... to experience ... to share ... to photograph ... people to talk to ... to live...to scoot...to ride

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sunglasses and riding

Even though I ride with a full face helmet, I like to wear sunglasses as well. Call it another layer of protection. Call it being ready for changing conditions - I can take the sunglasses off if it gets dark and cloudy. But usually its bright and sunny and I'm riding into the sun, so I need some serious shading. I've even added a dark shaded strip along the top edge of my face shield so when I'm going to work in the morning (going East) I can block out the sun.

Many many moons ago Consumer Reports did a test of sunglasses - bottom line, even the cheap sunglasses can be just as good as the expensive ones for blocking UV and providing polarized protection. However, the lenses in the cheapos are not as well made so the visual quality is less /distortion is often worse.

For me the key is using polarized lenses. It cuts the glare on the face shield, glare from other cars, etc. Water puddles often look really weird and its taking me a while to recognize ice from water as it polarizes differently - not an issue now that its warm. On the other hand, those oily repair patches on the road (sometimes called worms) really really stand out - so avoiding them is not hard because I can see them bizarrely glowing as I approach on the bike.

[note: I think there's a slight polarization in my face shield which when coupled with polarized sunglasses causes some of these interesting visual effects - its not distracting but did take some getting used to - especially when looking at objects that also polarize the light (
water, asphalt highway, a snowy field, a car hood, or glass) - a topic for another post :) - three polarizations! Physics 101 here we go!!]

I had a pair of Bolle's polarized grey sunglasses and they were awesome but after 7 years the lenses were too scratched up for riding... SO I picked up a $20 pair of polarized amber sunglasses for fishing - they were/are awesome ... they do make the world look 'brighter' and they have the same UV blocking... there is a reason for this apparent brightness which I read online once - do a search! And they make the world look greeeeennnn, very intensely greeeeennnn.

Somehow they got bent (more like slightly melted - probably from leaving them in the car and our intense sunlight shrunk the plastic unevenly) and now the lenses are distorting my view slightly - which while in my car doesn't bother me, however while riding it is a big deal - I think it messes with my sense of depth of field when glancing out the edge of the lens and seeing a distorted image.

In the past 2 weeks I ended up buying one pair and then another ... because I forgot the first pair at work and I needed to ride my scooter home into the afternoon sun - so now I have a pair of Native (Sprints) and a pair of Bobsters, both come with interchangeable polarized lenses (although not interchangeable with each other!)

I like them both. The Bobsters have a slight cushion around the edge, making them goggles - which has been nice to keep debris out of the eyes when the face shield is up (like when its fogging up).

But I love the feel of the Natives Sprints the best. The nose-piece is adjustable and they're easy to slip on once I have my helmet on. Downside is they are pricey. But of course I bought them on sale (thanks Mom) coupled with my REI yearly dividend check so they weren't that bad...

m2c of advice: just get any 'ole polarized sunglasses at the grocery story to get you going and then take the time to do serious shopping for a pair that work with your helmet and viewing style.

How to tell if the sunglasses you want to buy have polarized lenses? well, there should be a sticker... but what if someone has played with the stickers? Take TWO pair off the rack. Place one pair on. Now
look through the lenses of the other pair of sunglasses and rotate them back and forth- the lenses should change from light to dark and back to light if both pair have polarized lenses.

Monday, May 25, 2009

we need a title?

Haiku is for you
and for all of us to share
stories in 3 lines

No riding today,
Its raining, foggy, hailing!
Eyes droop and worlds fade ...

Dreams of sunny fields
Mud flying, tires spinning,

Dreams of green forest
Clean pine scents pervade my lungs
Ride in dappled light

Searing white replaces green
Wind, a tempest makes

Sheets of white pebbles
A cacophony of sounds
Or was that an elk?

No, a herd of elk!
Bounding into my story
Thundering past me

We head for turn one
Heart races, leaning over,
Cut the inside edge

Roll past cheering fans
Fading into swirling mists
the storm ebbs away

A hush fills the air
Dream, reality, who knows?
Ride to find out which.

Fills the spaces between words
Creating new worlds.

About Me

Join me in my adventures as I learn to ride a scooter and experience the world through two wheeled transport.