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Listening choices on your bike

Old 02-10-20, 10:40 AM
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nun
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Listening choices on your bike

I like a bit of audio entertainment when I ride, I usually listen to the radio or music on long days in the saddle. Sometimes Ill download an audiobook. I use one earphone and leave the other ear free so I can hear traffic easily. So what do you listen to?
Here is my play list.

1) If I can find a good NPR signal this is my default.
2) Podcasts of shows like "This American Life", "Radio Lab", "In Our Time". I download theses before I leave and when I have WIFI access on tour.
3) Current top of the music list, some fast stuff to get me pedaling, and some quiet stuff to calm me down.

Babymetal: Babymetal and Road of Resistance
Pink Floyd: Darkside of the Moon
Lou Reed: Rock n Roll Animal
John Luther Adams: Become Ocean
David Bowie: Changes
Roxy Music: Avalon.............

and many more.

Last edited by nun; 02-10-20 at 10:48 AM.
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Old 02-10-20, 12:19 PM
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I usually listen to the birds chirping, but occasionally listen to a passing car.
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Old 02-10-20, 12:44 PM
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Happy Feet
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I generally make a rule for myself not to use my IPOD when riding so I can hear cars but if it is safe, and I am really bored I might for a while. Mostly, the IPOD is my luxury item for camp when I'm done for the day and relaxing in my tent.

I have an eclectic mix depending on my mood but enjoy classical suites from Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Mozart... as well as Leonard Cohen, Ella Fitzgerald, Chris Cornell, Pearl Jam, REM or other good vocalists.

Dark Side is my number one default for descents while mtbing.
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Old 02-10-20, 01:25 PM
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I just have my ipod on random selection all the time. Volume is set so I can hear traffic behind me apart from motorcycles which don't generate much tyre road noise.
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Old 02-10-20, 01:47 PM
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You're gonna get some scolding for listening to music while you're riding, but I think it's fine if you can balance it with awareness of your surroundings.

My playlist in the summer is pure modern country (with some Johnny Cash, rockabilly, and Gene Casey mixed in) along with Jimmy Buffett and Zack Brown. In the fall, I switch to either my Beatles/Solo Beatles A-Z Mix or my Music From 1920 to 2020 Mix. The Country Music vibe is really relaxing for what-I-call touring. The other is a good commuting mix.
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Old 02-10-20, 06:21 PM
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The birds and the bees.
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Old 02-10-20, 07:46 PM
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jamawani 
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The corn growing ...
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Old 02-10-20, 08:52 PM
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Noise canceling headphones.
All day, everyday.
(and a rear view mirror)

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Old 02-10-20, 09:42 PM
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Last ride was with Rush - Grace Under Pressure. I've long been an NPR and podcast listener, but lately I've been loading up music as a way to give my brain some time off.
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Old 02-10-20, 11:19 PM
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I use a bluetooth shower speaker mounted on my frame bag. So traffic noise is not a problem and it's easy to pause, skip, change volume and answer the phone
oh, and classic rock, blues and some ethnic music
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Old 02-11-20, 12:53 AM
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I use in-ear monitors with the highest level of passive noise canceling I can find-- basically foam earplugs with speakers in them.

This American Life is a bi-weekly for me (at least,) and my Pandora station on the day varies by mood... but if the pedals are turning, the earbuds are in.

Perhaps if I was puttering along at walking pace I could soak up the surroundings. But I'm not. And the sound of wind and traffic isn't exactly a symphony.
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Old 02-11-20, 03:31 AM
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I try not to tour in boring places, on busy roads or industrial areas so I like to hear what's going on while admiring the view. Definitely no ear phones/buds.
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Old 02-11-20, 07:38 AM
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No earbuds for me but a small BT speaker in my handlebar feed bag helps set the mood on long days during my weekend mini tours. Last summer my playlist consisted of Jimmy Buffett, Bruce Springsteen and Frank Sinatra.
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Old 02-11-20, 07:46 AM
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Nature and the wheels of the bike are my playlist. My idea of touring is to unplug. Wind, birds, trees, rushing water. Camped this past summer next to a babbling brook, way cool. YRMV.
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Old 02-11-20, 07:55 AM
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I like to listen to podcasts. Mostly science fiction, fantasy short fiction from Starship Sofa, Cast of Wonders, Escape Pod. I also listen to infotainment shows like a lot of the Stuff podcasts from IHeartRadio network or stuff from Radiotopia or Parcast.

As for music I like to listen to music from John Denver to Fallout Boys or 80s rock.
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Old 02-11-20, 08:41 AM
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I cant hear much when riding because wind creates a steady white noise. All those who already posted that they listen to birds chirping while riding clearly have better hearing. I dont hear the babbling brook thats 80' away me running alongside the road. I dont hear the sparrows chattering in the prairie.
Since I cant hear any of that due to wind noise, I toss on some ear buds. They actually reduce wind noise and I can listen to music. Its a win-win.
I will stream stations off of Amazon Music if I have a strong signal, or Ill play my downloaded offline playlist if there is a bad signal.
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Old 02-11-20, 09:05 AM
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​​​​​​I find that just one ear bud in my right ear allows me to still hear things around me and that music can often enhance my ride. This summer I did some climbing in the NH mountains and listening to John Luther Adams made the experience pretty wonderful.


and then on the long gradual down hills I had Babymetal on and I'm sure it knocked a few mins of my travel time.

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Old 02-11-20, 09:08 AM
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I also enjoy listening to my surroundings. Perhaps wind noise isn't an issue for me since I'm a slow rider? I did notice a lot of wind noise a couple weekends ago when I had 6 miles straight into a 21mph headwind in the flat farm country. It was so much quieter when I turned around at the midpoint to head home. My speed also doubled thanks to the tailwind!
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Old 02-11-20, 09:15 AM
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I listen to audio books when I ride/tour. I used to listen with one ear bud. Then, I discovered bone conduction head phones that sit just in front of my ears and vibrate the sound through my skull. It leaves my ears open to street noise. Very much like listening to someone talking as you ride. Here is a review I did of them.

I've used them for a couple years now and have discovered that being able to hear the sounds of a car nearby and actually registering that there is a car nearby are two different things. I believe it has to do with how much bandwidth my brain has for processing sound.

It is like being a bit distracted. Kind of like talking to someone while riding. I can still "hear" the cars but am not able to readily respond to it. For me, it is the same for day-dreaming while riding.
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Old 02-11-20, 09:35 AM
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It would be a curious correlation to see how many who don't listen to headphones so they can hear traffic also have mirrors.
I usually don't listen and do have mirrors. I ride a lot of long hwy miles and they help quite a bit for seeing what's coming up behind.

Forgot about John Denver. He was a great songwriter. Also recently got into Tool (sort of the same genre )
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Old 02-11-20, 09:42 AM
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"Coffee Break French" lessons through a BT speaker mounted on my handlebars, when conditions permit. It doesn't seem to impair my awareness of cars etc, Mirrors on both sides help with that too.
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Old 02-11-20, 10:07 AM
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nun
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
It would be a curious correlation to see how many who don't listen to headphones so they can hear traffic also have mirrors.
I usually don't listen and do have mirrors. I ride a lot of long hwy miles and they help quite a bit for seeing what's coming up behind.

Forgot about John Denver. He was a great songwriter. Also recently got into Tool (sort of the same genre )
I don't have mirrors, but I'm always careful to check behind me. I tend to take my ear bud out in towns and heavy traffic.
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Old 02-11-20, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by raybo View Post
I listen to audio books when I ride/tour. I used to listen with one ear bud. Then, I discovered bone conduction head phones that sit just in front of my ears and vibrate the sound through my skull. It leaves my ears open to street noise. Very much like listening to someone talking as you ride. Here is a review I did of them.

.

I'll take a look at those. One thing that has annoyed me recently is the new iPhones emphasize bluetooth headphones and that's just another device to power. I use an adapter so I can plug headphone in directly, but this means I can't recharge the phone while I am listening to music/podcasts.. I still carry a very small FM radio that runs off one AAA battery and is great, but only when there is good signal.
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Old 02-11-20, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
It would be a curious correlation to see how many who don't listen to headphones so they can hear traffic also have mirrors.
I usually don't listen and do have mirrors. I ride a lot of long hwy miles and they help quite a bit for seeing what's coming up behind.
No headphones, no mirrors. A couple bikes ago I did have a mirror that mounted on my handlebars but it tended to drive me crazy with all the vibrations from rough roads.
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Old 02-11-20, 10:50 AM
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I often match my listening to the terrain with quiet methodical stuff for climbing and fast paced music for the flat sections, particularly if Im looking to get somewhere fast. I might be be deluding myself, but I think I ride faster with fast music playing.
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