Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Head-Phone-Wearing Biking Generation

Although I don't remember using my MP3 player while biking this year, I have in the past. Do I have an issue with listening to music while riding: Depends. Other than commuting around town, I wear a mirror off my sunglasses and I constantly check my mirror. If you are a mirror user and are faithful about checking it, you have my blessing. If you don't, put the head phones away. Period.

Living in a college town, obviously many people riding around town are younger. I've noticed many headphones on. I have not been forthcoming with my angst about non-mirror-using-headphone-wearers up to this point (except maybe internal) because I've had no issues. That ended today.

On my way home I was busting right along as I was going to go for a short bike ride with CDV so he could test ride his potential new steed (I'll let him post about that). During my slightly quicker than normal pace, I happened upon a young lass that was on her cruiser with her iPod firmly implanted in her ear. I politely dinged my bell twice as I went to pass. When I passed, one of two things became apparent:

1. She had her music up too loud and I scared the crap out of her.
2. She suddenly felt the need to express quite loudly her reaffirmation to her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The sad part is that I really didn't feel that bad about it. I mean, I didn't even say "amen" to her praising of the Lord. I've scared a few walking across campus, and to them I used to feel a little bad, until I got the bell. If the music is too loud to hear the bell, tough, turn it down.

Have any of you seen an increasing trend of "distracted" bicycling with music player/iPods as of late? Anybody else get annoyed with it?


DIRK said...

I saw a guy last weekend smoking a cigarette and texting and his cell phone while biking :)
You should get one of those 130dB air horns, that'll show 'em.

Anonymous said...

Happens on the bike trail all the time. More with walkers and joggers than cyclists. I recently scared the crap out of a couple of ladies walking side by side when I took the grass to go around them. This was after repeatedly ringing my bell and yelling "passing on your left!"

Lindsey J said...

I don't think it's safe at all and I wonder if it's even legal. Full disclosure, I have worn headphones in the past but then I realized how unsafe it is! Not only can you not hear other bikes coming up on you, but you can't hear cars or anything. Someone could be shouting "MOUNTAIN LION" and you'd be jamming to your music. Seems scary to me. (yeah, ok, mountain lion is extreme but you never know)

Tez said...

It is a frequent thing on the bike trail like Mr Mayor stated. I used to ride with one but have not since doing more commuting. The bad thing is that we do the polite, "On your left!" and of course they never hear you as they are walking down the middle of the path. Then we get a bad rap from them...go figure!

If you MUST listen to music at lease just use one ear plug not both!

Anonymous said...

I've quit saying nearly anything when I pass because too many people have music on. I was back there yelling and nobody was paying any attention. Bikers, runners, walkers, everyone. I just take as wide a pass as I can, slow down when appropriate.