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Bedrock by bike pioneer, Ronnie aka Ultraromance, reflects upon another summer of Bedrocking with a topic that us sandal wearers can all relate to: The Tan Line. Read along in this guest post for photos from Ronnie's summer along with his entertaining and seriously-scholarly tan line cultural (TLC) observations. Follow Ronnie on @Ultraromance.

Its November.  Yes NOVEMBER, actually almost DECEMBER! My oh my where did those long sunny sandal days go?  Well, it’s a great time of year for retrospective introspection. A time to reminisce about where your feet/bicycle wheels step/rolled you on those fanciful summer days when the sun’s caressing rays bronzed or melted your complexion.  Sighhhh, cuz I bronze, obvs.

What better way to remember the lasting days of summer than with sandal tan lines!?  That weird/sexy thong sandal, branded right onto your scuffed up foot. If you set your feet free as much as I do, then there is no doubt that you are donning a pale peace sign (or Mercedes depending upon what is important to you) that is unveiled every time you slip off your bedrock footwear.  How adorned and special your tired feet have become! You owe it to yourself to learn more about tan line culture (TLC).

Ok, now you will see photos of myself and others working on said bedrock tan lines interspersed with tan line cultural (TLC) observational studies.  Myself and those who are paying for the piece hope you enjoy.

Unless you’re a German naturalist on holiday, tan lines are the semi permanent tattoo of the summer. Proof that you’ve taken full advantage of the simmering rays; the vitamin D heat gun of the lingering, most carefree days of the year. Even as someone who lives the eternal summer, there is something about “summer” summer, that resonates beyond the eternal sun chaser wavelength.    

As a road cyclist, first and foremost, tan lines were worn as an intimidation tactic.  They were welcomed in ways that would seem dad-ish and touristy to the civilian’s eye. Tan lines, crisp and contrasting, mean that you have been on the bike TRAINING.  You have been riding all day every day, and that tight line on your muscular thigh proved it. You might even hike up your cycling shorts a quarter inch higher on race day just to present this fact to your competition, much like a peacock spreading their feathers.  One might even artificially simulate this this look with the use of spray tans for team photos. Road racers are a weird bunch, albeit deeply complex. Beverage of choice: diet wine coolers.

The traditional New England landscape artist wear tan lines in a way as if they don’t even notice.  These folks are outside mowing Tom Brady’s lawn all day; spending their evenings at a local sports pub conversing about jet skis and Tom Brady. If I am a generalized anthropologist for these other demographics, the New England landscape artist (NELA) is my specialized area of study, as an exponentially high number of my high school graduating class are currently proud NELA.  This tan line is defined by a deep back tan contrasted with legs the shade of a bologna and mustard sandwich. Sure in between snow plowing jobs my former classmates go on vacation to Florida for a week in the winter, but they will typically keep their socks on even then. Socks on in the swimming pool types. Beverage of choice: Bud lite, Bud lite lime when jet skiing.

If you were to take a trip to the Jersey shore you would experience a verdant cornucopia of tanning culture.  Muscular (naturally and enhanced) Bronzed bodies simmering in the ‘Jersey sun with the aromatic scents of axe body spray and banana boat brand tanning excelerator.  These tans are born in the tanning beds during the winter months, therefore they tend to not showcase tan lines at all; just one flawless uniform complexion. Beverage of choice: Corona mixed with creatine and whey protein boost.    

A slight genetic variation of the Jersey shore genome would be the euro party boi.  For the sake of example, we will call this person Jan. Jan is from Germany, but he is spending his holiday in Ibiza.  In Ibiza he spent all night rolling at a foam party before passing out on the beach to the thump of distant house beats.  Jan then awoke in a sandy bed of glitter foam at 2 pm with a VERY hard earned tan line that must burn off before it sets in.  It’s a long lobstering process, but Jan will have a long lasting souvenir of his time on Ibiza. Beverage of choice: mixed drinks and mixed emotions.  Jan is young, he’ll bounce back...

I won’t go any further into my extensive cultural research; please await my scholarly dissertation that will be published in next week’s PennySaver.  All judgments aside, I think we can all agree that the sandal tan, more specifically the BEDROCK sandal tan (mostly because of the peace sign) is the most PC millennial of them all, therefore the most righteous.  The Bedrock wearer is a thru-hiker, a cyclist, an environmentalist, a Julius Cesar re-enactor (strictly satirical), a canoeist, an advocate for public lands, or a person who’s feet are too big and weird to fit into normal shoes (guilty).  A Bedrock wearer is really cool, and that’s why you're reading this. Beverage of choice: assorted microbrew for the look, but mostly pamplemousse lacroix.

So next time you have the opportunity to unsheathe your clammy feet from their uggs (or whatever you winter types wear) this winter, take the opportunity to show off those fading memories of summer.  Show your support for world peace and Mercedes Benz. And better yet, be sure to line those tan lines up to the tolerance of 0.5mm the very next time the temp peaks above 60. Should be about 8 months! Sorry for the reminder.  You should probably start planning a canyoneering trip in Bali for February. Be sure to import your own pamplemousse!

Happy Winter,

“Ronnie” Romance



All photos property of @ultraromance.

3 Responses



December 03, 2018

So good and so true. Living in AZ gives more more deeply etched tan lines and a backyard full of pamplemousse! #growyerown



December 03, 2018

I love it



November 30, 2018

They are the sexiest damn sandals on the planet.

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