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Old 03-19-05, 02:27 PM   #1
explody pup
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Your thoughts on riding with headphones on a MUP

I'm curios to hear what you folks have to say. This would be something I'd only use while on a MUP, never on a street.

I've never relied on my hearing much when I ride. I always check over my shoulder whenever I do anything unexpected such as passing somebody. I also always stay as far right as I can whenever I'm on a path, no matter how deserted it is. Either way, I think the best option would be to mount some earbuds onto my helmet, so I can hear them but they're not in my ear. Partially for safety and partially for comfort.

But I'm still not really sure if I want to do this. 1. MP3 players are 'spensive and 2. those oblivious dumbasses who walk/run/skate/ride in the middle of the path with headphones a'blaring piss me the eff off.

Anyway, just thought I'd get some opinions before I do anything stupid.
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Old 03-19-05, 05:32 PM   #2
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I'm against it. It's fine for you too look over your shoulder when it suits you, but that's not helping the person that comes up behind you ringing their bell, or politely calling out "On your left". Just my 2 cents.
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Old 03-19-05, 07:20 PM   #3
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If you leave room on your left for faster riders and look over your shoulder before changing your position on the path (like when you want to pass some one), you should be fine. I think you already ride this way. I use headphones that let sound in and keep them turned down low enough to hear a bell, whistle or voice just in case.
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Old 03-19-05, 07:52 PM   #4
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It's illegal in California to wear headphones on both ears. I don't know if it counts on an MUP, however. But if you were in an accident while wearing headphones and injured someone, it would probably count against you.
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Old 03-19-05, 07:56 PM   #5
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Avoid MUPs.
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Old 03-19-05, 08:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by explody pup
I'm curios to hear what you folks have to say. This would be something I'd only use while on a MUP, never on a street.
I'd advise against it. Yes, some types of headphones (e.g. ear buds) at reasonable volumes do not significantly block outside sounds, but they are still able to mask some noises and can cause distraction. It also depends on your particular MUPs and the days/times your ride. For myself there are long stretches of pathway were I think I would feel safe using headphones, but I'm not planning on trying it. There are also other sections with far too many people, tiny little people, and homicidal squirrels. I would never use headphones on those areas... heck, I wouldn't mind having an extra set of eyeballs installed for those spots!

Having said all that I may be unusual in relying so much on my hearing. I can usually tell how far and at what angle is car is behind me, and often react to a potential hazard or obstacle when I hear it (before seeing it).
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Old 03-19-05, 11:57 PM   #7
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No headphones unless you're on a trainer
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Old 03-20-05, 02:25 PM   #8
explody pup
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Thanks for the answers, everyone.

While there are some stretches on the trail that I like to ride where other cyclists and peds are few and far between, I'll probably stick to no headphones for now. I'll just have to come up with something else to entertain myself.

Maybe I'll learn some work songs. I need to find someone to ride with then maybe we could do some call and response.
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Old 03-20-05, 02:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by explody pup
I'll just have to come up with something else to entertain myself.

Maybe I'll learn some work songs. I need to find someone to ride with then maybe we could do some call and response.
Listen to your breathing, to your heart beat, the sounds of your tires, pay closer attention and note the shades of green of the vegeation along the path. Lots of ways to amuse yourself in the particulars of the ride.
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Old 03-20-05, 02:44 PM   #10
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Well I did play the "what's that clicking sound intermitently comming from my front wheel" game on my last ride if that counts.

"oh, s--t! glass!" is always a blast, too.

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Old 03-20-05, 09:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by explody pup
I'm curios to hear what you folks have to say. This would be something I'd only use while on a MUP, never on a street.
Funny. I'm the other way around. I hardly ever ride on shared paths, but when I do I'm with my family, and only riding at safe shared path speeds (10-15km/h often less). Even without my family I'd be exchanging pleasantries with the other users. Sometimes I like to hear and participate in the sounds of human activity, and headphones isolate me from that.

Conversely, on the street all you get is the sound of heavy machinery, and the only human voices you'll hear generally aren't saying anything worth listening to. Music is a pleasant alternative.
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