IPMBA Product Review

The “Perfect” Solution

by Mike Harris, PCI #1125
Mill Creek (WA) Police Department (Retired)
IPMBA Treasurer

Several years ago I started to notice that my arms were getting a little short while checking ID’s, so I went to my doctor.  The first question out of the doctor’s mouth was, “How old are you”?  Upon hearing my response, he said, “Yep, its time for readers”.  Of course, I quickly denied that could be possible.  His response, while smiling, was, “You’re getting old, so suck it up.” 

That moment launched my quest to find the so-called perfect readers that I could use on the bike while out on patrol.  My first experience with readers would find me stopping someone, pulling off my sunglasses and then reaching for my readers, which were either lost or bent into a shape that did not allow them to be placed on my face.  This forced me into buying mass quantity of readers.  If I had been smart, I would have bought stock in one of the warehouse stores, as I think that I personally raised their profits.

I was about to give up on my search for that “perfect” solution when Mitch Trujillo stopped me at the IPMBA Conference in Chandler, Arizona.  Mitch asked me if I used readers and when I begrudgingly admitted to it, he mentioned that he had a pair from Dual Eyewear that I should try out during the conference.   I was hesitant because I had tried other reader sunglasses and they just didn’t work out.  However, Mitch can be pretty persuasive, so with much reservation, I agreed to try a pair. 

Mitch provided me with a pair of Dual SL2 Pro black/smoke 1.5.  I fell in love with the glasses immediately, as I was able to read my bike computer and anything else that I needed to see.   I could go into a long discourse on the quality and workmanship of the glasses, but I’ll keep it short by simply saying that they are the best glasses that I have used.  They especially won my approval by holding up to my abuse.  I have a well-deserved reputation for destroying things and these glasses took my abuse without any protest. 

I was supposed to give the glasses back to Mitch at the end of the conference, but somehow they ended up in my bag, returned with me to Seattle, and became my daily eyewear.

Some weeks later, while on a cross-state training ride, I rode into a tunnel to avoid a lightning storm.  While waiting out the storm, I found myself talking to another rider who had done the same thing.  We chatted for a while, during which time I set the glasses down.  I was eastbound and the other rider was westbound.  After saying goodbye and finishing the ride through the 2.6 mile tunnel, I reached for the sunglasses and they were not there.  I rode back to the entrance of the tunnel only to find that the westbound rider was long gone and so were my glasses.  I was pretty bummed, as they had become my “go to” glasses for work and everyday riding.

A couple of days later, I returned to Seattle and contacted Kyle Gulla with Dual Eyewear to purchase another pair.  Kyle was very informative, explained the different styles, and advised which ones he thought would be perfect for me.  He recommended that I get a pair of a lower magnification than what I would normally wear for reading.  He explained that the location of the gauges on the bike are set a little farther away than normal reading distance and that the lower magnification would help with reading them.  I was hesitant at first but went ahead with his suggestion and I’m so glad that I did.  

Kyle sent me a pair of SL2 Pro glasses with interchangeable lenses.  I was again impressed with their design, durability, and with the interchangeable lenses.  I noticed that the lower magnification recommend by Kyle was right on, which made reading the gauges and work-related paperwork a breeze.  

The interchangeable lenses also made my patrol day, which started at noon and ended around midnight, a lot easier.  With the interchangeable lenses of the SL2 pros, I no longer had to stop using my glasses when the sun when down.  I would change the lenses out from the smoke to the yellow or to the clear depending on the lighting.

Since the glasses were working out great on duty, I decided to use them on the Tour Divide, an off-road race that starts in Banff, Canada, and for the successful, ends in Antelope Wells, New Mexico.  The glasses became an important piece of equipment during the race as they enabled me to read my GPS, cycle computer, paper maps, cue cards and watch, all of which were mounted on my handlebars.  

With the interchangeable lenses of the SL2 Pros, I was able to read and see at all hours of the day and night no matter what the conditions were.  Throughout the ride, conditions changed rapidly from clouds, sun, rain, lightning, hail and even snow.  The Dual Eyewear glasses continued to hold up great and I had no need to carry readers or other glasses.  I only made it to Wise River, Montana, before withdrawing due to an injury, but I would say that my Dual Eyewear glasses were an essential item that made the ride easier.

So, if you find yourself extending your arms out to read and have reached that point in life when you finally break down and admit that you might just need those little readers that you swore you would never get, I would highly recommend trying a pair of Dual Eyewear readers.  You won’t be disappointed.

Dual Eyewear participates in the IPMBA Product Purchase Program, offering 40% off retail.  Go to www.dualeyewear.com, enter your membership number in the fax field, and enter IPMBA-2015 in the discount code field.  Your membership status will be verified prior to order fulfillment. 

Mike recently retired after 26 years in law enforcement, serving the last 23 years with Mill Creek (WA) Police Department.  He has been a bike officer for 22 years and an IPMBA Instructor since 2008.  Mike is also a certified mountain bike instructor for the International Mountain Bike Instructor (IMIC) program (now IMBA Instructor Certification Program) and a volunteer instructor for the Evergreen Mountain Bike Association in Washington State.  He serves as treasurer on the IPMBA Board and can be reached at treasurer@ipmba.org

(c) 2015 IPMBA. This review appeared in the Fall 2015 issue of IPMBA News.

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