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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 03-17-09, 10:12 PM   #1
BaronDapcher
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DC CityPaper on helmets, couriers and cracked melons.

DC CityPaper on helmets, couriers and cracked melons.
(Might have to scroll down a bit)

“Kelly Johnson, 43, says he can’t wear a helmet because he wears headphones when he rides... Zalan (17 year courier) won’t even wear gloves. “Road rash is temporary, but tan lines are for all summer!” he says.”

I have hardly any sympathy for anyone who gets hit while wearing headphones (regardless of asshat or helmet). They are the scourge of modern transportation. Dangerous, aloof and dumber than 2 bags of warm piss. As for helmet usage, I’d wear one if riding downhill (presumably like anyone else with common sense) and I gave up trying to pass vehicles on the right at intersections a long time ago. Indifferent on tan lines...with exceptions for reverse headgear.


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Old 03-17-09, 11:55 PM   #2
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that is pretty funny. and i neeevvvveeerrr wear headphones. that is death just waiting to happen. i don't wear a helmet though, but then again i live on the edge
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Old 03-18-09, 02:34 AM   #3
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i don't understand this---how is this any different from blasting music in a car with your windows up?

ok, extreme situation, but no one should be blasting the volume on earbuds anyways. I ride with those apple earbuds because the music/tempo keeps me going and helps pass time. Sometimes I'll even throw on NPR with terry gross for the ride home from work. I can hear everything. Car horns (if honked) were not meant to be quiet, you will hear it if you need to. Same goes for sirens, ambulance, etc. I've pulled up next to cops with earbuds on---there's nothing wrong with some music on the ride. sheesh.
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Old 03-18-09, 06:03 AM   #4
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there's nothing wrong with some music on the ride. sheesh.
+1. Exactly. If you keep the volume semi-low, it's no different than driving with the radio on.
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Old 03-18-09, 09:47 AM   #5
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i don't understand this---how is this any different from blasting music in a car with your windows up?

ok, extreme situation, but no one should be blasting the volume on earbuds anyways. I ride with those apple earbuds because the music/tempo keeps me going and helps pass time. Sometimes I'll even throw on NPR with terry gross for the ride home from work. I can hear everything. Car horns (if honked) were not meant to be quiet, you will hear it if you need to. Same goes for sirens, ambulance, etc. I've pulled up next to cops with earbuds on---there's nothing wrong with some music on the ride. sheesh.
+1 on the NPR podcasts. Also, when listening to podcasts I'll usually just keep one earbud in.
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Old 03-18-09, 10:08 AM   #6
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I wear a helmet partly because I live on top of several large hills and partly because I dont have health insurance. I also never use headphones or listen to anything while riding I feel like I have to hear the sounds of the road like a car right behind me or a bus right behind me, it's good to know where stuff like that is because you can't see everything.
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Old 03-18-09, 10:17 AM   #7
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Any helmet recommendations? I skateboarded about 7 years without a helmet but for some reason friends and family insist on me getting one because I ride my bike on the road.
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Old 03-18-09, 10:21 AM   #8
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i got a free bike helmet years ago from the "Outdoor Sports" shop i use to skate for. i went on a bike ride at a state park and it was required. i wore it there once or twice, then never again. i think i am going ot go look for it at my parents house. at least i'll "have" it at my apartment. i guess that's one step closer to wearing it.
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Old 03-18-09, 11:05 AM   #9
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Any helmet recommendations? I skateboarded about 7 years without a helmet but for some reason friends and family insist on me getting one because I ride my bike on the road.
Depends on the style of helmet that you are looking for and your head shape.
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Old 03-18-09, 11:06 AM   #10
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i don't understand this---how is this any different from blasting music in a car with your windows up?
ok, extreme situation, but no one should be blasting the volume on earbuds anyways. I ride with those apple earbuds because the music/tempo keeps me going and helps pass time. Sometimes I'll even throw on NPR with terry gross for the ride home from work. I can hear everything. Car horns (if honked) were not meant to be quiet, you will hear it if you need to. Same goes for sirens, ambulance, etc. I've pulled up next to cops with earbuds on---there's nothing wrong with some music on the ride. sheesh.
Actually, riding a bicycle with a radio or speakers on the front or rear rack would be closest to driving in a automobile while listening to the radio and driving with headphones would be more like riding a bicycle with headphones. As for the primary differences between a bicycle and automobile...hmmm...let see...I guess they begin with the hierarchy on the road. Further differences include the physical properties of weight/momentum/width/length, number of wheels and tire width, bumpers, doors, hood, roof, windshield, seatbelt, airbag, heat, glove compartment, horn, brake lights, directional lights, air freshener, rear and side view mirrors, . One similarity may be that hybrids can be as silent and both fixed gears and cars can go in reverse. If riders need music to motivate them or help pass the time, perhaps they should listen to music on a stationary bicycle or on the bus. Headphones don't only compromise the offenders standing on the road, but mine when they don't hear me coming or passing. I would suggest that most accidents occur with non-emergency vehicles. Being aware on the road extends beyond hearing emergency vehicles and crying babies. Try watching television with headphones and hearing a knock on the door.

However, listening to healthy NPR programming does indeed absolves rider responsibility and provides a divine cushion (it says so on their website). Carelessness, collisions and not being aware what or who is behind you is reserved for those with Smashmouth, Olivia Newton John and Deicide in their shuffle.
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Old 03-18-09, 11:33 AM   #11
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I ride with headphones blasting...when I'm on my trainer staring at a wall all winter.

Personally I prefer hearing all the sounds of my bike and my breathing when I'm out on the road. Plus it's nice being able to hear cars coming up behind me so I can pull further into the shoulder as a courtesy.

I always ride with a helmet when I'm training, but I think I'm going to start taking it off on climbs cause I just get too damned hot. I was thinking of clipping it under my seat in these situations, any suggestions? I definitely want to bring my helmet with me for the descent at the very least.
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Old 03-18-09, 06:46 PM   #12
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Actually, riding a bicycle with a radio or speakers on the front or rear rack would be closest to driving in a automobile while listening to the radio and driving with headphones would be more like riding a bicycle with headphones. As for the primary differences between a bicycle and automobile...hmmm...let see...I guess they begin with the hierarchy on the road. Further differences include the physical properties of weight/momentum/width/length, number of wheels and tire width, bumpers, doors, hood, roof, windshield, seatbelt, airbag, heat, glove compartment, horn, brake lights, directional lights, air freshener, rear and side view mirrors, . One similarity may be that hybrids can be as silent and both fixed gears and cars can go in reverse. If riders need music to motivate them or help pass the time, perhaps they should listen to music on a stationary bicycle or on the bus. Headphones don't only compromise the offenders standing on the road, but mine when they don't hear me coming or passing. I would suggest that most accidents occur with non-emergency vehicles. Being aware on the road extends beyond hearing emergency vehicles and crying babies. Try watching television with headphones and hearing a knock on the door.

However, listening to healthy NPR programming does indeed absolves rider responsibility and provides a divine cushion (it says so on their website). Carelessness, collisions and not being aware what or who is behind you is reserved for those with Smashmouth, Olivia Newton John and Deicide in their shuffle.
So many irrelevant words. We're talking about the properties of sound and the similarities between how the human body interprets them in a car, with the windows rolled up, versus how they're interpreted when using headphones on a bicycle. We're not talking about the physical differences between a bike and a car and their "hierarchy on the road." It's obvious that a bike isn't a car, or an airplane, or a giraffe... so why bring it up?

The only time I view headphones as unacceptable is when riding on bike paths with heavy traffic or group rides for the reason you mentioned.
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Old 03-18-09, 06:58 PM   #13
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On my 10 mile round trip commute through boston and cambridge, i almost always wear a headphone in my right ear. The only two accidents I've been in happened when I WASN'T wearing them. I feel absolutely no handicap while listening to music.
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Old 03-18-09, 06:59 PM   #14
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ps, I also never go anywhere w/out a helmet
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Old 03-18-09, 07:51 PM   #15
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Hearing stories like Natasha Richardson's death make me glad I wear a helmet.
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Old 03-18-09, 07:58 PM   #16
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I always wear a helmet, but will never wear headphones.
The voices in my head are all the entertainment I need.
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Old 03-18-09, 08:58 PM   #17
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So many irrelevant words. We're talking about the properties of sound and the similarities between how the human body interprets them in a car, with the windows rolled up, versus how they're interpreted when using headphones on a bicycle. We're not talking about the physical differences between a bike and a car and their "hierarchy on the road." It's obvious that a bike isn't a car, or an airplane, or a giraffe...so why bring it up?....
Cars differ from bicycles in as much as listening with headphones does from listening to speakers in a enclosed room/car/whatever. Perhaps you have noticed someone wearing headphones speaking with a raised voice whereas people can speak normally with background noise at the same volume. Nonetheless, the purpose and design of a headphone is to block outside noise and bring in what is being listening to (or you have crap headphones) which makes them a liability on the road and to others.

Consider carrying on a conversation on a tandem with each rider wearing headphones while listening to their favorite troubadour or Garrison Keillor. Do the same without. Then try it in a car with the other seated behind the driver or on an airplane or animal of your choice. Those are different "properties". If not, then you are on to something and much money has been wasted on audio R&D.
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Old 03-18-09, 09:28 PM   #18
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+1 on the NPR podcasts. Also, when listening to podcasts I'll usually just keep one earbud in.
What?! No one likes to listen to Rush Limbaugh??
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Old 03-18-09, 10:59 PM   #19
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Cars differ from bicycles in as much as listening with headphones does from listening to speakers in a enclosed room/car/whatever. Perhaps you have noticed someone wearing headphones speaking with a raised voice whereas people can speak normally with background noise at the same volume. Nonetheless, the purpose and design of a headphone is to block outside noise and bring in what is being listening to (or you have crap headphones) which makes them a liability on the road and to others.

Consider carrying on a conversation on a tandem with each rider wearing headphones while listening to their favorite troubadour or Garrison Keillor. Do the same without. Then try it in a car with the other seated behind the driver or on an airplane or animal of your choice. Those are different "properties". If not, then you are on to something and much money has been wasted on audio R&D.
You make so little sense I can't even reply, except to say you're not making sense.
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Old 03-18-09, 11:16 PM   #20
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The only time I view headphones as unacceptable is when riding on bike paths with heavy traffic or group rides for the reason you mentioned.
The bike path is actually the ONLY place I see fit to use my headphones...minus the heavy traffic of course.
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Old 03-19-09, 04:41 PM   #21
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You make so little sense I can't even reply, except to say you're not making sense.
Yes sir. 1000 apologies. Let me see if I can dumb it down for you with pictures.

This




Is diff'rent than

this
(except that the lady's bike doesn't move)


In a car too.


This trumps everything.



Teens are turning bicycles into rolling outdoor sound systems.
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Old 03-19-09, 04:57 PM   #22
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I feel extremely uncomfortable using headphones while riding, solely because I feel I need to hear traffic approaching from behind.

Also, I'm extremely impressed by the bikes with the sound systems attached. It speaks volumes to the structural integrity of the bicycle.
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Old 04-05-09, 01:11 AM   #23
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I just posited that y’all look like a bunch of dirty hippies, scooting around on your silly bikes with your greasy hair.
Scroll down 1/3. Those that are balding and/or use shampoo are encouraged to reply.

That Meridian stretch is about 100 yds.
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Old 04-05-09, 02:10 AM   #24
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"McKay says the hardest thing about her job is giving families bad news. It hit close to home when her friend’s son crashed on his bike without a helmet. His head hit a pole. He was about to graduate from an Ivy League law school. Now he paints houses."

Thats a new one: Wear a helmet or you'll be unsuccessful in your carrer.

Damn those guys tried every fear inducing tactic they could think of in that article.
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Old 04-05-09, 09:28 AM   #25
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The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute says two-thirds of bicyclist deaths are from brain injuries. And while some riders worry that helmets will be useless in a high-speed collision, experts say that most brushes with the pavement do not happen at a very high speed. Helmets are designed to deal with the average impact exceptionally well.
i count three reasons this paragraph never should've gone to print.

then again, i'm yet to find a city paper that isn't roughly on par with high school publications...
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