Beating the system - the cycling commuting section
I like listening to music on commutes, and the thing I find most dangerous is that when the track builds up to climax I tend to want to race people.
In my humble opinion being able to hear a car or bike come up behind you shouldn't take you by surprise and shouldn't make you act differently - you should be constantly riding in a straight line in a predictable fashion if you're on the road. When I first started riding my roadie I noticed that the noise of cars overtaking would just stress me out.
I think I made the original post after my first or second commute to work.
Now that I've been on the saddle for four months, I see more and more peeps with the whole headphones in their ears. I see a lot of 'worse' behaviour, fancy pantsing, risk taking etc etc, and I'm not here to judge - but what I've discovered while cylcing about is how much I value my hearing.
Maybe I'm a bit like a bat, but when cycling at night when its quieter, I do use my ears as much as my eyes to be able to 'see' whats on the road. For example, when approaching an intersection I don't really like having to slow or at worse stop, if I don't have to. When the cross street is slightly obscured I can usually hear oncoming traffic long before I can see it. I always do a visual check, just in case, but being able to listen allows me to maintain a lot of momentum.
I guess its a trade off
No music = better navigation through aural awareness
Music = having to rely on eyes a lot more, but being able to listen to favourite tunes.
I, like a previous poster, have taken recently to singing. "Enter Sandman" was a recent favourite when being taken over by a lot of semitrailers.
When commuting in the CBD and surrounding suburbs and mixing it with cars and buses and truck I am not keen generally on anything that compromises situational awareness. So over my bike commuting life I mostly avoided listening to music/radio, riding in company and doing too many alternate routes when commuting in .
The unfortunate thing is I am one of those that survived the sixties and so I really do like phasing out while listening to retro 60s/70s music. You have to make choices and compromises and I can understand why people will ride with their MP3's.
I expect some to say that it doesn't affect them. But then there are many who think that a few drinks relaxes them and so makes them a better driver.
Unchain yourself-Ride a unicycle
S'funny. Cycling is a dangerous activity, very dangerous. I do it for my own set of personal reasons and sometimes I listen to music through my earbuds whilst riding. You would have to agree that travelling along the road in a Volvo XC90 is a much much safer option to cycling with unobstructed ears, yet no-one here is advocating cyclists do that. Ooooh Nooo. C'mon, personal safety is a personal issue. Imagine if that Volvo driver was to wind down her window and share her very funny "organ donor joke" with you. You'd think she was an arrogant tool... and rightly so.
The volunteer urban safety patrol cyclists like to enforce their choices on the rest of us but it's important to remember that by riding a bicycle, you too are putting yourself in avoidable and foreseeable danger compared to Mary Punchclock in her 3000kg, 5 star ncap rated 4WD Toyota Speculum.
I reckon that safe cycling is like safe skydiving. It's fun and dangerous and dangerous fun.
On a related subject. We're all used to seeing drivers yakking on their phones in traffic. Yesterday while commuting home from work I saw a guy on a bicycle riding one handed on a main road while yakking on a phone.
Fausto Coppi Reparto Corse | Giant Farrago Cross
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