Planning a Long Motorcycle Trip This Summer? Why Eyewear Choice Is Crucial

Unlike most long trips in a car, a road trip on a motorcycle is more than merely getting from point A to point B. It’s about the journey. In fact, that’s an important reason many people choose to ride motorcycles. Simply getting to a destination safely, comfortably, and with minimal fuss is best done in a car. On the other hand, the motorcycling sensations of freedom, power, and the wind in your face are experienced as part of the journey. And when it comes to journeys, nothing beats a cross-country road trip.

If you’ve never taken a long road trip on your bike and want to do one this summer, preparation is critical to ensuring it will be an enjoyable, safe, and memorable one. There are many considerations such as choosing a route that has sufficient stops for rest, fuel, eating, and lodging. Your motorcycle shouldn’t have any maintenance issues at the start of your trip.

You will need to stay hydrated, especially in warm areas that are very dry or humid. Dehydration saps your stamina by inducing fatigue. Minimizing fatigue requires spacing your rest stops at appropriate intervals. You can further reduce fatigue by using the right equipment as well as building up riding stamina by going on a few long weekend rides before the big trip. Even your eating patterns can fatigue you. For example, you should avoid eating large meals because the digestive process uses up energy and makes you feel tired. You’re far better off eating smaller but more frequent meals.

Hand fatigue is another consideration. Wear padded gloves to cushion against vibration, don’t use high handlebars, and keep your wrists straight. Still another consideration is your motorcycle seat. A firm seat allows you to easily shift your body position, which prevents soreness. And of course, getting enough sleep each night is important.

- The Importance of Proper Eyewear -

Motorcycle riding glasses aren’t just a fashion statement. If you choose not to wear a full face motorcycle helmet, your choice of eyewear, whether motorcycle riding glasses or goggles, will make a big difference in safety, comfort, and fatigue reduction.

Motorcycle Eyewear Protects Your Eyes

A long road trip will expose you to a variety of situations that can cause an eye injury. Summer is the season for road construction. Road construction can mean getting hit by pebbles and bits of gravel from the tires in front of you. The same problem exists when riding behind big semi trucks. Dump trucks are especially bad. Flying debris is always a possibility even when following ordinary car traffic. The unprotected eye is also vulnerable to bug strike, and some are quite large. Cars use a lot of wiper fluid cleaning bug debris from their windshields, and in many parts of the country, bugs strikes are guaranteed to happen.

Ordinary glasses or sunshades aren’t adequate eye protection against road debris. A pebble coming at you from the opposing traffic lane can hit your eyewear at highway speeds. You should use¬†eyewear that passes the same tests required of safety glasses, that is, the labeling should indicate that it’s ANSI Z87.1 approved. The lens material should be either polycarbonate or Trivex, both of which are used by the military.

Another benefit of polycarbonate and Trivex is they naturally block all ultraviolet radiation. UV protection is a must because its exposure will be nonstop for the entire length of your trip. Ultraviolet is present even on cloudy days. Clouds diminish your exposure to UVB, which causes sunburn and snow blindness. However, UVA, which causes eye cataracts and macular degeneration, easily penetrates cloud cover.

Motorcycle Eyewear Reduces Fatigue

There are two sources of eye induced fatigue: wind exposure and glare. The constant buffeting of wind against the eyes both tires them and blurs your vision. This problem is especially acute in dry air. If you run into this problem on your trip, don’t try to tough it out. Get a good pair of motorcycle glasses or goggles as soon as you can. Allowing this problem to persist may lead to dry eye syndrome, which can damage your eyes. In addition, riding with blurred vision is obviously dangerous.

Motorcycle riding goggles will clearly block out the wind. However, riding glasses, even the wraparound style, don’t completely seal the eyes. Wiley-X sells motorcycle riding glasses with a removable foam seal that turns glasses into goggles. This versatile innovation allows you to wear them as sunglasses when you aren’t riding and as goggles when on the road.

Exposure to hours of intense glare, fatigues the eyes and causes headache. It also interferes with clear vision of the road. Glare is caused by intense direct sunlight and by light reflection off surfaces such as wet pavement or the rear windows of cars. Tinted polarized lenses are remarkably effective against glare. The polarized property of the lens strips away reflected glare from surfaces while the tint cuts down the overall brightness level.

Another option is getting a transition tint, which automatically adjusts its darkness to the external brightness level. It darkens in bright sunlight and lightens in dimmer conditions. An advantage of using a transition tint is that you won’t need a separate clear pair of glasses or goggles for night riding.

The different sources of fatigue discussed here are additive. Fatigue from sore muscles, numbed out hands from vibration, wind buffeting, glare, dehydration, too much food in your stomach, and lack of sleep all add up to an overall feeling of tiredness. This fatigued state makes you sleepy, reduces your coordination, reduces reaction time, makes it difficult to think, and even affects your judgment. If you are feeling this way, call it a day at the next stop with overnight lodging. Don’t risk an accident.

If you need help finding the right pair of motorcycle riding glasses or goggles for your trip, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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