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November 19, 2005

Bike Plus iPod equals Death

Regular readers know that I have written about the utter stupidity of riding a bike while listening to Headphone Radios, and while talking on a Cell Phone.

The newest trend in this Cycling Death Wish involves listening to an iPod.

The Body has only 5 senses.

Turning on the iPod while riding your Bicycle

Tunes you out of 2...


Gwadzilla has created a great visual message to go along with an essay he has written on the subject:

this is what I have come up with...
in the heavily populated areas on the crowded multi-use trails...

in the city on the heavily trafficked streets...

in these places the variables are different than on the country road
or on a remote section of dirt in the woods
on the trail where a person will be passing people or where people will be passing them...
iPODs and other headphone devices are not a good iDea...

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... rollerblading... whatever...

iPod on the Bicycle equals death.

November 19, 2005 in Blogging Cyclists | Permalink


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Yup, I would have to agree. In MOST situations, riding with head-phones is not a good idea at all. Sometimes during training, if I have a follow-car, I will talk on the phone - but only on remote country roads.


Posted by: Mags | Nov 19, 2005 5:50:05 PM

I train/commute with an iPod in all the time. When the speed limit on the roads is 100 km/hr (65 mph) sound warning of an approaching car (horn notwithstanding and I can hear them fine) is uselss for two reasons:

1) My warning is about 1 second, hardly enough time to react

2) Even if its an exceptionally calm day and I can hear the approaching vehicle behind me, what difference does it make? It doesn't cause me to alter my line

As far as focus goes, on training rides it adds more focus. Riding in city traffic I can't hear it anyway as the vehicles drown it out.

In 2 years of riding with one I've never even come close to having one be the cause of a near-miss. You're primary sense for cycling is sight. If you're relying on you're hearing to decide whether to change lanes, make a turn etc. You'll be dead with or without an iPod.

Posted by: Geoff | Nov 22, 2005 4:59:03 PM

HEY!!! This is the inevitable result of the nanny state's cradle-to-grave coverage. Like Diabetes, stupidity is becoming endemic to the population.

It used to be that some tiger would come along and eat said idiots before they reproduced. Not any more, now tigers are in zoos.

Don't discourage this activity. Sure, it's stupid, but it's blatantly stupid and people on bicycles (unlike cars) are only endangering themselves... which means the person who gets killed is obviously going to be them.

Civilization has been too successful.

Too much tiger food.
Not enough tigers.

-- My Motto --

Posted by: OhBloodyHell | Nov 28, 2005 5:35:01 AM

> In 2 years of riding with one I've never even come close to having one be the cause of a near-miss.

It only takes *one* mistake, Mr. Food.

More power to ya!

Posted by: OhBloodyHell | Nov 28, 2005 5:37:09 AM

Couldn't have said it any better my self OBH. ;-D

Posted by: Kiril Kundurazieff | Dec 1, 2005 3:22:53 AM

I think yall are bashing cause ya dont have an ipod...anyway

Ever try to talk to someone either front or behind you while riding a bike? Depending on the wind and external noise, you can't make out a thing. I would never merge into another lane only by hearing. If you are talking about restricting sight (video ipod) thats another story. but if you're watching videos while riding... it better be on the stationary @ the gym.
Crank the tunes ohbloodyhell. I've never had a close call either.

Posted by: endo_202 | Jul 10, 2006 7:03:37 PM

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