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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 10-08-13, 01:37 PM   #1
Blue_Bulldog
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Tunes While Training

Any of you guys throw some tunes on when you do the long stuff? What do you train to?

My training playlists are usually compilations of 90's left coast punk, funk (Parliament, Sly Stone, etc), trance & house, or classic blues.

What's in your ears while you train?
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Old 10-08-13, 02:46 PM   #2
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I listen to the radio when I'm on my rollers. I live in Washington State where it's illegal to ride on the road with earbuds. I think that's a good idea. On the road, I sure as heck don't need distraction from the job at hand. It occupies me 100%.
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Old 10-08-13, 10:05 PM   #3
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I don't like to listen to stuff while I ride, even if I'm in the middle of nowhere where there's no traffic. It makes me feel cut off from my surroundings, or distracted and not all there, plus I don't really enjoy the listening experience with the wind noise and stuff. I practice scales and arpeggios or pieces in my head sometimes though. It makes for a not-quite-satisfactory ride and a not-quite-satisfactory listen.
If I were to listen to music while riding, it'd be 17th century Italian, definitely.
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Old 10-08-13, 11:08 PM   #4
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...If I were to listen to music while riding, it'd be 17th century Italian, definitely.
I figured you'd be up for some Gregorian Chants or rather than something more Baroque. I bow to your musical knowledge though. It's way beyond me. For me, I don't listen to music unless I'm racing and have it coming from the follow van. Nothing better than Frank Zappa to keep you on your toes at 4am in the middle of nowhere! Gotto make that dynamo hum!
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Old 10-09-13, 12:27 AM   #5
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Cycling with ear phones is also illegal in Japan where I live and rightly so. On a public road you need to be fully aware of what's going on around you.

A bicycle is a much slower moving vehicle than cars, trucks and motorbikes that will come up from behind, from outside your field of vision. At least being able to hear them increases your chances of staying alive. I constantly see the problem from the other side, passing runners on the shared use bike path at the local riverside. Some of them are obviously unaware of any bike coming up behind them and (out of necessity) passing them narrowly. Then I notice the thin white cables leading up their ears that explain their zombie-like state. Really, they're a danger to themselves and to their environment.

I'm not particularly interested in training on rollers, where listening to music would be acceptable, since getting out to see things is a higher priority objective to me for cycling than is improving my fitness, though I care about that too.
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Old 10-09-13, 08:04 AM   #6
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It's interesting how many of you have responded with how unsafe earbuds + bike is. Interesting.

Where it's illegal, you have a point... however, a lot of earbuds are made to allow outside ambient noise in with the music. Others when they aren't made to, can be adjusted to. I use the Apple EarPod earbuds, and simply twisting them forward breaks the seal on my hear holes and allows noise in. There's also that "don't turn it up so freakin loud" component. However, I see a lot of your points. Personally, I feel like not having the volume up so high, and frequent look-arounds are great to mitigate the risk. I personally could never ride with no tunes, but I see the point of those of you who don't.



17th Century Italian also sounds like a killer idea. I also love training to EDM/Techno and recently found out how great the soundtracks to both Tron:Legacy and Dredd are for hill training.
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Old 10-09-13, 08:08 AM   #7
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17th Century Italian also sounds like a killer idea.
This 'killer idea' could be rather ironic.
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Old 10-09-13, 08:09 AM   #8
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Well played, sir.... well played
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Old 10-09-13, 08:42 AM   #9
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It's similar to the no-cellphone-while-driving thing. A big part of that is that a cellphone captures your sensory inputs. Your attention moves to what's going on with the device instead of being 100% on your environment. On a MUP, I have never come up on a cyclist or runner with earbuds who made the slightest response to my "On your left." They don't even know I'm there. It's terrifying.

It's not the same as listening to the radio in a car. I think because in a car, everything is 100% visual so the attentive driver is continuously scanning their environment. Whereas cycling, walking, etc., are multi-sensory. One doesn't see a cyclist with their head on a swivel like a pilot or good car driver. They look straight ahead, their visual sense entirely concentrated on avoiding obstacles directly in front of them. They need to depend on their ears to warn them of danger approaching from other directions.

Another difference is that in a car, there's simply not much going on. The driver just sits there, whereas on a bike there's constant attention required to get the body to do what's necessary to move the bike up the road. Riding a bike on the road is a very complicated thing that I know requires 100% of my attention and concentration, which sometimes is still not enough.
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Old 10-09-13, 09:26 AM   #10
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I just can't concentrate at all on the traffic when I've ear buds in, on the bike or in the car. Listening to music through loudspeakers on the bike (yes, had an orange handle-bar mount AM bike radio back in the 80s) or in the car doesn't have that effect on me.
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Old 10-09-13, 11:08 AM   #11
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My training is outside, so it is just whatever random stuff pops into my mind. Last Saturday, it was Orinoco Flow followed by Six Days On the Road ("this rig's a little old but that don't mean she's slow...")
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Old 10-10-13, 12:46 PM   #12
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. Whereas cycling, walking, etc., are multi-sensory. One doesn't see a cyclist with their head on a swivel like a pilot or good car driver. They look straight ahead, their visual sense entirely concentrated on avoiding obstacles directly in front of them. They need to depend on their ears to warn them of danger approaching from other directions.
I find it weird that everyone is upset about the reasonable proposition that headphones at low volume might not kill you; while no one batted an eyelash at this post. Every cyclist i can think of frequently shoulder checks and looks both ways before crossing a street, and this requires turning your head.
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Old 10-10-13, 01:07 PM   #13
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I find it weird that everyone is upset about the reasonable proposition that headphones at low volume might not kill you; while no one batted an eyelash at this post. Every cyclist i can think of frequently shoulder checks and looks both ways before crossing a street, and this requires turning your head.
If that were true, then riders I encounter on MUPs would know I was there and move right, wouldn't they? It's not a problem on roads, probably because more experienced riders don't use buds.
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Old 10-10-13, 02:39 PM   #14
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If that were true, then riders I encounter on MUPs would know I was there and move right, wouldn't they? It's not a problem on roads, probably because more experienced riders don't use buds.
So, you're saying that less experienced riders go on MUPs and never shoulder check? While experienced riders on the road never shoulder check, but know you are there because they can hear you breathing or something? I'm not sure what your overall point is here. Do you really think that cyclists don't shoulder-check, or are you saying something else? When I'm riding in traffic I am constantly looking all around---do you think this is unusual?

I guess when you catch someone it's polite to say "on your wheel" since they might not notice you right away.

Are we arguing about anything???

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Old 10-10-13, 03:03 PM   #15
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So, you're saying that less experienced riders go on MUPs and never shoulder check? While experienced riders on the road never shoulder check, but know you are there because they can hear you breathing or something? I'm not sure what your overall point is here. Do you really think that cyclists don't shoulder-check, or are you saying something else? When I'm riding in traffic I am constantly looking all around---do you think this is unusual?

I guess when you catch someone it's polite to say "on your wheel" since they might not notice you right away.

Are we arguing about anything???
I'm not arguing about anything. I've said all I have to say on the subject in my first two posts in this thread. You may want to re-read them.
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Old 10-10-13, 04:08 PM   #16
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I'm not arguing about anything. I've said all I have to say on the subject in my first two posts in this thread. You may want to re-read them.
I guess that cyclists are able to depend more on their ears than people who are in vehicles with loud engines and enclosed cabs. And I guess that since we're in a narrower lane and on thinner-skinned tires, we need to pay a bit more attention to road hazards than other people do. It doesn't follow that if you wear headphones at a low volume, that permits you to hear background noise, you gun die; and I certainly don't think it follows that we don't or shouldn't move our heads around.
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Old 10-10-13, 04:20 PM   #17
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If I may comment on the main thread topic:

Distraction when operating a vehicle is bad, but not every distraction is equally bad. Actuaries, legislators and other people with an interest in risk actually quantify distraction and discover facts like: texting while driving is more dangerous than dialing a phone number while driving, which is more dangerous than changing a station on the radio while driving, which is more dangerous than simply listening to the radio, which is more dangerous than not listening to the radio... And so on. At some point along this spectrum we separate things that shouldn't be done from things that are OK, and we write laws or enact mores forbidding the really bad things.

I think that listening to earbuds at a low volume certainly dulls the senses, but in many cases (i.e. as long as you aren't in really busy bike or car traffic) it sits a ways down the distraction spectrum, certainly below the threshold of things that shouldn't ever be done.
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