Cycling And Listening To Music

Discussion in 'Commuting and Road Safety' started by Dora M, Apr 4, 2015.

  1. Dora M

    Dora M Member

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    Personally, I could never imagine myself riding on the busy roads here in my city, or for that matter on any roads at all, listening to music. I often see bike riders with headphones and usually make a big circle around them, as I don't want to get in their way. They present an obstacle to me. I find that they are not fully focused on the road and what is going on around them. Also, I especially dislike those who bring along their "personal disco", listening to their rap and reggaeton wherever they go.
    How about you? Does music on the road bother you?
     
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  2. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    I love music, but not when I'm riding a bike, I prefer to hear what's coming behind me unhindered. I can't count the number of times I've had to yell at another cyclist or runner that I'm coming up from behind who had ear buds on and they never heard me. There are noises that go on that can warn you of potential trouble, like gun shots...ok, not really, but like a car suddenly accelerating behind you, why are they doing that? to beat you to the next road so they can turn right in front of you cutting you off and perhaps causing a crash, now if you hear that car accelerating then you can begin to slow down anticipating the stupid motorist actions saving your bike and perhaps life.

    There is enough noise in your ears when your riding called wind noise without adding more to them, besides, me personally anyways, I hate the sound of music through earbuds, add to that wind noise garbling what crappy sound earbuds already have. On top of all of that I prefer when riding to get away from artificial noise as much as possible and hear what nature has to say. Again, that's just my opinion.
     
  3. Badgerflips

    Badgerflips New Member

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    I usually ride with one bud in. Usually something with a beat like dubstep at a really low volume to keep the cadence up, and my cue sheets announce audibly through the ridewithGPS app on my phone so I don't have to look down. Rides can go for hours, so I prefer a little soundtrack as I'm going... I can still hear vehicles and people saying thanks when I ring the bell to pass them on the bike trails. Beats wireless earbuds are awesome, I just clip the right one to the back of my helmet cage, they bluetooth through the phone. =)
     
  4. kana_marie

    kana_marie Member

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    Put one earphone in. I know it's more dangerous, but I need the music to keep me motivated and focused.
     
  5. sylvia_louise

    sylvia_louise New Member

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    I vote for no music. I think it distracts me from my surroundings too much. Plus, when I am riding out on the bike trails by house, others bikers give out a friendly shout, when passing me. I would never hear them with music playing, even with just one ear plug! Plus, I agree with above post about the enjoyment of hearing nature. It relaxes me on my ride.
     
  6. gavinfree

    gavinfree Member

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    I like being completely focused on what I'm doing on a bicycle, so you won't find me wearing headphones. I don't mind when others do it as long as I'm not affected by their actions. I just avoid people that are wearing headphones and continue on my way. It's not like I have the responsibility of convincing them that they're being a little dangerous to some degree.
     
  7. Jennifer Abernathy

    Jennifer Abernathy New Member

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    I think music is definitely fun to listen to, but should probably be saved for home use or when you're not needing to pay full attention to your surroundings. I know many people may disagree, but to me cycling should have your full focus so that you're not endangering yourself or others. Music can be such a distraction, especially on busy roadways.
     
  8. Clairelouise84

    Clairelouise84 New Member

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    I apply the same rules as when I used to walk everywhere, I want to be able to hear my assailants coming at me to at least give me a bit of a head start. I don't listen to any music, even in the day as traffic noises can be muted by the music and it is not worth the risk to me.
     
  9. joshposh

    joshposh Banned

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    I personally don't like to see cyclist wearing earphone or head sets while riding. That's a safety issue. There are so much dangers on the road and being able to hear what's going on around you is important. A honking horn, a child screaming. That's the warning signs that you need to pay attention to.
     
  10. adfnio

    adfnio New Member

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    You bring up a good point. You need to have your hearing to identify road hazards. If you lady yells stop, will you be able to hear it with headphones on? Nope. Hey I understand it can get boring on a long ride. But it's much lonelier if you die.
     
  11. joshposh

    joshposh Banned

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    If you are going to be listening to music anyways, then I suggest you keep one ear open for road hazards and so forth.
     
  12. BobCochran

    BobCochran Well-Known Member

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    Well I think it is okay to have music playing while riding. Most vehicles have audio systems. Would you buy a car without some type of radio? A motorcycle? A truck? A boat? A bicycle rider listening to personal audio is doing nothing different from the operators of all these vehicles who are busily listening to same. It is hardly fair to single out the cyclist for special criticism.

    Bob
     
  13. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Bob,

    The difference is that when driving in a car you're in a 3,000lb cocoon with crumple zones, airbags, SRS seat belt restraints and numerous other safety features. Hitting something even at ~50mph often results in the person walking away.

    100+ mph into a power pole. Don't try this at home. At least he walked away...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hk9ZZR2IdXw

    Hit something that's solid on a bicycle at 30mph and see how far you walk. I've done just that and I can say the answer is "not far." I Sadly we need to look out for the folks in their own private little world on wheels (aka driving a car) as well as figuring out where we need to ride. As a result, headphones whilst riding a bike are a really, really shit idea.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
  14. henchman21

    henchman21 New Member

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    listining to music while cycling is a bit dangerous as it lowers reaction time since you cant hear incoming danger. So unles you are out inthe country away from traffic, I would advise against it.
     
  15. Catsyo

    Catsyo New Member

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    The only time I listen to music is with my phone's speakers. I only do this rarely because it doesn't really get loud enough to do in traffic and my music is probably really annoying to most people walking down the street.

    In general, I think it's a bad idea. Listening to music in a car can be distracting enough when you factor in trying to find music to listen to or switching the radio channels. The difference is a car is basically a big metal cocoon so you're inherently less likely to feel the consequences of your distraction than someone who's on a bike. My earbuds make it too hard to hear nearby traffic and having to start and stop every time I want to change songs/artists is really inconvenient.
     
  16. BobCochran

    BobCochran Well-Known Member

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    Well, many of my family members are motorcyclists who are enveloped in sound when they ride. They have sound systems right in the motorcycles. These are very experienced riders. What makes a bicyclist listening with a personal device so different from the motorcyclist experiencing very intense sound levels from the get-go? I'm afraid i don't see the logic here -- I don't see what specifically requires a bicyclist to give up audio devices while riding, but it is okay for the motorcyclist who is barreling along at much higher speeds. I'm not trying to use poor manners here, in fact I'm interested in examining the use case quite closely. At what point does the bicyclist's wish for audio intersect with the same wish by the motorcyclist, and still look "acceptable"?

    Thanks

    Bob
     
  17. Catsyo

    Catsyo New Member

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    I'd argue that there isn't really a difference and that motorcyclists shouldn't be listening to music either. I think motorcycle radios are simply products of a different time where safety standards were much lower. It's kinda like how cars didn't used to have seatbelts and side mirrors. The reason bikes didn't grow up having radios attached is likely because we didn't have the technology to listen to music while riding until relatively recently in their history. I would guess the acceptability of motorcycle radios is based on mere convention. The fact that motorcycle radios are a convention doesn't really prove that it's safer to listen to music on a motorcycle than a bike, it just says that society thinks one is okay and the other isn't.

    None of this is to suggest your motorcyclist family members are bad people for using sound systems. I just think we should try to limit things that distract people on the road.
     
  18. 9lines

    9lines Member

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    That is very dangerous mostly when you listening at high volumes. That affects your attention to using the road and you may cause am accident.
     
  19. cyclegirl23

    cyclegirl23 New Member

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    I love music, but I need my full attention to be on my surroundings especially if I'm close to a road. I could see maybe listening with one earbud in quietly on a road that isn't very busy, but otherwise, no headphones for me.
     
  20. 2 Piece

    2 Piece New Member

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    I ride all the time with ear buds. I can still hear things like cars coming from behind, hearing is just ONE of the senses used for both defensive and offensive riding/ driving. Sight is the primary sense used. Cars mostly (factory) have one horn (sound) but have 3 rear view mirrors (sight) wonder why? How many cyclist do you see using some kind of rear view mirror? Probably very, very few but you do not get on forums and say how dangerous it is to ride with out some sort of rearview mirror. But let someone ask about listening to music while riding and see how many jump onboard and say it isn't safe. Something to think about; a deaf person can safely walk, ride a bicycle, and even drive a car, but a blind person cannot.
    Bad riding skills/ habits are bad weather or not you are listening to music, but that's another rant I have.
    Be safe.
     
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