Chafing and sunscreen

One of the things I write about a lot in my near-book “Accidental Ironman” is chafing. As an endurance athlete sooner or later you will chafe. Accept this. Learn to combat chafing with synthetic fabrics and lubricants but know that it will happen. When it does…We were out riding one day several years ago. My friend Mike was suffering a little from his saddle. We stopped to change a flat tube and Mike asked if anyone had any butter. Butter is a keyword for Chamois Butt’r, a lovely lubricant for cycling (works well for running too by the way). Nope, no one had thought to grab a ziploc full or one of the small disposable tubes they sell at fine bike shops. So Mike grabbed some sunscreen and applied that.Now Mike is a tough guy. It would be gently snowing or sleeting and he’d ride with no gloves. But man, when that sunscreen hit chafed flesh he let out a yelp and just started dancing around in agony. While I managed a good laugh out of it (seriously, watching a buddy jumping around in prissy cycling shoes yelling “get it off” is one of nature’s rare treats) I have always remembered this and learned that it’s better just to tolerate the chafe than to apply sunscreen.[original draft section]Do not, I repeat do not, try to lubricate a chafed area with sun screen. First of all it won’t work, it just slides off. Second though is that the pain involved is ferocious. You go from being really uncomfortable to screaming in pain. The only possible positive is that you will provide minutes of entertainment for your friends and any passersby who wonder why a grown man is leaping around rubbing his crotch screaming, “get it off, get it off”.

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