An Ode to Sunscreen

08.22.2010 | 8:37 pm

I have a well-tanned head
Yes, I apply sunscreen before I ride
And yet, a certain amount of sun
Gets through my helmet
And my head has become tanned
As if it were a hide
(A tanned one, that is)

As have my arms
And as have my legs
(except my pasty white shins)

But it is a rare day
That I go outside without the protection
Of a shirt
Rare indeed
(But, alas, not unheard of)

And thus it was
That I found myself
At the edge of a pool
After a long morning’s ride
In Park City
My wife at my side
(and my children in the pool)

The day was warm
The breeze was cool
The day was in short perfect for lounging outside
(Oh, the treachery of Mother Nature!)

I lay in the sun
Not quite sitting
Not quite prone
As The Runner read aloud
From the book we have been enjoying together
(We were in the final few chapters)

Did I fall asleep? No!
But also I did not turn over
And I did not apply sunscreen
(For clearly I am a fool)

Why should I apply sunscreen, I thought
The book is almost over
And we will not be here long
(Oh, I am such a fool)

And thus did I sit
As the book got to the exciting conclusion
And I did not think about the passing of time
(Have I mentioned that I am a fool?)

And now, it is a day later
And I am much wiser
And I cannot wear a bike jersey without discomfort
(Nor any other shirt-like item, for that matter)

And I swear I shall never lay
Chest to the sky
For two hours
(never ever, no matter what)

Thank you.



  1. Comment by Mary | 08.22.2010 | 8:45 pm


  2. Comment by Dent | 08.22.2010 | 8:45 pm


  3. Comment by mom2bjm | 08.22.2010 | 8:46 pm

    You sure that’s just not spilled Kool-Aid? Ouch!

  4. Comment by Connie | 08.22.2010 | 8:48 pm

    Oh man. Ouch. That is so going to peel.

  5. Comment by Keith | 08.22.2010 | 8:56 pm

    That hurts to look at!

  6. Comment by Adrian | 08.22.2010 | 9:10 pm

    Tada, the new superhero… Skin cancer man!

  7. Comment by 3d brian | 08.22.2010 | 9:13 pm

    Did you blister?

  8. Comment by Heather | 08.22.2010 | 9:57 pm

    Dude – How hard are you sucking it in?

  9. Comment by David | 08.22.2010 | 10:20 pm

    Speaking of suspense, what was the book?

  10. Comment by Janine | 08.22.2010 | 10:21 pm

    ouch! sitting by the pool at high altitude = double ouch!!

  11. Comment by skippy | 08.22.2010 | 10:30 pm

    LL signing a shirt? Took grit and determination by you Fatty to get this unique article !
    Several times he has walked away when there was an OP. to add to the item, i don’t mind as i had the rest of the team in Monaco and Alberto’s on the other occasion !
    With the “Skippy’s Legacy” i have yet to have any one ask where his autograph is on the shirt.

    Johan is now in London but appeared at a Seminar and here is the link to his offering there
    hope you enjoy reading the report or are able to attend on 7th oct 2010.

    Couldn’t believe what i saw when i opened up today, more prizes for an incredibily worthwhile cause.

    Good work “Fatty Team” !

  12. Comment by skippy | 08.22.2010 | 10:32 pm

    S/be appearing on 7th not “appeared” !

  13. Comment by Pinkbike | 08.22.2010 | 11:50 pm

    Oh Fatty. That just looks awful. Chilled aloe vera gel will help.

  14. Comment by Ian | 08.23.2010 | 12:12 am

    pwned by Ra!

  15. Comment by Steve | 08.23.2010 | 12:40 am

    Been there. Done that. Not Fun.

    Take care and get well soon.

    PS. No long words. A first for me.

  16. Comment by ben | 08.23.2010 | 1:51 am

    Next time you have to leave a small cutt out template of the fatty logo on your chest. the tan line would be an “EPIC” chest peice enviable by even the most jaded of fixed gear hipsters!

  17. Comment by buckythedonkey | 08.23.2010 | 1:51 am

    Sounds like a good book. Care to share the title?

  18. Comment by Russ | 08.23.2010 | 2:58 am

    Ouch. I had to laugh because I can’t count the number of times I’ve done that.

  19. Comment by Little1 | 08.23.2010 | 3:01 am

    … the winner of the pink jerser taking it a little to far now ;-)

    eina… hope the stinging gets better

  20. Comment by Born 4Lycra | 08.23.2010 | 3:01 am

    Fatty you plonka!
    You do go a pretty shade of pain tho!

  21. Comment by Melanie | 08.23.2010 | 3:45 am


    By weird coincidence, just as I was reading, this song came on the radio

    (Oh & I second the chilled aloe – it works!)

  22. Comment by gomez | 08.23.2010 | 4:32 am

    sounds like you are in some *pain*. And, judging by the picture, Stanley Tucci is hurting as well. Send him my best, k?

    p.s. that suggestion about chilled aloe vera sounds good, maybe with a frozen margarita or two as well.

  23. Comment by Janneke | 08.23.2010 | 4:36 am

    OUCH!!! I hope for your sake you slightly enhanced the redness in PS for extra emphasis… If not, than DOUBLE OUCH!!! Aloe vera is your best buddy for now.

  24. Comment by Douglas | 08.23.2010 | 5:11 am

    I would have thought that enormous cranium would have provided ample shade! Sorry no post burn advice.

  25. Comment by Lizzylou | 08.23.2010 | 5:11 am

    You need to see Philly Jen. She rode the whole livestrong with a giant tube of sunscreen trying to get us to use it even though there was no sunshine within 20 miles!

  26. Comment by Flatsman | 08.23.2010 | 5:19 am

    Typical whining northener. Enjoy the sun while you got it and don’t come down here in the winter and whine about traffic and prices. Stay north and freeeze baby freeze.

    You look just like the road clogging snowbirds that come here to ruin our great winters after we suffer through another heat & humidity filled hurricane threatening summer.

    At least we Floridians know to wear pf 80 sunscreen even indoors and in bed. Makes life slippery but that’s fun isn’t it ?

  27. Comment by cece | 08.23.2010 | 5:29 am

    I have been contemplating going out to the pool, but you just convinced me not to…I was worrying about just this issue..burning too fast because some of me is pure white and the other parts are so very tan. Lesson leaned vicariously!

  28. Comment by Rob L | 08.23.2010 | 5:58 am


  29. Comment by Hrsgrl | 08.23.2010 | 5:59 am

    Hey flatsman, I resent that! Say that again and I’ll smuck you with a frozen mukluk.

  30. Comment by Franky | 08.23.2010 | 6:16 am

    Oi, you can fry some eggs on that burned-to-a-crisp belly of yours. You should have come to Philly, no sun in sight but oodles of rain all the way. It was actually kind of refreshing…

  31. Comment by Bryan | 08.23.2010 | 6:45 am

    The Philly century ride would have been right up your alley. No sun, and a cooling rain for most of the trek! I tell you though, that Landis Store hill was pure hell
    Heal up Fatty!

  32. Comment by Yukirin Boy | 08.23.2010 | 6:52 am


  33. Comment by Dr Bryce | 08.23.2010 | 6:55 am

    Trauma Gel from Deseret Biologicals will help with that. 90th south and 4th west. Get a bottle and slather up!

    Oouchie! Done that too many times!

  34. Comment by Mark in Boise | 08.23.2010 | 7:04 am

    Once again fatty makes me laugh in the morning. Thank you. Stay home and take a cold shower every hour for the next two days. Or, dip your pinkness into a bathtub full of ice and get out when your teeth are chattering so bad you can’t talk. I just made that stuff up but you are free to try it if you like.

  35. Comment by Eric | 08.23.2010 | 7:12 am

    GAH!! That hurts all the way up in Minnesota. I second the motion for aloe. Burned the HECK out of the tops of my feet once, and pure aloe made that MUCH easier to live with while the burn gradually went away. Good luck.

  36. Comment by fult23 | 08.23.2010 | 7:39 am

    New fundraiser: 5 bucks to your LS account everytime you let somebody smack that bare, pink belly. You could make millions!

  37. Comment by Argus | 08.23.2010 | 7:57 am

    Oww do I know that pain. I have red hair and with spf 50 I still burn easily. I don’t have a bikers tan I have a permanent burn. Let the heat out for a day then put aloe on it, and remember to put a shirt on the next time.

  38. Comment by Cyclin' Missy | 08.23.2010 | 8:25 am

    Oh my gosh! That is a total bummer. Ouch! Something with Aloe in it will help – just to add my remedie advice to the rest.

  39. Comment by Kel | 08.23.2010 | 8:38 am

    Burnt nipples are the worst. Ice ‘em man.

  40. Comment by DerekB | 08.23.2010 | 8:55 am

    Oh, my, god. Is that a real, untouched photo!!?? Nice job. . .

  41. Comment by Susie | 08.23.2010 | 9:03 am

    Oh my!

  42. Comment by Doug Gage | 08.23.2010 | 9:26 am

    Nice look!

  43. Comment by MattC | 08.23.2010 | 9:30 am

    Sorry Fatty, but you made me LMAO this morning! Why is other peoples pain just do darn funny (especially self induced pain)? Maybe it’s partly becasue of the look on your face…and partly due to the ‘been there/done that, I share your pain’ thing…(tho maybe not shared to QUITE to that degree). Did you burn the top of your feet too? You didn’t say. Typically the pasty white feet are burned pretty good when you sat front side up so long…and then you also can’t wear any ’shoe like’ items…thus adding further humiliation to your royal pink misery.

    I’m anxiously awaiting a PhillySTRONG report from the weekend…hope you all had a BLAST!

  44. Comment by Sean | 08.23.2010 | 9:37 am

    Fatty, I did that the other weekend, crusing in my kayak. I wanted to even out my biker’s tan (similar to a farmer’s tan, but with a bike jersey). Needless to say, I was a red tomato (in the front) after being on the water for 2 hours. I used lots and lots of Aloe Vera Cooling Gel, which helped with the burning and reduced the peeling. You might need to get a tub full and soak every day for a week. OUCH!

  45. Comment by Jen | 08.23.2010 | 9:37 am

    Wow, that is bad.

  46. Comment by Nurse Betsy | 08.23.2010 | 9:37 am

    Ouch! I used to be a redhead, it’s all turned white now, and understand the burning part oh so well. I too get burnt with SPF 50. I have a picture of me sunbathing in Hawaii……big hat, long sleeve shirt and a towel over the legs, all with SPF 50 on! Take care of yourself Fatty!!!!

  47. Comment by Alison Wonderland | 08.23.2010 | 9:45 am


    (I went with “nice” because I don’t know how to type that sound you make when you grimace and suck in through your teeth which was my actual reaction.)

  48. Comment by Philly Jen | 08.23.2010 | 9:51 am

    Working on the report between bouts of reapplying sunscreen…

    Meanwhile, a quick practical tip for all the thoroughly soaked, epic-ly awesome Fatties who braved yesterday’s torrential downpour: Stuff crumpled newspapers into your biking shoes to help dry them from the inside. (Wait a couple of hours, remove damp newspaper, repeat, until newspaper comes out dry.)

    P.S. Fatty, I’m sure Bike Snob will be delighted to see that you too now worship the Lobster God.

  49. Comment by SactoDave | 08.23.2010 | 9:52 am

    Evidently The Runner likes her Fatty WELL DONE!

  50. Comment by Noodle | 08.23.2010 | 9:55 am

    Geez, that sunburn looks worse than mine right now! (I’m wearing sunscreen, it just doesn’t seem to work). Reminds me of a guy I saw asleep on the grass waiting for the Tiberon ferry without his shirt on. He put his wallet over his belly button and had a snooze. Needless to say, it was an interesting look. People were getting their photos taken with him on the ferry, it was that spectacular. :)

  51. Comment by MPLS Grimmy | 08.23.2010 | 10:04 am

    Saw this before leaving for work thsi morning… Went back in and applied suncreen UNDER my suit. Just to be sure. We have the same haircut so I am always careful about the dome.

  52. Comment by roan | 08.23.2010 | 10:11 am

    I can tell you once lived in the PNW, on weekends the sun takes a vacation. You woulda been fine here yesterday though the high temp was only 65. Today Monday nothing but blue sky and sunshine.
    On the bright side (not the red one) you have a nice tan on the arms. How are the feet & hands ?

  53. Comment by Heidi | 08.23.2010 | 10:20 am

    Burnt nipples? I never… Can’t imagine… Oh, man.

    (Kinda ironic that you’re raising money for cancer research in the same post you’re burned to a crisp.)

  54. Comment by KanyonKris | 08.23.2010 | 10:34 am


  55. Comment by Mart | 08.23.2010 | 10:50 am

    OUCH! Sorry to say that Fatty, but you REALLY look like Lobster Man.
    Which makes me wonder, does BikeSnobNYC still worship the Lobster God? Send him a picture of your crustacean-colored abdomen, it could earn you a devout worshipper ;-)

    Get well soon.

  56. Comment by Beth B | 08.23.2010 | 10:52 am

    Good Lord man. That looks painful. Keep the Aloe Vera going on that or you are going to have one wicked peel. Yikes. Aspirin will help alleviate the pain too. Hang in there and thanks for sharing that photo; you are a brave man.

  57. Comment by Dave | 08.23.2010 | 10:58 am

    I think that kids just held you down and went “PINK BELLY! PINK BELLY!” and you were too embarassed to admit it.

  58. Comment by MikeL | 08.23.2010 | 11:24 am

    Fatty looks a little pinker everytime I look at the picture.

  59. Comment by Brandi | 08.23.2010 | 11:45 am

    Aw man…that just makes me hurt looking at it. As we like to say in the South…bless your heart.

  60. Comment by Clydesteve | 08.23.2010 | 12:02 pm

    It know this is probably heartless, Fatty, but somehow it is comforting to me to see that you have enough of a belly that at some angle to the sun it shades your waist.

    And for this you can be glad. Just think how embarassing it would be if your fish-belly-white waistline was that pink and painful and you had to go pantless!

  61. Comment by George | 08.23.2010 | 12:04 pm

    Was there a belly-flop contest at the pool?

  62. Comment by AngieG | 08.23.2010 | 12:08 pm

    OMG!!! I bet it feels fine as long as you don’t move at all. Been there too!! I am one of those fortunate people to not burn to badly. However I remember skiing one spring. Oh it was truly beautiful weather. Yeah no sunscreen. I burned my forehead so bad it swelled like I got smacked in the head with a board. I looked like Kwazi Moto without the hump. Then physics took over and all that fluid started following gravity through by face. By the following day my eyes had swelled shut. For a week I looked like Rocky Balboa, “Yo Adrian”!
    I laugh about it now. You will too…someday when the memory of all that pain is gone. :-)

  63. Comment by Clydesteve | 08.23.2010 | 12:09 pm

    BTW, Ben’s suggestion about a FC Clydesdale silhoette sunburn is absolutely first rate. It should be a Twin Six product that comes with the sticker collection, in fact!

  64. Comment by NYCCarlos | 08.23.2010 | 12:11 pm

    Philly Jen, You just saved my life… I had left my STINKY, SOAKING WET, HORRID bike shoes IN MY SEALED CAR!!!!!!!!! I have now removed them and am drying them with the newspaper method. getting the stench out of my car will be another matter!

    Thanks to all of the Fatties that came to philly! It was sooooooo great to meet you all! Anne and Bruce (not brucey), thanks so much for dragging my slow @$$ for the last 30 miles! :)

    Fatty, that sunburn is ridiculous. The new contest incentives are AWESOME though.

  65. Comment by mpres62 | 08.23.2010 | 12:16 pm

    ibuprofen and compression tech tee

  66. Comment by Anne | 08.23.2010 | 12:31 pm

    Ouch!!! Can recommend chilled aloe vera gel.

  67. Comment by Darth Vader | 08.23.2010 | 12:33 pm

    I keep telling you. Come to the dark side, and this kinda sh!t won’t happen.

  68. Comment by Elisabethvi | 08.23.2010 | 12:38 pm

    Chilled Aloe vera in a spray bottle. Nobody needs to touch that severe of a sunburn. Good luck healing.
    Awesome prizes, btw.

  69. Comment by Biene-Munich | 08.23.2010 | 12:39 pm

    The donation page does not like my credit card. Suggestions?

  70. Comment by Anonymous | 08.23.2010 | 12:45 pm

    noxema and aloe – a lot of it – apply often

  71. Comment by JamesInPhoenix | 08.23.2010 | 12:55 pm

    I can feel the heat from here…

  72. Comment by skippy | 08.23.2010 | 1:43 pm

    Fatty surprised nobody has yet suggested a tent like apparatus to separate the clothing from your body !
    Hospital beds have them and with your genius you should be able to construct a simple item which will when patented raise millions for “Livestrong” , surely there are budding engineers on the blog who will earn praise from you for relieving the suffering.

    Only twice have i been caught out , first time on Bondi Beach after a week of not being in the sun having returned from a cruise ship with constant sunbathing in the Indian Ocean and the second time was in Jamaica where i was careless enough to think the Bod would cope with the “Mild Sunshine(Foolish/widhful thinking and i did have the lotion but thought it unnecessary)”.

    Looking forward to your next blog which for a monday is overdue !

  73. Comment by Mike Roadie | 08.23.2010 | 2:00 pm

    Ooowie, owwie that looks bad. Be thankful you were not in Florida.

    Words of wisdom: “Apply evenly and liberally to all exposed areas before sun exposure. Ensure complete coverage”—excerpted from Coppertone, Continuous Spray Sunscreen, Volumes 1-50, SPF 30.

  74. Comment by Tina Z | 08.23.2010 | 2:52 pm

    wow. load up on cocoa butter overnight, it will be gone in the morning.

  75. Comment by Eric L | 08.23.2010 | 3:22 pm

    oooh no. NOT NOXEMA! I put some on a bad blistering sunburn once. It stung so bad I nearly passed out. Never ever ever again.

    Aloe is good!

  76. Comment by Ian | 08.23.2010 | 5:28 pm

    Oh, the other advice, that has been overlooked so far, is HYDRATION. Sunburn that bad will dehydrate you. keep the fluids up.

  77. Comment by Bee | 08.23.2010 | 5:40 pm

    Ooooooooooooooooooooooouchie! Do they make aloe gel with lidocaine in your area? I saw it once in Texas and it helped my fair New England self after the day when I went to the Galveston beach with my lily-white New England skin. (Dark, dark hair and white, white skin. Striking like the really old artwork that no one really studies, but holy hell, do I burn!)

    And whining. I’m shocked no one else had mentioned that surefire pain cure. WHINE!! LOUDLY! Demand your spouse coddle you, and whine more.

  78. Comment by Jessy Diamond | 08.23.2010 | 5:58 pm

    Just the picture of your sunburn is worth 5 bucks !

  79. Comment by gumoore | 08.23.2010 | 6:18 pm

    As a person with very fair skin, I’ve learned about both sunscreen and after sun lotion. My favourite sunburn lotion is by Vichy, called “Apres Soleil” – takes the sting right out of the burn.


  80. Comment by Andy | 08.23.2010 | 7:24 pm

    Anyone heard of Clean Bottle? It can unscrew at both ends for better washability. I’m thinking about getting one. Looking for a review or an opinion. Apparently you can buy 3 and get 1 free from Any advice?

  81. Comment by Lucky Cyclist | 08.23.2010 | 7:58 pm

    So…there in the middle of your chest. Is that a third nipple? Nubbin?

    A painful blister! I had a mole removed earlier this year (irregular shape, bad color), and so had a nice pink little scar there. As it turns out, while the rest of my chest just went deep red, the scar was tender / pink enough to go ahead and blister.

    The worst part of it is, that’s EXACTLY in line with where my seatbelt strap goes. – FC

  82. Comment by kosmo | 08.24.2010 | 1:11 am

    Hmm i had a car in that colour once;-)

  83. Comment by eandjmum | 08.24.2010 | 3:18 am

    Mate… you are a laugh… triple ouch for every time you have to bend, twist, put on, take off clothes, roll over in bed etc etc etc

  84. Comment by Tom | 08.24.2010 | 5:51 am

    ouch ouch ouch. Nice impression of an Englishman in Australia!

  85. Comment by Jenni | 08.24.2010 | 6:27 am

    Fatty, do you ever take off those manpris?

  86. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » How to Be Nice | 08.24.2010 | 7:33 am

    [...] « An Ode to Sunscreen [...]

  87. Comment by Dan | 08.24.2010 | 10:45 am

    TEA! Brew some black tea and pour it in a bowl filled with ice. Dip paper towels or a rag in it and apply it to the sunburn. It works.

  88. Comment by K.S. | 08.24.2010 | 1:19 pm

    That looks hellish painful.

  89. Comment by Haven (KT) | 08.24.2010 | 1:59 pm

    I’ll agree with the Aloe.

    My favorite is No-Ad. Man that stuff rocks. I got a bad sunburn across my shoulders in Kona last year, snorkeling (“we’re only going to be out here an hour, I don’t need sunscreen!” HA!), we found some at Target and for the rest of the vacation my sweetheart earned big brownie points by slathering my shoulders and back, carefully, with that stuff.

    You know it’s a bad sunburn when you blister and start peeling 2 days later.

    If you can’t find No-Ad, black tea works wonders too.

    Ibuprofen, and hydrate! Also great ideas.

    Good luck, man, you look scary pink. :)

  90. Comment by Clair | 08.26.2010 | 12:13 am

    Ouch! Hope you don’t blister.

  91. Comment by Erine | 08.26.2010 | 7:53 pm

    Sweet Merciful Neptune!!! That’s one heck of a ‘burn, Fatty! Someone get this man some Silvadene Cream, STAT!!!!

  92. Pingback by How to Be Nice | Cheap kids bikes | 09.8.2010 | 2:22 pm

    [...] The Runner and I were in Park City last weekend. Mostly, our objective was to give the kids a fun last weekend before school, as well as to broil my frontside. [...]


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