It's been quite a while since I posted here. I used to think I was simply too busy due to travel, but now that I'm on vacation in Boulder for the summer I'm coming to realize that I'm just lazy. It's well past the time to get involved again.
Lately I've been thinking a lot about my age.
I’m 69. When I was younger it never occurred to me that I’d ever be this old. But some how it happened. In the following weeks I’ll write about some of the physiological changes I’ve experienced due to aging and what I’ve learned about them. It isn’t pretty. Some are big deals – such as tendencies to add body fat and slow recovery from exercise. Others are merely nuisances. That’s where I’m going with this first post on the topic.
One of the greatest inconveniences of aging, I’ve found, is the loss of near vision – the need for bifocals. It seems that every product on the market, from home thermostats to cell phones, was designed by someone who is 30 years old with excellent eyes. Why do they all use such small fonts? Don’t they understand that it’s mostly people over 50 who can most easily afford them? In this hard-to-read category are bicycle handlebar computers and head units.
Some head units are easier on old eyes than others. But in the aero position with the head tucked in and low, the only way to read my Garmin 800 is to raise up to get some distance between my eyeballs and the head unit thus greatly increasing drag, or to wear bifocals which is beyond nuisance. I’ve tried stick-on bifocals on my prescription Oakley sunglasses. That didn’t work too well. I’m nearsighted so having a bifocal on top of the prescription lens made for fuzzy vision up close. They worked OK with non-prescription sunglasses but became cloudy over time. And without the prescription lens, looking up the road was always a bit blurry. Exasperating.
Recently I heard of a company making prescription-cycling lenses using a new digital technology - ADS Sports Eyewear. So I had a pair of lenses made for some Oakley frames. What a difference! Now with a free-form, digital, progressive bifocal I can easily read my head unit while low in the time trial position, and I can see clearly up the road. It’s remarkable how such a seemingly small thing as this could so greatly improve my enjoyment of riding a bike.
In addition, my peripheral vision with a wrap-around frame is just as crisp and clear, as it is front and center. And the ADS lenses are no thicker than my old non-prescription Oakley lenses. This is a clear improvement over the prescription, wrap-around sunglasses I’ve had before with the corrective lens “sandwiched” on to a standard, non-prescription lens. That technology made for limited peripheral vision and bulky, ugly sunglasses – and without bifocals.
I was so impressed by ADS’s lenses and service that I asked them to be one of my sponsors (you can see them in my new sponsor section on the right side of my blog home page).
The price for a pair of ADS sunglasses depends on several variables. ADS can use your existing frames so long as they are in good condition and will work with their lens. The lens-only price ranges from $119.00 for a clear, single vision lens to $219.00 for the polarized version. A progressive bifocal section in the bottom will add about $200.00 to the lens price. Or you can buy a lens and frame package. Frame prices average between $79.00 and $200.00. Standard cycling frames are available from several companies such as Oakley, Nike, Adidas, Kaenon, Wiley, Bolle and Smith. The ADS web page for cycling sunglasses shows your options. All of the sunglasses on the page are prescription-ready.
In my next post I’ll comment on recovery devices I’ve been trying out over the last several months and what I’ve discovered about them. All, of course, from the perspective of aging. That will be followed by the topic of body weight and aging. Again, I’ve been tinkering, reading research and found some interesting stuff.