The Shady Truth

I have too many pairs of shades. Too many pairs of sunglasses. I know this because I can no longer stack them on the end of the bookcase without knocking at least one pair per day onto the floor. Luckily, the floor is carpeted, so no scratches result from the frequent drops. My collection is not the result of compulsively buying sunglasses. I do buy several pairs per year, but that activity is actually part of a search: the search for the perfect pair of (preferrably cheap) glasses for motorcycling.

The photo shows my current batch of eye wear. An explanation of each item follows.

  • Goggles, clear. The clear goggles are very good for pre-sunrise and night riding. The foam around the frame is still properly attached, though they’re the same age as the shaded goggles (below).

  • Goggles, shaded. The shaded goggles work well in daylight, but are uncomfortable after the first 200 miles. The discomfort is caused by the foam around the rims, which is only vaguely attached to, and falling away from the frame. Unfortunately, I have no idea what glue to use to attach soft foam to plastic.

  • Aviators. I don’t know why I have these. They’re more artifact than useful, since the wind flows freely around them, even when I’m riding with the windshield on. This style was groovy once.

  • Bolle prescription glasses. Upon a time, I was required to wear prescription glasses by the DMV. I got these from the optometrist. These glasses are very close to perfect in the wind, but they have a slight prescription, which bothers my eyes a bit now. My eyes got better and the DMV removed the license restriction a few years ago.

  • Goggle glasses. These work (+/-) okay on the motorcycle, but they are about 1/4″ too short vertically. I have to keep adjusting their position while riding.

  • Knockoff Armanis. I bought these for $10. They are good up to about 40 mph on the bike, but I like the glasses, so I use them when driving the car.

  • Cheapass women’s shades. $10 glasses that work in the wind up to 90 mph, but look wrong because they were styled for women. The nose piece fell off these, then they worked better in the wind.

  • Cheapass women’s shades #2. Another $10 pair that works well up to 90 mph, but looks weird. I should throw both pairs in the recycling bin.

  • New cheapass men’s shades. I bought these yesterday when I was (gasp!) driving the car. They seem to be shaped right for the motorcycle, but I haven’t tested them.