Does this happen to anyone else who wears contacts?  Where your sunglasses don’t quite fit the shape of your face, and so you’re riding your bike along because maybe the sun was out an hour ago and it was 40 degrees and the roads are clear even though it has started snowing again.  And because your sunglasses aren’t just right, a steady stream of wind funnels under the lens and up into your eye just enough where your contacts can’t get a good seal on your eyeballs, and everything goes out of focus.  You try to blink extra fast to keep them moist and in perfect alignment, but it does no good.  It starts with one eye first, then just when you think you’ll be fine with half clear-half blurry vision, nothing is sharp anymore.

You can push your glasses hard onto your face so they pinch your nose and try to shape the wind, but the only way to regain vision is to stop pedaling for a minute.  Stop all the wind.

Of course, the lake effect snow that was nowhere to be seen on the radar at the start of the ride has picked up and started accumulating on the bends in my elbows and the tops of my shoe covers, so stopping is out of the question.  The only course of action is to keep pedaling, head down because any farsightedness is long gone, and not mind the numbness slowly spreading from one toe to the next.

But I’m smiling, because I’m out on my road bike, which seems even lighter and springier after months of exclusively riding the cross bike when outside, and maybe I didn’t need to see everything along the side of the route anyway.  There are huge fluffy snowflakes falling and I’m still dry and the clouds have moved in to block out the afternoon sun so even with 20/20 vision you couldn’t see the next stop ahead sign.

One thought on “”

  1. Luke,

    Thanks for sharing your pictures from the Smokeys and your musings. You are a gifted writer, able to make one feel like he’s there in your shoes. I have memories from some fall backpacking in the Smokeys and remember some cold and wet days, as well as glorious scenery. I can identify with the wind on the contacts also. Good riding!

    Uncle Don

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