Riding blind - a geezer's tale

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jstark47
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Riding blind - a geezer's tale

#1 Unread post by jstark47 » Wed Sep 15, 2010 8:40 pm

Well, not so much a geezer - I'm only 54. But some things don't work like 24..... :mrgreen: Eyesight is one. Especially night vision.

You go where you look, right? What if you look, but don't see? I worked a bit too late one night last week. It was all the way dark when I left. I was riding my Trophy. Trophy's the heaviest and most powerful of my bikes - it's the most demanding to ride well, but the most rewarding, too. My daily commute is of course a route I know very well. But I was really having trouble - not able to really see, which made me less confident, which started breeding muscular tension (as well as being tired), which ..... you can see where this is going. Trophy's a bike that has to be maneuvered with total committment. "Playing it safe" (pulling your punches) with leaning, body positioning, etc, actually is more dangerous. If you're loose and relaxed, the Trophy's a blast. Tighten up, and it feels like a top heavy pig, just waiting for a chance to bite you back.

I think there's a couple things going on here. While I have no trouble seeing lights, seeing into the dark areas and shadows is harder now - less and less detail is picked up by my eyes. Second, without general illumination, my eyes just don't want to focus on anything. No focus means less visual references for the processer in the brain, which means that semiautonomous "go where you look" feedback loop ain't working so well. Third, a day on the computer screen probably aggravates the whole thing. (Duhh..... ya think???!! :humm: )

Compromises of aging. A few years ago I wrote that I was OK with night riding if on a familiar route. Now? Not so much.

Hell, by the time I'm 94 I might have to cut out night riding altogether!! :devil:

Thoughts, anyone? (not necessarily confined to folk on the "adult" side of 50 :lol: )
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Re: Riding blind - a geezer's tale

#2 Unread post by pchast » Wed Sep 15, 2010 10:52 pm

I don't ride at night. I actually avoid driving either if I can. I've gotten to a point where bright lights seem to actually blind me for a second.
Its a real pain....

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Re: Riding blind - a geezer's tale

#3 Unread post by ibswooft » Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:02 am

Sounds like time for a visit to your eye doctor. Been there. Done that. Might need to look at an amber faceshield.

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Re: Riding blind - a geezer's tale

#4 Unread post by MZ33 » Thu Sep 16, 2010 12:53 pm

There are eye drops that I got from my eye doctor that help with this. But you may just need glasses. I had lasix surgery, but I found that a new prescription for glasses, which I only need at night, works better than the drops for me.
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Re: Riding blind - a geezer's tale

#5 Unread post by Gummiente » Thu Sep 16, 2010 4:23 pm

I, too, have noticed that my night vision isn't as good as it was back in my younger Army days. It's a natural thing that happens as we get older, unfortunately. I echo the suggestion you visit an eye doctor just to make sure everything is as it should be, as well as the yellow faceshield thingy.
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Re: Riding blind - a geezer's tale

#6 Unread post by ceemes » Sat Sep 18, 2010 12:35 am

Okay, I have to bite. What is so special about an amber face shield and night riding? I've used amber sun glasses, the so-called blue blockers during the bright days and like the way they brighten things up and seem to sharpen images, but never tried them at night.
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Re: Riding blind - a geezer's tale

#7 Unread post by ibswooft » Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:22 am

Amber sunglasses or faceshield are supposed to work the same at night or day. I use my shield at night some. It seems to help. Just got to remember to take it with me!

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Re: Riding blind - a geezer's tale

#8 Unread post by Dragon on Wheels » Sun Oct 03, 2010 12:01 am

Maybe try contacts if you aren't already using them?

If I know I'll be riding at night, I will wear my contacts. I have to pick smaller lenses for my glasses because they're a bit too thick and contact lenses make it seem like I can see much more (esp. peripherally). I still don't like riding/driving in the dark though.
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Re: Riding blind - a geezer's tale

#9 Unread post by gsJack » Sun Oct 03, 2010 8:41 am

I'm geting to the point now where I'd rather not drive or ride after dark and I don't except to get home from somewhere not too far away. Oncoming lights are getting very bothersome but should be better after I get around to getting my cataracs fixed. :-) Never gave not riding at night a thought in my 50's and 60's, took my last trip to the mountains with some night riding about 6 years ago. Didn't even start riding until I was 52 so I have no pre 50's riding to compare it too.

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Re: Riding blind - a geezer's tale

#10 Unread post by sv-wolf » Sun Oct 03, 2010 8:53 am

Hi Mr Stark

I know exactly what you mean. I had to ride home in the dark and in the rain the other night. Spray on my visor scattering the light from oncoming cars as well as pitch black roads made for a really scary ride.

I used to use amber night glasses and though they didn't perform any miracles they did improve my night vision. One company here in the UK, though, has recently developed night vision glasses with clear lenses. I have a pair and they are brilliant. Unfortunately, I don't recall the name of the company. It might be worth doing some research on this.

I also use trayner glasses. I guess you will have them in the US, but they might be called something different. They are designed for focusing problems but I find they help with night vision as well. They are inconvenient and irritating but they work.

The 'lenses' are two pieces of opaque black plastic pierced by dozens of small holes. This cuts down the amount of light received and forces the eyes to work harder.

You don't wear them all the time. You just wear them for half-an-hour every day for six months in good light and over time your eyesight improves. I wear them to watch TV or read in the evening, or while I'm on the computer. After a while the 'pinhole' effect lessens and you start to see things whole through them (the brain is amazing). Since trying them out I've been able to stop using my reading glasses in good light and I am now more confident riding at night.

I know a couple of other people who have had very good results from them.

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PS British "geezers" can be any age. Are you trying to superannuate us? :wink:
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Re: Riding blind - a geezer's tale

#11 Unread post by roscowgo » Thu Jun 09, 2011 3:39 pm

Dark and rain = basically blind for me as far as the road goes. I can see the lines, but that's about it.

It's nerve wracking. My night vision otherwise is pretty good. It was at one point almost spectacular, now not so much.

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Re: Riding blind - a geezer's tale

#12 Unread post by havegunjoe » Fri Jun 10, 2011 12:51 pm

I wear glasses. Two years ago at the annual motorcycle show I purchase a really nice pair of wrap around prescription sun glasses. They work great with my full face helmet. I didn't want a tinted faceshield and my regular glasses get pushed around when I wear the helmet while these wrap around ones stay right where you want them. I then got the idea to buy a clear set for riding at night. Best idea I've had in a long time.
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Re: Riding blind - a geezer's tale

#13 Unread post by michaelb81 » Sat Jun 25, 2011 2:46 am

I have only been street riding for a year or so, but I do have a little trouble at night. My eye doctor says that i am fairly night blind, but contacts don't help that much with that. I have ridden 24hr enduro races, and I am getting better at reading the path ahead by the road angles that I see and feel while riding the streets. If you don't feel to good about waht is ahead I would just put it in one gear lower for every part that you run it in the day time. Maybe look into a different light system.

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Re: Riding blind - a geezer's tale

#14 Unread post by totalmotorcycle » Sat Jun 25, 2011 5:56 am

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Re: Riding blind - a geezer's tale

#15 Unread post by blues2cruise » Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:23 pm

So....where is the OP? Mr. Stark? What did you do about your vision problems? Glasses?
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Re: Riding blind - a geezer's tale

#16 Unread post by jstark47 » Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:48 pm

blues2cruise wrote:What did you do about your vision problems? Glasses?
I think it's a combination of dark and eye fatigue from long hours on the computer at work. So when I'm commuting by motorcycle during the shorter months of the year, I try to leave before dark. And if I've been on the computer all day (instead of at meetings), I try to leave after 8 hours.

I do need new glasses, but not for distance, for reading. Bifocals are from the devil, and I'm going back to dedicated reading glasses and will just accept the necessity to carry two pairs. (No, contacts don't work for me, I tend toward dry and eroded corneas, contacts aren't a good idea.)

blues2cruise wrote:So....where is the OP? Mr. Stark?
... I ran out of intelligent things to post about this week. :mrgreen: :laughing:
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Re: Riding blind - a geezer's tale

#17 Unread post by sv-wolf » Sun Aug 21, 2011 2:15 pm

Hi Mr Stark. I'm really glad you said that about the PC. I've been having an argument with my Health and Safety officer at work for months about eyesight and the computers. He keeps quoting some government stats which claim to prove that PCs don't affect eyesight - which is total crap in my opinion. I certainly have the same problem in the winter months riding home if I have been on the screen all day.

BTW on a linguistic issue: do I understand from your remarks that in the US a 'geezer' is specifically and old man, rather than a bloke of any age, as it is here?

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Re: Riding blind - a geezer's tale

#18 Unread post by jstark47 » Sun Aug 21, 2011 6:01 pm

sv-wolf wrote:TW on a linguistic issue: do I understand from your remarks that in the US a 'geezer' is specifically and old man, rather than a bloke of any age, as it is here?
Yes, in American idiom "geezer" equals old man, especially an eccentric one. I wasn't aware there was another meaning in British usage. (English usage. English English? Oh, well..... :humm: )
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Re: Riding blind - a geezer's tale

#19 Unread post by sv-wolf » Tue Aug 23, 2011 3:40 pm

jstark47 wrote:
(English usage. English English? Oh, well..... :humm: )

Actually, London English in this instance (or at least the South-East). There aren't many geezers north of Watford.

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Re: Riding blind - a geezer's tale

#20 Unread post by blues2cruise » Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:32 pm

sv-wolf wrote:
jstark47 wrote:
(English usage. English English? Oh, well..... :humm: )

Actually, London English in this instance (or at least the South-East). There aren't many geezers north of Watford.

Cheers
More likely doddering old fools. :P
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