Date: April 13
April mileage: 121
Temperature upon departure: 27 (morning)
On the iPod: "History of a Boring Town" ~ Less Than Jake
Today's was a rough and windy ride. After I arrived at home, I tore off my helmet and balaclava, but my face still felt warm. The day was by no means warm, and neither was the house. Could it be? I walked toward a mirror. Red tint ... darkened freckles ... well, what do you know? The year's first sunburn.
It's like a rite of passage, a mark of my arrival into spring. I still associate the annual ritual with a sunburn I sustained almost exactly 10 years ago. I remember the date because it was tax day, April 15, 1996. My best friend and I walked out of our third period English class and kept on going. We were both car-less at the time and completely without a reason to leave school, but I remember that the sun was blazing overhead and it had to be at least 85 degrees out. Spring fever beckoned and we walked like zombies toward it ... just walked ... for hours. We must have covered nine or ten miles before we finally made our way home. When I walked in the door, my mom took one look at me and turned a shade of red that I had never seen before. That is, until I looked down and realized my arms resembled radioactive lobsters. Nearly every inch of exposed skin was a glowing marquee that said "I didn't go to class at all today." That year, I was punished twice.
This year's burn is decidedly subdued. More like a sunkiss, a spot of faint color in the narrow slit between the middle of my forehead and the tip of my nose. That's the year's first sunburn, Alaska style. I'll take it.