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Listening to Music via Headphones?

Old 05-12-20, 09:03 AM
  #276  
CAT7RDR
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I was side swiped last year on a canyon road with no shoulder. I was not wearing any earbuds/headphones and in retrospect did not heed the warning sound of an approaching car and hug the inside of the white line. I was only bruised on my left hip and stayed upright. She was likely texting and of course lied about her driving as expected.

I take this lesson into account; I want to be vitally aware of my surroundings and act accordingly. On several occasions, I have been passed within a foot by vehicles where I heard them and moved over another foot closer to the side of the road. Whether the drivers were trying to scare me or were distracted I do not know. What I do know is hearing them in advance and moving over likely has spared me some rear end collisions.

If your hearing is so acute that music will not hinder you - great! For me, I will not take that chance.
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Old 05-12-20, 09:06 AM
  #277  
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Originally Posted by CAT7RDR View Post
I was side swiped last year on a canyon road with no shoulder. I was not wearing any earbuds/headphones and in retrospect did not heed the warning sound of an approaching car and hug the inside of the white line. I was only bruised on my left hip and stayed upright. She was likely texting and of course lied about her driving as expected.

I take that lesson into account that I want to be vitally aware of my surroundings and act accordingly. On several occasions, I have been passed within a foot by vehicles where I heard them and moved over another foot closer to the side of the road. Whether the drivers were trying to scare me or were distracted I do not know. What I do know is hearing them in advance and moving over likely has spared me some rear end collisions. That is my conclusion about early warnings. If your hearing is so acute that music will not hinder you - great! For me, I will not take that chance.
Sir, this thread is not the place for reasoned responses. Your post does not contain sufficient quantities of yelling or hyperbole.
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Old 05-12-20, 09:13 AM
  #278  
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
I almost spit out my cereal when I read that one. Pull the other one while you're at it. On a typical 30 mile ride, I probably get passed by 400 cars-- because I trend toward lower traffic roads. Riding arterials (the ones that happen to have bike lanes) it would not be uncommon to be passed 30-50 times per minute. If you were to employ your purported tactic, you'd be spending more time looking behind you than looking in front of you.

This thread continues its journey into absurdity where baseless opinion gets dressed up as fact and bandies itself about. Headphones/earbuds are not dangerous in and of themselves. Not paying attention to your surroundings is dangerous. Every rider I personally know that has had an incident with another vehicle, none of them were wearing earbuds. They were presumably "fully aware of their surroundings."

Here's a fact that some posters won't like: Listening to music while riding is a choice. It is not mandatory. No one is making you do it. If you're interested, try it out. If you like it, go for it. If you don't like it... don't do it. Free will is neat.
To get to my bike trail I have to go along what's basically a superhighway in disguise and people drive 65-75 and it's as busy and dangerous as can be. Even with 100 cars coming, I can STILL instantly hear the one coming, slowing down and getting ready to turn. Every single time. The sound is unmistakable and lasts plenty of time to give warning while the cars whizzing by come and go in a second or less.

I have good ears and probably could still hear it wearing earbuds at the levels I like to listen but I KNOW that's not the case for 90% of idiots on the street because they complain every day when I call out I am passing I should get a horn. Over and over every single day. If you don't want to be surprised stop fikkin blaring music in your ears while taking up the whole trail, otherwise it's no one's fault but your own. Startling to pedestrians on trails and sidewalks but likely lethal for people on bikes. But then I guess it's darwin in action
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Old 05-12-20, 09:41 AM
  #279  
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Here's a fact that some posters won't like: Listening to music while riding is a choice.
Yes, one that affects others.

If someone is passing and you don't hear them and collided, YOUR choice jut impacted another person.

And what if YOUR choice leads to a collision with a car. Will your dying breath be "Sorry, it was MY choice and I accept full responsibility".I'm sure the driver will feel better.

Unless you're guaranteed to be by yourself, what you do can impact others. Just like wearing a face mask when going into a supermarket.
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Old 05-12-20, 10:03 AM
  #280  
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Totally agree. Listen to your music/Podcast, but be a safe rider/predictable to traffic.
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Old 05-12-20, 10:10 AM
  #281  
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Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
Yes, one that affects others.

If someone is passing and you don't hear them and collided, YOUR choice jut impacted another person.

And what if YOUR choice leads to a collision with a car. Will your dying breath be "Sorry, it was MY choice and I accept full responsibility".I'm sure the driver will feel better.

Unless you're guaranteed to be by yourself, what you do can impact others. Just like wearing a face mask when going into a supermarket.
Why are you so binary?

It's my choice to listen to music responsibly. The biggest risk of a collision with a person passing is that they fail to announce the pass.

But you should know that nobody ever passes me ...
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Old 05-12-20, 10:17 AM
  #282  
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
Why are you so binary?

It's my choice to listen to music responsibly. The biggest risk of a collision with a person passing is that they fail to announce the pass.

But you should know that nobody ever passes me ...
Yes if you can do it responsible sure... just take responsibility for your actions because your choice can have an impact on others.
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Old 05-12-20, 10:20 AM
  #283  
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Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
Yes if you can do it responsible sure... just take responsibility for your actions because your choice can have an impact on others.
My history speaks for my responsibility ... decades of riding 1,000s of miles every year, every season - on roads, trails, MUPs - not one collision.

But feel free to continue to infer that there is no safe way to ride with music.
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Old 05-12-20, 10:24 AM
  #284  
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
My history speaks for my responsibility ... decades of riding 1,000s of miles every year, every season - on roads, trails, MUPs - not one collision.

But feel free to continue to infer that there is no safe way to ride with music.
Good for you, what about the person i saw collide who was listening to music?

Don't infer that there's no risk.

Plenty of people use their cell phones, not hands free, and never have a collision. But plenty do.
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Old 05-12-20, 10:32 AM
  #285  
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Lastly, it's not about fate at all-- it's about faith. Cycling on the road is a pure act of faith. Against all other odds or indicators, you have faith that the car approaching you from behind is not going to hit you. And they either do, or they don't. If you have some deep-seated belief that you can somehow prevent the one time that one car is going to hit you from behind, sadly you are deluding yourself. You're not going to feel the tingle from your spider sense and bunny-hop onto the sidewalk at the last second to save yourself from disaster. I'm not being negative or nihilistic. I'm being pragmatic. I have accepted that there are things out of my control-- because honestly, thinking-- no, believing that someone is in control of something that they have ZERO control over is actually dangerous.
This is precisely my view.

I understand the fear. Until about a year ago I thought riding with ear buds was obviously unsafe. Until I read a thread much like this one and I started analyzing how I rode. I quickly came to the conclusion that knowing a car is behind me doesn't make me *do* anything differently. And I was sick of hearing 60-70 hours of wind noise every month. So I tried riding with a Bluetooth earbud setup and really enjoyed it. Had I felt unsafe doing so, I would not have continued. So for folks who feel unsafe riding with them...don't wear them!
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Old 05-12-20, 10:36 AM
  #286  
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Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
Good for you, what about the person i saw collide who was listening to music?

Don't infer that there's no risk.

Plenty of people use their cell phones, not hands free, and never have a collision. But plenty do.
Yep, you found someone that wasirresponsible, and sounds like you failed to use defensive riding skills.

I didn't infer there's no risk, I said you can listen to music responsibly.

I feel like you got into the wrong thread ... I think this is what you were looking for:


Last edited by Hypno Toad; 05-12-20 at 12:32 PM. Reason: I'm doing too much at once
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Old 05-12-20, 10:39 AM
  #287  
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
Yep, you found someone that was irresponsible, and sounds like you failed to use defensive riding skills.

I didn't infer there's no risk, I said you can listen to music responsibly.

I feel like you got into the wrong thread ... I think this is what you were looking for:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohDB5gbtaEQ
I guess this is your attitude...

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Old 05-12-20, 10:41 AM
  #288  
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Maybe the person wasn't listening to music. Maybe they were listening to a podcast about the dangers of crossing the road without a helmet and reflective vest?
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Old 05-12-20, 11:15 AM
  #289  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Because me knowing a car is behind me won't keep me any safer.
I would ride in a straight line if I knew the car is there and I would ride in a straight line if I didn't know the car was there.

My actions won't change, so the result won't change. The only way knowing a car is behind me makes me safer is if i literally exist the road each time, which is dumb and against the point of cycling in the road
Originally Posted by MattTheHat View Post
This is exactly what Iíve been trying to communicate, thank you!. Unless you watch the car somehow, you donít know if itís going to hit you, you donít know if the driver is impaired, you donít know if the driver is distracted, you donít know if the driver is wearing a hat (and therefore poses untold additional danger).

The part about somehow watching the car...as has been mentioned by Jim from Boston , a mirror can be used. I donít personally feel I could tell if a car was on a path that would hit me in a small rear view mirror, but maybe Iím wrong. So let me ask, if you use a rear view mirror and a car is on a trajectory that will strike you, how far back can you tell this? In feet or meters.

If we could have a couple of answers to that question, I believe I can make an argument that considering the difference in speed between the bike and the car, there wonít be enough time to react. I could be wrong, but Iíd like to do the math.

In other words, it seems to me that even if you donít take your eyes off the approaching car, by the time you reasonably believe itís going to strike you, there wonít be enough time to remove yourself from the carís path. Am I wrong?

This is why I run a rear blinky light and hope for the best. I think I will pick up a radar rear blinky like, but thatís because it will help eliminate surprise close passes by those Ninja-like electric cars
Originally Posted by pbass View Post
I think when the information is processed that there's a car looming, your brain likely has some automatic reactions, for example, you consider an exit strategy if things go south. Can I bail into those bushes, etc?]

It's not even necessarily a conscious thing, or perhaps more accurately, it's a fleeting, fluid conscious thing (unless someone is bearing down on you aggressively and you have to make a decision, but that's a different matter).

I know when I'm riding my mind goes through a range from being really focused, to my mind drifting a bit--I think we all do. Knowing there's a car can snap back the focus.
For me in such a situation a rear view mirror allows for nearly simultaneous assessment of the car behind and the road ahead in order to plan, with a decision in mind if the situation warrants an escape.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Ö IMO, besides routine monitoring rearwards with the mirror, a most important use is to make quick decisions when encountering an obstacle in front of you, such as a car door, pothole, car entering your path, etc. can you immediately veer left?...

Personally, i use an eyeglass mounted take-a-look mirror that allows me to maintain a forward-looking head position with just a sideward glance to see the rear.

i really donít want to turn my head for an over shoulder glance away from the line of travel when speeding downhill on a pothole-strewn road with heavy traffic to my left and parked cars to my right. Furthermore, wind noise can sometimes obscure the sound of a passing car.

I find mirrors so easy to use, and so helpful that i wear both right and left
↓↓↓↓
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Old 05-12-20, 11:17 AM
  #290  
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Originally Posted by eja_ bottecchia View Post
...i use the Garmin Varia radar unit. I like the warnings that I get and I like seeing the alerts on my Garmin head unit.

BUT, I still use an eyeglass mounted mirror.

When I get an alert, I quickly check my mirror to see whatís coming my way.

Cars now have a similar system, there is an audible alert when cars are nearby, then you check the mirrors to confirm the location of nearby vehicles.

I like the peace of mind.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Thanks for your reply @eja_ bottecchia. It appears you have an advanced system for monitoring traffic behind you.

I linked to this real-time video "Cyclist Rear Ended at 55mph"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYMKp71vW-I

And asked the counter-question,ďAt what point do you realize that the upcoming car ain't gonna swerve out of your line of travel?ĒIs it at your limit of detection of 153 meters, my suggestion of about 27 meters...when or if? I advocate for a mirror to decide...

Not to be contrarian, @eja_ bottecchia, but rearward monitoring does not bring me peace of mind, but rather sets up a tension of monitoring behind and looking forward down the road to consider, perhaps subconsciously, a strategy to handle the imminent situation....

For me, peace of mind briefly sets in when I note there is no one behind me, and I can concentrate solely on the upcoming road and intersections.
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Old 05-12-20, 11:37 AM
  #291  
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Please stop ...
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Old 05-12-20, 12:08 PM
  #292  
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
For me in such a situation a rear view mirror allows for nearly simultaneous assessment of the car behind and the road ahead in order to plan, with a decision in mind if the situation warrants an escape. ↓↓↓↓
So, how far away is the car by the time you can tell it's going to strike you? This is a serious question, as I've never used a mirror on a bicycle. I've used larger mirrors on motorcycles and for me, I wouldn't be able to tell until the other vehicle was literally feet away.
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Old 05-12-20, 12:09 PM
  #293  
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Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
Good for you, what about the person i saw collide who was listening to music?

Don't infer that there's no risk.

Plenty of people use their cell phones, not hands free, and never have a collision. But plenty do.
Cycling is a risk. Driving a car is a risk. Stepping out of the bathtub is a risk. Human existence is calculating risk. Your entire argument is based on the notion that blocking out any portion of a rider's hearing makes their already risky pursuit more risky. You have no data to support this, and continue to present baseless opinion as concrete fact.

Listening to anything while riding a bicycle does not in and of itself make the pursuit more dangerous. It is the rider's responsibility to maintain situational awareness-- which, and I know this make come as a shock to you-- can be done with earbuds in. Because I am a human and not a cat. I cannot aim my ears toward the source of a sound and accurately determine it's vector and velocity. If I could, I would be snatching hummingbirds out of the air, just like our cat regularly does. Nope, I'm a normal person, who receives about 80% of data from my eyes, and is equipped with a brain tuned to decipher the images brought in by those eyes.

The person you saw involved in a collision arrived at their situation through inattentiveness, incompetence, or a combination of the two. The earbuds notwithstanding, if you decide to just haphazardly make a turn through/into traffic without looking, there's a fair chance something is going to be there to meet you in the middle. Wearing earbuds doesn't make you a poor cyclist. Being inattentive makes you a poor cyclist.

Headphones in, 900+ hours a year. If you want some fuel to holler about occupational safety, you should hear the audio system in my workshop. It has to be screamingly loud to be heard over all of the screamingly loud machines, all of which could take a finger off in an instant. But you see-- I am neither inattentive nor incompetent. I know what I'm doing, and I know how to do it properly. I live every day by safety third. And wouldn't you know it? It's working out just fine, same as it has been for decades.

Oh, and lest I forget, LSOTR (last song of the ride) : Falling Away From Me -- Korn
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Old 05-12-20, 12:14 PM
  #294  
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
Please stop ...
He needs the attention. Dione Warwick sang ďWalk on by.Ē I scroll on by.
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Old 05-12-20, 12:41 PM
  #295  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
He needs the attention. Dione Warwick sang ďWalk on by.Ē I scroll on by.
Too much scrolling -- it's giving me carpal tunnel syndrome.
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Old 05-12-20, 12:54 PM
  #296  
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Cycling is a risk. Driving a car is a risk. Stepping out of the bathtub is a risk. Human existence is calculating risk. Your entire argument is based on the notion that blocking out any portion of a rider's hearing makes their already risky pursuit more risky

Oh, and lest I forget, LSOTR (last song of the ride) : Falling Away From Me -- Korn
OK.. .you convinced me. I'm gonna ride with ear buds because it's safe.
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Old 05-12-20, 01:08 PM
  #297  
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I just finished 30 mile ride and on the way home I decided to take a 1 mile segment of the local MUP. I stopped at a bench to take a brake and did an unscientific study. The bench is about 8 feet from the path and when a walker approached (slower than a cyclist so no wind noise) I called out "can i ask you a question". I did this at 30', 20' and 10'. At 10' they did hear something but I asked how many times I called and all said once. So at 10' they can hear something.

So at 7mph there's 1 second from when they hear "something" till I pass. At 15mph, i'd say an average speed for a cyclist, for a 1 second reaction they would have to hear "something" at 22'... which none did.

Now all had both ears with earbuds so I don't know what the results would be with only one earbud.

So now risk... it all depends on the situation. If you're on a deserted stretch of road then sure, blast away. If you're on a road and there are only cars.. .sure blast away, you're only risking yourself. If you're on a MUP with others and you're faster than everyone and no one will pass... blast away. But as we all know there's always some one faster. Just today i was passed, doing 22mph, buy an e-bike. He called out and I moved tot he right to let him pass.

Risk that you're willing to accept is fine if it doesn't impact others.
Smoking is a risk, but could impacts others
Using a cell phone while driving is a risk, but could impact others
Going into a grocery store without a mask is a risk, but could impacts others
Riding on a crowded path listening to music is a risk, but could impact others.

Riding when listening to music when there's no one else around... sure, go ahead.
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Old 05-12-20, 01:10 PM
  #298  
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
Please stop riding with earbuds..
Sure.
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Old 05-12-20, 01:24 PM
  #299  
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Please stop riding with earbuds.
Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
Sure.
I didn't write that.
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Old 05-12-20, 01:53 PM
  #300  
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
For me in such a situation a rear view mirror allows for nearly simultaneous assessment of the car behind and the road ahead in order to plan, with a decision in mind if the situation warrants an escape
Originally Posted by MattTheHat View Post
So, how far away is the car by the time you can tell it's going to strike you? This is a serious question, as I've never used a mirror on a bicycle.

I've used larger mirrors on motorcycles and for me, I wouldn't be able to tell until the other vehicle was literally feet away..
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Iím decades-long, year-round cycle commuter in Boston, lucky to have a reverse commute from downtown to a outlying suburbÖ

Riding venues for me are situational, and I use my judgement. Ö
Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Doesn't really seem that a lot else needs to be said.
I have persistently linked to this video as a definitive (vicarious) example of an ultimate collision:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I linked to this real-time video,"Cyclist Rear Ended at 55mph"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYMKp71vW-I

And asked the counter-question,ďAt what point do you realize that the upcoming car ain't gonna swerve out of your line of travel?Ē

Is it at your limit of [radar] detection of 153 meters, my suggestion of about 27 meters...when or if? I advocate for a mirror to decide.
On that thread (link) with the explicit video was discussion about the condition of the apparently inhospitable shoulder that might have discouraged the cyclist from swerving.

If the condition of the escape route was taken into consideration early, and as the upcoming car was visualized the cyclist might have just pulled off the road to avoid the collision. A mirror allows for such simultaneous assessments of the forward and aft situations.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
...My main argument for a mirror, particularly in the urban environment is summarized by Jimís Law of the Road: ďNo matter how well paved or lightly-traveled the Road, a vehicle is likely to pass you on the left as you encounter an obstacle on the right.Ē...

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 05-12-20 at 03:56 PM. Reason: added last quote
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