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Old 08-03-17, 05:29 AM   #26
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Sometimes on a busy-noisy-road with a wide-shoulder I'll listen to music. Music can be a great mood elevator if you're bored and assuming the road situation works. I'll also listen to podcasts at times, too. Personally I can still hear the outside world even with my earbuds on.

BUT: I try to avoid busy-noisy-roads as much as possible. Out on country-lanes and forest-trails I enjoy the natural sounds/quiet.
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Old 08-03-17, 06:03 AM   #27
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On great occasion while riding if looking for some leg inspiration, otherwise only at night. Then I've only just listened to Pandora on my cell....maybe I need a BT speaker as I am somewhat of an audiophile at home, can't stand tinny speakers or mp3s.
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Old 08-04-17, 06:37 AM   #28
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I have a Bose Soundlink II speaker and an LG 7 inch tablet mounted on my handlebars. I run an MP3 Player and "Urban Biker" apps in dual window mode on the tablet. I'll sometimes listen to music, podcasts or my French lessons with the mp3 player, but at other times I'll just listen to the world around me. For me, it's good to have the option to do either, especially on long trips. The key thing is judicious use of the volume control. If I get close to another cyclist, or if I'm going through a neighborhood, I'll turn it way down or off. If I'm on a lonely road with few houses set far back from the road, I'll turn it up a little bit, but not so much that I can't hear cars, other cyclists or the content of conversations people are having 40 feet away. Once in a great while, in pedestrian rich environments, I'll make an exception and use it as a sort of bell or horn. Amazing how people get out of the way for Coltrane! Also the speaker works well with my cellphone. It cuts out the music and allows me to answer the phone, assuming I have a safe place to stop and take the call. Phone use is too distracting to multitask with cycling IMHO. I know the thought of taking calls on the bike will make some of you cringe but suffice to say I have no choice and have to be reachable at all times.

Last edited by hfbill; 08-04-17 at 11:06 AM.
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Old 08-04-17, 06:45 AM   #29
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Absolutely, 100% not. My ears have often saved me from things that my eyes cannot see. I am bombarded by tv, music, and video screens nearly every waking hour, and getting on my bike is my escape. I love music, practice the guitar 2 hours every day, and listen to music before going to bed. But some amount of silence is necessary to maintain my sanity.
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Old 08-04-17, 08:44 AM   #30
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Absolutely, 100% not. My ears have often saved me from things that my eyes cannot see. I am bombarded by tv, music, and video screens nearly every waking hour, and getting on my bike is my escape. I love music, practice the guitar 2 hours every day, and listen to music before going to bed. But some amount of silence is necessary to maintain my sanity.
When I am travelling by bike the last thing I want to experience is something I experience on a daily basis, especially something that interferes with experiences I don't have every day, like hearing birds and insects that are not native to my home environment.


During my two-week trip in June I saw a turned on TV two or three times in bars/restaurants. Got a room the last night on the road and at the end of the trip before flying home. Never once wanted to turn on the TV.
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Old 08-04-17, 08:52 AM   #31
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I don't at all, both because I think it's safer and because as others have mentioned I like to hear the sounds around me. Biking is my time to be more fully in the present, and especially when touring I want to be immersed in the experience and the location.

That being said, I recently thought it would be good for my Spanish to listen to some music in Spanish. So I tried it. As noted above, I did the single ear bud in the non traffic side ear, but I just didn't like it. I tried it for a couple hours one day and it didn't take.

But, as with so many other aspects of touring and as reflected in this thread, there are lots of options. Give them a try and see what works for you.
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Old 08-04-17, 08:55 AM   #32
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Stop, Go into a Pub with Live Music and listen to them ?

I brought a Pocket Mandolin* on tour , to sit in at pub jams and play with other musicians I met along the route of my tour.

* they are even smaller than a regular mandolin.





...

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-07-17 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 08-04-17, 08:59 AM   #33
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I listen to podcasts every morning with cordless buds...and can still hear some external noise. I start out at 5am so it's also easy to see headlights approaching in my mirror. I also have a small, waterproof BOOM Swimmer that wraps around my flat bar that I use from time to time when I want to annoy other people.
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Old 08-04-17, 01:33 PM   #34
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I don't like to pile on, but I can't help but notice that we have a pedal thread and a listening to music while riding thread going on simultaneously, and both of them are totally civil exchanges of ideas and opinions. These are two generally pretty contentious issues and everyone is being respectful of the different viewpoints out there. Great job, team.
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Old 08-04-17, 02:02 PM   #35
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I'm sitting here, drinking my morning cuppa joe, listening to Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders...I ordered up some panniers this morning, super excited about that, should be here tomorrow...

But as I sit here, listening to these fabulous jams, I am thinking...I love music, but not a big fan of wearing ear buds on the bike.

I'm just curious if anybody listens to music, podcasts, radio on the road and maybe get some input on what others do to get their musical fix while on tour.
I did once. Had a Sony Walkman. I need my hearing too much to gauge approaching cars. Felt like a safety hazard. Tuning out sounds while experiencing a new place just makes no sense.
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Old 08-05-17, 06:52 AM   #36
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last fall i listened to the cubs in the playoffs after i rode 50-80 miles. my tent air mattress and radio were like a little slice of heaven.
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Old 08-07-17, 01:28 AM   #37
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For long-distance biking instrumental Techno "Trance" music can be nice & energizing, getting into the pedaling machine groove w/o intrusive lyrics. But lately for driving or biking I don't bother w/music, just distracts from the Zen.
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Old 08-07-17, 02:53 AM   #38
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some people like to listen to music/podcasts/whathaveyou and some don't while riding for whatever reason(s).
shocking.
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Old 08-07-17, 11:37 AM   #39
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I listen to music and podcasts when I ride, but I only have an ear bud in my right ear so the left is wide open to listen for traffic. I firmly believe that riding across the Cascades would have been twice as hard without "RadioLab", "This American Life", Pink Floyd and Lou Reed etc.
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Old 08-07-17, 12:42 PM   #40
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last fall i listened to the cubs in the playoffs after i rode 50-80 miles.
Good point, I do listen to quite a few ball games on my rides! Plus, no way am I wasting my sunny Sundays actually WATCHING the Lions, when I can be on a bike ready to turn them off the second they do something Lionsesque!
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Old 08-07-17, 03:29 PM   #41
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i listen to the voices.
the ones in my head.
they tell me things.
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Old 08-07-17, 03:47 PM   #42
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It's too distracting for me. Plus I can listen to music all I want at home. I like the surrounding noise I hear on the road. Water, birds etc!

-Pebs
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Old 08-07-17, 04:06 PM   #43
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It's too distracting for me. Plus I can listen to music all I want at home. I like the surrounding noise I hear on the road. Water, birds etc!

-Pebs
lp's at home, nature on the ride and occasionally the cubs in the tent afterwards.
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Old 08-07-17, 06:37 PM   #44
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Open-back headphones (such as the Sennheiser HD 598) would allow you to hear ambient noise while listening to music (assuming a reasonable volume). The drawback is that everyone else would be able to hear your music, too.
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Old 08-07-17, 08:21 PM   #45
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There are dangers on the road that are barely audible: electric bikes, chasing dogs, cars that pass too close for comfort. I feel more secure when I am attending to as many environmental cues as possible. So no earbuds for me.

I like to think that I am beginning to develop a kind of "echolocation" when I bike... mental images of what's behind and beside me based on the subtle environmental sounds.
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Old 08-07-17, 09:51 PM   #46
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Only sometimes. Depends on the road and how tired I am. Busy roads generally not. Don't even have a stereo at home, do not listen to music much there.

I have two apps on my phone, radiotunes, which has lots of genres to suit the mood, and another that is pretty much all techno rave/electronic type music genres. Techno Trance is pretty much my go to when I need to burn some miles out to reach a daily destination. Takes me back to my clubbing dance rave days when you burned calories all night dancing. Otherwise its stuff like Jpop, Japanese pop music. Its like being in a very cool Anime with that going. Unapologetic nerd.

Sometimes I will listen to old time radio broadcasts like Lum and Abner, The Bickersons, Flash Gordon or Buck rogers.

Probably would not do this as much without a good mirror. And I can still hear dogs and such.
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Old 08-08-17, 04:37 AM   #47
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I don't usually listen to music on the bike. I do sometimes listen to audiobooks while riding especially in places like Kansas.

On the other hand I never found that my ear buds interfered much with my ability to hear road sounds like approaching cars.
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Old 08-11-17, 06:13 PM   #48
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Nope. No music on the bike.

Unless it's playing in my head. I've been known to play the whole Moby Grape album in my head, and loved every minute of it.

Or unless I get to reliving memories and I get to a moment I'd rather forget, and I burst into spontaneous song. Where did that come from┐

I mean no. Time on the bike is time alone with your thoughts. Enjoy.
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Old 08-11-17, 11:44 PM   #49
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Nope. No music on the bike.

Unless it's playing in my head. I've been known to play the whole Moby Grape album in my head, and loved every minute of it.

Or unless I get to reliving memories and I get to a moment I'd rather forget, and I burst into spontaneous song. Where did that come from┐

I mean no. Time on the bike is time alone with your thoughts. Enjoy.
I do that when I go up a hill, except for some dumb reason it's alway ABBA- Super Trouper... could be worse...
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Old 08-11-17, 11:49 PM   #50
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Depends on where I'm riding. I never have ear buds in both ears, and only on the non-traffic side on *very* low volume.
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