contact lenses, glasses on long brevets
I usually wear glasses, but when I go riding for a day, I wear contact lenses. But I'm looking for what others wear on long brevets eg 600k + where you're riding day and night.
I don't like to wear glasses while riding because they fall off, get sweaty, wet with rain etc., so how do you handle this? Thanks!
Riding with contacts and no glasses is risky.
I ride with Tifosi and contacts. The Tifosi are reasonably priced and have cutouts to help ventilate. They also have interchangeable lenses.
Contacts on PBP
I ride with contacts and glasses. The glasses block the wind and road gunk. For long brevets I carry two sets of glasses, one dark sunglasses, the other yellow or clear. Both sets are usually the polycarbonate glasses from the hardware store that have a bifocal reading lens (so I can read cue sheets at night).
I also take along a spare set of contacts 'just in case'.
One rider I know of on PBP took extra disposable lenses. At each 'sleep stop', he threw away the old ones and then put in new ones when he got up.
On PBP, at Loudeac, after 280 miles before any sleep, my extended wear contacts and I weren't getting along so I switched to my glasses for the remainder of the ride.
I wear contacts so infrequently that I opted for a prescription of one-day disposables. For 600k's and 1200k's, I've ridden both with my regular prescription glasses and a few pairs of disposables (one for every projected day of riding, plus one 'just in case' pair). The rain does speckle the glasses, but after a while one learns to deal with such inconveniences. I never had issues with dropping them or getting them sweaty, but my frame tends to be rather lightweight.
When I was getting my contact lens prescription renewed, I mentioned to my contact lens fitter that I was planning on doing 'this extended cycling trip in Brittany over four days' and that extended wear contacts seemed to be kind of ideal and he looked at me as if he was about to give me a dose of anti-crazy pills.
Originally Posted by flylow
Patiently, he explained that it would be a bad idea to be abroad with only one or two sets of extended wear contacts. Your eyes take tremendous stress from the dry air of international flights. Cycle touring exposes your eyes to a ton of particulate matter and increases the likelihood of infection. Based on that, it seemed like the sanest approach was a mixture of disposable lenses and regular glasses.
That's exactly what I did.
Originally Posted by flylow
All my 600 km's so far have had very generous support with hotel rooms at the overnight control. I send the contact kit there in a drop bag, but also carry a spare set of disposables, just in case.
I wear soft lenses (Acuvue these days), the daily wear kind that you chuck after one month. I echo the comments about wearing some kind of cheap, plastic glasses when riding to keep crap out of your eyes, even for those folks who are blessed with 20/20. My glasses for sight, though, are quite bulky and heavy and they're not good for riding. I try not to go there when ever possible.
On multi-day rides, I've done a few things. On the Last Chance 1200, I got myself hooked up with some daily wear disposables that I just threw out at the end of each day. My eye doc was cool in getting me samples when I told her what I was going to be doing. That worked reasonably well, but (at least in 2005), those lenses didn't correct for astigmatism, so my night vision especially was pretty compromised. Not a big deal in the middle of Kansas at 3am, but not an ideal solution.
On PBP this past year, I started with an old pair of my regular lenses that I wore for the first day (about the 500K point) and then threw them out and put in a new pair which I kept in for the remainder of the ride. So I got the benefit of the astigmatism correction, and I only had the lenses in for the second two "nights" (Loudeac in-bound and Mortagne). Since I started at 0500 with the 84-hour group, this wasn't a big deal. Yeah, keeping the lenses in for two nights meant for a bacteria festival on my eyeballs, I'm sure, but I figured it was preferable to sticking my hands in my eyes twice more to take them out to soak while I slept. PBP was wet and the roads were covered with chicken and pig poop (good fertilizer!), so I figured I was better off by not touching my face any more than necessary. And this coming from a guy who showered during both visits to Loudeac..... PBP was a pretty filthy ride.
For 600Ks, 24-hour races, fleches, etc.... It's just one night (or part of one night), so I never worry about it. Keep 'em in. Carry some solution with you so you can hydrate them frequently to help keep things from getting scratchy and dry. I've had some luxurious 600Ks that have involved 3-4 hours of hotel sleep following a shower, so for those I always pull 'em out and soak them. Good as new the next day. But one day/night/partial day cycle of wear isn't going to hurt much, and it's preferable to glasses which are a major pain in the butt.
Of course, if you go with contacts, bring spares and your glasses on the bike if you'd be rendered sightless without them. Sightlessness would be a crappy way to DNF a ride.
And yeah, for long flights, dump the contacts and wear your glasses. No one cares how much of a geek you look like and your eyes will thank you for it big-time for the next few days.