Sunday, February 12, 2006

Camp Three: Confluence


My old Smiths have been a conversation piece for years: What’s that thing on your glasses?

Oh man, the first time I wore these back in like 1999 we were heading to Northfield for coffee when...popped into a little bead shop.... Laughs and nods. They’ve been there.

Besides getting a good story, I got USE outta those glasses! They covered my eyes and kept out the wind for over six years. Four sets of lenses were hazy and scratched from years of use. Until this fall. I lost my spare lenses. Now all I’ve got is clear. I started the hunt.

Man, I had no idea. I thought I was looking for sunglasses. Turns-out I’m looking for optics.

I came across issues in my search for optics. I support the local guys. I buy from the LBS. I went to a couple. They tend to carry only one brand, sometimes two with a limited supply of each. Variety! Where’s the variety? I want to walk through a veritable garden of shapes, colors and sizes, pick a bunch and pluck-n-ponder as I twirl through the store and end-up with just the right one for my face and attitude...yes, end-up: a woman finding just the right item is a mysterious and otherworldly confluence of deliberation and fate.

So I went online only to find that online stores carry a myriad of brands but a limited supply -- and the description of each is limited as well.

Targeted search. I’ll go to the brand website. I’ll traipse through and say I’ll take these and find the store locally that carries them and actually be home with enough time to get a decent night’s sleep. But one doesn’t traipse through frames for medium faces, small faces, more coverage...technical glasses, performance attitude line, tactical frames, black lens, smoke lens, polar brown laser lenses, action brown, racing red -- only to get to the local store and find that sorry, we quit carrying that line this year...just gimme me a pair of glasses with red frames that make me look fast!

Optics tend to look great online, but in reality they have hinges that are attached so one side is tighter than the other side leaving them crooked on my face, plastic that looks like it was just pulled off the top of a gallon milk jug...glasses that make me look like I should be carrying a graphing calculator instead of riding a fine piece of technological marvel girl, are you sure that’s your ride?

Through a couple online forums I found two camps when it comes to sport glasses:
Camp 1. Buy cheap! Go to Performance (or to Home Depot for that matter...serious, Home Depot) and drop $20 for clearance glasses. If ya lose ‘em, you’re out $20! All ya need is something that keeps out the sun and crud!

Camp 2. Eyes are things you might not care about, but I care about mine! To keep them safe from projectiles while I’m riding it’s worth it to me to spend $548 every season for lenses that could survive a flying boulder. But I don’t wear those while I ride. I use my $324 ones. You go ahead and mess with your eyes, but I won’t do it!
I ponder this. Where do I fit? I want to not spend an airline-ticket-worth of dollars. Neither do I want to buy Rudys that sit cockeyed on my face. I want lenses that are versatile for changing weather conditions. Red frames. I want deep, rich, cranberry red color that flows around my face shielding it from whatever nastiness is out there. Color and shape that draw the double-take man, she’s fast!

And I want them to match my outfit.

- The Old Bag's lookin' for the magic

8 comments:

Ed W said...

Cool glasses? Who needs cool glasses?

I'll duck now.

Since you've tried Home Depot, you should take a look at Graingers or any other large tool supply store. I was in one yesterday and they had an astonishing number of cool safety glasses.

A few weeks ago, I held my nose and bought some ATV goggles in Wal-Mart. My eyes have been watering when it's cold, so I wanted to try goggles. They work well, but I dropped them Friday, scratching the lenses. I may have to hold my nose and go in there again.

CycleDog

Pete said...

Hey, I own a graphing calculator. What are you trying to say??

the old bag said...

Thanks Ed! The cold weather is wreaking havoc on mine as well.

Pete -- I wear my REGULAR glasses when I work with my graphing calculator.

George said...

I am legally blind without my glasses so I can't wear "regular" sunglasses because I can't see:-)

For the first time, I just bought a pair of prescription sunglasses from my eye doctor, it was worth the 200+ bucks because they were custom sized to my face.

Even if you have good vision, it might be worth checking out your local eyeglass place to see what they have.

C. P. said...

Strike a happy medium. Pick up the outrageously priced glasses at clearance prices from some Internet clearing house. Then, take the money you saved and ride to your LBS to buy a matching kit. Remember, it's not how fast you are, it's how fast you look. :)

the old bag said...

George -- hadn't thought of that. It's worth checking out!

CP -- and its corollary: if you can't be good, ya gotta look good.

jen said...

we're doing a big unit on poetry in englizsh right ytggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg now (abnormal spelling thanks to pickle) and i think you would enjoy it immensely. i like it too...but alot of the deeper meaning in poetry is just going over my head right now. oy.

Jen said...

you know, i wonder if i might have a touch of that seasonal stuff you have. like when it's cloudy, i just feel lousy sometimes. weird.