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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Dallas
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    1,532

    "Avoid using headsets to listen to music"

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    In the "missing woman" thread, the most recent article linked to gives advice, including the above.

    How many of you listen to an iPod or equivalent?

    I do, but I don't usually listen to music. I listen to audiobooks (I love http://audible.com for that).

    Here's why I feel safe doing it. Please tell me if I'm wrong.

    1) I only use a bud in one ear.

    2) I can still hear everything around me, to the extent that I'm frequently looking over my shoulder for oncoming traffic only to realize it's noise from an adjacent busy street, and my own street is empty.

    3) I purposely choose books that require very little concentration. They are "light reading" the nth degree. My typical choices are British mysteries that are so "light" they still use devices such as the middle-aged female sleuth checking the victim's email for clues (the police didn't think of that -- right). In other words, I find them amusing but if I miss something it doesn't bother me. Even though I'm riding and paying attention to things around me, I rarely find myself wanting to back the book up because I think I missed something important.

    4) In my case, I don't listen to music because I WOULD be tempted to turn it too loud. I'd also get distracted because as soon as a song came on that I didn't like or didn't fit my mood, I'd be fiddling with the iPod trying to find a better one.

    So, what do you do? Do you feel safe listening to headphones or do you avoid it like the plague?

    “Hey, clearly failure doesn’t deter me!”

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    1,080
    Quote Originally Posted by pooks
    So, what do you do? Do you feel safe listening to headphones or do you avoid it like the plague?
    I don't wear headphones and I personally avoid riders who wear headphones like the plague. For the most part, I find them dangerous and inattentive, even if they're wearing only one ear.

    On the Death Ride this year I was amazed at all the riders with iPods. The design of this course is inherrently dangerous -- riders go up one side of a mountain at the same time riders are coming down (at very high speeds) on closed roads (no cars). I would say at least 25% of the riders had headphones in BOTH ears (which is also illegal in CA). I almost quit calling out because no one ever heard anything!

    When I ride, my motivation comes from the challenge of the ride, the scenery, the dialogue with other riders, and the sounds of nature. I don't need music or books or other entertainment to ride. I ride to get away from societal "noise." I want to be alert and aware of what's going on around me, both from a safety pov and because I want to become as connected with my environment as possible.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    2,716
    On a bike path, I certainly will. I rarely get to ride and listen to music... so once every 3 months when I hit the bike path, I jam to my tunes. It makes the time go by faster since I am riding alone.

    On the roads, in my cycling groups, I NEVER do.

    Honestly though, even without my headphones, I miss cars coming up on me. Especially when they are SPEEDING. I hear the car right when it's on me.
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather, to skid in broadside thoroughly used-up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: WOW WHAT A RIDE!!!!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Bendemonium
    Posts
    9,684
    Whoo boy. You asked a loaded question. We discussed this in depth a while back.

    http://forums.teamestrogen.com/showt...ght=headphones

    Quote Originally Posted by pooks
    2) I can still hear everything around me, . . .
    Regarding this comment which I hear frequently from people using earphones: How do you know you can hear everything? I haven't run a formal test and kept records but anecdotally I would say that 100% of earphone users that I pass on the road or bike path do not hear me coming. They do not hear me say (loudly), "On yer left" until I am shouting it in his or her ear while praying that they don't swerve into me. This includes runners and skaters. It also doesn't appear to matter whether it is one or both ear buds. Piece 'o cake to sneak up on these folks.

    Since I am not intent on criminal activities, I just take the opportunity to make loud comments about them. They never hear me and it provides me a good giggle.
    Frends know gud humors when dey is hear it. ~ Da Crockydiles of ZZE.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    8,548
    i believe that anything between my ears and the world out there is a breakdown in my "defense" as in defensive driving.

    It's bad enough in the winter when i need to cover my ears because it does muffle sounds.

    But to actually add noise; music, whatever.. that i could never do.

    Case in point, we share some of our trails with people on foot.. Some people do not hear my bell, do not hear my horn... sometimes we have to almost stop the bike to get around some folks with their headsets.
    Mimi Team TE BIANCHISTA
    for six tanks of gas you could have bought a bike.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    3,936
    I'm all with VeloGirl.

    I don't use earphones, ever, in any way, when cycling. I do run with my MP3 player though but only on a running path, and with the volume quite low. It's the only thing that keeps me running. And not when running at night.

    I also stay as far as I can from cyclists with earphones. Even in one ear. I think that's unnecessarily endangering themselves and others.

    And, frankly, who needs more noise?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    3,473
    Quote Originally Posted by velogirl
    I don't wear headphones and I personally avoid riders who wear headphones like the plague. For the most part, I find them dangerous and inattentive, even if they're wearing only one ear.

    On the Death Ride this year I was amazed at all the riders with iPods. The design of this course is inherrently dangerous -- riders go up one side of a mountain at the same time riders are coming down (at very high speeds) on closed roads (no cars). I would say at least 25% of the riders had headphones in BOTH ears (which is also illegal in CA). I almost quit calling out because no one ever heard anything!

    When I ride, my motivation comes from the challenge of the ride, the scenery, the dialogue with other riders, and the sounds of nature. I don't need music or books or other entertainment to ride. I ride to get away from societal "noise." I want to be alert and aware of what's going on around me, both from a safety pov and because I want to become as connected with my environment as possible.
    Another agreer with velogirl, mimi, SK, grog.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    467
    Ditto. Ditto. DITTO.

    Listening to music while riding on the street is, to me, the equivalent of driving while talking on a cell phone and putting on lipstick - which is to say dangerous~

    Yesterday a friend was giving me a ride somewhere and I saw a sight that made me absolutely shudder and cringe:

    a woman riding a bike, going against traffic, listening to her ipod.

    For as much as I blast car drivers for being road nazi's too often, some bike riders aren't doing our cause any good.

    Just my opinion of the whole riding w/music, etc, not any kind of vendetta or personal attack.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Dallas
    Posts
    1,532
    Okay -- I just realized we're talking about different things (I think).

    I'm new to cycling and don't have the nerve to ride on busy streets. Haven't even made it to a bike path yet.

    Right now I'm riding loops through my own neighborhood -- often five or six loops just to get to 10 miles. So what I'm doing is repetitive on roads where it's not unusual for me to only see three or four cars the entire time I'm out.

    When I ride with my husband I never use headphones, because we're together. (I'm also more aware of whether or not my thighs are burning, I'm hot, etc., which is why I use the audiobooks when I'm alone -- to keep me from thinking about that.)

    I'm hoping to get up the nerve to ride a bike path soon, but considering the other threads on that subject, I think I just got more reticent instead of more ready!

    “Hey, clearly failure doesn’t deter me!”

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Metro, MN
    Posts
    118
    I do use earbuds with my mp3 when I'm riding the railtrail and I'm by myself. I do not keep it loud, simply loud enough to hear. I do have a habit of riding and singing when nobody else is around to hear. The singing does tend to flush the critters out of my way before I'm close enough to startle them! (I do the same when I'm riding horse - sing out loud ... yes, I'm a freak).

    I have a mirror and am very aware of who's behind and ahead of me, which is rarely anyone. There's rarely bike traffic, so I rarely encounter people who are traveling in the same direction as me, if I do, I'm generally the one passing. I don't fiddle with buttons - whatever plays plays.

    I will only use the mp3 on very low-traffic rail trails and never on streets or when in a group (well, with hubby - that's as big of group as I ever get). When a cyclist does approach me from behind, even though I have my mirror, I always acknowledge to them that they are seen so they can know I heard/saw them and can pass with confidence. I don't feel I'm any more dangerous with them than without them - although I know some will disagree.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Dumas, TX
    Posts
    217
    I ride with a radio every time.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    2,201
    i listen to music most of the time i ride, but i don't have to worry about traffic.

    my hardest thing is i get so involved in thinking or wanting to train a certain way i lose track of where i am. i've snapped out of it and gone how did i get here already?
    "Forget past mistakes. Forget failures. Forget everything except what you're going to do now and do it." – William C. Durant

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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    WA, Australia
    Posts
    3,292
    Quote Originally Posted by SadieKate
    Since I am not intent on criminal activities, I just take the opportunity to make loud comments about them. They never hear me and it provides me a good giggle.
    LOL - thats too funny.
    The most effective way to do it, is to do it.
    Amelia Earhart

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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Huntington Beach, Ca
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    1,004
    Quote Originally Posted by mimitabby

    Case in point, we share some of our trails with people on foot.. Some people do not hear my bell, do not hear my horn... sometimes we have to almost stop the bike to get around some folks with their headsets.
    Everytime I ride the beach bike path I'm reminded of this. It's not just the peds with earbuds though, I'd say that at least 75% of the people on bikes are wearing them as well. I still call out "passing on your left" regardless of whether I see the telltale wires, or not and I have to roll my eyes when I get the shocked reaction when I pass them. Umm...hellooooo??? If you were paying attention you would have known I was coming up on ya!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    4,389
    I'm in the absolutely no headphones camp. People who say they are fine and can hear everthing since they don't turn their headphones up very loud or wear one earbud belong in the same camp as those who drink and then say they are just fine to drive in my eyes. They don't understand how dangerous they are being.

    Being on a trail is no excuse - its almost worse than being on the road - sure there is no car traffic, but trail use (at least to me) almost seems inherently more dangerous than road riding even without tons of folks off in their own little worlds. I don't even think that joggers/ skaters etc. who are on multi use trails should be allowed to use headphones.
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

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