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Old 11-30-08, 03:17 AM   #1
Square & Compas
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Your opinon on listening to music while riding.

I would like your opinion on listening to music while riding. Please base your opinion on a safety stand point. When I say listening to music I do not mean with ear buds or headphones. I am talking about external speakers. There are differant set ups available, from something like the Cycle Sound to home built units.

This is for all types of riding on roadways. Whether it is in an urban or country side setting.

What do you think, from a safety stand point? Good idea, or not? Do you think it is safer to not listen to music with external speakers, or does it make a differance? Do you think it is any differant from listening to music in a motor vehicle?

I am asking because I am considering listening to music when I ride, but want to get some opinions on it first.

Thanks.
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Old 11-30-08, 07:11 AM   #2
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I was thinking about this last night as I bicycled in the dark on one of the busiest streets in out city.

I know that, in fact, riding with headphones on impairs the rider's hearing and is thus not as safe as riding without them.

However, last night, I found myself turning the music up just so I could have the courage to be mixed with that traffic. Without the music, I would have been white-knuckled and couldn't have done it. Ironically, you could say that the music provided me enough ignorance of the environment to allow me to bicycle in that crazy traffic.
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Old 11-30-08, 07:34 AM   #3
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Old 11-30-08, 07:35 AM   #4
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I think of it as shutting one of your senses off to the surrounding. A great comparision would be blinders that only allowed you to see forward.
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Old 11-30-08, 07:43 AM   #5
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I think you should avail yourself of the search tool. There's about a gazillion threads on the subject. The electrons are still drying in some of them.

Happy reading.
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Old 11-30-08, 08:52 AM   #6
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Not helpful to safety. I won't even play music in a car. Have heard things dangerous many times.

Auto designers are steadily increasing the number of distractions in vehicles. One of the nice things about bicycles is the lack of distraction.

I don't even ride with one of those little computers. I just pay attention.
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Old 11-30-08, 09:06 AM   #7
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Whether it's safe or not depends on rider skills like how good one is with their eyes, if they use a mirror and the particular riding situation like the type of road and amount of traffic.

I listen to music every ride out and anybody that attempts to tell me I'm taking a risk doesn't have a clue. I might add I don't need to hear what I can see.
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Old 11-30-08, 09:10 AM   #8
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I think you should avail yourself of the search tool. There's about a gazillion threads on the subject. The electrons are still drying in some of them.

Happy reading.
but it's so much fun to rehash the same old rants.
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Old 11-30-08, 09:16 AM   #9
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It depends on the music. If I were listening to rap or hip hop, I'd actually be hoping for a crash.
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Old 11-30-08, 09:26 AM   #10
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Clueless with iPod

Coroner links MP3 player to cyclists death

Enjoy.

-Kurt
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Old 11-30-08, 09:29 AM   #11
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I need to pay FULL attention while in traffic. When I listen to music, I really listen to it....I gotta choose one or the other. I mean, it's possible for me, but I can see how it can be a distraction. I believe in focusing on my rides 100% as a good way to fully enjoy them.

When I'm on some trail where there is no traffic, I like to pull out some Floyd.
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Old 11-30-08, 09:42 AM   #12
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Almost always listen to music or audiobooks while cycling. No impact on safety, and it makes riding much more enjoyable regardless if I'm commuting, shopping, or riding for exercise. Often chew gum and eat mints as well to further enjoy my ride. Good stuff. I recommend it.
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Old 11-30-08, 09:52 AM   #13
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It depends on the music. If I were listening to rap or hip hop, I'd actually be hoping for a crash.
winning post!
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Old 11-30-08, 10:02 AM   #14
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I wouldn't want external speakers on my bike. I would want to go all out, including a subwoofer and custom lighting, all so I could stop and.......dance.
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Old 11-30-08, 10:05 AM   #15
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I wouldn't want external speakers on my bike. I would want to go all out, including a subwoofer and custom lighting, all so I could stop and.......dance.


I'm not sure who has more time on their hands, those guys, or you to find that thing! Very funny.

btw, I know we all have too much time on our hands to hang around here though, right?
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Old 11-30-08, 10:07 AM   #16
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If you're going to use external speakers and subject everyone within earshot to listen to your music, then you should only play Wagner - with the volume turned up full blast.
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Old 11-30-08, 10:08 AM   #17
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I wouldn't want external speakers on my bike. I would want to go all out, including a subwoofer and custom lighting, all so I could stop and.......dance.
lmao! Love it.
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Old 11-30-08, 10:24 AM   #18
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The day I can't ride with music will be the day I stop riding.
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Old 11-30-08, 01:01 PM   #19
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Leave the safety component out of the argument for a minute.....what about courtesy? I'm not even talking about being bothered by the external noise.....what about on a bike trail? I've come across numerous situations with people listening to music and have no clue what's behind them. Often times they are not riding (or walking, jogging, roller blading, etc.) far enough to one side to pass safely. I have a bell I usually use from a certain distance to alert and it does the trick most times. But with music playing people cannot hear it. The last time this presented itself I had to get right up behind someone and yell as loud as I could. Scared the crap out of them! What do others do in this situation?
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Old 11-30-08, 01:07 PM   #20
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I slow down as I approach and prepare to come to a full stop while saying "excuse me". Then they move, I say thanks, and pedal on.
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Old 11-30-08, 01:46 PM   #21
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Speaking just for myself, I
  • do not listen to music while cycling.
  • have not problems with cyclists who choose to wear headphones.
  • dislike being around those who cycle with external speakers.
I consider wearing headphones something of a safety compromise, but it's also true that any speed beyond about six miles-per-hour also would qualify in most settings.
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Old 11-30-08, 03:31 PM   #22
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I wouldn't want external speakers on my bike. I would want to go all out, including a subwoofer and custom lighting, all so I could stop and.......dance.
I can dance almost as well as those guys...but only if I have been drinking.


As to the OP, I occasionally see the odd cyclist or two with external speakers. While they may be safer than earbuds, they are quite irritating, and tend to produce the same effect as earbuds when I try to pass them.

I liken them to those folks who blast music in their cars with all their windows turned down, attempting to put their music into all the other cars on the road, because their music is better than anyone else's. I understand that this is not your intention, but that is how it comes off.

Like earbuds, it is your call as to whether you do the external speaker thing or not. I would recommend against it. But I would just keep in mind that you will have to be extra-vigilant when listening.

(At least you are concerned about it - the people I see every day walking/jogging/cycling listening to music couldn't seem to care less about the safety or courtesy for themselves or others, judging by their behavior.)
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Old 11-30-08, 03:52 PM   #23
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Rock On!
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Old 11-30-08, 07:07 PM   #24
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Without music and at cruising speeds, all I hear is wind. I've tried it both ways and I prefer the sound of my music to the rush of wind and those stupid ricer mufflers.
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Old 11-30-08, 07:49 PM   #25
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I should explain that I use 3 mirrors, as I ride a recumbent. a handle bar mirror on each side and a helmet mirror. I typically ride solo, this is what I usually prefer, thoug sometimes i partake in a club ride. I have a set up right now that I could easily use on my bike. It is an MP3 player connected to a pair of external "desk top" speakers with their own power supply, 4 AA batteries, operated by a power switch and volume control. I have never used it on the bike. I think I will when I start riding next year, just to see how I like it.
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