Drive My Bike


To iPod or Not To iPod? That is The Question!
October 16, 2008, 9:57 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

I really enjoy music, and have my headphones on a lot while I am working, but I don’t think I would wear them while I ride… what is your opinion?

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As the temps have gotten colder, the number of bike commuters has decreased substantially, but when it was warmer there were plenty of other bike commuters on my route, and I would say that more than half of them had headphones on. Now, I didn’t see anyone with big traditional headphones, like in the picture above, but there were plenty with lightweight earbuds. I would smile and start to say “Hello” to them, and then they would look at me funny, remove their headphones from one ear, and give me the universal “Huh?” that meant they didn’t hear me. I would greet them again, and they would usually look irritated, say “Hello” back, and speed off on their way.

I have to admit the thought of listening to music while I ride sounds appealing. I almost always wear my headphones if I’m working out at the gym. Music motivates me, and helps me pass the time. But riding my bike is different. One of the goals of my bike commuting is to slow things down a bit, and get me more in touch with the world around me that I usually just let pass right by. Headphones would do exactly the opposite. I think I’m also scared to death to put something in my ears that will decrease my senses while I ride. I try to remain on high alert as much as I can during my rides. It seems every week I see another blogger telling the story of how they just had an accident and are glad to be alive. I don’t want anything stealing my attention or my ability to hear what’s going on around me.

WordPress just added a cool new feature that lets me add polls to my blog posts, so I’m going to try one out here. The question goes out to you, my readers… “Do you wear headphones and listen to music while you ride?” The poll is just a yes or no answer, so if you have more to say on this topic then please answer the poll, and then leave me a comment. If you just want to take the poll, then that is fine too.

Thanks for stopping by!

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8 Comments so far
Leave a comment

It’s definitely a safety issue to me. You’ve got to be able to hear that car coming up behind you.

Comment by kmcdade

I voted No … but I will wear headphones some times.

If I’m riding in traffic, NO WAY.
If I’m riding on the multi-use trail during spring, summer and early fall, no, too many other people on the trail and I need to be able to hear them through the trees, etc.
If I’m riding the multi-use trail during mid-fall through the winter — you bet I’ll be listening to my MP3 player.

Comment by Warren T

Some days I do, others not. When I do the volume is low, not blasting so I have some residual hearing. Also lately I’ve been listening to podcasts so it’s like having a conversation, not too bad.

Comment by Wanderer

I haven’t had problems hearing anything (cars, people, etc) while listening to music. I guess I just listen to it5 at a sane level.

Even if I did though, there’s always the old adage “A car that is going to hit me soudns the same as a car that’s going to miss me.” I don’t look over my shoulder every time a car is behind me.

Lately I’ve been using headphones every single day, but I’m listening to audio books as I ride. Expand the mind!

Comment by Lazy Bike Commuter

I tried it once and realized I was too easily distracted. Safety is more important than tunes. Besides I sing better than those guys on the mp3

Comment by Tom

I’m a “no” voter on this one. My ears keep me alive.

Comment by isocratesus

I have tried headphones once and did not like it. I like being aware of my surroundings and not being able to hear a car pulling up behind or along side of me bothered me.

Although I don’t always ride slow, I like slowing the pace of life down by riding and tune out most of the hectic pace by enjoy my surroundings.

Comment by Bob

I think that headphones are very unsafe if used at the wrong sound level. I use headphones on my commute, but I have the headphones a very low level. A lot of times depending on where I am riding, the sound of the passing cars overpower whatever I am listening to. (which is mostly news or a podcast.)
At the proper level I think that the use can add to the enjoyment of the ride. But they have to be used very responsibly.

Comment by Bobby D




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