Getting older is mostly fun, but sometimes it may be less fun for people around me. During the California road trip, my friend John realized that I had trouble seeing the map details as well as the numbers on my computer, when I wore contact lenses, and he got tired answering my "are we almost there?" questions. I am short-sighted and I have been using contacts for sports for a long time. With age, a weird form of long-sightedness creeps up, but disappointingly it adds onto my primary vision impairment, and does not seem to even it out. See, I normally wear progressive multifocal glasses, but they can't make that gradient of power with contacts.
John has recently pointed me to a company who makes bifocal cycling sunglasses. You can buy them online, but I did not know how much power I needed to compensate my contacts to see better at the handlebar distance. I found couple of bike shops in Santa Cruz listed as dealers, called to confirm they had the glasses in stock, and set out for a road ride on Sunday starting near Skeggs preserve on Star Hill Road towards Santa Cruz. The ride itself was beautiful, I was riding on the fog edge, alternating between warm and sunny and cool coastal micro environments. The plan worked, I bought the $50 glasses with the +2.0 strength and gave them a first test on a Monday ride.
There is a problem, though and I will see if I get used to this: when clipping into my right pedal from standing, I like to do a quick visual check. With the glasses, the shoe and pedal are a blur. Next, while riding, I also like to perform quick visual checks on what gear I'm in (none of my bikes have gear indicators), again, looking down on your chain rings or cassette, you get a blurry image. Tilting your head way down to use the upper part of the lenses solves this issue, but I am sure this will take a little getting used to. So far, I take the advantages over this little inconvenience, and for fifty bucks I will be able to finally see how fast I ride :-)