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Wearing earphones while riding?(17 posts)

Wearing earphones while riding?Cartman
Dec 28, 2003 7:29 PM
I've seen posts against it, I was wondering if anyone did it.
Cull the herdfredstaple
Dec 28, 2003 7:38 PM
Wear'em, die, make more room for the rest of us.
Don't. Subject comes up once every other month here..russw19
Dec 28, 2003 7:44 PM
The overwhelming opinion is don't. It's not worth risking your life over if you don't hear a car coming up too close to you. It will cause a distraction, period. That's exactly why people would use them. To distract themselves from either the boredom or pain of their ride. Ask yourself, is being distracted on your bike really something you want to go out of your way to artificially acheive? That's what riding with headphones will do.

Also, you really should check your local and state laws on the subject. It could net you a hefty ticket if you run into the wrong cop. And if you cause an accident or are even a part of one, you open the door to be charged or blamed for the accident.

It's just not worth it. Hum your favorite songs in your head instead.

re: Wearing earphones while riding?Boise100
Dec 28, 2003 8:12 PM
Most of the time, I would agree that wearing ear phones are a bad idea. But sometimes, in the right conditions, they can be safe.
I tend to ride a lot of open country roads with very little cross streets or traffic. Keeping the music at a low volume still allows me to hear it, but also remain undestracted to the rest of the world. I can still carry on a conversation with other riders, hear the rolling of car tires as they pass me by, listen for barking / charging dogs, etc. In addition, listening to really good motivational music naturally tends to help drive me a litle longer and faster.
The type of phones is rather critical too. if you must, use ear phones that keep the cannal open to outside noises, not the phones that cover the entire ear.
I'm not trying to convert anyone to using headphones, just stating what works for me.
re: Wearing earphones while riding?collegiateryder
Dec 28, 2003 8:42 PM
when im doing intervals or laps in central park i definately need my music to help me stay pumped in all this cold weather. i dont listen while going through traffic, thats a deathwish.
re: Wearing earphones while riding?BowWow
Dec 28, 2003 10:18 PM
I watched a guy stop during a long group ride to change the CD he was listening to, and another rider smacked into him, damaging one bike and both riders - if you want to, use 'em when you ride alone in low-traffic areas, but be wise! There's a critical shortage of common sense in the world right now!
Sure, on the rollers ONLY! nmJuanmoretime
Dec 29, 2003 1:57 AM
Naaaa....asphalt assault
Dec 29, 2003 4:06 AM
The soft hiss of my tires on the pavement and the sounds of nature are music to my ears...anyhow, I want to hear a car coming if it's going to run me over!
re: Wearing earphones while riding?Woof the dog
Dec 29, 2003 7:20 AM
I started doing it a lot this past summer.

If you follow all the traffic rules, ride defensively and watch out for cars that might cut you off from behind, etc. it is the same thing as riding w/o headphones.

I think people here live in all these different areas and some of them, like big cities, are probably not a good place for riding while listening to music.


woof the dog.
re: Wearing earphones while riding?irregardless
Dec 29, 2003 7:49 AM
No problem, go ahead. And don't bother wearing a silly helmet because it may interfere with the headphones.
Never leave home without them...Asphalt Addict
Dec 29, 2003 8:11 AM
Before everybody goes crazy on me I have to say that I ride mainly rural farm roads and would not ride in the city with them. I train alone. I'm not blasting them at marshall amplifier levels either. I wear buds and can hear traffic well. I ride safe. Lets face it folks, you are at the mercy of the person behind the steering wheel.
don't wear themngl
Dec 29, 2003 8:50 AM
ANYTHING that you listen to is a distraction ( however minor it is). I was over taking a biker wearing earphones ( apparently he could not hear my bike behind him) and I startled him as I said "on your left". He swerved a bit. I pointed to my ear and shook my head as I passed him.

A week later he showed up at our group ride wearing head phones again. We asked him to put them away. He has been riding with us ever since.

I hope this helps.
group rides = DEFINITE no no n.m.shawndoggy
Dec 29, 2003 9:14 AM
don't wear themj_ryder
Dec 29, 2003 10:20 AM
that's a fascinating tale. However, my experience is that everyone that I pass acts startled and swerves regardless of their use or non use of headphones. Especially if I announce myself ala "on your left". I've never felt compelled to point out their crucial mistake in not being completely attuned to their environment either. If someone wants to wear headphones or earbuds they assume a nominal extra risk. simple as that. theyre not putting your safety in imminent risk. Just continue about your ride and ignore them.
don't wear themngl
Dec 29, 2003 12:39 PM
YOU ( OR THE BIKER YOU ARE PASSING) ARE OBVIOUSLY DOING SOMETHING WRONG IF THEY GET STARTLED ON YOUR WAY BY! The whole idea calling out to a person before passing them is to NOT startle them and avoid a foolish mistake. If they are wearing head phones, do not hear me, and swerve into me because of it, whose fault is it? Mine? Is this the "nominal extra risk " you are accepting?

Be courteous to those you share the road with! You owe it to other bicyclists to pay attention. No one should be startled when passed. And YES I do feel compelled to point out his mistake. Especially if he swerves toward me.

Leave the headphones at home.
Dec 29, 2003 8:49 AM
I've started wearing them in the last year on solo rides, in two circumstances: 1) off-road night rides near my home, and 2) 5:00 a.m. training sessions.

Off road, where I ride, at night, there is about zero risk of seeing anyone else on the trail, save for kids out partying in their 4X4s. With all the lights on those, and the slow speeds at which they travel, again, just about zero risk of missing seeing them. Most of these rides I did in the summer to prepare for a 24 hour MTB race.

On the road, I use the headphones in the early a.m. The music combined with a cup of coffee help get me going for these otherwise unbearable training rides.

For those who say it's an instant deathwish, I offer these thoughts:
Do you listen to the stereo in your vault-like silent car while driving? Probably, and you probably manage to do so without regularly killing people. I mean sheesh, cars today are so quiet that even with the radio off, you'd need to roll the windows all down to be able to hear everything around you. Nobody does that! Like the prior poster said, so long as you listen with the volume at an appropriate level, use earbuds or other "open" headphones so cars can still be heard (again, this is possible), and you exercise reasonable caution, I can do it safely. Big city, downtown, during rush hour = bad idea. Country roads, or in my case, suburban roads before the suburbanites are awake = possible.

I think some of the protest is also based on an aesthetic argument -- that the whir of your wheels and the sound of your chain should be enough to motivate you. Well, that's great for those who are motivated by those sounds, but not everyone is.

In sum, yes, I do it. I'm not dead yet.
Dec 29, 2003 10:59 AM
I to ride with Ear buds... I do have a suggestion I use a one ear type, and with the volume at an appropriate level you can easily hear traffic.

Do not use them in high traffic areas, and I never use them while with other riders, I like to talk as I ride. But for those lonley training rides they are great to motivate.. I suggest a nice MP3 player