Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Riding W/MP3 Player

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Old 12-26-05, 05:04 PM
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Bootlegger
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Riding W/MP3 Player

I received an MP 3 player for the holiday. Went for my first ride with the music today. I used to think it was dangerous but after my ride I've changed my mind. I put the volume at a low level and was able to hear traffic over the music. I ride country roads so it was not real difficult. The music made the ride in the snow and wet and strong wind more bearable. I'm converted.

Do you ride with an MP3?

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Old 12-26-05, 05:11 PM
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I ride with a MP3 play. I find it easier that way. I am still new at this so i get tired kind of easily so the music always hypes my up and lets me go longer because I am having fun singing along to the music!

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Old 12-26-05, 05:16 PM
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This is dangerous, not recommended and in many places unlawful. You may think you hear everything but you don't, and that subtle sound that tells you a truck is on your tail a few hundred feet back you won't hear until he's right behind you.
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Old 12-26-05, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by zacster
This is dangerous, not recommended and in many places unlawful. You may think you hear everything but you don't, and that subtle sound that tells you a truck is on your tail a few hundred feet back you won't hear until he's right behind you.
You gotta come riding with us in midtown sometime, headphones blaring.
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Old 12-26-05, 05:27 PM
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No thanks. I like myself in one piece, especially since I found myself in two pieces laying on the hot pavement on Riverside coming off the bridge in June.

Headphones blaring on the Q train is better.
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Old 12-26-05, 05:35 PM
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I ride while listening to music. Ok so there is a car behind me. Nothing I can do about it, except ride predictably. If they want to run me off the road, music/no music won't really matter. If I want to change lanes, I LOOK over my sholder. On flats/descends I can't hear anything even without the headphones, due to the wind. So bottom line I don't think it's more dangerous.
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Old 12-26-05, 05:44 PM
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So what you're saying is that deaf people should never go cycling?

I ride with an iPod and as Bootlegger says, it's still very easy to hear traffic noise.

Most cars do fine with windows wound up and a loud stereo playing. They don't hear the surrounding traffic at all. Obviously we're more vulnerable but if we're riding predictably we shouldn't be at any greater danger.

I don't think anyone operating a vehicle of any kind on a public road should play their music too loud as it certainly does affect concentration but when I'm on the road I want music.

The bottom line is, if you think it's dangerous, don't do it. If you want music while you ride, take the extra precautions that your choice requires.
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Old 12-26-05, 06:51 PM
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Just bought my daughter an I-Pod Nano. Damn that's sweet. Think I'll get one for me!
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Old 12-26-05, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Bootlegger
I received an MP 3 player for the holiday. Went for my first ride with the music today. I used to think it was dangerous but after my ride I've changed my mind. I put the volume at a low level and was able to hear traffic over the music. I ride country roads so it was not real difficult. The music made the ride in the snow and wet and strong wind more bearable. I'm converted.

Do you ride with an MP3?

Bootlegger Still
It is just a really bad idea to limit any sense of your surroundings when your life depends on your senses.
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Old 12-26-05, 07:13 PM
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You may hear cars, but you might not hear the rustling in the bushes that signals a pit bull in full attack mode. While sometimes I wish I had one on my long solo country rides, I have yet to use it... I may this spring...but I'd probably just ride with one earbud in.
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Old 12-26-05, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Bootlegger
I received an MP 3 player for the holiday. Went for my first ride with the music today. I used to think it was dangerous but after my ride I've changed my mind. I put the volume at a low level and was able to hear traffic over the music. I ride country roads so it was not real difficult. The music made the ride in the snow and wet and strong wind more bearable. I'm converted.

Do you ride with an MP3?

Bootlegger Still
+1, exact same situation for me. Rode with my new one today and had no problem hearing cars.
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Old 12-26-05, 08:39 PM
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I ride with just my right earbud in with the music at an adequate volume. I can hear cars just fine in fact I often stop and talk to neighbors during a ride and don't need to take out the earbud or turn down the volume while carrying on a conversation.
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Old 12-26-05, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by MediaCreations
The bottom line is, if you think it's dangerous, don't do it. If you want music while you ride, take the extra precautions that your choice requires.
I think this really captures it.

My problem is with the dumba$$es who don't take the extra precautions and turn/stop/etc. without warning. Of course, there's plenty of cyclists and runners who do this without iPods anyway, so I tend to ride off by myself period.
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Old 12-26-05, 09:16 PM
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I would only ride with one earbud in. Plus I would look around alot. How many of us have came up behind someone who was zoned out with a set of head phones? Saying "pass left" doesn't work.
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Old 12-26-05, 10:28 PM
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I ride with an ipod shuffle, but only when im by myself. ill have it on from the house till i meet up with the others. most of the work week riding ,36miles, is on the riverbed trail anyway. i feel the same as a prev post, im going to ride as safe as i can...head phones or not i have no control over whats coming up from behind.
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Old 12-26-05, 10:33 PM
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I had kind of mixed feelings on riding with my Ipod Mini for the reasons of not paying attention to approaching cars. Early in June I did ride with it and found it not to be the distraction that I thought it might be. That being said, I am not riding on really busy roads with lots of other distractions going on, which might mean that I am prone to zone out the few cars that do come by. Not really. The real issue is to not to turn it up too loud, for safety and hearing loss reasons.
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Old 12-26-05, 10:41 PM
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You know what i find weird and just noticed the other day? most of the time im thinking of other things and not even listening to whats playing.
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Old 12-26-05, 11:11 PM
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OH some people are just so scared when they ride a bike...

Heck yeah I use my MP3 Player (Ipod Shuffle). I use it at volumes that allow me to hear what is going on around me. The benefits far out weigh the perceived risks. I know a few people that have been hit by cars, attacked by dogs... no MP3 player on them. I don't see how not wearing one helps you avoid anything.

If it helps you put in many miles on the bike... GO FOR IT!
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Old 12-26-05, 11:16 PM
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These threads do nothing to educate or enlighten anyone. It's just a silly excuse for people to blurt out their own opinions as if they were fact. The thing is that no one ever changes their mind as a result. What's the use?
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Old 12-26-05, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by zacster
This is dangerous, not recommended and in many places unlawful. You may think you hear everything but you don't, and that subtle sound that tells you a truck is on your tail a few hundred feet back you won't hear until he's right behind you.
What's wrong with this is that it implies that you're depending on your ears for what's happening behind you ... as if they were a substitute for a mirror. Will sound tell you that another biker, a hybrid car, an electric or someone who's engine has died on the downhill and is drifting is coming up behind you? Will sound give you accurate distance information? I don't think so.

In driver's ed they teach you check your mirrors every 10 seconds or oftener depending on circumstances. If this is true for cars, how much more so for bikes? There's a variety of mirror solutions for bikes available these days.
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Old 12-27-05, 10:19 AM
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I agree with some of the above posts that there is no convincing anyone. This has been discussed before except the discussion was radios.


But to say "what about electric cars" or "so deaf people shouldn't bike" is a shallow argument. 99% of the cars on the road are still internal combustion. I'd bet that deaf person would give anything to have that extra tool to keep him safer while bicycling.

The way I look at it is it is dangerous out there. You need every tool at your disposal to keep you safe. Helmet, bright clothing, reflectors at night, mirrors, your ears, your eyes and your brain. If you are willing to trade one of those tools for a little comfort or pleasure then that's your choice.


But I guess I am just beating a dead horse.
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Old 12-27-05, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by MarkS
What's wrong with this is that it implies that you're depending on your ears for what's happening behind you ... as if they were a substitute for a mirror. Will sound tell you that another biker, a hybrid car, an electric or someone who's engine has died on the downhill and is drifting is coming up behind you? Will sound give you accurate distance information? I don't think so.

In driver's ed they teach you check your mirrors every 10 seconds or oftener depending on circumstances. If this is true for cars, how much more so for bikes? There's a variety of mirror solutions for bikes available these days.
Except that driving with headphones is illegal in almost every state. Mirrors won't tell you a firetruck is coming through an intersection. Nor will they show you what's ahead. You don't use sound only for what's behind you.

When I lived in Seattle the thing that would scare the hell out of me when I was riding in the city was the trolley buses. They are almost silent. Every time one came up behind me I'd swerve. Would you want every car to be almost silent? I sure as hell don't.
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Old 12-27-05, 07:37 PM
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I'd love to feel comfortable using my ipod but for the many reasons already stated I am afraid to use them. I don't use a mirror but might start using one. Maybe after I feel comfortable with one I might give the pod a try at low volumne.
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Old 12-27-05, 09:53 PM
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For myself it seems to motivate me and take the edge off of a concern for things I can't control anyhow. I use a mirror and always check before ever going out of my line, and pay attention. I've never had a problem because of the music. Life is too short not to be happy in the things we do, what level of risks we take along the way is personal, and no one is right or wrong on this one. Heavy metal all the way....

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Old 12-27-05, 10:18 PM
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One earbud - for me the right one. I can hear cars/traffic to my left.
Just my $0.02

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