Cycling with earphones in

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
cornbeef
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Cycling with earphones in

Postby cornbeef » 25 Feb 2014, 8:57pm

Howdy
I am a novice cyclist and this summer I’m doing Lejog for the first time. There’s so much to plan for however one piece of advice I’m looking for from people with experience is about the use of ipods or similar equipment while riding.

I don’t think it’s safe but my cycle buddy that is doing Lejog with me thinks there’s nothing wrong with it and it doesn’t make any difference. To me it’s a no brainer but I’m having a hard time convincing him!

I would be interested to hear the thoughts of other cyclists and your reasons for (if there are any for) and against.

Grandad
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Re: Cycling with earphones in

Postby Grandad » 25 Feb 2014, 11:04pm

Even though I use a mirror I still find that my first realisation that there is a car approaching from behind is via the ears so an ipod is totally off limits (and thats with age degenerated hearing)

Brucey
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Re: Cycling with earphones in

Postby Brucey » 25 Feb 2014, 11:27pm

I'm firmly in the 'no thank you' camp too. It has been discussed here (maybe do a search?) several times.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Moodyman1

Cycling with earphones in

Postby Moodyman1 » 26 Feb 2014, 12:47am

It's a no from me too. Besides the lack of hearing, I think it's anti-social to ride in a group and yet, not talk.

One of the joys of group riding is the camaraderie, the conversation and the shared experiences. You lose that when you isolate yourself through earphones.

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andrew_s
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Re: Cycling with earphones in

Postby andrew_s » 26 Feb 2014, 1:02am

My experience is that you get a fair bit of wind noise off even small earbuds, and if you turn the volume up to drown it out, you can't hear approaching traffic (quite apart from not wishing to damage my quite decent hearing). I gave up on it.

eileithyia
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Re: Cycling with earphones in

Postby eileithyia » 26 Feb 2014, 5:08am

My experience is that I have done it, mostly depths of winter for a dark night's commute home on busy roads, you can balance volume with still hearing traffic noise(to the annoyance that traffic drowns out quieter pieces). But with others it is anti-social, means you o not hear our beautiful bird song, oh and a subject that has been done to death if you use the search facility.
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Gearoidmuar
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Re: Cycling with earphones in

Postby Gearoidmuar » 26 Feb 2014, 6:18am

When the first Walkman appeared, it was a tape player and it had smallish earphones of the type that sit ON your year rather than in it. I had such a player and I lived in London at the time. I tried it cycling and to my astonishment, I could hear the cars behind me better as there was no whistling of wind past my ears and when there was a car behind me, I couldn't hear the player.
The in-ear ones are different though, and I imagine, a bad idea, but I have never tried them cycling..

Michael R
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Re: Cycling with earphones in

Postby Michael R » 26 Feb 2014, 7:47am

Has your mate organised a hearse as a back-up vehicle?

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Si
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Re: Cycling with earphones in

Postby Si » 26 Feb 2014, 9:20am

My first question would be: why would you want to do this? To me the idea of touring is to immerse oneself in the surrounding environment, not cut oneself off from it with artificial noise....if you need to play music to stop the boredom ten maybe you have chosen the wrong pastime? But may be that's just me?

As to the question of safety - depends on the individual and the context.
The oft cited case is that deaf people can ride perfectly safely. The retort to this is that they are so experienced at not relying on their hearing that they have developed excellent coping strategies (i.e. they look behind them a lot, and they don't jump out of their skins when a car suddenly overtakes close).

Thus, I would say that if you are really experienced at riding with ear phones in, and you have developed similar coping strategies, then the extra level of risk in using earphones is fairly low*. If not then the increase in risk is greater. Of course the period between being inexperienced and experienced is a dodgy bit!

* however context also plays a part. For instance if you have your music turned down so that it is barely audible and you can hear traffic over it then the risk is diminished, it may even help you hear better as it could cut down on wind-rush. Likewise, if you are riding somewhere where the surrounding sound is so high that you can't pick out individual cars easily then again the risk may be diminished - but are you likely to ride such a place on a tour? And, if you are riding somewhere that there are no cars (e.g. a cycle path) then, again, the risk is diminished (although you might annoy the cyclist behind you who is wanting to pass and ringing their bell but being annoyed).

Thus, depending on all of the above, you might both be right - it could be more risky for you, who does not normally use earphones, than for someone who uses them on every ride.

cornbeef
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Re: Cycling with earphones in

Postby cornbeef » 26 Feb 2014, 9:30am

Brucey wrote: It has been discussed here (maybe do a search?) several times.

eileithyia wrote: oh and a subject that has been done to death if you use the search facility.

Oops sorry.
There's so much going through my head at the moment thinking about the trip that I never thought about searching.
I will check before posting next time!
Thanks for the replies though. Interesting and varied!

Mark1978
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Re: Cycling with earphones in

Postby Mark1978 » 26 Feb 2014, 9:44am

Si wrote:My first question would be: why would you want to do this? To me the idea of touring is to immerse oneself in the surrounding environment, not cut oneself off from it with artificial noise....if you need to play music to stop the boredom ten maybe you have chosen the wrong pastime? But may be that's just me?


Yep; that's what I always think when this debate crops up. I'm always fully engaged in the cycling to require any sort of external stimulation to keep me from getting bored.
Driving or walking is a different matter!

LollyKat
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Re: Cycling with earphones in

Postby LollyKat » 26 Feb 2014, 10:06am

Moodyman1 wrote:One of the joys of group riding is the camaraderie, the conversation and the shared experiences. You lose that when you isolate yourself through earphones.

I usually don't have enough breath.... :lol:

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Cunobelin
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Re: Cycling with earphones in

Postby Cunobelin » 26 Feb 2014, 10:20am

Michael R wrote:Has your mate organised a hearse as a back-up vehicle?



I always admire the ability of evidence based and relevant practical advice .......... then we get the almost obligatory emotional blackmail as there is no actual real, factual or relevant support for the stance the poster has taken

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gentlegreen
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Re: Cycling with earphones in

Postby gentlegreen » 26 Feb 2014, 10:20am

I almost never cycle without music.

Just lately I've come to realise that the there have been instances where I've missed out on useful audible cues - and that was when being dangerously drafted and cut-up by other cyclists.

Psamathe
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Re: Cycling with earphones in

Postby Psamathe » 26 Feb 2014, 10:40am

I think the question as to why somebody would want to listen to music whilst cycling is not relevant - each to their own.

I think the important question is one about safety. and I suspect quite a lot of that depends on where and how you cycle. When I recently took up cycling again I had been told "you can hear the vehicles approaching ...". But, cycling narrow single track lanes with lots of blind bends I find that most vehicles are travelling slowly and thus quietly. Occasionally you do hear a vehicle, but most you see first.

And as somebody else has pointed out, helmet noise does not help. I find the helmet noise issue is with "false positives" in that I am convinced I hear a vehicle, turn to look and noise stops, look ahead and noise returns, etc. and then establish it is the wind noise on my helmet and it changes as you turn your head. "False positives" can become dangerous as well 'cos when you hear a vehicle you risk ignoring it because it is "just helmet noise".

I would love to listen to music whilst cycling but don't because, as a novice (or rather somebody recently taken it up again after many years), I am listening to others and being cautions. It is safety that is my concern but everything is a balance. I could lower my risk of a cycling accident to virtually zero if I let the bike in the garage and never went out.

Ian