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  1. #1
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    I Have a Bad Habit

    Well I just wanted to get some honest opinions from you fellow commuters.

    I commute while listening to my MP3 player. How do you guys feel about this? I have tried to stop doing it but it is hard to do.

    I feel at times more motivated while hearing the music. I do not blast it loud but I listen to it low. I do not know if this act is against the law but I know that I might be missing the action that goes on around me.

    I just wanted to see if anyone else is brave to admit to having this habit as well.

  2. #2
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    I think that it is illegal in most places. I do not do it. I used to every once in a while, and then I would have some around the neck headphones that I kept off my ears. Easy to hear everything. There have been threads on this topic.

  3. #3
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    Some thoughts:
    -could you wear it in one ear only?
    -could you use over the ear headphones, not earbuds? (as earbuds act like an ear plug, you will hear less environmental noise with them... not good)
    -learn to enjoy the peacefulness of quiet..... in this world most people do not get any time of quiet. (i.e. car radios, cell phones, tvs.... its never quiet) learn to enjoy it.

    Not sure about your commute, but seems like it could potentially be dangerous.

    I guess it depends on how you feel. Are you safe? Seems like you have some question on that.... gotta put your safety first.

  4. #4
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    Schmucker is correct....

    in many places it is illegal, check your local traffic regulations. Where I live it's even illegal to have a stereo blasting in a car to the point where you can't hear outside noises. And they enforce it, if a cop can hear your car stereo from outside they'll stop you. Usually just a warning but it gets the idea accross.

    I can't even count the number of times that being able to hear what's going on around me has saved my butt. It's often the first indicator of an approaching vehicle from the rear or other things going on around you. And it can give you a split second edge in reacting that can make all the difference. Granted it's not as critical as being able to see clearly and paying attention, but it's a part of it that I'm not willing to do without or reduce by listening to musing on my commute.

    If my commute consisted entirely of bike path all the way there and back I likely would. But only about 1/4 of my route includes a bike path seperate from any roads. So it's a no go for me.

    It's a personal choice of course, and in my honest opinion it is a "bad habit". One thing that does come to mind if you must listen to music on your commute is a product that used to be called a "Bone Phone". Don't know if they still make them, but it was basically a sort of collar that you wore around your neck with speakers in it. The speakers rested lightly on your collar bones and used "bone conduction" as the primary vehicle for transmitting the sound. This left the ears completely unobstructed and you could hear other sounds quite well as long as the volume was kept at a reasonable level. It was almost like the music was in your head. Like I said, don't know if they're still around, but I do know they made em for home use and portable players as well. Might want to look into something like that.

    Your choice, but I won't listen to music on my commute. I need and want all my senses unobstructed and clear.

    Good Dirt
    "I do whatever my Rice Cripsies tell me to!"

  5. #5
    Brackish
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    I wouldn't do it because I want all of my senses available when I'm in traffic. I also think that listening to music dulls your situational awareness, much like talking on a phone, and since I rely on my senses being sharp to stay safe on the road it's a no-go.

    As cyclists, we choose to put ourselves (when on the road) in the environment of cars, and it ultimately falls to us to be responsible for our safety. I don't care where you live and ride, at least 90% of the drivers on the road aren't looking for you and when they do see you consider you to be an obstacle to be sped around or cut off so you can't slow them down. Be careful out there, and seriously consider the consequences of not hearing a driver coming up too closely behind you, a conversation spilling out of a parked car just as the door opens, the sound of an engine revving as it propels a car out of a parking garage or any of the other hazards you might face on road.

  6. #6
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    I use the Camelbak phone holder on the strap of my camelbak. Then loaded my phone up with mp3s. Songs play over the speaker at a medium volume, so I can still hear everything...just to a soundtrack

  7. #7
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    Thanks guys for your input. I am about to go on a 20 mile trek through the city and will not bring my player with me. I think I would rather play it safe. It is a habit that I will try to break.

    Thanks...

  8. #8
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    if i commuted in a big, dense urban city with lots of stop/go cars, pedestrians, buses, and other bikers then i would definitely not listen to music. however, i'm commuting in the 'burbs and about 2/3rds of my commute is on a paved trail so i rock on.... but volume down low enough that i can hear someone talking to me or a car coming up behind, even a prius.

  9. #9
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    Without listening to music while riding, my thoughts tend to focus more on things I could be otherwise accomplishing. The music tends to keep my mind more alert and my attitude more positive. I seem to have fewer close calls with autos. Do what works for you.
    "I don't suffer from insanity!I rather enjoy it."

  10. #10
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    i used to use a set of those big ear muffs around my neck, that was until they got stuck in my rim and shattered.

  11. #11
    jrm
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    I tried it..

    Quote Originally Posted by bdogfish
    Well I just wanted to get some honest opinions from you fellow commuters.

    I commute while listening to my MP3 player. How do you guys feel about this? I have tried to stop doing it but it is hard to do.

    I feel at times more motivated while hearing the music. I do not blast it loud but I listen to it low. I do not know if this act is against the law but I know that I might be missing the action that goes on around me.

    I just wanted to see if anyone else is brave to admit to having this habit as well.
    But didnt liket he fact that i couldnt hear. i tried the the one ear bud method and it was too distracting. Actually i find it kinda annoying to try to talk to someone riding with an ipod because you cant communicate.
    Wreck the malls with cows on Harleys

  12. #12
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    I couldnt do my commute without my iPod. Not sure of the legality of it, but they've already taken my drivers license so they're not having my music.

  13. #13
    I Tried Them ALL... Moderator
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    I wouldn't recommend listening to an iPod, Discman, or any other entertainment device. A aggressively reckless driver may be coming up behind you, and by listening to your music.......you would never know what hit you- if he ever lost control of his car. One of the benefits of being a bike commuter- is that we have all our senses, to protect us. With unhindered stereoscopic hearing ability- that aggressive driver could be heard far, far away.....well before he can even see you. This gives you the opportunity to get out of harm's way, quickly.

    Even though music makes the riding experience more exciting- you do not need the extra distraction. Remember- motor vehicles rarely ever see us(even in daylight!), and by removing something that can save your life(i.e; your hearing ability)......you are at a severe disadvantage.

    My worst riding habit is riding on the sidewalks. I have had many near-misses with people, dogs, and other bikers on paved paths. Plus, I have a tendency to use the pedestrian crossings- yet I often run the red, "Do Not Cross" signal(even though the traffic light is green). Well, that bad habit got me in trouble last week- I got hit by a car turning right. The result? A broken scapula(shoulder blade), fractured rib, a totalled bike, and three weeks off work. Ouch. I better learn my lesson(no sidewalks/ped crossings)- or else my continued ignorance will someday kill me.

    Leave the music devices in the backpack.....not your ears.

  14. #14
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    I have an Oakley Thump Pro... I leave my left ear open and hover the right headphone over the ear.... I can hear everything that is coming behind me. I love my thump.

  15. #15
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    Hey guys I have gone on three long rides without my MP3 player. I have to admit that the ride was not that bad without the music. I do however do miss the music when I have to climb but other than that I think I can do without.

    In regards to the comments for you guys it seems that some are for and some against it. I think in my case I will try to continue against it.

    On another note sorry to hear that you got hit Zachariah. I try not to ride on sidewalks and after reading your post I will not do it. Today on my way back from a ride I almost got hit doing the same thing you did. I usally do not ride sidewalks/ crosswalks but on a stop I got in the crosswalk and when I should have got back on the street I kept going. On the next crosswalk I almost got hit but an lady not seeing me.

    Scarry!!!!

    Thanks for your posts and ride on.

  16. #16
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by chainring-tattoo
    ROFL! F-Yeah!

    I think it's a personal decision, I wouldn't do it, but in the cage I listen and listen pretty loud but I keep my mind open to the road regardless of whether I can hear the straight pipe Harleys or off road tire lifted penis envy trucks or not.

  18. #18
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    I guess I am lucky.. I hear music when I ride....

    Or crazy

    Nope I would not ride with earplugs.. I find around Melbourne Australia I have to be very aware to avoid being guttermeat

  19. #19
    I'm SUCH a square....
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    I've tried riding w/ music...it interrupts the flow of the ride. Might as well be on a stationary trainer for all the reward I get.

    When I ride, I'm RIDING; when I'm jammin', I join with the music -- both take focus.
    A bike is the only drug with no bad side effects....

  20. #20
    Sir Crashalot
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    Besides the legality issue, the two times I've tried to listen to music while riding, I've felt less aware of my surroundings that without. I did enjoy it a little more, but it just didn't feel safe.

  21. #21
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    I agree with Wheelbender6, my mp3 play went through the wash, so I haven't been listening to music on my commutes. I just now realized that I've had more close calls since I stopped listening to music, and most of these were completely avoidable, one was totally my own fault for not paying attention. My mind starts wondering, and my ride is taking longer. I can't wait to get one of the new iphones so I can get the tunes pumping again.

    The music keeps me centered and focused (I don't listen to music with a lot of lyrics though, just fast tempo drum and bass, or punk rock so I can't understand the lyrics anyway).
    Just Ride!

  22. #22
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    just out of curiosity... for the people that don't like to listen to music while riding, do you listen to music while driving?

  23. #23
    I Tried Them ALL... Moderator
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    It's ok to listen to music while driving- a car has ten times more protection(seatbelts, airbags, sheetmetal, etc.) than a bike does. On a bike, there is nothing but air between us and the pavement. Our sense of hearing is a big protection system, of ours.

  24. #24
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    Nope I don't do it myself. But to each his own.

    Consider the Azonic Surround Sound Helmet ..or dont use the left earplug

    Kas

  25. #25
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    Use 'em. I've never had a close call from not hearing anything.

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