Why I Stopped Buying Biking Sunglasses


Why I Stopped Buying Biking Sunglasses

One of the things I “nerded” out about when I started cycling was wearing sunglasses. I love my eyes (and you should too) so I want to take care of them as long as possible. Protecting it from harmful UV rays is a high priority when you’re out in the road under the hot sun. When I started biking, I would spend hours to pick out brand name sunglasses that costed hundreds of dollars.

My selections were somewhat limited as I being Asian, lack the bridge on my nose to hold the sunglasses up without adjusting every few minutes. As you can imagine, this got a little annoying while on a tour. This was so much a problem that companies like Oakley have their sunglasses created for the Asian Fit.

Selfie w/Group

Everybody on the way to Ojai.

 

What I Own

At the end, I picked up a pair of Rudy Project Rydon. These included interchangeable lens. In addition to the standard sunglasses, I picked up a set of clear and yellow tint lens with the idea that I will use those for night-time and when I’m riding with a cloud coverage. All this cost close to $300! Pretty expensive when you think about it, but I was making good money and justified having them as a reward to myself. I ended up using these sunglasses for all of my riding. They were great at first until the little things started to become big digs.

Because they cost so much, I was super careful with these. You see, in the past I had a tendency to lose my sunglasses. $50 sunglasses which I’ve purchased on 3 occasions are usually lost in a matter of a year.

San Onofre

 

Why They Don’t Work

With the Rudy Projects, I made it high priority to keep them with me at all cost. This added more stress in my life. Unnecessary stress really. I ended up just leaving it at home with fear of losing them.

In addition to the added stress, the sunglasses were a pain to bring around. It came with a huge carrying case which fit everything, but was just too bulky to pack on a ride. Never mind me even attempting to change out the lens. I got really lazy. I would just take them off instead of swapping out for clear lens at night.

I also wear a rear-view mirror which requires the arms of the sunglasses to be flat. Unfortunately, the Rudy Projects were more triangular, so the mirror did not work. Riding with a rear-view mirror is a must these days so to not be able to do this, felt naked.

The good news is I still have these sunglasses. The bad news, I don’t wear them anymore.

Joni & Johnny in Ciclavia

So what do I wear now?

In the last few years, I’ve volunteered for several organizations. With each of these volunteering opportunities, I have been fortunate to receive fringe benefits of multiple pairs of generic plastic sunglasses. These are your sunglasses that have the similar look and feel as the Ray Ban Wayfarer models These once popular sunglasses frames in the 80s are making their comeback in a big way for the past couple of years.

I have 4 pairs of these in different color choices. These things are so comfortable and obviously affordable that I really don’t mind it if I lose them or if they get damaged from usage. The fit is great as it is snug around my face. The different color variations keep things interesting. They pack away flat which makes it easier to carry in my bag or just hanging on my shirt while I ride. I really love these sunglasses and prefer to ride in them until the last one gets lost.

I have one from CicLAvia (white & blue), Amgen’s Tour of California (black & blue), New Belgium Brewery (red, brown, & black), and ZipCar (green).

Like with most things that you get into, you are constantly trying to find the best thing to help you enjoy it more than you do now. You end up drooling over something that you hope would make your life 10x easier than before or enhance your life one way or another. Things change and you quickly learn what works for you and more importantly what doesn’t. You take these failures in stride and learn from your mistake quickly and move on. Isn’t this what life is all about? Make your mistake, fail fast and learn from your mistake. Something as simple as riding sunglasses can teach you so much.


About Johnny Lam

Johnny is an avid cyclist who enjoys bicycle touring as well as anything bicycle related. Johnny has traveled the entire Pacific Coast by bike from Vancouver to the border of California and Mexico. He's also toured through-out locations in Southern California. Johnny is also a League of American Bicyclists League Certified Instructor (LCI) and also completed the Adventure Cycling Association's Leadership Training Course (LTC). He is an active member in Los Angeles bicycling community being involved in organizations like the Los Angeles County Bicycling Coalition (LACBC), C.I.C.L.E. (Cyclists Inciting Change through Live Exchange), and Bike San Gabriel Valley (Bike SGV) by taking part in ride marshaling, pedestrian & bike counts, and other volunteering opportunities.