How important are your eyes?
It’s a no-brainer of an answer, huh?
Without your eyes, your life will be very different to what it is right now.
It really doesn’t bear thinking about.
Without your eyes, you will not be able to ride your motorcycle.
Sure, you can still drink beer because you don’t need eyes to drink beer, but your eyes – windows to the soul and all that – are the be-all and end-all when it comes to riding motorcycles. And looking at pretty girls.
These are two of life’s most magnificent and fulfilling pastimes.
So we’re all agreed eyes are very important.
That being the case, can someone please tell me why so many of you are wearing cheap garbage sunglasses?
Oh go on. Tell me you’re the kind of person who loses sunnies all the time, so there’s no point in buying good ones because you’ll only lose them.
Are you like 12?
Firstly, if you spend a wad of cash on good sunnies, you’re quite incentivised to look after them, aren’t you?
Secondly, those cheap servo sunnies are actually damaging your eyes. As if you didn’t know that.
Your sunnies need to do three things really well.
Number One: They must block out 100 per cent of the UV rays. Just because they are really dark does not mean they are blocking UV light. They are blocking visible light. UV rays are not visible to the naked eye. So in real terms, they are doing more harm to your eyes by fooling the pupils into dilating, thus allowing even more UV light into your eyes. Cool huh? And just because there’s a sticker on your $20 servo-specials saying “Blocks UV” doesn’t mean that’s what is actually happening. Those UV rays will cause long-term damage to your eyes and you stand a good chance of going blind in your old age. You’ll not enjoy your retirement very much if you’re blind. Yes, there are cheap sunglasses which do a good job of blocking out UV rays. But that’s all they do. They lens quality is garbage. Read on, and you’ll understand why that is crucial.
Number Two: The optical quality of the lens is very important. Wear cheap lenses which can be imperceptibly warped and you will give yourself eye-strain. And eye-strain leads to migraines, headaches and bad long-term outcomes for your vision. Crap lenses are OK to look through when you try them on in the servo, but when you’ve had them on all day you’ll soon regret being a stingy eye-hater. You might not even know why you have a headache at the end of a long day in the saddle, but it’s a fair bet your cheap sunnies have caused it.
Number Three: Getting shards of Chinese plastic in your retinas is next-level unpleasant. Yes, cheap lenses can and do break if something hits them (rock, stick, bird, truck tyre) when you’re riding along. So you may well go blind very quickly rather than having your vision deteriorate over a few years.
Why am I so intent on selling you expensive sunnies?
I don’t sell sunnies.
I’m telling you this because it’s close to my heart and I reckon it’s important.
You see, I have worn glasses since I was five years old. My eyes and their health have always been at the forefront of my mind. And when I took up riding, the importance of my eyes and their ongoing health became even more important.
Without my eyes I do not ride.
These days, I wear contact lenses. And because I wear contacts, it is crucial the sunnies I wear tick those three important boxes above.
My ophthalmologist told me back when he fitted me up for contacts that I must always wear good quality sunglasses because my eyes will be more sensitive to UV rays thanks to the contact lenses.
I took his advice to heart and bought a pair of Ray Bans. The price made me swoon, but I soon forgot about that. The difference between cheap sunglasses and top quality sunglasses is so vast as to be unbridgeable.
Try any of the good brands – Maui Jim, Ray Ban, Oakley – and compare them to the sunnies you bought in a servo and you’ll be a believer.
Of course, great sunnies are not cheap.
Neither are good helmets, top-class leathers, boots, gloves or Öhlins suspension. Yet you don’t think twice about that, do you?
These are your eyes, for pity’s sake. Why would you do them such a great disservice and long-term harm by shielding them with novelty plastic rubbish sold in dollar stores, servos and supermarkets?
Buy good sunnies. Wear them, be happy, and look a bit like a movie star. There is no downside.
You’ll thank me in your old age.
By Boris Mihailovic