That's what was coming through my headsets… a favorite Todd Rundgren song from back in the day.
As I rounded the tight turn I knew there was another vehicle heading my way.
It was late last night
I was feeling something wasn't right
There was not another soul in sight…
Then there was. One of these drivers that think if a few lights are good and a loaded lightbar at 110% should be awesome. Maybe. In the desert, but not on rural or suburban roads. The pick-up rounded the turn, and the lights that he thought would give him vision took mine away.
“Ugh. Turn the brights off, buddy!” I flashed my high beam, illuminating my own Denali LEDs. The power of the sun.
His reaction was to ride past me, his horn blaring and telling me I was number 1. How excellent; but you started it.
I like light. The more the better. But as Uncle Ben said… ‘With great power comes great responsibility’.
It’s not the lights that are the problem, but that disregard for oncoming riders and drivers that gets me, and it is not just the occasional rural pick-up truck that sports all this illumination, but plenty of motorcycles too. Especially the ADV riders who think they need to illuminate the Kalahari – even though they are riding to Rutt’s Hut on Route 3.
I have three sets on my GS and my Z900. The stock lamps, and two small yellow beams on the bottom. These are here for conspicuity – to be seen and a triangle with yellow lights seems to grab the attention more often than not.
The big lights are tied into my high beams. If I need my high beams then I probably need the D4 Denali Light Pods. But they are instantaneously controlled by a flick of a switch. I can ride with the Sol, and be courteous too.
But, why do we seem to need all this light – especially as we get older?
It is an age thing… as we get older our pupils become smaller – on average a 60+ year old human sees just 1/3 the light they did when a teenager. We don’t notice it as this loss is slow and gradual.
We see with two types of photoreceptors in our eyes – Rods and Cones. In the bright daytime, our cones – that allow us to see color – do all the work. But, as dusk approaches, our brain shifts and begins to use both rods and cones. Then, in the dark, we are using our rods entirely.
This is why everything is near black & white at night, and much more colorful during the day.
The passage of time weakens the tiny muscles that control your eye's pupil size. The pupil becomes smaller and less responsive to changes in light. That's why people in their 60s need 3 times more light for comfortable reading than those in their 20s. Smaller pupils make it more difficult to see at night. Baggy or droopy eyelids, which may occur after age 40, cut down on available light as well.
From wrinkled skin around your eyes to age-related eye conditions like macular degeneration and presbyopia, there are many ways your eyes may be affected as you age. Fortunately, some of these conditions can be reversed or even prevented by following a solid treatment plan from your eye doctor.
But there are some things we can do to help by ourselves; and proper nutrition and vitamins – especially A can make a difference.
Vitamin A plays a key role in many systems of your body. Vitamin A is essential for healthy vision, metabolism, and cell development. Your body can’t make vitamin A on its own, so you must get it through the foods you eat.
Vitamin A is vital for your vision. Your eyes need to make specific pigments for your retinas to work correctly. A lack of vitamin A hinders your eyes’ ability to make these pigments, which can lead to night blindness. This vitamin is also a component of rhodopsin, a protein of which our rods are made, and that allows you to see in low-light conditions.
In other words, you need vitamin A to be able to see at night.
Your eyes also need vitamin A to produce moisture to keep your corneas properly lubricated. If your corneas get too dry, they can become damaged, which can lead to blindness.
So, to that weekly pill holder you have but will not admit to, add one more pill, we hope it will help you see the light.