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  1. #1
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    Safe way to listen to music while riding

    Admittedly, one of the only reasons I haven't gotten hit yet and why I muster up the confidence to ride fast is my hearing. I ride in a residential area, so most of the sound is the wind going through the trees, so I can always hear when a car's coming up from any direction.

    But what about those of you who use your eyes instead of your ears? (Well, I guess the first question would be if anyone does that.) How do you safely listen to music and ride your bike?

  2. #2
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    I use (http://farendgear.com/xdu/) a one eared, ear bud. Wired so both channels go to just one ear bud. So only one of my ears has music/audio going to it. The other is open for the sounds of the world. I would not feel comfortable having both with audio while riding with other road users.

  3. #3
    Senior Member ezdoesit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radh View Post
    Admittedly, one of the only reasons I haven't gotten hit yet and why I muster up the confidence to ride fast is my hearing. I ride in a residential area, so most of the sound is the wind going through the trees, so I can always hear when a car's coming up from any direction.

    But what about those of you who use your eyes instead of your ears? (Well, I guess the first question would be if anyone does that.) How do you safely listen to music and ride your bike?
    I don't and for me would never ride with earbuds on I don't feel it is safe.
    Remember it's mind over matter
    if you don't mind it doesn't matter


    Ride more and drive less.

  4. #4
    Senior Member nevermore1701's Avatar
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    i bought this handle bar bag months ago. listen to it everyday plenty loud enough and excellent battery life. hook my ipod or my phone to it. i would never use earphones \m/\m/http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003DR12C2/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00

  5. #5
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    The only time I am on my bike and listening to music is when I'm riding my bike on rollers. I will not willingly give up any part of my ability to hear motorists; too much is at stake.

    It's kind of funny. I think it is fine to ride without a helmet, although I tend to wear one. I think mirrors add much to safety, although my wife uses one on our tandem. However, I really wonder about the judgment of people who willfully block off part of their hearing. I guess I should just get over it, just like I hope those who harp on helmets and mirrors will get over it too. I'd rather folks rode with earbuds than drove without them.

  6. #6
    Senior Member delcrossv's Avatar
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    Haven't tried it but it's probably okay to use earphones on a MUP- heck, just look at all the others doing it!
    Lightning P-38 / M5 M-Racer/Ryan Vanguard

  7. #7
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    I use ear buds in one ear playing music on low volume, so it does not seem to interfere with hearing traffic. The key is low volume: so you can hear the music playing with just one ear.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Astrozombie's Avatar
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    Open headphones is the only way, plus if you're going a decent speed your hearing is already questionable with the sound of the wind.

  9. #9
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezdoesit View Post
    I don't and for me would never ride with earbuds on I don't feel it is safe.
    +1000

  10. #10
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radh View Post
    But what about those of you who use your eyes instead of your ears? (Well, I guess the first question would be if anyone does that.) How do you safely listen to music and ride your bike?
    Use our eyes to see relevant traffic information, not our ears to listen to noise.

  11. #11
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radh View Post
    But what about those of you who use your eyes instead of your ears? (Well, I guess the first question would be if anyone does that.) How do you safely listen to music and ride your bike?
    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Use our eyes to see relevant traffic information, not our ears to listen to noise.
    I use BOTH, my eyes and ears. I do use biking sunglasses, but that doesn't keep me from seeing what is going on. If I were to use earbuds, that would definitely keep me from hearing the traffic around me.

  12. #12
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    You may want to check the laws in your area about it. I don't ride with headphones because I'm concentrating on traffic too much to listen anyway, but if I did I'd want a single-ear system.

  13. #13
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Music doesn't just block out sound, it also distracts you.

    I live in an urban environment, and cycle most of the time in rural areas. There's really nowhere I'd feel all that safe riding while listening to music.

    While the increased risk is quite small, I don't see the benefits as worth the added risk.

  14. #14
    Senior Member bandit1990's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
    The only time I am on my bike and listening to music is when I'm riding my bike on rollers. I will not willingly give up any part of my ability to hear motorists; too much is at stake.

    It's kind of funny. I think it is fine to ride without a helmet, although I tend to wear one. I think mirrors add much to safety, although my wife uses one on our tandem. However, I really wonder about the judgment of people who willfully block off part of their hearing. I guess I should just get over it, just like I hope those who harp on helmets and mirrors will get over it too. I'd rather folks rode with earbuds than drove without them.
    Yes, Sir...I would just get over it. I ride with a helmet, use my noggin to figure out if traffic is around (look over shoulders), and listen to my Ipod (in both ears) to pass the time on my rides. All the safety ninnies need to realize that there are other senses used when doing anything...hearing is just one small part. If you ride according to the laws in your state, and use resonable clues around you, listening to music/podcasts in your ears is not going to make you a victim.

  15. #15
    That guy from the Chi Chitown_Mike's Avatar
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    I don't like riding on a street with them in, so I choose not too.

    When I am on an MUP I will only have one ear in, I have songs that help me keep a cadence going, or listening to some sort of personal development talk. I only have it in my right ear so my left is open to hearing things that will pass me if they do, and I never have it louder than I need to. Just enough volume to hear clearly over the wind and nothing more.

    I would use them on the streets IF I could trust drivers around me, but more often than not I don't because I know they are paying less attention to the road and more to their phones.

  16. #16
    Senior Member DeadheadSF's Avatar
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    I listen to music in my head while riding. Safe, effective, and I can listen to anything I want
    What a looooooooooooooooooong strange trip it's been...

  17. #17
    That guy from the Chi Chitown_Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeadheadSF View Post
    I listen to music in my head while riding. Safe, effective, and I can listen to anything I want
    I tried that once......only got static. And Celine Dion.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeadheadSF View Post
    I listen to music in my head while riding. Safe, effective, and I can listen to anything I want
    Tried that once and got Justin Bieber. (Not the best bike ride, I admit...)

  19. #19
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
    I use BOTH, my eyes and ears. I do use biking sunglasses, but that doesn't keep me from seeing what is going on. If I were to use earbuds, that would definitely keep me from hearing the traffic around me.
    If a cyclist shuns any attenuation of noise in order to listen to traffic to get a clue about traffic conditions, swell.

    Using the same logic, the ever-alert-to-ANY-stimuli-cyclist should never wear sunglasses because they might muffle some visual clue.

  20. #20
    ouate de phoque dramiscram's Avatar
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    I always listen to radio on my Ipod, just the right ear, I keep the left ear (street side) free. I feel very very safe on my rural road, suburb street commute. If a drunk or texting/phoning driver is about to get me I don't see how earing it a second before the hit will save me. With my free left ear I know when a car is coming and if I had both ears free I would ear cars coming too, I don't see why people freak about this non-issue
    Originally Posted by Leebo

    Headwind is like a hill without a soul. Just gear down and suffer.
    Quote Originally Posted by jrickards View Post
    Headwinds are hills dipped in evil!

  21. #21
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by delcrossv View Post
    Haven't tried it but it's probably okay to use earphones on a MUP- heck, just look at all the others doing it!
    That's where I do it... nice low speed cruise on the local beach MUP... ahhhhhh joy.

  22. #22
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    That's where I do it... nice low speed cruise on the local beach MUP... ahhhhhh joy.
    Just make sure you don't look at any of the eye candy. Can't let anything distract your 100% concentration on cycling safety; attach blinders to your helmet and use your ears to tell you about traffic if necessary. Safety first, eh?

  23. #23
    MUP World Champ adamhenry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    If a cyclist shuns any attenuation of noise in order to listen to traffic to get a clue about traffic conditions, swell.

    Using the same logic, the ever-alert-to-ANY-stimuli-cyclist should never wear sunglasses because they might muffle some visual clue.
    That is beyond stupid. Good gawd. Do you need to add to your post count that bad?

  24. #24
    Senior Member Notso_fastLane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Astrozombie View Post
    Open headphones is the only way, plus if you're going a decent speed your hearing is already questionable with the sound of the wind.
    Exactly. I almost always commute with music. I can still hear sound way better than the car drivers, who have their music probably louder, and are sealed up inside their vehicles. Also, there are times I can't hear my music over the wind noise (usually around 23 mph), so I don't have it that loud. I can easily hear traffic.

  25. #25
    Senior Member bandit1990's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adamhenry View Post
    That is beyond stupid. Good gawd. Do you need to add to your post count that bad?
    Actually, ILTB raises a great point -- you have other "cues" to use when riding. Everyone is so wraped up with hearing traffic -- do you use a mirror (head mounted or handle-bar mounted?). Can you not turn your noggin over your shoulder to see if there are cars approaching? Each rider has his/her comfort zone, and I'm perfectly safe listining to music while I ride. If not, then I guess I wouldn't be posting here. And your comment about post count shows a lack of respect. Of course, I could point to your post count (and mine) as well.

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