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Listening to Music via Headphones?

Old 05-13-20, 07:12 AM
  #326  
BobbyG
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Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
New York State
"A bicycle must be equipped with:
  • A bell, horn or other device that can be heard at least 100 feet away. Sirens and whistles are not permitted (Sec. 1236(b))."
I guess i'll have to get an air horn to be heard 100' away by someone with headphone or earbuds
I've been using 115dB AirZound airhorns for 25 years now and sometimes even that isn't enough just a few feet away from headphone or earbud users.
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Old 05-13-20, 07:35 AM
  #327  
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
I don't know of a post that says hearing is pointless - please quote post or posts.

My point (bold-underline for emphasis), I don't know of any posts in this thread suggesting listening to music so loud that you can't hear your surrounds is a good idea.

There are many times I can't hear while riding, most often it's wind noise from descending or headwinds. At times like this, I count on my Garmin Varia radar to alert me to approaching traffic; others like to use a mirror. Either way, hearing is not the end-all and be-all to safety while biking and music is not the only thing that limits your hearing - I've seen this point made many times, but that is completely different than saying hearing is 'pointless'.

I will be as clear as possible on my positions:
  • Listen to music, or other audio, while riding is safe on the condition that you can hear your surroundings. There are many posts about options for doing this - I'm a fan of right only earbud with low volume.
  • Listening to music, or other audio, too loud to hear your surrounds is a bad idea for you and others around you. I will get loud and pissed off when I encounter a trail user that can't hear my bell/voice when passing because their music is too loud. It is a frequent issue, and is usually frustrating.
  • This is not a binary topic, there are many options to safely/responsibly listen to audio while riding.
I listen to music quietly when I do listen to it, so it would not impair my hearing even if I did on the bike. But I know most people don't do that. Hilariously and annoyingly at the same time idiots in earbuds also daily tell me to get a horn so they can hear ME as I call out to them they are in my way. So it's kind of funny how they are not responsible for hearing me but I am responsible to make myself heard to them so they won't get startled! The people who are blocking the way (usually pedestrians) are also ALWAYS the ones in earbuds, funny coincidence.

Let's look at some quotes.
Originally Posted by MattTheHat View Post
Can someone...anyone...explain how knowing a car is behind you makes any difference whatsoever? Please?
Originally Posted by MattTheHat View Post
I have to trust that a car behind me is not going to hit me because I donít have a choice. Because of the speed differential, I canít dodge the car. This is further complicated by the fact that I canít ride while turning my head to watch the car until it passes. Doing so causes the rider to pull to the left. At some point before the car passes, youíre all in. You have to trust that theyíre going to avoid hitting you. If not, your only choice would to literally get off the road until the car passes. For every car.
Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
- The runner being unsafe wasnt because they were wearing earbuds, its because they didnt look before turning. You are blaming one thing when the issue is another, which is quite common in our society.
.
Originally Posted by Bigbus View Post
An old guy asked me one day when I stopped for a cup of Joe how I could hear anything with those things in my ears. I told him, "That's the whole idea." When I'm not in the mood for music I put in earplugs when I ride to cut out the noise from the wind and cars. Do whatever you're comfortable doing, just don't try telling someone else how to live their lives! Darwinism is great. Embrace it and move on!
Originally Posted by texaspandj View Post
I just can't figure out how you know if a car approaching from the rear is going to hit you or Not hit you?
I'm not concerned when I wear earbuds that I can't hear cars at at their full roaring Volume. But Hey, to each his own.
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Old 05-13-20, 07:40 AM
  #328  
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Originally Posted by Oneder View Post
I listen to music quietly when I do listen to it, so it would not impair my hearing even if I did on the bike. But I know most people don't do that. Hilariously and annoyingly at the same time idiots in earbuds also daily tell me to get a horn so they can hear ME as I call out to them they are in my way. So it's kind of funny how they are not responsible for hearing me but I am responsible to make myself heard to them so they won't get startled! The people who are blocking the way (usually pedestrians) are also ALWAYS the ones in earbuds, funny coincidence.

Let's look at some quotes.
Please don't start down this road, with the quoting of stuff from previous posts, I beg you. Nothing good can come of it.
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Old 05-13-20, 08:13 AM
  #329  
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So I've now seen MUP come up at least a dozen times, and instances of well, people do this in their cars easily of equal number. Neither of those things really matter to this topic. I've still yet to see even a single incident where the cause of any harm was headphones/earbuds. They've so far all boiled down to some people don't ride bikes good. I get it, I understand. Some people don't feel safe. They feel unsafe to the point that their feelings spill out, and they are consumed by the need to make other people safe. To MAKE THEM SAFE. Well, there are a great many of us completely competent and capable of calculating our own risks. I don't need to be nannied.

But to make this post appropriately BF, I'll conclude with-- don't worry about me not hearing you when you say yer gonna pass me brah, because you're never gonna pass me.

There, that seems right.
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Old 05-13-20, 08:31 AM
  #330  
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
But to make this post appropriately BF, I'll conclude with-- don't worry about me not hearing you when you say yer gonna pass me brah, because you're never gonna pass me. .
unless you're laying in the road after being hit by the car you didn't hear.

3 days ago I had a car pass me only to make a right turn 50 feet later. Luckily i heard the car and was able to stop. Otherwise I would of ran into them.

So all i can say is ... BE SAFE.
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Old 05-13-20, 09:18 AM
  #331  
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I never listened the music while riding,1st reason i get a little bit disoriented and a bit harder to notice things visually,and 2nd one i like to listen everything that's around me (except the wind hah),even it was boring insects lol.And a 3rd one,it's just safer in my opinion.
But maybe i'd wear earphones/headphones and listen to music if i'd go on a longer ride where i know there's not so much cars passing by,and of course setting the volume on a reasonable level .

Last edited by Dany6; 05-13-20 at 09:21 AM.
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Old 05-13-20, 09:23 AM
  #332  
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Originally Posted by Oneder View Post
I listen to music quietly when I do listen to it, so it would not impair my hearing even if I did on the bike. But I know most people don't do that. Hilariously and annoyingly at the same time idiots in earbuds also daily tell me to get a horn so they can hear ME as I call out to them they are in my way. So it's kind of funny how they are not responsible for hearing me but I am responsible to make myself heard to them so they won't get startled! The people who are blocking the way (usually pedestrians) are also ALWAYS the ones in earbuds, funny coincidence.

Let's look at some quotes.
Only one quote said that they block their hearing with earplugs (I'll give you that one). OTOH - not one post advocated listening to music loud enough to block hearing anything else - there are questions about what hearing the car behind you does for your safety. I see these as very different - questioning why hearing a car approach is important versus advocating for blocking out sounds of the world with loud music.

At the end of the day, we agree on the use of music while biking (or walking or jogging or ... ) - listen to your tunes, just don't make it difficult to hear the world around you.

For the funny side of this topic - I have a booming voice (I can typically get people in cars to hear me with their windows up), so when a person on the trail is clearly not paying attention and has their music too loud ... I can get them to wake up and pay attention (and typically jump).

BTW - Don't discount the trail users that are too engaged in a conversation with the person next to them to pay attention the world around them ... and of course they are shoulder-to-shoulder, block the whole path. I could make a long-long-long list of dumb and distracted and unsafe behaviors on MUPs.
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Old 05-13-20, 09:38 AM
  #333  
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Yeah, if we're calling out everyone for everything they do, let's assail the group riders going three abreast at 12mph on public streets, or the chatty chums riding side-by-side with three feet between 'em on the river trail (effectively blocking the entire thing,) and not a single one of them has headphones in. So I will concede-- headphones will probably make a bad cyclist worse. They will however have little to no effect on riders who aren't neatly contained in their own little reality bubbles, in which no other thing or person exists. You cannot ride "passively safe." Maintaining situational awareness is active.

Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
unless you're laying in the road after being hit by the car you didn't hear.

3 days ago I had a car pass me only to make a right turn 50 feet later. Luckily i heard the car and was able to stop. Otherwise I would of ran into them.

So all i can say is ... BE SAFE.
To bad you couldn't see them as they were passing. Beyond that, who says I can't hear them? I don't have magical vacuum creating earbuds that block out all sound. You are aware that it is possible to hear more than one sound at a time-- I mean, that's pretty much what music is. More than one sound at once.

And I dunno-- are y'all wearing some sort of cloaking device, or traveling at a speed that is somehow perfect for vehicular interference? Because I ride in heavy traffic regularly, and might get an attempted right-hook... quarterly? The last one I can recall was in maybe September? I guess my situational awareness is just better than yours. Maybe because I'm not relying on Daredevilģ super-hearing to echolocate an object to determine it's speed and trajectory. I use my eyes (and Varia radar) because that's what works.
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Old 05-13-20, 09:42 AM
  #334  
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
So I've now seen MUP come up at least a dozen times, and instances of well, people do this in their cars easily of equal number. Neither of those things really matter to this topic. I've still yet to see even a single incident where the cause of any harm was headphones/earbuds. They've so far all boiled down to some people don't ride bikes good. I get it, I understand. Some people don't feel safe. They feel unsafe to the point that their feelings spill out, and they are consumed by the need to make other people safe. To MAKE THEM SAFE. Well, there are a great many of us completely competent and capable of calculating our own risks. I don't need to be nannied.

But to make this post appropriately BF, I'll conclude with-- don't worry about me not hearing you when you say yer gonna pass me brah, because you're never gonna pass me.

There, that seems right.
I will drink from your water bottle.... IN HELLL!

Honestly, I think my answer to OP was I'm not comfortable blocking my own hearing, and from what I've seen there are people who probably think they're fine doing so only because they're unaware of their close calls.

While I'm not aware of anyone actually getting killed because they couldn't hear, I wouldn't know how that ever could be proven even if it was the case. It's one of those "absence of evidence isn't the evidence of absence" situations.
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Old 05-13-20, 09:45 AM
  #335  
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
To bad you couldn't see them as they were passing.
I did but knowing there was a car before I saw it gave me a heads up.

Sorry, i like on Long island the land of soccer moms that drive SUVs and have a dog on their lap and a cell phone in their hand.
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Old 05-13-20, 09:49 AM
  #336  
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Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
soccer moms that drive SUVs and have a dog on their lap and a cell phone in their hand.
The other way around would be even worse.
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Old 05-13-20, 09:52 AM
  #337  
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Deaf people are allowed to drive. Blind people are not. Simple as that.
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Old 05-13-20, 09:53 AM
  #338  
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Seriously people, do you listen for cars while driving a car? No, you use a mirror. This is ridiculous. If you choose to use earphones, use them, but be cautious as you always should. If you are honestly worried about what is coming up behind you, use a mirror. You cannot accurately judge the speed, distance, and location in the lane of a car behind you using sound. If someone comes up behind you with their right turn signal on, and passes you before the turn, with a mirror, you would have known. That gives you at least a chance. Obviously, many do not use signals. But if they do, you won't hear it, even without earphones.
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Old 05-13-20, 09:58 AM
  #339  
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
Only one quote said that they block their hearing with earplugs (I'll give you that one). OTOH - not one post advocated listening to music loud enough to block hearing anything else - there are questions about what hearing the car behind you does for your safety. I see these as very different - questioning why hearing a car approach is important versus advocating for blocking out sounds of the world with loud music.

At the end of the day, we agree on the use of music while biking (or walking or jogging or ... ) - listen to your tunes, just don't make it difficult to hear the world around you.

For the funny side of this topic - I have a booming voice (I can typically get people in cars to hear me with their windows up), so when a person on the trail is clearly not paying attention and has their music too loud ... I can get them to wake up and pay attention (and typically jump).

BTW - Don't discount the trail users that are too engaged in a conversation with the person next to them to pay attention the world around them ... and of course they are shoulder-to-shoulder, block the whole path. I could make a long-long-long list of dumb and distracted and unsafe behaviors on MUPs.
Several (more than one) outright do say they block it out and don't care, and I disagree about the rest it's very obvious for instance mattthehat is doing that or he would not even be asking such a silly question.

The mods also vandalized I mean 'cleaned up' the thread and removed the most hilarious bits where they were blaming the girl with earbuds blaring who died right in front of a forum member for not looking before turning left. True she should have looked (assuming she didn't) but if the car was speeding you can look and suddenly not be clear one fraction of a second later, while you would have heard if it you were not impaired. I can understand why they deleted that and the part about deaf riders but seriously, some of this is ridiculous.

You can't eliminate stupidity but when you combine stupidity with impairment then you get big problems. Since I ride reasonably and don't pass people quickly and have a heavy steel bike and wheelset I don't really care about pedestrians much unless they start talking smack to me because they will just injure themselves and honestly I probably won't bother to stop in that case. But people should not be thinking they are safe when they are clearly not. And if you're not hearing the cars and other bikes you definitely aren't that safe you have a large blind spot.

Anyway not calling you out or anything, just clarifying my position and what I have seen in this thread.
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Old 05-13-20, 10:02 AM
  #340  
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Music while riding

Originally Posted by Tophy_Dee View Post
Safe or unsafe? Iíve seen some other cyclists with air pods and other headphones on and though what a great idea to listen to some tunes while riding. But then I realized maybe itís not such a good idea? Canít hear if cyclists are coming up behind or if thereís cars or sirens. Basically canít hear anything at all!

What are your thoughts on this and if you do listen to music, any tips to be able listen and keep safe at the same time?
In my opinion and experience, my ears are just as important to detecting and avoiding traffic while on the road as my eyes. I won't ride with eye patches - or earbuds.
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Old 05-13-20, 10:09 AM
  #341  
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Not even a monocle? Come on, get with the times!
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Old 05-13-20, 10:20 AM
  #342  
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I wore earbuds once. I couldn't hear what was playing due to the ambient road noise so I cranked it up. Then when I was done riding, I realized how loud it was and at a level way too high for normal listening.

So I went back to carrying a transistor radio at my breast pocket in my coat or my pannier.
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Old 05-13-20, 10:26 AM
  #343  
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Originally Posted by adlai View Post
Deaf people are allowed to drive. Blind people are not. Simple as that.
Cars have airbags, crumple zones and some have automatic braking.

So when a deaf driver runs you over they won't be hurt.

BTW.. being deaf is not a choice.
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Old 05-13-20, 10:36 AM
  #344  
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Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
Cars have airbags, crumple zones and some have automatic braking.

So when a deaf driver runs you over they won't be hurt.

BTW.. being deaf is not a choice.
navigation is a visio-spacial activity.
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Old 05-13-20, 10:54 AM
  #345  
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
Please don't start down this road, with the quoting of stuff from previous posts, I beg you. Nothing good can come of it.
I previously wrote:
Originally Posted by Tomato Coupe
I previously wrote:
Originally Posted by Tomato Coupe
I previously wrote:
Originally Posted by Tomato Coupe
I previously wrote:
Originally Posted by Tomato Coupe
I previously wrote:
Originally Posted by Tomato Coupe
I previously wrote:
Originally Posted by Tomato Coupe
I previously wrote:
Originally Posted by Tomato Coupe
I previously wrote:
Originally Posted by Tomato Coupe
Nothing good can come of it.
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Old 05-13-20, 12:45 PM
  #346  
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Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
Cars have airbags, crumple zones and some have automatic braking.

So when a deaf driver runs you over they won't be hurt.

BTW.. being deaf is not a choice.
Yeah, but where I ride, there are cars all over, in front, behind, next to, there road next to the one I'm riding on, in parking lots, all making noise at the same time, lots of noise, all around me. How do I determine which noise is a danger? With hearing, I cannot. With my eyes, I stand a better chance, Use a mirror if you are worried about what is behind you, it is much more accurate, and you can actually see what part of the lane they are in. Your ears cannot.
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Old 05-13-20, 12:55 PM
  #347  
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
Seriously people, do you listen for cars while driving a car? No, you use a mirror. This is ridiculous. If you choose to use earphones, use them, but be cautious as you always should. If you are honestly worried about what is coming up behind you, use a mirror

You cannot accurately judge the speed, distance, and location in the lane of a car behind you using sound.

If someone comes up behind you with their right turn signal on, and passes you before the turn, with a mirror, you would have known. That gives you at least a chance. Obviously, many do not use signals. But if they do, you won't hear it, even without earphones
Originally Posted by phughes View Post
Yeah, but where I ride, there are cars all over, in front, behind, next to, there road next to the one I'm riding on, in parking lots, all making noise at the same time, lots of noise, all around me. How do I determine which noise is a danger?

With hearing, I cannot. With my eyes, I stand a better chance, Use a mirror if you are worried about what is behind you, it is much more accurate, and you can actually see what part of the lane they are in. Your ears cannot.
I (really) LIKED the above post and the follow-up, +10.
Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
...I feel safer wearing headphones than not, because my brain sometimes it can rely on my hearing to hear cars behind me, when the only thing that's actually affective is to actually look.

Wearing headphones makes my brain realize that I'd better look - which is far far safer than hoping a car passing me is making enough noise to hear it.

You can't rely on your ears for knowing what's behind you, you have to look.
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 (link).
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; 05-13-20 at 01:44 PM. Reason: added second quote by phughes
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Old 05-13-20, 01:07 PM
  #348  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Well, think about it for a second. If you slow to jogging speed every time you try to pass a jogger, you're not going to pass them, you'll either be behind or alongside them. A decent path is designed with the assumption of traffic of differing speeds. If you're not close passing, then slowing like that is completely unnecessary and just prolongs the amount of time you're in relatively close proximity.

Also, I can't tell where you live, but you might want to check out the bike statutes. A lot of states make announcing or bell ringing mandatory.
I think you misunderstood me. I said
To me, if you're on a MUP that has pedestrians on it, you should only be traveling at a speed similar to other pedestrians, the fastest of which are runners. In other words, same speed as the other users.


also below that, I said your speed should be:
just as if you were a runner on the path passing walkers.
That is very slow, by the way. Sometimes you actually have to slow to their speed and follow until you can get by safely (at that point you can probably talk to them in a conversational manner to get their attention if need-be).


Of course you can't pass a jogger riding at jogging speed. But if you're passing a pedestrian on a MUP - imho - you should limit yourself to pedestrian speed, the fastest of which is what runners go at.


As for laws requiring giving notice when overtaking. If I was aware of such laws where I ride, I'd do it. But the MUPs I ride on are so noisy from adjacent traffic, I'd need an air horn. I've actually tried a variety of bells and squeeze horns when I started commuting years ago. I don't carry an air horn, and I doubt that the state laws you refer to (of which I'm unaware) require a noise maker like that. I'd still act as if they couldn't hear me. As I said:

I don't bother hailing people I'm passing. For one thing, the MUPs I generally ride on are alongside pretty busy roads, so the road noise covers my voice, unless I yell at the top of my lungs. I don't like doing that. Even then, they can't hear if listening to their ear buds (which they have every right to do btw - for chrissakes, they're out for a walk, why shouldn't they?) Not to mention, pets on leashes and kids who are, well, kids. All have every right to be on the trail and all have the right to expect you to be safe.

Like the poster above, I've had people dart in front of me whether I call out or not. The safe thing is just pass at a speed that you can stop or swerve, just as if you were a runner on the path passing walkers.

That is very slow, by the way. Sometimes you actually have to slow to their speed and follow until you can get by safely (at that point you can probably talk to them in a conversational manner to get their attention if need-be).

So I just behave as if I'm just another user at the same speed - I SLOW THE F DOWN to a safe speed, and just pass safely at the speed to make the pass reasonably quickly, but as safe as need be. No need to call your pass in those circumstances, just be safe. If someone yells at you for not calling out, you could stop and explain why you didn't or just give a friendly wave and continue on.


But enough arguing. I listen to music when I ride. I ride as carefully and safely as I know how to in all circumstances. I respect other MUP users and ride extra safely around pedestrians.

Last edited by Camilo; 05-13-20 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 05-13-20, 01:17 PM
  #349  
livedarklions
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Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
I think you misunderstood me. I said


also below that, I said your speed should be:


Of course you can't pass a jogger riding at jogging speed. But if you're passing a pedestrian on a MUP - imho - you should limit yourself to pedestrian speed, the fastest of which is what runners go at.

As for laws requiring giving notice when overtaking. If I was aware of such laws where I ride, I'd do it. But the MUPs I ride on are so noisy from adjacent traffic, I'd need an air horn. I've actually tried a variety of bells and squeeze horns when I started commuting years ago. I don't carry an air horn, and I doubt that the state laws you refer to (of which I'm unaware) require a noise maker like that. I'd still act as if they couldn't hear me. As I said:



But enough arguing. I listen to music when I ride. I ride as carefully and safely as I know how to in all circumstances. I respect other MUP users and ride extra safely around pedestrians.

And I'll continue to pass at quite a bit faster than running speed, which is also quite legal and the way I do it, quite safe.
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Old 05-13-20, 02:36 PM
  #350  
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
Yeah, but where I ride, there are cars all over, in front, behind, next to, there road next to the one I'm riding on, in parking lots, all making noise at the same time, lots of noise, all around me. How do I determine which noise is a danger? With hearing, I cannot. With my eyes, I stand a better chance, Use a mirror if you are worried about what is behind you, it is much more accurate, and you can actually see what part of the lane they are in. Your ears cannot.
If you're not looking at the mirror you can miss something. Your ears are always on and a sound might be your first signal to check your mirror.

Do you at least have lights on so the cars see you?
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