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What is the board's take on wearing a MP3 player on BG Trail & Sammamish River Trail

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What is the board's take on wearing a MP3 player on BG Trail & Sammamish River Trail

Old 06-03-10, 02:21 PM
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Dr.Caligari
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What is the board's take on wearing a MP3 player on BG Trail & Sammamish River Trail

I commuted last night from Redmond into Seattle. I'm slow, so a few bikers overtook me, and at least 3 of them were wearing MP3 players. What's the board's take on that? I wouldn't wear one on city streets, because I think hearing is a component of situational safety and awareness. But on a bike/walking path, maybe its a different story.

Any thoughts?
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Old 06-03-10, 03:11 PM
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woodway
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I see it all the time on the SRT, and I think it's a bad idea. I had an incident last year where I called "on your left" to another cyclist I was overtaking only to have him almost hit me when he went left around a puddle on the trail. That was the point I realized he had earplugs in and it was clear he never heard my call.

If you must listen to tunes when riding, at least keep your left ear clear.
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Old 06-03-10, 03:35 PM
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I personally think it a bad idea to wear earbuds when cycling. I am diligent about announcing 'on your left', and many people never even hear me because of the iPod or whatever. Then again, I have a significant bilateral hearing loss, so I have learned not to rely on my hearing but instead to use a mirror.
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Old 06-03-10, 05:16 PM
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Ideally you say "on your left" before your actually on someone's left. Otherwise it doesn't do much good. Ultimately it is less safe to ride and listen to music while riding. But when I ride solo I often ride with an i-pod but I listen to it at a volume where I can still hear cars, which means I can't hear my music in traffic, but on a trail I can hear the music, and I can also hear other riders. But your hearing is impaired with earbuds so you have to look around you more.
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Old 06-03-10, 09:51 PM
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I don't think it's a good idea but there are people around here who say they can do it safely. I don't believe it but that's what they say...
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Old 06-04-10, 07:25 AM
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one ear on a moderate volume, and ride with a mirror, and you'll be fine. it is against the law to operate a bike on roads in WA state with headphones in, i don't know if that could even apply to trails. although i doubt there's any citations just safety issues to worry about.
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Old 06-04-10, 07:45 AM
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What is the difference between riding a bike and listening to something and driving a car while listening to something?

If you can walk and chew gum, you can ride while listening to something interesting.

If you can't walk and chew gum, you probably shouldn't be riding and listening to anything...and perhaps should not even be riding.

I was listening to a transistor radio with an earpiece while riding, in traffic, back in the seventies, and have continued to do so with various other devices since. I survived just fine...and I've got more miles in traffic than the majority of people who post here.

YMMV, do what works best for you.
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Old 06-04-10, 07:51 AM
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the main difference is that earpieces block other sounds from coming in (especially well fitting ear buds), but radios in a car don't (overly loud car speakers drown out other noises, but that's a different story - and still a safety concern). In many states earbuds while driving a car are illegal too (or so I've been told - no references to back that up).
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Old 06-04-10, 10:13 AM
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My commute is 9 miles, 3 on MUP, 4 on bike lanes and 2 on neighborhood streets. I listen to an I-pod, but as stated above the volume is at a level that when I'm in traffic I don't hear the music. I also check my mirror often for vehicles and other bike commuters. On the MUP I don't encounter too many other commuters. While doing recreational riding I do not listen to an I-pod, usally a higher number of walkers/bikes around and in a group ride setting.
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Old 06-04-10, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by himespau
the main difference is that earpieces block other sounds from coming in (especially well fitting ear buds), but radios in a car don't (overly loud car speakers drown out other noises, but that's a different story - and still a safety concern). In many states earbuds while driving a car are illegal too (or so I've been told - no references to back that up).
But (non-noise canceling) ear buds and the proper volume level don't block other sounds anymore than driving a car with the stereo on and the windows closed. Indeed, I can hear vehicles coming up on me, sirens, the rub of my chain against the FD, the hiss of a blow out, etc.

If you subscribe to the notion that one must be able to hear to safely ride a bike, then doing things like riding in busy traffic, construction zones, on windy days or with chatty people should be verboten and deaf or hearing impaired people (like me) banned from riding bikes...or driving.

The problem isn't the music or whatever you are listening to, the problem is people who get lost in what they are hearing and can't pay attention because of it. Those people should probably not be riding with any noises around them at all...but all of us do not share their handicap.
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Old 06-04-10, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Dr.Caligari
I commuted last night from Redmond into Seattle. I'm slow, so a few bikers overtook me, and at least 3 of them were wearing MP3 players. What's the board's take on that? I wouldn't wear one on city streets, because I think hearing is a component of situational safety and awareness. But on a bike/walking path, maybe its a different story.

Any thoughts?
I hate having to pass cyclists with head phones. There are sections on the Burke where tree roots push some of the pavement up, and cyclists will move over to avoid them. Puddles form here and there, too, and people let their cats and dogs wander...

The cyclists who wear headphones almost never look behind them before moving ( or even swerving ) to avoid this stuff on the trail. They're a nuisance.
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Old 06-04-10, 12:55 PM
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Headphones are fine....... as long as means of locomotion are your own two legs.

Add wheels and you are being dangerous, bordering on ******baggery.

EDIT: d o u c h e is censored? How very very sad.
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Old 06-04-10, 01:23 PM
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I wear a single earbud in my curb-side ear just about everywhere I ride. It leaves my street-side ear open to hear everything that's going on around me. Combined with a mirror, nothing is catching me off-guard. I recently rode an overnight solo century wearing that setup. I keep the volume low enough that I can hold a conversation with a rider to my right; I'm not blasting it loud enough to drown out all other sound.
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Old 06-04-10, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by CliftonGK1
I wear a single earbud in my curb-side ear just about everywhere I ride. It leaves my street-side ear open to hear everything that's going on around me. Combined with a mirror, nothing is catching me off-guard. I recently rode an overnight solo century wearing that setup. I keep the volume low enough that I can hold a conversation with a rider to my right; I'm not blasting it loud enough to drown out all other sound.
When Cheri and I ride together many times we are both listening to our MP3 players...and still manage to talk to each other with no problem. Since I adopted using a mirror about 20 years ago or so, I can't recall anything sneaking up behind me.

Over the years here in BF I have observed that most who think riding while listening to something is so dangerous either have never done it themselves, or just can't do it themselves and think everyone else shares their handicap.

Sadly, there seem to be a lot of idiots out there who probably shouldn't be doing it...it's like the music puts their brains to sleep. I can see why those who have never done it, but have encountered these zombies, might consider the practice dangerous.
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Old 06-06-10, 09:02 AM
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"Sadly, there seem to be a lot of idiots out there who probably shouldn't be doing it...it's like the music puts their brains to sleep. I can see why those who have never done it, but have encountered these zombies, might consider the practice dangerous."

Exactly , treat folks with headphones with great caution, you don't know what their skill or awareness levels are... the worst , of course, are the ones in TRAFFIC riding with headphones, yikes.
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Old 06-10-10, 05:54 PM
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According to this author as a species we cannot multitask. I believe this applies to listening to music and riding a bike. Do one OR the other. Then again maybe this just applies to me!

DR. JOHN J. MEDINA is a developmental molecular biologist focused on the genes involved in human brain development and the genetics of psychiatric disorders.

  • The brain is not capable of multi-tasking. We can talk and breathe, but when it comes to higher level tasks, we just canít do it.
  • Driving while talking on a cell phone is like driving drunk. The brain is a sequential processor and large fractions of a second are consumed every time the brain switches tasks. This is why cell-phone talkers are a half-second slower to hit the brakes and get in more wrecks.
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Old 06-10-10, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by riversiderider
According to this author as a species we cannot multitask. I believe this applies to listening to music and riding a bike. Do one OR the other. Then again maybe this just applies to me!

DR. JOHN J. MEDINA is a developmental molecular biologist focused on the genes involved in human brain development and the genetics of psychiatric disorders.

  • The brain is not capable of multi-tasking. We can talk and breathe, but when it comes to higher level tasks, we just can’t do it.
  • Driving while talking on a cell phone is like driving drunk. The brain is a sequential processor and large fractions of a second are consumed every time the brain switches tasks. This is why cell-phone talkers are a half-second slower to hit the brakes and get in more wrecks.
I took a crap and read my magazine... this is just a ludicrous statement... that a human can only talk and breathe. what would constitute a higher level task?

As far as legal ramifications, Im not sure about WA, but many states its legal to have one earbud in.
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