Saturday, March 13, 2010

I Am Unprepared. And Naturally Hi-Vis!

I was caught off guard by the unseasonably warm weather last week. While the morning was cool, the trip home from work was in a balmy 14 C. See, I'm not one of those who celebrates the return of Spring prematurely. I don't switch back to my summer commuter bike until there is almost zero chance of snow or ice. Mutant Winter seems downright sporty ever since I put air in her tires after running for months in deflated mode, so that's good enough for me. I feel confident that winter will take one more kick at it at least, and I hate switching back and forth.

The thing is, I have not prepared myself to ride in warmer weather clothing-wise either. My fair weather cycling shoes are MIA somewhere around the house. I have been too busy or lazy (the former if you are me and the latter if you are some external observer of me) to find them yet. So, like I said, I was caught off guard last week, which left me trying to look normal while wearing cold weather cycling boots and long socks with my cycling shorts since I didn't want to wear my cold weather pants and roast like a turkey.

It has been a while since I posted pictures of any part of myself online... if any of you sick perverted freaks have been anxiously awaiting some Rantwick Action, today is your day. Please never ever ever contact me and for the love of God seek some counselling in this matter. Here's the process I went through that warm afternoon:

click pic to enlarge

Now, one result of this sad situation was that I discovered something good. There is something about brazenly untanned, pigmentless human skin that catches the eye like almost nothing else. Since I almost never go shirtless in summer, I am that guy at the beach with a farmer (or in my case, cycling) tan whose blazing whiteness makes you wish you didn't have eyes. I am not alone in this, so in this respect I am about as Hi-Vis in the leg department as every other uber-white cyclist who is coming off the trainer, out of the basement or out of their cold weather gear and riding in shorts again. When I was taking the pictures, I thought to myself, "well at least those white socks make my legs look less terrifyingly white..."

The pictures above were taken in my office, which thank goodness has windows and receives some natural light. When I take pictures of stuff, including my limbs, I usually do some with the flash and some without. When the flash was used, those socks didn't stand a chance in the Hi-Vis category. Along with my summer cycling shoes, I have also misplaced some reflective ankle bands I usually wear, but as you can see, I have absolutely nothing to worry about:

You would think the leg hair would cut the glare a little, but no joy. Lots of cyclists shave their legs, especially the racer types. Not me. I ain't no racer, plus if things keep going the way they have started to, my legs will eventually be the only way I'll be able to enjoy the breeze blowing through my hair on a bike ride... maybe I should get some rogaine for them! I bet riding around with Chewbacca legs would feel fantastic! I would have to find my reflective ankle straps though. Hmmm. Decisions.

If you see me riding, please don't drive your car into the light. There's nothing divine going on, believe me.

PS - Check out ChipSeal's latest post here. Then donate to help defend him using the button on this page.


GreenComotion said...

Nice Hi-Vis legs you got man!
I don't blame ya for not shaving. Whoever thought of it anyways!

What is the reason for male cyclists shaving their legs? One told me that it was for making it easy to clean the wounds if they fell and scratched themselves.

A few more months and then the white stuff and the cold might even be gone for a bit in your neck of the woods, eh?

Peace :)

cafiend said...

@Chandra: Shaving helps with massage as well as wound care and makes you feel cooler in hot weather. Plus it's fun! I used to like to have 3 days of scruff on my face and immaculate legs. I might not win the race, but I could win the shave. Women would ask me how I did such a good job around the kneecaps. Plus I felt a kinship with my pets, growing out my winter coat in the fall.

@Rantwick: when I lived in the south the locals said you could always tell the yankees visiting in the winter because of their luminescent white skin and the fact that they were swimming when the temperature was in the low 60s. Floridians go dormant below 68.

Keri said...

Heh heh.

Cafiend speaks the truth ;-)

I have friends here who dress warmer than Inuit ice fishermen to go on a bike ride when it's 50°

Hey Rantwick, nice legs!

RANTWICK said...

Chandra - No snow right now... pretty warm too at 14 C (57 F) as I write this!

Cafiend - Knock wood, I haven't fallen in a very long time, at least not hard enough to wound myself. I shaved my lower leg once when "training" on being a "trainer" for a basketball team. It made the taping practice less painful. I hated feeling the hair grow back though, and have no desire to do it again.

Keri - I bet you say that to all the Internet freaks taking pictures of their limbs...

Marrock said...

Could always throw on a set of knee warmers just to cut the glare a bit.

Post a Comment