In the almost two years that I've been riding my bike on a daily basis, I have never worn sunglasses, either cycling specific or otherwise. I've been pretty skeptical of their benefits, but with the amount of riding I've been doing this summer (over 400 miles since the end of May), I'm beginning to wonder if I should take more steps to protect my eyes from UV rays and grit. I've had pebbles or sand fly up into my eyes more than once on my way to class or work. So I have two questions that I invite you to weigh in on, if you're a roadie or a commuter or a tourist, MTB'r or any other cyclist, "serious" or otherwise:
1: Are sunglasses mostly a fashion statement with some safety benefits, or are they mostly a health and safety piece of equipment that may or may not be fashionable?
2: If I am convinced that I probably should be protecting my eyes, what are some inexpensive, effective, fairly fashion-neutral (i.e., they wouldn't look too weird off the bike) sunglasses? And by inexpensive, I mean "as far under $40 as is reasonable."