Wow! It has been a hot one in the ole' Valley of the Sun these last few weeks. You know it is bad when you start looking forward to a cooling trend to 102 degrees. But for those of us that have lived here for a while, these are the dues we pay for the 9 months of great weather and year round riding that we enjoy. But not only is there a lot of heat out there in those rays, we are also living in an area with the highest risk of skin cancer.
I've talked about things in the past that we need to do as riders to take care of ourselves. I've mentioned Dehydration, Ear Protection and with the added length of days and the heat comes a few pitfalls as well. One of them is getting cooked by the sun. I'm sure we have all come home from a ride at some point, feeling the pain of a good sunburn and wished we had just gone to a good movie instead. Being one of those fair skinned people with a history of melanoma I have begun to pay a little more attention to what the sun is doing to me. And as a rider, we are all spending a fair amount of time in the direct sunlight. Not even a windshield can protect you from that. So as I was riding back from up North, feeling the heat and the intensity of the sun rise as we came down the hill, I started to ask some questions that the enquiring mind would want to know.
I've always wondered about the mystery of the sun and skin. Why is it that if you go out on a bright summer day and spend an hour in the sun, you get a sunburn? But I don't get burned if I have taken the time to get a nice gradual tan. With a nice tan you can go out in the sun and nothing happens. It doesn't make sense. What is a sunscreen? And what is a tan? What is the difference between a tan and a burn? Why can you spread a little blob of lotion on yourself and be protected, but if you forget you are miserable? All good questions that are answered on http://www.howstuffworks.com/sunscreen.htm. I have answered a few of these briefly below.
Why do I get sunburned?
The cells in your skin are not protected from the sun's ultraviolet radiation. You are therefore an easy target for sunburn if you spend too much time in the sun. When you get a sunburn, what you are really getting is cellular damage from ultraviolet radiation. The body responds to the damage with increased bloodflow to the capillary bed of the dermis in order to bring in cells to repair the damage. The extra blood in the capillaries causes the redness - if you press on sunburned skin it will turn white and then return to red as the capillaries refill. I'll bet some of you didn't know that!
Why is it when I have a tan don't I burn anymore?
When you get a tan, what is actually happening is that the melanocytes are producing melanin pigment in reaction to ultraviolet light in sunlight. Ultraviolet light stimulates melanin production. The pigment has the effect of absorbing the UV radiation in sunlight, so it protects the cells from UV damage. Melanin production takes a fair amount of time - that is why most people cannot get a tan in one day. You have to expose yourself to UV for a short period of time to activate the melanocytes. They produce melanin over the course of hours. By repeating this process over 5 to 7 days pigment builds up in your cells to a level that is protective.
Why does sunscreen work?
Sunscreens block or absorb ultraviolet light. You can absorb UV radiation in much the same way that melanin does. The first and most common of the absorption chemicals is PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid). It absorbs UVB. All sunscreens are labeled with an SPF, or Sun Protection Factor. The SPF acts like a multiplying factor. If you would normally be OK in the sun for 10 minutes and you apply an SPF 10 sunscreen, you will be OK in the sun for 100 minutes. In order for the sunscreen to work, however, you have to apply plenty and it has to stay on. You should apply it about half an hour before going out in the sun (or the water) so it can bind to your skin - if you don't, then it is very easy for the sunscreen to wash off.
This doesn't seem that important on the surface, but we live in an area that produces a high risk for skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers. It accounts for nearly half of all cancers in the United States. More than 1 million cases of nonmelanoma skin cancer are found in this country each year. Melanoma is the most deadly of Skin Cancers and if not detected early can spread to other parts of your body including the liver. In 2006 there were over 62,000 cases of melanoma and 7900 deaths from the disease. Melanoma is a very serious skin cancer that can be prevented and cured. I never thought it would happen to me, but I have had 2 malignant melanoma taken off of my back. Fortunately I listened to my Mother for once and had them checked before it was too late. If you are in the sun a lot, like we are as riders, have moles, fair skin, a family history or a personal history of skin cancer, you would be at risk. Take it from me, if you have any moles that you think are suspect, that might be odd colored or growing in an atypical pattern, spend the 10 minutes to have a dermatologist check them out. It could save your life as it did for me. Here is a good site to answer your questions. http://www.melanoma.com/diagnosing.html
For the last 7 years I go to the dermatologist every 6 months for a full checkup of my skin. Part of my personal prevention is wearing a long sleeved shirt when I ride, a hat or a helmet. I am also a diligent user of a good sunscreen with highest SPF that I can find for my face, neck and hands. So I am constantly looking for that perfect sunscreen. Not too oily, doesn't come off with sweat or water, doesn't let every piece of road dirt stick to my face while riding and most importantly doesn't roll into my eyes to provide massive irritation. The one I am using now is the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock with Helioplex, the latest in UVA protection and an SPF of 55. This is the number one dermatologist recommended suncare. It is non-greasy, waterproof and sweatproof. At least as much as any sunblock can be. Good sunscreen can be very expensive, but Costco has a 2-pack of this brand for $13.99 that also includes a stick of lip moisturizer. That is a great buy. Another one that Mrs. C. has given me and seems to work pretty well is the Aveeno 45 spf.
I highly encourage everyone, and particularly in those risk categories to get
checked out. Read the following links and see what to look for and then check out your spouses backs and hard to
see areas for any signs of irregularities. Call your dermatologist immediately if you find something that
looks suspicious. I blew it off at first thinking it couldn't happen to me, but fortunately took the time to go
get checked out. If this letter helps save at least one person, like my Mom did for me, it would be worth the effort.
Here are some good links to do your own research:
Signs of Skin Cancer
Skin Cancer Facts
The new Readers Rides 2007 Photo Gallery is now up. Send in your photos taken
next to a sign, landmark or landscape on your trip and I will post it in the gallery. Make sure to tell me where
it is. Click
Here to view the first 27 photos.
This Week's Bike Night Events
Chesterís Harley Davidson Biker Night at the Tilted Kilt in Tempe! If you are looking for some fun on a Tuesday night, With
2 outdoor patios and plenty of excitement, This place is a good time!
The Tilted Kilt is home to the best Scotch-Irish experience in Arizona, with an award-winning menu, classic pub
fare, and signature Kilt items sure to please any palate, not to mention twenty four globe-spanning beers on tap!
Biker Night Tuesdays
also mean half-price appetizers. And, with a Tilted Kilt
Biker Night Card, you receive 15% OFF your total bill. So what
are you waiting for? Come on down and have a craic with Chesterís
Harley-Davidson! The Tilted Kilt is located at 660 W. Warner
Rd. in Tempe, AZ. Just 1.5 miles East of I-10 on Warner Rd. 480-592-0102. Click Here for Map.
Bike Night at Buffalo Wild Wings Mesa-Falcon Field. This is a great new stop for riders on the East Side. Enjoy GREAT FOOD and Live Music every Wednesday night with Soul Catcher, featuring acoustic blues and classic rock from 7pm - 10pm every Wednesday Night at Buffalo Wild Wings located at 4425 E. McKellips Rd. in Mesa, AZ, just across from Falcon Field. Special motorcycle parking in front of the patio. Choose from the extensive new menu including Wings, Chicken Tenders, Huge selection of salads, Wraps, Sandwiches, Ribs & Combos, Burgers, Desserts and Beverages. Click Here for complete menu. Bike Night specials are 50 Cent Legs all day, $2.50 Coronas & Pacificos, $1.75 Bud Light Pints, $1.75 Miller Light Pints. Sit inside and watch your favorite sporting events on over 50 TV's and 5 Giant Screen TV's or sit outside on the huge patio where there are more TV's and enjoy the evening air. Wherever you find to relax, you will be sure to have a good time, good food and good entertainment at the Buffalo Wings Wednesday Bike Night. 480-218-9464. Click Here to take a look at Buffalo Wild Wings.
Arrowhead Harley-Davidson Thursday Bike Night at Gordon Biersch Brewery at Westgate. Live Music on the patio this week 6:30 - 9:30pm!! You can also sign up for the Gordon Biersch Passport card. Get your GB Passport. Pay $20 for the card, and you will get a $20 gift certificate to redeem for food and drink. On Bike Nights you will receive double rewards to build points for free food and drink. Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant in Glendale features the best Beer Garden you will find in this State, an impressive bar area equipped with TVs and speaker system, great food, and a large outdoor patio seating. Bike night specials include: Extended Happy Hour for Riders to 8:00pm
Happy Hour includes:
$1.00 off Gordon Biersch Lagers
$2.00 off all Wines by the Glass
$4.95 Appetizer Specials: Southwest Egg rolls, Tapas, Chicken Wings, Bruschetta, Crispy Artichoke Hearts, Garlic Fries, Mini Pizza's Cheese or Pepperoni.
Try my favorite, the Gordon Biersch "Golden Export" or a sampler of all 5 of their beers brewed on site. Plenty of motorcycle only parking. Gordon Biersch is located at 6915 N. 95th Ave. at Westgate City Center, Loop 101 and Glendale next to the Cardinals Stadium. An easy ride from anywhere in the Valley. 623-877-4300
The Bike Night At The Billet Bar. Voted "BEST BIKER BAR IN PHOENIX" by New Times. There is no better place to watch all the Bikes ride down Scottsdale road than from The Billet Bar Patio. The Billet is ALWAYS packed with bikes Every Day. Stop by and take a look at the New Flamed Booths on the Paradise Patio. The new bars front and rear provide spacious seating, fresh air atmosphere, perfect temperature and courteous staff. The food is amazing and always the latest in cold libations await. You can sit at the back bar and watch your favorite TV on any of the seven big inch televisions. Play pool, listen to the latest music and socialize. The front patio seats over 75 people and is perfect for people watching on Scottsdale Rd. The Billet Bar is located on 3752 N. Scottsdale Rd. Check it out this Thursday night and all weekend long. Info: at 480-941-1876. Click Here for the New Billet Bar Page with pictures.
Every Saturday and Sunday
Harold's Cave Creek Corral Bike Weekends. This is the patio that we have all been waiting for in Cave Creek. The new 4000 Sq. Ft. patio at Harold's is finally finished complete with misters, TV's and an outdoor bar. There is plenty of room to put some tables together and hang out with your riding group for breakfast, lunch or the cold beverage of your choice. Live Music from Noon to 4pm every Saturday with Bob Bouchard, the man who plays at Greasewood every weekend. Enjoy TV's all around the patio with a walk up bar. Ride out on Sunday's and enjoy the All You Can Eat breakfast buffet for $8.99 on Sundays from 8am - Noon. Or grab one of Harold's fantastic hamburgers and watch the bikes roll by on Cave Creek Rd. from the patio. 50% Off Appetizers and $2.00 Bud/Bud Light bottles. You can also choose from their full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu every day of the week. Plenty of new motorcycle parking right in front of the patio. A great destination patio for your weekend rides. Harold's is located at 6895 E. Cave Creek Rd., in Cave Creek. 480-488-1906. There are still no tickets being given for DB violations. Just continue to keep the noise down as much as possible when riding through Carefree.
The MMA Verde Valley District Pig and Turkey Roast. Starts at Noon. It is being held at one of our local business members restaurants,
GRASS HOPPER GRILL in Cornville at the corner of Cornville road and Page Springs road. There will be live music, food and fun all day.
The cost is only $10.00 per person for ALL YOU CAN eat. We bought the porker from one of our members daughters at the Verde Valley
fair FFA Auction. So please tell everyone to come on over and enjoy as well as supporting a great cause. For more information or a copy of the Flyer please feel free to contact Big Bo at 928-399-0238 or E-Mail me at email@example.com
Chester's Harley-Davidson Fashion and Motorcycle Show. Are you anxious to see the latest in Harley-Wear for 2008? Great! Because there's only one Fashion Show all year that you can actually feel proud to tell the gang you've been to and that is Chester's 2008 Model Year Debut Fashion and Motorcycle Show. Be among the first to see this year's in-looks for everything chrome and leather, while enjoying appetizers, refreshments, and great music. Be among the first to see this year's in-looks for everything chrome and leather, while enjoying appetizers, refreshments, and great music. You may even LUCK out and win one of our many door prizes! It all happens Saturday, July 28th at 11am! Barry and Mrs. C. from Cyclerides.com are even going to be there as guest models to show off some of our clothes. Don't miss this year's high powered fashion show at Chester's HD located at 922 S. Country Club Dr. in Mesa, AZ. 480-894-0404.
Buddy Stubbs Harley-Davidson "Hogs and Salsa". Stop by Buddy Stubbs for the Indoor Hogs & Salsa Party. Enter your salsa or stop by to taste the entries. There will be free salsa food and a festive band. And if you think you can make some good salsa, enter the HOG Chapter Salsa Contest. To enter your "Kickbutt" Salsa email: firstname.lastname@example.org . You can also participate in the 12:30 pm museum tour with Buddy as your tour director. If pool is your game, enter the 12 Noon pool tournament. All of this takes place on Saturday, July 28th from 11am - 3pm at Buddy Stubbs HD located at 13850 N. Cave Creek Rd. in Phoenix, AZ. 602-971-3400.
Too Broke For Sturgis. Annual ABATE fundraiser in Mormon Lake. The following is taken directly from the "Too Broke" web site. Ignite your engine, twist the throttle and come up to the cool pines and celebrate the sheer joy of it all! In sixteen years, Too Broke 4 Sturgis has evolved from a simple getaway for folks that were too broke to go to Sturgis to a major annual event weekend. Hosted by ABATE of Arizona as our primary fund-raising event, Too Broke has become "a blast for everyone that attended and if you don't make Too Broke .... well it's your own fault then." You can rest assured that the money raised goes to a great cause, fighting for your motorcycling freedoms. Everyone who attends is made to feel like family, even first timers. Just like the last five Too Broke celebrations, we'll be under the stars and beneath the pines in the cool North country of Arizona. What better way to beat the heat of the Valley in July. Too Broke for Sturgis is held at the Mormon Lake Lodge Campground and Arena. The area offers shade, camping with hot showers available, first-class biker entertainment, an assortment of vendors and awesome scenery.
The Saturday Poker Run, sponsored by the ABATE of Arizona Flagstaff Chapter will take you on a tour of that awesome scenery! And don't forget about the Miss Too Broke Contest, Tattoo Contest, Poker Walk, Bike Games, Wet Tee-Shirt Contest. Too Broke is just an all-around great biker party. Click Here for Event Schedule.
Rocky Point Rally 2007
I have had a lot of questions about the Rocky Point Rally for this year. The organizers have told me that the Rally is on for November 9-11, 2007 and will feature Rare Earth in concert on Saturday night. But overall, rally activities have been paired down from the years past. Stay tuned to www.rockypointrally.com for updates on the web site. I will bring you new information as I get it.
This is something that I have wanted to do for a long time and finally got it done.
A lot of you, including myself, have wanted to reference something
from a prior newsletter. You can now search all of the past newsletters by keyword and find what you are looking
for. The more unique the keyword the better to limit the amount of choices. For example, search for "GPS"
and you will see the letters that I have talked about that. Hold your cursor over the results to see the date of
the letter. Click
Here to use the Search and give it a try.
I couldn't remember if I had this one in before, but it is called Formula Deer Hunting. Click Here to View.
I actually held on to this one for a week deciding if I wanted to put it in the letter. But to show the risks that are inherent to these types of riders, I decided to put it in. Click Here to View.
Since it has been so hot out, I thought a funny swimming pool video might cool you off. Click Here to View.
Ok, I like flying so this was interesting to me. This is a 2 minute video of a night landing in Aspen. One side of the screen is night vision and the other is real vision. This is amazing. Check out all of the mountains around. Without the night vision it is pitch black aside from a few lights on the runway. Click Here to View.