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Reasonable Bicycling Headphones - Page 2

post #16 of 21
I would say the words "Bicycling" and "Headphones" go together with the words "fool asking for an accident".
post #17 of 21
I have given the biking with headphones a try once -- riding in the backroads of Vermont, but to be honest, isn't biking about hearing the wind whistling past you, birds singing, nature and all that ****? That was what I found anyway. I solve the problem by singing to myself while biking....sometimes the cows look at me a little funny, but I think they appreciate it. I also like to work on language tongue twisters -- basically stuff I could not pronounce correctly until I had said them to myself a couple thousand times over the course of a 2.5 hour ride...things like: erabenakerebanaranakunattara (it is one word/phrase that means "if it comes to the point where one must choose" in Japanese. It is especially good for long hills.
That or the name of the history secretary at my univ. "Yevdakiya Afanasiyevna".
But, if you do decide to bike and use headphones, be a smarty and bike over to HeadRoom and ask Tyll to give you some KSC-35s.
post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 

Curious Science

At least this thread isn't boring!

For a group that tends to be techno, citing one example to support a point isn't terribly scientific. Jon Allen's article was pretty credible. Life entails risk. I've seen no solid studies that show cyclists wearing headphones get into more accidents. Perhaps the study hasn't been done. However:

Cell phone users have accident rates equal to those with blood alcahol levels of 0.08, a DUI in most states. Still talking on your cell while driving?

Coffee drinkers double their accident risk. Apparently, when the hot coffee spills . . . perhaps they could offset their loss by suing Mac Donalds. Still drinkng coffee while driving?

Most accidents occur within a few miles of home, so perhaps we should only take longer trips? (Clever spin to that statistic, isn't it?)

I guess we shouldn't get into all of the other activities that distract drivers.

Anyone ever trip over something while wearing their headphones? Were you distracted? Perhaps you would be safer if you could have heard a voiced warning. Perhaps you tripped over the chord. If you are reading this, you probably accept the risk.

About all you can do when riding a bike in traffic is to dress in bright, geeky lycra and wear a helmit so drivers recognize you as serious; hold a stead, predictable line; use your eyes and don't trust your ears without looking; try to make direct eye contact with drivers; clearly, emphatically signal your intentions; and try to pick safer routes.

I ride more frequently without than with headphones. When I do ride with phones, I accept what I believe to be a minimally increased risk. Impaired drivers, careless drivers, road hazzards, insects, and sunlight probably offer greater risk.

If you know that riding and wearing headphones that permit you to hear outside sounds is dangerous, that's a faith-based opinion rather than a fact supported by science. If so, then you know that I'm an idiot, completely wrong, and the average IQ of the bike-riding public will increase after I'm killed by a coffee-drinking, DUI, SUV driver that's talking on a cell phone.
post #19 of 21

An interesting read. . .

I do find it odd being on the "other" side of the fence saying, "Don't wear headphones while riding your bike." Do I drink coffee in the car? Yes. Do I talk on the cell phone while driving? Yes, but only with a phone cord (as if that really makes a difference). Do I drive fast just for fun? Yes. Do I rock climb? Yes. Do I mountain bike down treacherous trails? Yes. Do I ice climb and climb mountain peaks in the winter? Yes. Am I a risk taker? Yes.

Do I ride my bike wearing headphones? No. And why not? Tradition? Habit? Ignorance? Maybe. Whom am I to say you shouldn't wear headphones while cycling? What proof do I have? Just because I haven't done it myself doesn't mean it shouldn't be done.

Do I want to try cycling while wearing headphones? Probably not. But come to think about it, the reason for not wearing headphones isn't because I think it's too dangerous - that's just an excuse. The real reason is because I don't want to. I like the sound of wind in my face, the songs of birds, and the sound of being outside. Also, it's habit. My wife says it's odd that I cannot ride a bike without putting on all of my cycling garb and shaving my legs. Habits are hard to die. But I shouldn't mistake habits for ignorance, nor shove my opinions down someone else's throat.

Enjoy your riding, whether is be with or without headphones.

post #20 of 21
I have really enjoyed this thread. I doubt that anything offered as opinions will change a person's mind about riding with phones or not.

In my "parting shot" let me offer one last view. Driving a car and drinking coffee, reading the paper, talking on the cell phone, looking for that CD, or putting on make-up are all potential distractions. An accident could certainly occur. I have some comfort in knowing that I have a seat belt, airbag, cross members in the door, and a fair amount of steel surrounding me.

On a bicycle, all that is between me and the asphalt at 25 mph is about five feet air that quickly diminishes as the rubber meets the sky.
post #21 of 21

I remember what it's like riding unprotected and being hit by a car turning in front of me while I'm traveling down the roadway at 35 mph. Two surgeries, 40 lbs. weight gain, and ten months later I'm now beginning to ride my bicycle again in earnest. Recovery happens, albeit slowly, when you're 40 years old.

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