Why Sunglasses are Important when Hitting the Saddle
The growth in popularity of cycling in the UK has created a new (slightly unflattering) acronym. MAMIL’s (middle aged men in Lycra) are, with their female counterparts, frequently seen hitting the roads on the weekends and clocking up the miles on their bikes.
The success of British cyclists, in the velodrome and on the road, has led to a burgeoning pack of enthusiasts that enjoy cycling as a social activity, and many who take it more seriously and compete in events.
Of course, as you clock up the miles you need to start investing in the right equipment. A good bike and specialist clothing is often first on the shopping list, but what about eyewear?
Why wear sunglasses at all?
Generally we Brits are uninformed about how sunlight can damage our eyes, possibly because we believe we don’t get much sun. Yet, whilst the messages about the effect of UV rays on our skin has started to hit home, we’re just not as aware of the effect the sun can have on our eyes.
A good pair of glasses can block out UV rays and reduce the damage exposure to sunlight can have on your eyes. They also protect your eyes from dust or dirt particles and anything else that may be thrown up from the road by passing motorists.
Wearing the right glasses
Normal sunglasses will protect you against sun damage (if they’re a good pair) so wearing your usual pair is a start. But it’s important you can see well when you’re cycling and normal eyewear just aren’t fit for purpose.
Cyclists are in a vulnerable position on the road. Many people are injured or killed in cycling accidents, and if you are ever in an accident with a car the chances are you’re not going to come out of it well. Protecting your ability to see is a must; your sight is your first defence to avoid getting into trouble on the road.
Sports sunglasses are designed for the job
Wraparound frames are the preferred design for cyclists as they protect peripheral vision. This is essential if you’re going to be aware of what is happening around you.
In addition, riders often ride low when road racing to reduce wind resistance and improve speed. To protect your field of vision in this position, you need eyewear which extend above the eyebrow.
Aren’t sports designs expensive?
Not necessarily. If you need prescription eyewear it can get expensive, but if you have good vision and just need sun protection there are outlets where you can buy good quality designer eyewear online for less than the retail price.
If you’re going to hit the road, sports sunglasses are essential
You may be grinding out the miles for fun or you may take it more seriously. You’ve invested in a great bike and the right clothing but you haven’t really given a pair of protective glasses a thought. Yet they’re an essential item for anyone who cycles on the road, regardless of how seriously they take it.
Glasses specially designed for sports fulfil a dual role: 1. they protect your eyesight from long term damage and minimise sun glare when you’re on the road, and 2. they protect your full range of vision whilst cycling. The right eyewear will help you maintain awareness of what’s around you at all times. Safety first on the bike, and race times a close second (of course).
By Sharon Coleman
Sharon Coleman is a freelance writer and loves to write about consumer products. You can find more of her articles at www.thewordworld.com