next time you do something like this, warn me. i nearly lost my lunch.

  79. Comment by MattC | 09.3.2009 | 12:45 pm

    And maybe it’s just me, but does anybody else see a slight discrepancy in the tan lines? The left leg (right in the pic) has a slightly higher line. Whats up with that? Is it due to some unnatural freakish length of the legs? Or is it due to buying your cycling shorts at the bargin bin (slight mfr flaws)?
    As to how to even things out, I think if you ditched the Orbea (maybe GIVE it to some highly deserving person…possibly one who at this very moment is STILL looking for a new frame to replace the dented one) and got yourself a nice polished aluminum frame, it would reflect the sun to your lower extremities (much in the way of strapping mirrors to you as has been suggested) and give you that ‘lays out in the sun far too long’ look. Just a thought.

  80. Comment by JeffT | 09.3.2009 | 12:57 pm

    Have you no mercy, Fatty? I’m stricken with Quadenvytosis and you provided no hints for relief. Help me………………

  81. Comment by Marilyn | 09.3.2009 | 12:58 pm

    Ok, I think if you are sitting around there worring and taking pictures of your suntan you should just give that nice new Orba to me to ride. I will not worry about tan lines but will just ride my little heart out on that nice shiny new bike.

  82. Comment by Susie | 09.3.2009 | 1:03 pm

    oh. my. gosh. not only are you incredibly famous, with astounding quads, but you are quite possibly one of the funniest people I know! be careful though, because levity comes with it’s own price! (just like those quads!) hahahahaha

  83. Comment by Jackie Lee | 09.3.2009 | 1:03 pm

    This is so funny ~ one of the first things I read about cycling is to make sure you cover all of your body with sunscreen because the sun will bounce off the pavement and burn parts that aren’t used to seeing the sun.

    can you tell me why this isn’t working for you? :)

    Great post, and great bike!! Enjoy.

  84. Comment by Scott | 09.3.2009 | 1:03 pm

    The shade of my quads! Ha! I have to start thinking about other things that I can blame on basking in the shade of my quads.

    Coffee got cold cuz of my quad shad.

    Squirrels come out of the heat to find relief in the shade of my quads.

  85. Comment by @PeckishCyclist | 09.3.2009 | 1:06 pm

    Last time I put on a swimsuit, my usually-covered-by-bike-shorts upper thighs got sunburned. I was told my legs looked like Neapolitan ice cream: strawberry-chocolate-vanilla. Next time I’m swimming in jersey and shorts.

  86. Comment by Brandon | 09.3.2009 | 1:26 pm

    If your shins were vampires, they would not be in danger of the sun thanks to your quads-a-plenty.

  87. Comment by John H. | 09.3.2009 | 1:58 pm

    I’m rather disappointed that you did not shave your arm to match your leg. Apparently there ARE limits to your art. Andy Warhol would have certainly shaved his arm. Artist? Bah!

  88. Comment by Maria | 09.3.2009 | 2:57 pm

    I would say spray tan would be your best solution to the tan lines. But I highly doubt you’ll be able to find a technician who could stand before the awesomeness of your quads to do it.

  89. Comment by Big Mike In Oz | 09.3.2009 | 2:58 pm

    There’s a simple solution to the uneven tan. The beauty of this plan lies in how well it sits with the unwritten cycling law… there’s always room for 1 more bike.

    In your case, to expose your legs to some sunlight, you need to re-orient the quads and shins to allow some light through. Solution?

    A recumbent.

    Like I said before; there’s always room for 1 more bike.

  90. Comment by rokrider | 09.3.2009 | 3:01 pm

    The answer to your problem is to wear a pair of my “Cycling Tan Ankle Reflectors” (patent pending).3885492478

  91. Comment by Kaley | 09.3.2009 | 3:05 pm

    well put, Fatty. Write that book for goodness’ sake- we all need more than one blog at a time.

  92. Comment by Joel P. | 09.3.2009 | 3:08 pm

    Thanks again for another day brightener. Keep it up. Time to go out and work on my cyclist’s tan now.
    Joel P.

  93. Comment by Demonic1 | 09.3.2009 | 3:09 pm

    It’s nice to see some humor back on this blog. (Not that I’m against any of the other things you’ve been writing about at all) but I just snorted diet coke out of my nose- and I don’t think I’ve done that since one of the “stunt diet” posts….I think it was the yogurt one….. :)

  94. Comment by Sasha | 09.3.2009 | 3:14 pm

    Hee hee hee This is a supremely funny column. Love the comment by the person who snorted Diet Coke out of their nose. :) heheheh That was a great visual!

    Cool that your friend is doing MS150 – I am doing that ride in Alaska. It is a tremendously fun event though a bit on the grueling side with all the hills, steep grades, and headwinds. Hope to do a Livestrong event next year though!

    Have a safe and fun Labor Day weekend!

  95. Comment by Michelle | 09.3.2009 | 3:30 pm

    Great post! You mentioned a while back that you wondered if you still had a sense of humor and I think this showed us all that indeed you do!

    I’m supremely impressed by your quads. I won’t show this post to my husband as I’m sure he’d be jealous.

  96. Comment by Okiecalvin | 09.3.2009 | 3:30 pm

    Your quads aren’t as sexy as the t-shirt that arrived today! I love the simple-ness of it.

  97. Comment by Lorie | 09.3.2009 | 3:51 pm

    Nice Quads! (Quads like yours should be capitalized!)

    I too have funny bike tan lines; however, my fave (after the glove line) is my RACCOON EYES from my biking sunglasses! I think all my college students believe I have a very strange disease indeed! Of course, I won’t trade those lines for ANYTHING! I’ve worked really hard to earn them, you know :)

  98. Comment by joe blow | 09.3.2009 | 3:53 pm

    Be glad you don;’t play golf. I have a deep, rich tan – except for my left hand.

  99. Comment by Lizzylou | 09.3.2009 | 4:04 pm

    Philly Jen: I don’t believe men should cycling in skorts. It brings about the wrong image. It would have to be a cycling kilt, complete with sporan.

    And I have to agree with Jenni… you ever tried going to the beach with cyclist tans? I always wear a skirt now with my bathing suit to obscure the pasty scariness of my upper thighs.

  100. Comment by Kelli | 09.3.2009 | 4:08 pm

    Got my shirt today and love it even thought it is a mens! That is all that they had when I ordered and I did not want to wait. I am sure I will get about a ton of questions being that I do not cycle except maybe the stationary bike at the Y! Thanx! p.s love the neapolitan ice cream tan.

  101. Comment by Anonymous | 09.3.2009 | 4:16 pm

    Ok Fatty- now you’ve officially crossed the line into Rich Dillen-esque weirdness. Bad Idea!

  102. Comment by BikecopVT | 09.3.2009 | 4:18 pm

    I view the odd tan lines as the badge of an avid cyclist. It’s how we can pick each other out in a crowd when not on a bike. For the hands I suggest a watch on on wrist and bracelet of some kind on the other then the drastic line isn’t so noticeable.

    Fight Like Susan!

    P.S. Philly Jen the image of fatty in a skort too funny.

  103. Comment by Rich | 09.3.2009 | 4:21 pm

    This is hilarious. I too suffer from unbearably sexy quad syndrome! But OMG, the tan lines!!! And lets not forget the Farmer John tan we all have on the upper halves of our bodies, although the unbearably sexiness usually doesn’t apply up there!

    Thanks for the laugh!

  104. Comment by aspiring cyclist | 09.3.2009 | 4:29 pm

    I know there was something in there about tan lines, but I can’t get past those legs…. sigh. Please put them in a nice, short skort for all of us ladies to enjoy? Please?

    p.s. first time commenter… thanks for sharing your life with us. You are inspiring!

  105. Comment by UtahChunk | 09.3.2009 | 4:32 pm

    If you were a superhero you would be “QUADMAN!”

  106. Comment by Bruce Bebow | 09.3.2009 | 4:39 pm

    1. Thank you for not flexing the quads.

    2. Thank you for not going any higher with the pic.

  107. Comment by Nick | 09.3.2009 | 4:44 pm

    The sun must be different out there than it is here. I have a similar problem, except it’s my outer calves/tops of my knees that get really dark and the inside of my lower legs that stay pale. . .

    btw, Elden, you and Team Fatty (and myself) got a plug in my town paper:

  108. Comment by Born 4Lycra | 09.3.2009 | 5:09 pm

    FC call me picky but your left calf seems to be bigger (longer) than your right and it may be a trick of the camera but your right quad appears a little more humongous than your left. Far be it for me to criticise but is there something wrong with your pedal stroke or maybe seat angle. Please don’t post pic of you in a bikini Jenni on the other hand….

  109. Comment by PennyPue | 09.3.2009 | 5:20 pm

    Hello??? Quit wearing socks.

    Wear capris. Check the women’s section.

    You’ll even out, or move to the Artic circle.

  110. Comment by ann | 09.3.2009 | 6:04 pm

    And you WONDERED if the funny was gone?

  111. Comment by LidsB2 | 09.3.2009 | 6:36 pm

    How do you even fit through a door? Or drive a car without your deformity interfering with the steering wheel? Purchasing pants that actually fit must be amazingly troublesome as well. Ahh, the challenges you must face. I’m horribly jealous…

  112. Comment by Mary in NC | 09.3.2009 | 6:42 pm

    Haven is right. Women have it worse. I say this as we are packing, getting ready to leave for the beach for the long weekend. Took a look in the mirror after my shower tonight after an evening ride and saw the quad tan, whiter calves AND super white upper thighs…dark arms but super white stomach and lower back. I plan to wear a two piece (not a bikini, too old for that) and can only imagine the looks I’ll get. sigh. I guess the positive is that the cycling means no fat or cellulite on the legs :-)

  113. Comment by Bryan | 09.3.2009 | 6:43 pm

    its hard to be humble when your perfect in every way? Elden its possible you and I are theo only two people to know how truly difficult it is to be as magnificent as we are.

  114. Comment by Lisa | 09.3.2009 | 6:43 pm

    I do believe that I have no words.

    But I have a really awesome t-shirt.


  115. Comment by Evil Cyclist | 09.3.2009 | 6:57 pm

    It seems to me that since you can create a great set of quads for yourself via Photoshop , it should be trivial to give yourself a Photoshop tan on your shins, hands, perineum, etc.

    Then only your riding buddies would know the truth, and a clever balance of bribery and blackmail would eliminate that kind of leakage.

    -Evil C.

  116. Comment by Anonymous | 09.3.2009 | 7:01 pm

    rasmussen-o-frango.jpgI think you would agree that these tan lines put you to shame. Maybe something to strive for…

  117. Comment by Jen Gatz | 09.3.2009 | 7:10 pm

    Great post, I was laughing out loud and all I could think of was this poster:


  118. Comment by Will | 09.3.2009 | 7:16 pm

    U HAVE puny calves.

  119. Comment by Shaun from AUS | 09.3.2009 | 8:01 pm

    How can we be sure these are your legs & not your good friend Lances ? If they are & you decide to tattoo them you might also try tattooing rabbits all over your head …….from a distance they will look like hares !!!

  120. Comment by dan | 09.3.2009 | 8:11 pm

    I must agree with fuzzy your calves are moving faster than the speed of light! However your pic of your legs is slightly disturbing. I know you took a pic of yourself naked and then cropped the photo and i cant get that image out of my head!

  121. Comment by sansauto | 09.3.2009 | 8:43 pm

    I once put baby oil on my legs before a long ride to get a good tan. Out on the ride I found that bugs would hit my legs and stick. At the end of the ride my legs were nicely tanned with little spots where the bugs had stuck.

  122. Comment by Mike G | 09.3.2009 | 8:45 pm

    Fatty- You should get yourself a Road ID… not only will you be safe when out riding, but you’ll have an additional freakish tan in no time at all. And in the location of your choice!

  123. Comment by stuckinmypedals | 09.3.2009 | 9:17 pm

    Your quads are magniflorious.

  124. Comment by Charisa | 09.3.2009 | 9:21 pm

    Shadow from the quads – that rocks!!!!

  125. Comment by Brandon | 09.3.2009 | 9:23 pm

    Fatty – You still don’t qualify for this scary video :) Some varicose veins on those legs and you’re all set for street creds.

  126. Comment by Paul | 09.3.2009 | 9:55 pm

    I’m voting for the electrical tape! :-)

  127. Comment by Rich Wielgosz | 09.3.2009 | 10:30 pm

    Ummm… huh.

    I actually have the same tanning problem, and my quads are not as big. I think it has to do with their angle relative to the sun, and how much melanin you have.

  128. Comment by MVSC | 09.3.2009 | 10:42 pm

    slather ‘em in butter, and let ‘em cook on the trail…

  129. Comment by Kendra | 09.3.2009 | 11:38 pm

    To voice with the other female cyclists, you’ve got it easy with the tan lines. Just wear a two piece to the pool and be prepared for the looks. It’s not a pretty site, and no amount of tanning lotion will help. Of course if you wore a two piece no one would be looking at your tan line! BTW did you get a cramp from keeping those quads tightened and bulged like that? Amazing…good job.

  130. Comment by Laura H. | 09.3.2009 | 11:49 pm

    OMG…you sure can make me laugh! HAHAHA!

    I dare not look at the glory that is your thighs!

    It will give something for you and Lance to talk about. “Dude, can I see your legs.”

  131. Comment by Anonymous | 09.4.2009 | 12:56 am

    You are now the God of Quad!

    No longer the Bard of Lard

  132. Comment by Niall | 09.4.2009 | 1:23 am

    And there I was thinking that the reason that a room (or supermarket at 11.30pm) goes quiet when you enter was either that others there were amazed to be in the presence of screen god Stanley Tucci, or that Stan purchased his own milk, or that he only ever went shopping around midnight.

  133. Comment by Big Boned | 09.4.2009 | 4:13 am

    What happened? This used to be a blog about cycling. Seems it is now a blog about trees! Yesterday, it was the picture of the magnificent tree in your front yard (though some were distracted by the bike leaning against it). Today it is a story about a couple of tree trunks and the color of their bark.
    You’d be well advised to stick to talking about cycling lest you lose your audience!

  134. Comment by David H | 09.4.2009 | 4:21 am

    Ladies knee high hose in one of the dark tan colors. Will even things right up and maybe distract some attention away from your manly quads.

  135. Comment by Chris | 09.4.2009 | 6:35 am

    At least your thighs are tan, poor Chris [the other one] has such fair skin, his legs are just varied shades of peach after riding. :-)

  136. Comment by Kelly B. | 09.4.2009 | 6:36 am

    Nice quads! I, too, share your enormous-quads-shading-lower legs issue, as well as your white cyclist hands. I was in the salon the other day (you can’t beat a free shampooing when you’ve been out riding all day), and the salon attendant remarked that maybe I should stick my hands in a tanning bed for an hour…

  137. Comment by Noodle | 09.4.2009 | 6:38 am

    Dude! Wait a minute, are you…flexing?

    I am flexing so hard that immediately following the taking of that first photo, my knees actually fell off. – FC

  138. Comment by Onan the Barbarian | 09.4.2009 | 6:57 am

    I, for one, welcome our new Quad overlord.

    Also, I don’t have that pesky glove live you seem to have. I stopped wearing gloves on rides a while back and have yet to wipe out since then. The only wrist line I have is from my yellow LS bracelet…but don’t get me started about the jersey line on my biceps.

  139. Comment by Onan the Barbarian | 09.4.2009 | 6:59 am

    >> Seriously, we should start a post with all of our tan line pics. <<

    I’m game. Sometime next week??

  140. Comment by Eufemiano Fuentes | 09.4.2009 | 7:56 am

    Tattoo your lower legs light brown.

    ‘Fess up, Eufemiano. You didn’t read the whole article, did you? – FC

  141. Comment by kenny | 09.4.2009 | 8:30 am

    It was all that rollerblading in your 20’s that gave you those freakishly large, sun obstructing quads.

  142. Comment by Margo | 09.4.2009 | 11:27 am

    I suppose wearing pants is out of the question? Luckily, I am always cold, so I want to be wearing pants for the warmth, but I recognize that some weirdos don’t have the same problem.

  143. Comment by RoverDave | 09.4.2009 | 12:56 pm

    I am surprised that the camera didn’t break at the pure awesome that are your quads! I am also equally surprised that the internet can handle traffic of all those coming to view the EPIC quads and tan lines.

    In the great word’s of Wayne and Garth “we’re not worthy”!!

    LOL…you are the man Elden!

  144. Comment by TimMom | 09.4.2009 | 1:06 pm

    In addition to stunning quads and funky tan lines, might I commend the tan of my son, Tim? He shaves an incredible and full head of hair and has a noteworthy tan from the air spaced in his helmet. If I could figure out how to send pics, I’d show you.

  145. Comment by EvilCyclist | 09.4.2009 | 1:11 pm

    Seriously, great quads.

    I’m guessing you just came back from a long cold swim, otherwise your probably would have needed to airbrush/pixelate out certain parts of the picture.

    I know I would.

    -Evil C.

  146. Comment by EvilCyclist | 09.4.2009 | 1:21 pm

    Of course, I’d also like to make at least one comment without making some hideously obvious typo that I only notice 3 seconds after hitting “submit”.

    -Evil C.

  147. Comment by Dan O | 09.4.2009 | 3:12 pm

    Funny post.

    Knee warmers will even out that tan. I wear mine way too often, since it doesn’t get that hot here – plus I’m a dork. Hence, super tan calves and semi-tan whimpy quads for me.

    My pale feet also look like a permanent pair of white low cut socks.

    All quite impressive at the beach. Maybe that’s why I hardly ever go to the beach.

    Hey – maybe more beach time would even out the biker tan….

  148. Comment by MattC | 09.4.2009 | 4:01 pm

    Jen Gatz….I hadn’t seen that poster…it’s GREAT!!! I can see a session of photoshop is in order…maybe on Tues I will have the Fatty version to share. (here is Jen’s link, check this out:

    (Capt Kirk) Scotty…I need more power!

    (Scotty) Captain Kirk, I’m sorry, but we just haven’t got it! The Dilythium crystal matrix is breaking down and the ship is breaking up under the stress of the tractor beam! I need MORE TIME!

    (Kirk) Bones, what can you…

    (Bones) Damn it Jim..I’m a Dr, not a Power Plant!

    (Spock) Captain, I believe if you were to go down to engineering and put those mighty quads to work on the exercise bike, you would generate approximately 4.23798651 mega-joules, which would be exactly enough power to re-stabliize the Dilythium matrix and enable us to break free of the tractor beam, saving the ship and the galaxy once again.

    (apparently I watched too much star trek)

  149. Comment by Randall Smith | 09.4.2009 | 5:16 pm

    I would say that this post was very strange except I have had the same talk with myself (except the part about the big quads – very disturbing…)

  150. Comment by BamaJim | 09.4.2009 | 6:24 pm

    At the risk of reinforcing your quad fixation further, I’ll point out your condition is known as muscular hypertrophy. Not always a great thing, as I heard the term when a Dr was explaining contributing factors to to why my quadraceps tendon wasn’t in one piece any more, but hyper trophy sure sounds good.

  151. Comment by CY | 09.4.2009 | 6:26 pm

    This truly seemed like a very shallow post. Sorry. I’m truthful.

    Dear CY,

    Oh yes, you are truly very truthful, and so you should feel perfectly comfortable in making snotty criticism, without considering there may be a reason for this shallowness. Which is otherwise known to shallow people (i.e., me) as “a joke.”

    Here’s some truthful context for you, CY. I actually sat down to write what would have been a serious piece, and I just didn’t have the emotional energy to do it; it takes a lot out of me to write that way.

    So instead, I wrote something funny, to lift my spirits. And you know what? It worked great; I felt better the whole day. It was nice to know that I still have it in me to be silly.

    So let me ask you these three questions, and answer them truthfully, since that is truly your way.

    1. Do you make rude, unrequested, uninformed critiques of what people say in person as well as behind the safety of the keyboard?
    2. Are you always deep and insightful, or do you sometimes find yourself in a joking mood? As a followup, if perhaps you do find yourself in a lighthearted mood sometimes, why would you not allow me the same privilege?
    3. Have you ever seen a grown man naked?

    Kind Regards,

    The Fat Cyclist

  152. Comment by RR | 09.4.2009 | 8:52 pm

    I have the same wrist tan problem. my non-bike friends always wonder how the hell it happened. I’m glad someone else feels my pain

  153. Comment by Matt | 09.4.2009 | 9:22 pm

    I recently had a pool party, and my biker tan was a rich vein of humor to be mined by my guests.

  154. Comment by CeeDubb | 09.5.2009 | 12:42 am

    I dub thee, Sir Quadness. I am in perpetual awe of your magnificence.

  155. Comment by Angie/ | 09.5.2009 | 12:46 am

    FC- you know what totally irritates me? When your with your friends having a great time, totally enjoying the conversation and then some putz has to crawl out from under some slimy rock and kill the mood with their negativity.
    Its like people who don’t get the comic genius of Monty Python but openly criticize those that do.CY- your mother was a hampster and your father smelt of elderberries (rasberry)
    If you don’t get the Fatty vibe, that’s unfortunate. Those of us that do (and we are many) wish you would keep you negative opinions to yourself.

  156. Comment by cdags | 09.5.2009 | 12:57 am

    I enjoy my cycling tan lines especially when my non-cyclist buddies bust my stones over them. It’s a badge of honor that reflects my favorite hobby nicely. The badge that reflects my second favorite hobby doesn’t reflect very nicely at all; It’s my beer thickness.

    I have to be honest though, Fatty. While your melanin-centric blog post has been entertaining, I was entertained on a different level by Liz Hatch’s post ( that hinted at the subject. I’m sure you understand ;)

  157. Comment by Laura H. | 09.5.2009 | 1:27 am

    E, close your eyes as this is not for you.


    I honestly hope that your life never knows loss. That you will outlive your love ones, but pass quickly and peacefully long before your children. That you will never have to pick out your brother’s casket because your parents are so heart broken that getting out of bed is considered a “good day.” That you won’t have to examine the life of a friend, taken much too soon from her son. That you won’t have to hug your aunt as she struggles over the loss of her mom.

    Why you feel the need to add even a pin prick to what this man is going thru, is beyond me. If he wants to talk about the thickness of cheese, then let him. Not just because this is HIS website, but because it is the decent thing to do.

    And, well, to quote my mother, “If you don’t like it then don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord spilt ya.”

    E…go to bed, Kid. There are roads to be explored this weekend… :)

  158. Comment by Jeff | 09.5.2009 | 1:44 am

    Priceless. And funny. Hardly shallow. Props, Fatty!

  159. Comment by Born 4 Lycra | 09.5.2009 | 3:12 am

    CY being truthful my man or woman even if you did think it shallow you still had a laugh ….. didn’t you? Or maybe if you didn’t you could go back and read it again with your new insight.
    I’m assuming you’ve been here before and seen pictures of the head which is why he is talking about his quads. I have the same problem but don’t actually have the quads to back me up hence I take all the pics.
    P.S. I’ve got a crash hot shadow on occassions.

  160. Comment by Russ | 09.5.2009 | 4:18 am

    Fatty, this post is absolutely over the top. Not only did you successfully “one-up” your fan base and those of us with less than stellar physiques, but you made me laugh as I looked at the same tan lines on my legs and my farmer tanned arms. Thanks.

    BTW, “Have you ever seen a grown man naked?” I’m still laughing…

  161. Comment by Andy | 09.5.2009 | 4:25 am


    Don’t worry about CY, we got the joke, and I suspect a lot of us also have the tan lines as well. My most bizarre one was the 1/4″ tanned line between my glove and my Road id on my right arm. Until I realised that swapping it each ride got rid of all the questions from non cyclist friends and colleagues.

    PS. my wife says although the lines match I have a way to go before I could stand next to your quads without being embarrassed. Oh well … good excuse for another bike and more cycling. Anyone got Orbeas phone number haha ;-)

  162. Comment by Ron | 09.5.2009 | 5:13 am

    Dear Fatty,
    There are several reasons I enjoy your blog. Here are just a few of the reasons.
    1. You are my new man crush. At first it was Tom Brady, but after looking at your quads…I had to move on to someone new. Hopefully, this is the start of a wonderful bromance. (Totally platonic since I’m married with 3 kids, and I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea or anything.)
    2. You have really helped me out. My 7 year old daughter is a cancer survivor. This is my daughter’s website: I started my own blog separate from my daughter’s to rant and rave. But, I changed my tone shortly thereafter. As you said earlier it makes you feel better when you blog happy things. When I started angry I felt angry the whole day. When I jokingly blog, I feel super the whole day. This has been great for me and my outlook on things. Your strength and humor is simply amazing.
    3. Savings. I read your blogs and laugh all day. I tell my friends about your blog. And since laughter is the best medicine I don’t have to pay those expensive psychiatric bills that I would pay without your blog. Say what you want, because you are helping a lot more people than you probably know.
    4. You are doing everything you can get rid of cancer. You have helped raise a gazillion dollars and will raise more. I love when I meet people with the same goal in mind! Keep it up! And I do understand about the tan. When I go from biker shorts to my Speedo, it’s not very pretty.

  163. Comment by JamieLindsay | 09.5.2009 | 5:27 am

    As a new reader of your blog I must tell you that when I walk into a room it is clear to everyone that I am far smarter and I think a lot better looking than I was before I stumbled upon your musings.
    To the uneven tan issue. I am stunned that you have not stumbled upon the solution which is so easily provided in your kitchen. Get beer, and I don’t mean a little beer, I am talking a lot of beer and drink it. If you drink fast enough and are serious in your pursuit of the end of the beer supply, you will soon reach the same physical proportions I have attained over the decades and, you will happily discover that the shade provided by your gut to your outstanding quads (said in a manly fashion) will stop all tanning, thus provide a color balance from quad to shin. This anti-tan-line process is not as easy as I make it sound, but I have proved it works from Seattle to Phoenix. If you need proof I am willing at a small fee to meet you in the sunniest place you can think of and start you on your way to a tan free body. (It has been scientifically proved that there is no way to get a tan from a neon-light!
    So there you have it, a solution. It seems only fair that you can learn and improve yourself from your blog just as your readers can. Oh yes, to CY, I must ask, how is it possible to ride and or type with your rear end resting comfortably on your shoulders? Just asking!

  164. Comment by DrCyclepathRuns | 09.5.2009 | 5:34 am

    We finally found something thicker than your quads: CY’s head!

  165. Comment by Fletch | 09.5.2009 | 5:47 am

    Elden, you have many thousands of loyal fans who respect you – and get your humor. What does one decenter matter?
    It sounds to me that cy does not even ride, if they did they would be a much more laid back and all around cooler person! Cy, may your path be strewn with tiny sharp rocks and bits of glass that give you puncture after puncture.

    PS Ride in Detroit, then you wont worry about tan lines!

  166. Comment by Michael in TN | 09.5.2009 | 5:51 am

    CY – why are you here if you don’t “get it”? Next time you are at the store pick your self up a sense of humor.

    I also have the weirdo cyclist tan but I’m not a world famous cycling blogger so people just think i’m a weirdo.

  167. Comment by Jade | 09.5.2009 | 6:03 am

    I have a freaky tan line issue as well. I was sitting here and one day noticed that my feet looked like they had a strip of white running diagonally from the base of my big toes to the sides of the top of my feet! Couldn’t figure out why till I put 2 and 2 together and realized that when I put on my flip-flops the bands run the same as the white lines. Apparently from all the walking I do with my oldest dog has resulted in a tan on my feet! My guy calls my feet freaky now. LOL

  168. Comment by Jade | 09.5.2009 | 6:05 am

    Oh and I forgot to say Kudos on another great and original blog! I get a kick out of reading your ramblings.

  169. Comment by MrsEAM | 09.5.2009 | 6:15 am

    Great post, Fatty! Riddle me this: I have the same problem with my quads being more tan than my shins. However, this is not from cycling (8 months pregnant). How do you explain this phenomenon? If the belly is causing shade, wouldn’t my legs be equally pale?

  170. Comment by buckythedonkey | 09.5.2009 | 6:40 am

    At the time of writing remains available. May I be the first to pre-order the jersey? XXL please.

  171. Comment by Bravo Delta | 09.5.2009 | 7:14 am

    Could it be?? I believe it is.. What a miracle! CY has been found, I will let Dr Lammler know that his hate filled love child has bubbled to the surface of the interwebs..

  172. Comment by orangekathy | 09.5.2009 | 7:19 am

    The quad/calves thing is a real problem, if you find a solution, please clue me in.

    Another, similar problem is the foot tan I get from riding in the two strap shimano sandals. (Thankfully they decided the three strap ones really do look awfully old-person and are reportedly returning to two strap). I’ve taken to wearing SOCKS with my sandals when I pedal across Iowa for my fav week-long ride.

  173. Comment by Julie | 09.5.2009 | 7:39 am

    Don’t you have some sort of super admin comment button? Because frankly, CY doesn’t deserve your humor or your time. We love you!! (and your quads!)

  174. Comment by Julie | 09.5.2009 | 7:39 am

    super admin comment DELETE button it should have said…sheesh

  175. Comment by Melinda | 09.5.2009 | 7:41 am

    Even better is the hand tan that comes from wearing open weave cloth gloves. You look like you have alien hands!

  176. Comment by Jenny | 09.5.2009 | 8:40 am

    My weird cyclists tan is not as impressive as yours, but I still find it entertaining. Being a relatively new cyclist, I wonder if it is normal to have the weird tan end suddenly about 2 inches below the knee cap?

    Keep writing, you make my day many times.

  177. Comment by Sara | 09.5.2009 | 9:09 am

    I’ve been living with a dedicated cyclist for so long that I’ve come to consider these tan lines normal. Two toned legs? Check. Looking like he’s still wearing a light flesh colored jersey with his shirt off? Check. I’m sure if I even encounter a non-cyclist naked body I won’t be able to prevent this awkward exchange: Me: “Oh.My.God. You’re the same color everywhere!” Naked non-cyclist: “Who are you?” Me: “Honey come look! This is crazy!”

  178. Comment by Richard | 09.5.2009 | 9:12 am


    I love the site and the post. Cancer can destroy your life if you let it. You don’t let it. I have gone back and read previous posts to get a better background on you. I am sorry for the loss of your #1, however now you have the support on a large community, and I am glad to now be in it. There is only one direction to go in life, and that is forward. Fight like Susan all of your days, and I know you will. Keep it coming heavy or light, we will read.

    PS On a lighter note, when will Fatty come to the “dark” side of TRIATHLON?

    Interesting you should ask that. I was just talking with some friends earlier this week about doing some Xterra events next season, and just went running for the first time in years last Thursday. – FC

  179. Comment by Joel P. | 09.5.2009 | 9:24 am

    Fatty, don’t let the opinion of one get to you. I am pretty shure that 99.999999% of the free world understood the tone and spirit (and enjoyed) your Shade Problem piece. So write what you want be it happy, sad, serious, funny or just totally off the wall. We the faithfull will readily absorb it like a Shamwow. Man I must watch too much TV.
    Joel P.

  180. Comment by MattC | 09.5.2009 | 9:53 am

    Hey Hey Hey…everybody give CW a break…maybe HE had a bad day and was feeling snarky. And besides…freedom of the press, free country and all…everybody is entitled to his/her own opinion. And consider this: had he NOT commented, we never would have gotten Fattys response! (Russ…I’m with ya…comment #3 made me blow coffee and I’m still chucklin’!)

    Fatty…nice to know you are STILL givin’ the finger to cancer! And it was a pretty HUGE finger…just so you know! I’d say this post easily makes it into my top 10…tho that’s pretty hard to gauge actually…cuz you have a LOT of top-10’s! (my current fav is from your ‘How to look back’ post a while back…(May 14th to be exact…love the search function!) I still think about this part and get a laugh on EVERY SINGLE RIDE:

    “If you see 2 shadows and one of them is 14 feet tall and six feet wide, then you are about to be overtaken by the chupacabra. Stand up and sprint as if your life depended on it. Because it does.

    [Note: My legal counsel advises that it is also possible that if you see a 14-feet tall, six-feet-wide shadow, it may be a car in the late afternoon. In which case I still advise sprinting as if your life depended on it, because the chupacabra may be inside the car.]“

  181. Comment by schmei | 09.5.2009 | 10:19 am

    Sara just made me splatter coffee all over the computer screen. Right after I had cleaned it up from the initial post.

    Note to self: never read this blog whilst sipping coffee.

  182. Comment by Mayfair Matt | 09.5.2009 | 10:50 am

    Dude I opened this at work, your going to have to warn people when your going to show those puppies off. I could have gotten in trouble or severely questioned about what on earth I was looking at lol.

  183. Comment by Judi Mayer | 09.5.2009 | 11:13 am

    I thought it was hysterically funny – it’s good therapy for someone who is going through the grieving process – it’s called “jogging for your insides” and it’s very healthy. You go, Fatty!

  184. Comment by SDM | 09.5.2009 | 1:15 pm

    Ok, so these tan lines are funny, but I think the whale tail from a few months ago still takes the cake…

  185. Comment by Emily | 09.5.2009 | 1:22 pm

    One of the funniest blog postings I have ever read, Fatty! Keep it up, and don’t let the nay-sayers get you down. There’s one in every crowd. Your quads are blinding in their magnificence, but your humor is even more impressive!

  186. Comment by Mike | 09.5.2009 | 1:57 pm

    I forwarded this blog to our local cycling club. The opinion is that one should not be drinking any liquids when reading it.

    Given your last few weeks Good On You that you can still find humor in life.

    Your Shade Problem reminds of a year ago when I was having an ultrasound after a blood clot. The doctor walks in, looks at me laying there with gown hoisted high, and says “You ride a bike, don’t you?”. You are not alone.

  187. Comment by Katie | 09.5.2009 | 2:17 pm

    I’m in awe of those fabulous tan lines.. If only I too could aquire tan lines that did not make sense to someone who just didn’t know.. that would be a good day.. :D I do have a funny tan line on my face from where a sun burn healed.. does that count? no? bummer.

  188. Comment by Claudia | 09.5.2009 | 2:26 pm

    OK, does this make me really sick? I have actually thought of sunbathing with only leg and armwarmers on too, just like another person posted.

    And I’d give you a big “Hell Yeah!” toward the triathlon idea. I’m competing Monday in the Austin Tri, proudly wearing the LiveStrong jersey after raising over $1K for LiveStrong. My mom’s a survivor – 14 years, my husband’s mom only had 4 months after diagnosis. It’s an evil crapshoot, and no one should go through it.

    I’ve been accused of being “shallow” and even “cavalier” about serious things in my life too. It’s common among those who survive traumatic life events. Don’t worry, we get it.

  189. Comment by keighty | 09.5.2009 | 4:31 pm

    Personally, I don’t think “freedom of the press” translates to “freedom to be a prick.” Fatty, ypou rock the socks off those of us with intellect greater than a carrot. Way to keep on keepin’ on.

  190. Comment by Shivon | 09.5.2009 | 4:32 pm

    This is my first year cycling, and I was just wondering last weekend if my tan was normal. Thanks for not making me feel like a (complete) freak, Fatty!

    I thought this post was hilarious.. does that make me shallow? :)

  191. Comment by Libbye | 09.5.2009 | 5:03 pm

    I am not a cyclist at all, but absolutely love your blog and read all the time.

    I too am going through a really difficult year (though NOTHING like what you are experiencing) and come back over and over for your touching posts as well as your silly ones.

    The ability to make jokes and write something a little off the wall to make yourself feel better and entertain others is a great gift. Keep it up!! I look forward to lots more “shallowness” soon :-)

  192. Comment by gumoore | 09.5.2009 | 7:11 pm

    I am utterly speechless. You amaze and astound, and I get why people stop and stare.

    And I thank you muchly for the laugh.

  193. Comment by lisa | 09.5.2009 | 8:14 pm

    Well Fatty…once again I find myself thoroughly amazed and amused! Congrats on the Orbea…looks like a sweet ride (I’m a few days behind)your description of the Di2 makes me want to chuck what have and start over…alas that ain’t gonna happen this year.
    Your quads are quite…what’s the word…Oh Yea.. WOW!
    We bow to your massive quaditude…something like attitude only pertaining to YOUR quads! Actually does anyone notice your shins…I would think that as soon as they see your quads their gaze would go no further!Keep up all your fine work! Flaunt your tan lines proudly!

  194. Comment by Antonio | 09.5.2009 | 9:35 pm


    thanks for being witty, strong and having a less talk more rock attitude. I live and cycle everyday in central florida….

    i’ve got some gnarley tans too!!

  195. Comment by davey | 09.5.2009 | 9:55 pm

    what does the back of your neck look like?

  196. Comment by Sara | 09.5.2009 | 10:51 pm

    It’s a bird…’s a plane…..good god, it’s Fatcyclist!

  197. Comment by Jouni | 09.5.2009 | 11:05 pm

    My weird tan lines are obscured by full leg tattoos. Y’all want weird pictures, I can certainly start *that* thread.
    I love tan line posts…they just make me smile. Thanks FC!

  198. Comment by Tubenerd | 09.6.2009 | 12:30 am

    Consider how the mass of your quads might actually be bending the light away from your calves. Like a neutron star, perhaps?

  199. Comment by Born 4 Lycra | 09.6.2009 | 2:12 am

    Tubenerd brilliant – I personally am affected by a brown hole – alot like a black one but a bit more local.
    I’ve started calling it Dr Lammler bet you thought i was going to say CY but thats to close to the jelly.

    Um can we have a pic of Fatty in Team Fatty Apparel Orange with the Orca with the suggestion we use it as a screensaver ——— oooh so shallow.

  200. Comment by Hank | 09.6.2009 | 2:25 am

    I figured it out, your massive quads have their own gravitational field. They create a vortex of “tanness”. Even if you were to ride naked (hrm…) you would still have a “zone of pasteyness” around your quads. The equation looks like this: Q > L(T/a – 7). Where Q= quads,L=light, T/a= time over area. And I just like the number 7… so there ya go!

  201. Comment by Saso | 09.6.2009 | 5:09 am

    Those quads are huge, in fact my eyes went shady just seeing them. I sincerely hope there are no steroids involved.

  202. Comment by Jenni Laurita | 09.6.2009 | 8:04 am

    Should that be more like
    Q/s where s=shins?

  203. Comment by Dr. Lammler | 09.6.2009 | 8:19 am

    Shallow post?

    I was just treated to an advanced education on biophysics and the solar chronos epidermis effect courtesy of Hank.

    Thank you Hank

  204. Comment by Rob M. | 09.6.2009 | 10:31 am

    To Dr. Lammler: That theory is very controversial and should be replaced with the Solar Chronos And Melatonin effect.

    Known by us shallow people as the SCAM effect.

    To quote the MONK theme song:
    “I could be wrong. But I don’t think so.”

  205. Comment by Varinka | 09.6.2009 | 4:24 pm

    You are too good!!! Are you for real??? hehe
    I have actually been reading your stuff for about a year now. I am another Spinning Instructor that has been able to take her class to the outdoors and now her class is a Cycling Club. Jennifer told me about you. I’m sorry about your wife.

    I have had the same problem… I will not send you a picture of my tights to show you so you must trust me on this :). I have been able to improve the uneven color of my tights by applying sunblock only to that area. I can now died in peace knowing that my legs are going to; not only look awesome but with a even tan.
    Keep writing, I’ll keep reading

  206. Comment by RonH | 09.6.2009 | 4:24 pm

    You are obviouly ready for the Cent Cols Challenge:

    2000km and 45,000m of climing. That’s barely a 2.25% average grade.

  207. Comment by sarah | 09.6.2009 | 8:25 pm

    after a (super fun!) cyclocross clinic today that included me fully wiping out within the first seven minutes i came home to find that my normal cyclist’s tan was dramatically enhanced by my dirtlines. and i thought of this post.

    keep being awesome, fatty!

  208. Comment by boxhead (from oz) | 09.7.2009 | 6:07 am

    Sorry Fatty but my Mrs assures me you’ve got nothing. She’s been hot for my legs a long time and, even allowing for your two-tone paint job, she didn’t look twice when I showed her your pics. I think the shave job worked against you!

  209. Comment by ~jo | 09.7.2009 | 6:48 pm

    I love it! Thanks for the tears…they came with the laughter. I completely identify! I would live to hear about you hand-tan line!

    Keep up the great living!

  210. Comment by Atlantanning | 09.7.2009 | 7:36 pm

    HAHA your tans lines bring new meaning to racing stripes! Nice muscle tone!
    You know they make leg tanners? Many salons have a leg tanner like the one on this page (lower left). You can even out your legs once or twice per week there and then keep applying that sunscreen on rides!

  211. Comment by surlyrider | 09.7.2009 | 7:44 pm

    Hey, One of the things I noticed when I first met you was your cyclist hand tan. I knew that you were a glove wearer and actually got to ride your bike. I used to have a pretty crazy one when I was a courier, but I hardly wear gloves on the road any longer. I needed them then for all the crap you go through on a daily basis.
    I was on an anti tan line ride yesterday. Philly had the first naked bike ride. I don’t think CW would like that type of riding. Check the blog…I made it work safe.

  212. Comment by Janet Lyn | 09.7.2009 | 10:13 pm

    Thanks for making me laugh out loud Elden! I needed it! Anyone who rides a bike or knows people who ride bikes or rides bikes with people who also ride bikes completely gets this!

    As for the shallow commenter, I imagine that person has never experienced even .01% of what you and your family have endured. I hope that person never knows the gutwrenching trauma of heartbreaking loss.

    Why do I say this? Because I have survived several heartwrenching losses of people I love…and am still trying to survive the loss of my only sister a year ago…and I know how much you have to have a sense of humor and fight to keep it in order to get through life. I also have learned the hard way that tough times show you who can hang with you and who can’t…and the people who really care about you will get that you have to sometimes be tougher around the edges than before and quicker to turn to humor. It’s called survival. And you are surviving.

    So I for one…and obviously one among many!…say to you do whatever you have to that helps you survive. And may I add to the many saying we’re glad to see you can still find some humor after such loss.

    That said, man, get some help for those sunless shins dude. Seriously. They need to come with a warning…especially on a lit computer screen. LOL
    Peace+Blessings as you Ride On….

  213. Comment by Sasha | 09.7.2009 | 11:01 pm

    Elden – I saw your Tweet and came to see what the deal was. Cy deserved it. Sheesh. Some people just gotta give their opinion instead of keeping their mouth shut or in this case, fingers off the keys. I was so speechless that I didn’t know what to say until I saw the following post in your blog and it was worthy of a RT :) (for non Twitterers, that means that you repost a post). I couldn’t have put it better than “keighty.” Rock on Elden!

    Comment by keighty | 09.5.2009 | 4:31 pm

    Personally, I don’t think “freedom of the press” translates to “freedom to be a prick.” Fatty, ypou rock the socks off those of us with intellect greater than a carrot. Way to keep on keepin’ on.

  214. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » Kenny’s Race Report: Park City Point 2 Point (aka: Brad vs. Kenny) | 09.8.2009 | 6:42 am

    [...] « The Shade Problem [...]

  215. Comment by Kel | 09.8.2009 | 9:23 am

    I once saw a guy at the circus ride his bike upside down, with his hands on the pedals and his butt in the air. You should try that. Yep.

  216. Comment by Niall | 09.9.2009 | 3:55 am

    Elden…you are not alone. Even the pros have white limbs (but they don’t flex as well as you!).

  217. Comment by Renee | 09.9.2009 | 10:51 am

    I must confess I read your blog mostly to look at pictures of cute guys… buy, you shaved your legs?


  218. Pingback by Kenny’s Race Report: Park City Point 2 Point (aka: Brad vs. Kenny) | Dyna Fat Loss | 09.9.2009 | 7:00 pm

    [...] for Elden’s dilemma about getting some color on his pasty white shins, I have my own solution… [...]

  219. Comment by Amanda | 09.14.2009 | 12:06 pm

    I know:

    SPF 80 on quads, NO sunscreen on shins. Then they at least have a fighting chance…

  220. Comment by Wirehead | 09.15.2009 | 7:29 pm

    I can assure you, after comparing tanlines with my dad, who’s retired and goes out golfing a lot, his tan lines are several orders of magnitude sillier than my cyclist tan is.

  221. Pingback by No Safe Place » What I Am Not Today | 10.18.2009 | 2:04 pm

    [...] will never have the delts of a Fat Cyclist because I prefer to use a nutcracker to open walnuts and not my [...]


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