Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Email reply to Sean about wearing contact lenses on a ride.

March 15th, 2005


Thanks for sharing your contact lens story. I have a "contact" story about a time hiking in the woods in Tennessee, but I don't think it is appropriate for this list. I do, however, recall my first contact lenses experience. It took me about two days to get used to them. Then, I could wear them for days and days....especially on long camping adventures. And, I still drop my contacts in the sink basin....where i have spit tons of toothpaste and mouth wash stuff into. ;)

Well tonight I went on a bike ride after work. And gosh dern it, I totally forgot to put in my contact lenses at home this morning. (My cycling training has been interrupted with stuff and i forgot my daily routine - "hey frank, wear contacts on the days you're going to ride.") Anyway, to make a short story long, I ended up doing the ride tonight and decided that I would do it without my eye glasses
that I had been wearing all day. The reason being is that the last time I forgot to put in my contacts, I just figured that I would wear my eye glasses and I would be able to see just fine, right. Note that I cannot wear my cool yellow-ish sun glasses over my eye glasses to protect my eyes from the wind. So when wearing my eye
glasses on rides, on the descents at 40 mph the skin of my eye balls would actually get pushed by the air and the surface of my eye would move when traveling at high speeds.....Things get really blurry! I can't see at all then! That is not a good thing to descend fast down a mtn road and not be able to see.

So, to make a short story even longer, I figured that I would just ride without my contacts tonight, like I mentioned before. That way I could just wear my sunglasses to protect my eyes from the windy descents. My eye sight is really not that bad and I figured that I would be safe and could see just fine. I actually tested it while
driving from work to be sure. No biggy, right. (Sorry to build the suspense here folks....this story does not have a great climax.)

The climbs on my ride tonight were fine. A little blurriness, but no big deal, I could see where I was going. Well, i quickly realized that on the descents, especially in these late winter times (after they've covered the roads with rock and sand because of snow and ice) you really want to be able to see the details in the
road.....especially gravel and sand in the corners. After a few times of not being able to see one or two small pieces of gravel and having hitting it at high speeds in tight corners.....I realized that I should probably take it slow on the descents. I had been bumped ever so slightly off line a few times.....and when you're in a
aero-tuck position with your hands on the top of your handles bars (not your breaks) that can be dangerous going at high rate of speed and hitting a rock. I could have hit the pavement, slid under an oncoming car, and then slammed into a guard-rail. My poor bike would have been mangled!

In addition, I saw from a distance what I thought was a bear in a front yard of a home.....I paused....and was surprised that it seemed friendly.....it turned out, as I got closer, it was a dog taking a poo in the owners front yard. I commented out loud talking to it, "oh, you're a dog (not a bear)"....like it was supposed to say, "yes I am a dog"....."and why are you staring at me while I'm taking a

So the morale of the story is make sure you put in your contacts on the days of bike rides so you can wear your sunglasses to protect your eyes from the windy descents.....and maybe not spend so much time reading long stupid emails about contact lenses.

Later folks!