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Thread: Headphone rant

  1. #1
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    Headphone rant

    Am I alone in this, but I hate it when people are riding singletrack wearing headphones/earbuds in BOTH ears. It seems like every time I ride now, I come across at least one rider wearing headphones in both ears and who must be playing the music so damn loud that he can’t hear anything else. I’ve come upon riders that I’ve wanted to pass, whether climbing or descending, where I will say “Rider Back”…and I get no response. So I say it again, louder….still no response. The problem is I can’t always see that they have headphones, so I don’t know – did the rider not hear me, is he too hypoxic to acknowledge me, or is he just being an a$$hole. I don’t expect the rider to immediately stop or move over, but at least make an effort to make room for me to pass or acknowledge that I’ve been heard. So when I get NO response, I don’t know how loud to start yelling before I turn into the a$$hole! The last time this was an issue, I said “rider back” at least 4-5 different times, each time louder, with no response, on a pretty long tough climb where I really like to push myself. Finally, the trail had a slight bulge in it so I decided “screw it – I’ll just go for the pass.” I started to get next to him and scared the sh!t out of him! He had no idea I was back there, despite my yelling “rider back” many times for several minutes. At least he apologized, but I just don’t get it. Why in the world would you ride with your music so damn loud that you have NO CLUE as to what is going on around you?
    To me, it seems as if you REALLY NEED to listen to music while on the trails, put only one earbud in and leave the other one out so that you can hear when other people are coming!!
    ….or am I alone in hating this trend?

  2. #2
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    It sucks and it is bad form on their part.

    Good luck changing something that is now ubiquitous on trails, joggers, roadies, old ladies walking, dudes in the super market etc, etc, etc.

  3. #3
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    Whatever. 99% of the time, I don't use headphones. That 1% if the time is fun. Deal with it. I don't tell you how to ride.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jwind View Post
    Whatever. 99% of the time, I don't use headphones. That 1% if the time is fun. Deal with it. I don't tell you how to ride.
    Sure, but then don't give me the evil eye if I surprise the crap out of you because you didn't hear me, which is what one of the other riders I encountered did.
    Question for you though, since you do use headphones on occasion, have you ever tried using them in only 1 ear? Is that so bad that it defeats the purpose? (Honest question..., not trying to start an argument...)

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by albertdc View Post
    Question for you though, since you do use headphones on occasion, have you ever tried using them in only 1 ear? Is that so bad that it defeats the purpose? (Honest question..., not trying to start an argument...)
    Have you? Might as well not use them. Wind pretty much creates a situation where it's a muddy mess of noise.

    Like anything, there is obvious discretion needed when tossing your ear buds in. And like anything else, there are asshats who will make bad decisions. Sorry to be snide, but the headphones rant is almost as tiresome of the "dogs of leash on a ride" or "horses XXX" or "hikers XX".

    At the end of the day, the more user conflict on tails = more rules. More rules = less bike trails. The more we can get along, the more trail we'll all have.

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    I ride with earbuds often. Of course, it is rare that I see another rider. Where are you guys that your trails are so crowded that passing / being passed is a serious problem? I feel bad for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jwind View Post
    Have you? Might as well not use them. Wind pretty much creates a situation where it's a muddy mess of noise.

    Like anything, there is obvious discretion needed when tossing your ear buds in. And like anything else, there are asshats who will make bad decisions. Sorry to be snide, but the headphones rant is almost as tiresome of the "dogs of leash on a ride" or "horses XXX" or "hikers XX".

    At the end of the day, the more user conflict on tails = more rules. More rules = less bike trails. The more we can get along, the more trail we'll all have.
    Yeah, I just had to get the frustration off my chest. The first time it happened, I was annoyed but shrugged it off. But the next time I rode, it happened twice in a 90 minute ride, and the first time was right as I was getting a really good climbing rhythm going. I agree we have to "all get along", but feel that it has to be a 2-way street.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hurkinite View Post
    I ride with earbuds often. Of course, it is rare that I see another rider. Where are you guys that your trails are so crowded that passing / being passed is a serious problem? I feel bad for you.
    I think that is a key point. If you are in an area that is remote or where you are unlikely to encounter many riders, then go right ahead and blast away in your headphones. But if you are on the Bonneville trail, In Millcreek canyon, or on the mid-mountain trail where you are basically guaranteed to encounter other riders, runners (often with dogs) and hikers, then maybe you should think twice about it or try to be more aware of who is coming up behind you.
    Last edited by albertdc; 08-27-2012 at 08:32 PM. Reason: typo

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    Quote Originally Posted by albertdc View Post
    “screw it – I’ll just go for the pass.” I started to get next to him and scared the sh!t out of him! He had no idea I was back there, despite my yelling “rider back” many times for several minutes.
    …. am I alone in hating this trend?
    happened to me this past Saturday, so you are not alone in this, it drives me bananas when someone has both earbuds in with the music cranked. After a reasonable effort is made to alert the rider and they still don't hear you, I say they are subject to whatever surprise they may get as you pass them. This is not a license to be a jerk to people with headphones, but one should only be required to display a certain level of patience and tolerance for the less courteous trail users out there. After attemts to communicate are made, the other person will have to deal with the consequences of the situation they created and the person without the headphones should be able to shrug it off knowing they did what any resonable person was required to do in that situation.

  9. #9
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    I very, very rarely ride with headphones in. When I do, my spatial awareness goes up and I become very aware of what is around me, for the sole reason I don't want to be an a$$. I too find riders and especially trail runners who are so oblivious to their surroundings while listening to music. I have to teach my High School riders how to deal with them, ridiculous. The earphones I use let in a lot of ambient noise, so much so that I find them hard to use on road rides because of the excessive wind noise.

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    I ride with them occasionally, but I use the foam type that don't block off your ear canal. As long as the music isn't cranked, I can hear what is going on around me pretty well.

    I agree with one ear bud off, might as well not do it because you are missing some of the music as most music has different things going on from left to right....which is why "stereo" is a good thing. Of course, I most certainly have better taste in music than y'all, there is so much going on I hate to miss anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jwind View Post
    Whatever. 99% of the time, I don't use headphones. That 1% if the time is fun. Deal with it. I don't tell you how to ride.

    THIS attitude is pretty much everything thats wrong with our sport and society in general. It's all about me and f#ck everyone else. Nice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hurkinite View Post
    I ride with earbuds often. Of course, it is rare that I see another rider. Where are you guys that your trails are so crowded that passing / being passed is a serious problem? I feel bad for you.
    We like to keep our local singletrack singletrack, so going off-trail to pass someone who SHOULD be able to hear and step aside is a problem. Double track, not so much.

    I ran into a trail runner on the JEM and Im sure we were the only two people the trail. I was coming up on him and yelled "on your left" three or four times with no reply. Just as I came even with hime he darted to the left and I nailed him and we both went down. He had ear buds in and AC DC Back in Black was blaring.

    We had a discussion about being more aware of ones surroundings. He said "no one ever rides here mid-week"....and other than that it was not too big of a deal, stuff happens. I see him now and then and he uses some kind of bud that allows him to hear background sounds.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by STT GUY View Post
    THIS attitude is pretty much everything thats wrong with our sport and society in general. It's all about me and f#ck everyone else. Nice.
    I disagree. People getting their panties in a bunch about silly things like headphones, dogs and strava instead of enjoying their ride. That's the problem.

    So again, I don't tell you how to ride, so don't tell me. (I haven't used earbuds or whatever since sometime in 2011 BTW)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jwind View Post
    I disagree. People getting their panties in a bunch about silly things like headphones, dogs and strava instead of enjoying their ride. That's the problem.

    So again, I don't tell you how to ride, so don't tell me. (I haven't used earbuds or whatever since sometime in 2011 BTW)
    Didn't tell you how to ride and never will.....I merely pointed out that your selfish attitude is the root of most problems and not just in the MTB community. I stand by that. Don't like it? Change your attitude. Very, very simple.
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  15. #15
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    I ride with my headphones every ride, I have them hooked up to my MOTOACTV and music going so I can hear my ride stats if I tap on my watch. I dont necessarily blast but at the same time I dont lower it so I cant hear. I try to be vigilant though as to when people want to pass me. There might have been once that I didnt hear someone and they passed me, but it didnt scare me. I think you should ride to your confort, earphones or no earphones. spandex or no spandex, just go out and enjoy definitely not something to get your nerves up. Because the fact of the matter is, out of every ride, does it really happen too often? I would assume no, but then again I ride Corner Canyon a lot at I rarely have any issues at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by STT GUY View Post
    Didn't tell you how to ride and never will.....I merely pointed out that your selfish attitude is the root of most problems and not just in the MTB community. I stand by that. Don't like it? Change your attitude. Very, very simple.
    I wouldnt consider it being a selfish attitude as im sure if he hears you he will move. I mean I wouldnt call you selfish for just wanting to blaze up the trails and make everyone have to stop their rhythm as they try to make it up a mountain.

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    I was out riding Flying Dog on a saturday morning, so it was quite crowded. Had no troubles passing plenty of people until I met a certain trail runner. Prior to entering a corner I couldn't see through, I shouted "RIDER" so that someone on the other side would at least be prepared, or alert me in return or their presene. I didn't hear a response, so I just kept going at speed. right about the apex of the turn, I saw a trail runner just at the exit of the turn, earbuds in and blasting, and staring at his toes. So, I grab brakes, stop in front of him, and after I arrive at complete stop, my front wheel finally enters his field of view and he FREAKs out. Calls me the a$$hole, and elbows me in the chest as he trots past and then promptly resumes staring at his toes. I didnt retaliate at all, I said, "sorry for startling you" and he just kept moving away muttering stuff about me.

    I am not going to say that earbuds are the problem because it is the people wearing them that are the problem. But they sure do compound oblivious-to-the-world-because-it-revolves-around-me syndrome. If you can manage to maintain some kind of trail awareness while you have your earbuds in, more power to you.

    If you are going to be the type of person who throws bows because you're an unaware asshat then take yourself to the public roads and expect others to yield to you there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brownni View Post
    I was out riding Flying Dog on a saturday morning, so it was quite crowded. Had no troubles passing plenty of people until I met a certain trail runner. Prior to entering a corner I couldn't see through, I shouted "RIDER" so that someone on the other side would at least be prepared, or alert me in return or their presene. I didn't hear a response, so I just kept going at speed. right about the apex of the turn, I saw a trail runner just at the exit of the turn, earbuds in and blasting, and staring at his toes. So, I grab brakes, stop in front of him, and after I arrive at complete stop, my front wheel finally enters his field of view and he FREAKs out. Calls me the a$$hole, and elbows me in the chest as he trots past and then promptly resumes staring at his toes. I didnt retaliate at all, I said, "sorry for startling you" and he just kept moving away muttering stuff about me.

    I am not going to say that earbuds are the problem because it is the people wearing them that are the problem. But they sure do compound oblivious-to-the-world-because-it-revolves-around-me syndrome. If you can manage to maintain some kind of trail awareness while you have your earbuds in, more power to you.

    If you are going to be the type of person who throws bows because you're an unaware asshat then take yourself to the public roads and expect others to yield to you there.
    That's definately not cool to elbow you. I would have beat his ass

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    You could always ride slower, so you didn't have to pass as many people. That's what I do ... works great!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brownni View Post

    I am not going to say that earbuds are the problem because it is the people wearing them that are the problem. But they sure do compound oblivious-to-the-world-because-it-revolves-around-me syndrome. If you can manage to maintain some kind of trail awareness while you have your earbuds in, more power to you.

    If you are going to be the type of person who throws bows because you're unaware of other trail users around you.
    sounds like you handled it better than I would have. This is exactly what I'm talking about. If one idiot trail user is going to ignore every other trail user, the idiot gets what they get even though all the other trail users tried to prevent it, and all the other trail users shouldn't feel bad about it because they did what they were supposed to do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tystevens View Post
    You could always ride slower, so you didn't have to pass as many people. That's what I do ... works great!
    Ha! I like that.

    I'm not slow; I just have impeccable trail manners. My mama raised me right.

  22. #22
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    Casual trail riding isnt a race, you arent paying for it, and if your going to get sand in your pants over other trail users go ride on the road.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brownni View Post
    I was out riding Flying Dog on a saturday morning, so it was quite crowded. Had no troubles passing plenty of people until I met a certain trail runner. Prior to entering a corner I couldn't see through, I shouted "RIDER" so that someone on the other side would at least be prepared, or alert me in return or their presene. I didn't hear a response, so I just kept going at speed. right about the apex of the turn, I saw a trail runner just at the exit of the turn, earbuds in and blasting, and staring at his toes. So, I grab brakes, stop in front of him, and after I arrive at complete stop, my front wheel finally enters his field of view and he FREAKs out. Calls me the a$$hole, and elbows me in the chest as he trots past and then promptly resumes staring at his toes. I didnt retaliate at all, I said, "sorry for startling you" and he just kept moving away muttering stuff about me.

    I am not going to say that earbuds are the problem because it is the people wearing them that are the problem. But they sure do compound oblivious-to-the-world-because-it-revolves-around-me syndrome. If you can manage to maintain some kind of trail awareness while you have your earbuds in, more power to you.

    If you are going to be the type of person who throws bows because you're an unaware asshat then take yourself to the public roads and expect others to yield to you there.
    '
    Ive found that trail runners are the worst mannered people out of all trail users, hands down. Im usually very good with all people and out of all the run ins with trail riders I have only seen maybe 2 that actually give a **** about other users. I would have with out a doubt started an all out brawl in the trail if i got elbowed.

  23. #23
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    The problem as I see it, is any user that's out there for his/her self. If you are oblivious to those around you, than you are a problem. I have more of a problem with those that think everything's a race.

    I've also never had to pass someone wearing headphones, cause I'm real slow.

  24. #24
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    I've tried to stop caring about any trail shenanigans, but I particularly like the scenarios that go like this (could be a climb or descent and seems to occur with equal frequency):
    Dude: "Want to get by?"
    Me: "Sure, thanks."
    Dude: "Ok, go ahead."
    Me: "Are you going to at least pull over a little bit?"
    Dude: "No, can't you get by?"
    Me: "No...actually I can't get by. The trail is about 2 feet wide, I have 31" bars and I'm 6'4" with gangly arms."
    Dude: "Ok, I'll pull over when I see a spot."
    Me: "Nevermind...It's ok, I'll just pull over and do my crossword."

    When the "Dude" is wearing headphones you get to skip this whole exchange, so I suppose it's actually better that way.

  25. #25
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    I always ride with both headphones, but I keep the volume low enough so I can hear other riders and also my bike. If you are blasting so loud you can't hear someone behind you when they ask topass, then you are blasting your own ears way beyond the healthy limit, and you are mainly hurting yourself.

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