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Who listens to music while commuting?

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Who listens to music while commuting?

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Old 06-02-08, 09:02 AM
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mcsteve20
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Who listens to music while commuting?

I was thinking about listening to an iPod while riding to work, but some people have told me I shouldn't do this. Initially, I thought I would just use one of the ear buds so I could still listen to what is going on around me.

Any thoughts about this? Does anyone else listen while they ride?
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Old 06-02-08, 09:02 AM
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I do.

102.9 sanfa fe radio station, nm
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Old 06-02-08, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by mcsteve20 View Post
I was thinking about listening to an iPod while riding to work, but some people have told me I shouldn't do this. Initially, I thought I would just use one of the ear buds so I could still listen to what is going on around me.

Any thoughts about this? Does anyone else listen while they ride?
If you ride in downtown Boston I wouldn't. Too much going on to be listening to your music.
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Old 06-02-08, 09:13 AM
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JeffS
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Some Do
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Old 06-02-08, 09:19 AM
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I listen to talks / book for self improvement. Music on busy roads tends to get you out of touch of what is going on.
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Old 06-02-08, 09:21 AM
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I don't. I tried it for a while, but listening to music made me more aware of the other noise around me, mostly wind, chain, and road, so I had to turn the music up pretty loud in order to hear it; otherwise it was just more noise. And if I turned the music up loud enough that I could really hear it, it tended to insulate me from what's actually going on around me, which was potentially dangerous. In the end I decided I liked the ride better without it.
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Old 06-02-08, 09:24 AM
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Search the forums on this there has to be 20+ threads addressing this issue. When you are commuting you need to be hyper aware of what is going on around you. If you can do that while listening to an iPod then go for it. If not don't.
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Old 06-02-08, 09:24 AM
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i definitely don't.

if you ride in any serious amount of traffic, being able to hear what's going on around you is super important!
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Old 06-02-08, 09:26 AM
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i imagine if you're on a long country road its ok, but not going down busy roads like mine.
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Old 06-02-08, 09:28 AM
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Do a search. there's a billion plus posts on this.

I listen to news/podcasts/music while commuting about 50% of the time. I use ONE earbud on the non-traffic side.

But I've also been doing my exact same route for six years and know every pothole and potential trouble spot en route. I wouldn't suggest it to a new commuter, but I also respect people enough to let them make their own decisions and not be safety nannies. If you're riding predictably I don't care what you're doing on your bike.
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Old 06-02-08, 09:31 AM
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I listen for the part of my commute that I am on the road. My ears can't tell if a car is going to buzz me, anyway. I do recommend a rear-view mirror, especially if you are listening to music.

I don't listen for the few miles I am on the MUP. My ears CAN hear someone holler, "On your left!" or "Look out!"
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Old 06-02-08, 09:40 AM
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I've been bicycling with traffic for almost 26 years, and never considered wearing headphones. I love music and have an mp3 player full of 30GB of music that I listen to often while at work or walking down the street. While I'm bicycling I simply rely too much on my sense of hearing for self-preservation. I like to know where the cars are around me, and listening for a car approaching (especially from behind) is extremely important to me. I'm not saying that you can't ride safely without a sense of hearing...I'm sure hearing impaired cyclists do this often, but you better at least get yourself a good rear-view mirror and check it often.

I figure why risk it? Use all the senses you can. If you're traveling on a MUP then maybe it's safer, but then again maybe not. A bicyclist was killed in our town a couple of weeks ago when she was riding on a MUP that crosses a railroad track. She was hit by a train that she apparently did not know what bearing down on the crossing at the same time she was. Witnesses said she was cruising down the MUP singing to herself moments before it happened, so she probably had headphones on and didn't hear the train approaching (must have had the volume cranked up since the train closely parallels the track there for awhile). Then again no mp3 player was recovered at the scene, so who knows. I've ridden past there many times when a train is coming, and it's so loud I can't imagine one wouldn't hear it unless they were listening to headphones. She must have been looking the wrong way as well. Tragic.

In my opinion headphones are great for passing the time while you walk and/or ride the bus, but not for cycling. If you must have music, get some of those speakers that mount to the bars so you can still hear the traffic as well.

Sean
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Old 06-02-08, 09:44 AM
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I like pie.
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Old 06-02-08, 09:46 AM
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I like pie too, pumpkin pie.
 
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Old 06-02-08, 09:50 AM
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newbojeff
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Originally Posted by DataJunkie View Post
I like pie.
That's it! I'm off to lunch...

Oh, and for the OP, to truly be one with Boston traffic, use your hearing.
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Old 06-02-08, 09:56 AM
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I listen to music while I ride. Blasting in both ears with closed-ear headphones.
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Old 06-02-08, 10:00 AM
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Thanks for all of the opinions. I think I'll stick with keeping my ears clear and open for now. Maybe I'll listen to music on the weekend rides.
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Old 06-02-08, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by jamesdenver View Post
Do a search. there's a billion plus posts on this.

I listen to news/podcasts/music while commuting about 50% of the time. I use ONE earbud on the non-traffic side.

But I've also been doing my exact same route for six years and know every pothole and potential trouble spot en route. I wouldn't suggest it to a new commuter, but I also respect people enough to let them make their own decisions and not be safety nannies. If you're riding predictably I don't care what you're doing on your bike.
+1 - exactly the same thing & opinion
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Old 06-02-08, 10:13 AM
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I do, but barely at a level where I can hear it. The tunes are going to always do the same thing, it isn't like they will change and I need to hear them change, ie; new riffs, new solos, new bass lines. Odd how that works, but then, I'm a musician and it takes a lot to turn my head when it comes to 'new tunes.'
 
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Old 06-02-08, 10:15 AM
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I do. And when I drive my car, I do so with the windows up and the radio on as well.
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Old 06-02-08, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by jaa1085 View Post
If you ride in downtown Boston I wouldn't. Too much going on to be listening to your music.
I do ride in downtown Boston, and I wouldn't. I know that you can still hear stuff while you've got earbuds in; OTOH I have at times been startled by something when I was walking and wearing them. Maybe I'm just very inattentive, but not every traffic hazard announces itself loudly (and some that do, get drowned out by even louder noises). I choose not to take the chance.
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Old 06-02-08, 10:57 AM
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I listen to music while commuting, however today was my first commuter day. I only drove to the train station to get the commuting started, and know this city pretty well. Besides that I don't really have to drive busy parts of town, and looking at the time I have to leave home I can easily listen to some music while commuting by bike. While driving home from the station my music is still on, but not as loud, since it's busier on the roads and more noisy, so I have to thrown in some extra attention.
Starting tomorrow I'll leave my Creative Zen Stone in my bag along with the headphones, and pop on my Nokia 6380 handsfree set. Leaves me one ear free on my bike, making me more aware of whatever is going on around me, and I get to listen to some news headlines and maybe get to know some new music for my collection.

I'll shut up now...
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Old 06-02-08, 11:09 AM
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Helmets next?

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Old 06-02-08, 11:56 AM
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I used to on road training rides. I stopped after I almost merged into a truck and trailer. WHOA.

Not worth it dude.
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Old 06-02-08, 12:07 PM
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I do, started recently - I use my eyes more than my ears when I ride, or rather, rely more on my eyes than ears - as I prefer to have a visual check as well as listening for cars. That being said, I rarely ever crank the tunes to the point that I can't hear anything else (in fact, I don't think my player goes that loud - road noise in this city is very loud or my earbuds suck) - I find that I still have a good general awareness, it can help me keep pace and deter/distract my brain when anger/rage-invoking events occur to calm me down much faster.

I had a moment this morning where I thought I heard a siren (chances are on a bike you hear them WAY before cars do, too) so I whipped out a bud really quickly so I could try and figure out where/what was going on - easy enough to deal with, and my pause button is quickly accessible. When riding alone, I ride with both buds in though, and it's more background noise than anything else due to the wind/road noise that's ever present.

I have a Creative Zen Stone Plus, which I got because it has radio on it as well as 2GB for audio files.

Edit: I find riding and using the headphones completely different than walking/sitting on the train. The music is MUCH quieter in my ear when compared to the environment when I'm riding, the same is not so when I'm on the train/walking and can quite easily have no hearing ability/awareness if I've got it up loud. Perhaps the wind rush allows environmental noise in more? *shrug*
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