For many years I’ve been riding on the road with music. Originally it was one of those crazy Mini-Disc players that my mom thought would take over the music scene. Little did she know, it fueled my cycling passion. One of those little Mini-Disc players could hold hours of music, and run off AA rechargeable batteries. It had the ability to record on various disc and dub out/delete. I could ride, ride and ride without listening to the same song twice.
For many reasons music was needed for my riding style
- Boredom – normally kicking in around 45 minutes to an hour and a half
- Riding alone – see above
- Motivation – Certain songs would kick me in 6th gear and I would be able to push it, be it for time or watts.. the music moved me.
- That Go to Track – On days I would put a song on repeat for my 3 hour ride, it allowed me to focus and tune out the day of crap
- Wind whistling pisses me off – the noise that the wind makes when it hits your helmet straps, or hair.
- Feeling “PRO” – All the pro’s were wearing radios in their ears back to the team car, I’m sure their managers played some sort of music for them. If they didn’t, they should start now.
At first I rode with one earphone in, leaving the left one that was closest to the road out. Actually, I had a couple headphones that I cut off the left earphone so not to get in the way. Time went by and I had theories, if the music was low enough I felt I could hear just as well as I did with the wind whistling in my ears. I tested my theory for several rides and feeling confident enough, yes my hearing isn’t paired as long as the volume is kept low.
Mirrors are your friends
Often mirrors are even better than your ears. You can SEE, you don’t have to turn your head and you are prepared. By the time I hear a car coming up behind me, it might be too late to react.
iPod is not iDeath
one of the main issues of the headphones is not so much its removal of the individual’s ability to hear
it is more the combination of the inability to hear and the lack of focus
instead of being in tune to the surroundings the individual is focused on the music
letting the focus drift away from the variables around them
the same goes for mountainbiking… snowboarding… rollerbladding… whatever…
Unfortunately, I’m going to have to disagree with my buddy, Gwadzilla. The main issue within congestion or lack of senses, are the bicycle riders and not the iPod. As a cyclist for many years, all my senses are tuned in more than the average rider.
Now, I do find it hard to ride mountain bikes with both ears plugged in. The hearing that Gwadz mentions above is very necessary while mountain biking. Hearing how the bikes handing, the tires gripping and the gears shifting are all very important.
One Last Thing
Out of the few times there has been a run in with a car, my bicycle, and myself.. there was never ANY music playing in my ears.