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  1. #1
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    What's with all the ipods?

    I was out riding around the forest preserve last night and was surprised to see how many riders there were wearing earbuds. I ended up behind a couple, and the guy nearly ran into me as I tried to pass after saying "passing". I thought he was just being a jerk by keeping me from passing him until he reached down to adjust his ipod and realized he had no idea that other people were around him since he couldn't hear me due to the ipod and couldn't see me because he hadn't looked. He did seem a little startled to see someone behind him when he finally did turn to look behind him. Next a roadie started to drift left when I was passing her (we were the only ones out on that section of the path), and she was wearing earbuds too. I started noticing how many other riders were wearing earbuds when they went past, and most were. When did bicycling get to be so boring that people need to listen to music while riding like they do while driving?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Nermal's Avatar
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    I mostly see this on walkers, and am relieved to learn they are using ipods and other devices. I thought they had been taken over by aliens, and controlled by little wires coming out of their heads.
    Some people are like a Slinky ... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.

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    People just don't seem to really appreciate how hazardous the world around them can be until they've gotten hurt for it. Sometimes not even then, especially if they live in the land of the lawsuit and can pin blame on someone else, and get a big financial reward. Personal responsibility seems to be in short supply.

    I've never had an iPod, but I did walk with a discman and my big Koss UR-20 headphones all the time. That crap ended the second time I got hit by a car. It wasn't solely my fault, a motorist swung out of a driveway too fast while paying more attention to her cellphone than what was in front of her. Still, I would have heard her coming despite missing her in my peripheral vision, and been able to take evasive action, if I wasn't hampering one of the senses I depend on for survival. No significant injury, fortunately, but getting hit by a car hurts.

    Now I don't put anything on or in my ears when I'm out and about, unless I'm a passenger in a vehicle out of my control (city bus, whatever). I also try to walk or ride at a slight angle when I've got a headwind, so I don't have the wind roaring straight across both ears and effectively deafening me. My safety is my responsibility.

  4. #4
    Senior Member PedalingFool's Avatar
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    When you're on bike paths you can expect people, whether they're wearing ear buds or not, to do dumb stuff...

    I have more of a beef with things like the "group riders" that think they are entitled to the whole width of the path just because they have pretty matching jerseys and helmets.

    If I'm on the far right of a 20+ ft wide path and I can stick my arm out and clothes line them (tempting sometimes!) they are too close.

  5. #5
    Senior Moment Member Gee3's Avatar
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    Not gonna be popular with the "in" crowd but I wear one earbud on my right ear with music playing, but not blaring. My left ear is still open to the road and I often look around to see who and what are around/behind me. It's a habit I picked up from my car racing days to be aware of my surroundings.

    I use the ipod because it helps me get into a good tempo, especially if I'm on a big climb or a long ride. It also keeps my mind off of the distance on long rides! But like I said earlier, I don't blare the music and I definitely don't put both buds in. I use the Yurbuds ear buds. They stay in place even when I'm sweaty and they allow for outside noise to come in. Some reviewers don't care for that but I find it helpful to hear things coming my way while still being able to hear some music.
    This day will be over... one of these days!

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  6. #6
    KingoftheMountain wannabe Savagewolf's Avatar
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    People wearing IPods don't concern me at all. I don't wear them myself if I'm riding as I don't like having something in or on my ear as I ride, but if others don't mind it that's fine.

    Not everyone using an IPod is blasting it so loud they can't hear anything else. Not everyone using an Ipod puts it in both ears. Not everyone who doesn't use an IPod can hear, either. Is it wrong for someone deaf to ride a bike?

    Going into it further, just because you don't use an IPod doesn't mean that you won't miss some things. I've encountered many a cyclist who was unaware of me sneaking up behind them. I've been a zone myself where a cyclist rides up behind me and I didn't know they were there, and that's with me with nearly perfect hearing and no IPod or other device in.

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    I got nothing against deaf riders. It's not hearing specifically that's important. It's using every means available to you to ensure your own safety and - if your actions might injure or kill somebody else - the safety of those around you.

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    When you're riding a bike, all senses are required. Even if you're only using one earphone and can "hear with the other ear", the fact is, you're listening to something else and not paying attention to the environment. Even though you physically hear something, if you are absorbed in something else, you probably won't notice it.

    As a thought, you'll never see Bambi wearing earphones -- especially not during deer season; and it's always open season for cyclists . . .

  9. #9
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    All that stuff about being able to hear other things is BS and misses the point. If you're using the phone you can hear other stuff too, but the fact is your attention is on the phone. Cyclists who are listening to music, at whatever volume, are a hazard to themselves and others. They need to be repeatedly slapped.

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    Senior Member rebel1916's Avatar
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    Mostly, people only worry about this stuff on the internet.

  11. #11
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rebel1916 View Post
    Mostly, people only worry about this stuff on the internet.
    I don't believe that to be true. It worries the $not out of me in the real world. I would not use them myself and I know some riders can use them and still be aware of their surroundings (one ear bud/low volume) but there are those that are totally oblivious to riders approaching from behind.

    I ride with my wife on my wheel and one or two others. Since I am on the front all the time I call out hazards and obstacles, slow downs and turns. If I shout "slowing!", my wife repeats if for those behind her. Quite a few times we have passed riders from behind while calling out, ringing a bell but they don't hear because they have the ear buds. Of course when we begin the pass they will swerve into me or nearly jump out of their cycling shorts as they are startled having no idea that other riders are around (once again, even after a few shouts and a bell).

    So we have 3 or 4 riders in a controlled little group communicating with one another with vocals. The scary part is that now we have some unfamiliar rider that can't hear our vocals and not enough awareness to keep himself from being startled should a problem arise.

    Not long ago we had a group of 5 riding together when we passed a rider with buds. After the third rider went by, this dope cut me off and almost took out my front wheel. Had he been able to hear my vocals, " onyerleft, 2 more riders!" this would not have happened.

    Worry on the net only? I don't think so!

  12. #12
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    When I'm alone, I ride with earbuds in 99% of the time. The sounds don't turn me into a clueless cyclist - on paths, I stay right and always check behind when deviating or turning for any reason. I don't expect anyone who's overtaking to call out or notify me in any way, I just expect them to pass safely. I can hear traffic better with my ear buds than without - the amount of wind noise they reduce is far greater than the amount of sound they provide.

    Your problem isn't with the Ipods/earphones, it's with cluelessness. There's plenty of that to go around, earbuds or not.

  13. #13
    Senior Member rebel1916's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Camilo;14564714

    Your problem isn't with the Ipods/earphones, it's with cluelessness. There's plenty of that to go around, earbuds or not.[/QUOTE]

    What he said. I never wear em on the road. I occasionally wear em on the trail. If you need to pass just do it. I can hold a line.

  14. #14
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    I have the accessories and whatnot to use my iphone while riding, but, for some reason, I have always decided to ride without any kind of music or sound playing. I don't know, it might be the fact that I'm going 17+ on a road next to cars going at least double that.

    At any rate, you'll always have people endangering themselves or others for simple "convenience"; it's up to you to make sure you just don't get the flak from their stupidity.

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    biggest problem is the industry move to all the in-ear headphones, where the earbuds now have that little rubber cone that inserts into the ear canal itself (like a hearing aid)
    It's not that the design actually has better sound; rather by isolating the ear from outside noises they can use cheaper lower quality drivers without listeners noticing. As a drawback, external noises are muffled out terribly.
    Good quality traditional design earbuds are much better; so sad that they're becoming rarified though.

  16. #16
    Senior Member 009jim's Avatar
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    I think it is a fashion statement to be seen with earphones in ones ears these days. Particularly amongst younger folks. It's like wearing jeans and a hoodie and those ridiculous shoes. Some guys where I work are even wearing perfume. When people have more disposable income, the retail industry comes up with gadgets to absorb that excess cash. This spawns a fashion industry. People have money and they want to make use of it somehow, so they buy stuff. What they buy is what they think will differentiate them or identify them as being part of a class to which they envisage themselves as belonging to. These people don't think like me. I paid cash for my first house and land when I had only been working for 6 years.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by PedalingFool View Post
    When you're on bike paths you can expect people, whether they're wearing ear buds or not, to do dumb stuff.
    It's not just when you're on a bike path.

    You can expect people to do dumb stuff period. Best bet is to consider everyone on the planet a total drooling moron until they prove you wrong.

    It might not be a particularly rosy outlook on humanity but it's certainly safer.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member rebel1916's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 009jim View Post
    Some guys where I work are even wearing perfume.
    Like the way all my working class uncles smelled of Brut and Hai Karate 30 years ago?

  19. #19
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    Check the law. Here in Florida, bicyclist are not allowed to use headphones.

  20. #20
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Savagewolf View Post
    People wearing IPods don't concern me at all. I don't wear them myself if I'm riding as I don't like having something in or on my ear as I ride, but if others don't mind it that's fine.

    Not everyone using an IPod is blasting it so loud they can't hear anything else. Not everyone using an Ipod puts it in both ears. Not everyone who doesn't use an IPod can hear, either. Is it wrong for someone deaf to ride a bike?

    Going into it further, just because you don't use an IPod doesn't mean that you won't miss some things. I've encountered many a cyclist who was unaware of me sneaking up behind them. I've been a zone myself where a cyclist rides up behind me and I didn't know they were there, and that's with me with nearly perfect hearing and no IPod or other device in.
    I really don't care what people are doing while riding as long as they are safe around me. I would have been happy if the guy that swerved in front of me without looking after I said passing and began to pass had held his line while listening to his ipod instead, but he didn't. I knew I was on a busy path and was expecting people to do stupid things, so it wasn't too surprising when it happened.
    Deaf riders wouldn't bother me either if they could ride safely. I wouldn't expect them to endanger others around them by not looking before changing lanes or making it hard for them to see though.
    ipods aren't the only dangerous distraction out there either, I bet most of us saw this story yesterday about the damages caused by a distracted driver:
    http://www.examiner.com/article/text...ving-off-cliff

  21. #21
    KingoftheMountain wannabe Savagewolf's Avatar
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    Maybe just my experience (or I have a super ultra quiet bike), but I've scared more cyclists into swerving with "On your left" as I pass them than I have in scaring IPod users and passing them. This is especially true for those who may/may not get scared but end up swerving as they turn their head to see me behind them and can't keep their line. IPod wasn't a factor for that.

    Personally, I think a lot of the IPod hate comes from generations less likely to use an IPod in any situation. This may not be true about anyone in this thread, but I do believe it's true in many other cases. Many also judge the dangers of an IPod based only on their "skill" level with them. Many folks in this day and age are capable of handling several tasks at once that others consider sensory overload.

    I know this last statement to be 100% true in my case. I can listen to music, watch tv/a movie, browse a magazine/book and play a computer game all at nearly the same time while losing little in comprehension. My wife, on the otherhand, is overwhelmed and doesn't like to do more than one at a time.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nermal View Post
    I mostly see this on walkers, and am relieved to learn they are using ipods and other devices. I thought they had been taken over by aliens, and controlled by little wires coming out of their heads.
    Ever notice how much money those people with little white wires coming out of their head keep giving to Apple?

    You don't seem to be too far off the mark...

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by oronzous View Post
    Check the law. Here in Florida, bicyclist are not allowed to use headphones.
    Oh yeah, that'll help.

    The best place for me to do sprint intervals has me on the road, crossing over a local MUP two times in my looping. (Ain't no way I'm doing 30+ mph sprints on a MUP...).

    Oh my God, the cyclists too stupid/arrogant to understand that big red sign that says STOP are really annoying. I've actually been yelled at by cyclists who ignored stop signs for not deigning to let them go first.

    Good luck getting iDiots to think laws actually apply to them, too.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Savagewolf View Post
    ...

    I know this last statement to be 100% true in my case. I can listen to music, watch tv/a movie, browse a magazine/book and play a computer game all at nearly the same time while losing little in comprehension. My wife, on the otherhand, is overwhelmed and doesn't like to do more than one at a time.
    That just means you suck at concentrating on one thing at a time. Just Google "effect of multitasking" and read some of the research. It ain't pretty.

    http://www.thenewatlantis.com/public...f-multitasking

    In 2005, the BBC reported on a research study, funded by Hewlett-Packard and conducted by the Institute of Psychiatry at the University of London, that found, “Workers distracted by e-mail and phone calls suffer a fall in IQ more than twice that found in marijuana smokers.” The psychologist who led the study called this new “infomania” a serious threat to workplace productivity.

    ...

    In one recent study, Russell Poldrack, a psychology professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, found that “multitasking adversely affects how you learn. Even if you learn while multitasking, that learning is less flexible and more specialized, so you cannot retrieve the information as easily.” His research demonstrates that people use different areas of the brain for learning and storing new information when they are distracted: brain scans of people who are distracted or multitasking show activity in the striatum, a region of the brain involved in learning new skills; brain scans of people who are not distracted show activity in the hippocampus, a region involved in storing and recalling information.

  25. #25
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
    I was out riding around the forest preserve last night and was surprised to see how many riders there were wearing earbuds. I ended up behind a couple, and the guy nearly ran into me as I tried to pass after saying "passing". I thought he was just being a jerk by keeping me from passing him until he reached down to adjust his ipod and realized he had no idea that other people were around him since he couldn't hear me due to the ipod and couldn't see me because he hadn't looked. He did seem a little startled to see someone behind him when he finally did turn to look behind him. Next a roadie started to drift left when I was passing her (we were the only ones out on that section of the path), and she was wearing earbuds too. I started noticing how many other riders were wearing earbuds when they went past, and most were. When did bicycling get to be so boring that people need to listen to music while riding like they do while driving?
    With so many speakers designed for use with an ipod (that can be mounted on a bike in some fashion) what you have is.......stupid people doing stupid things.
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