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.
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: