Headphones and Cycling

Apr 26, 2010
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Shimokitazawa
#1
I have noticed a few references to using headphones while cycling recently. Personally I don't ever wear headphones while on the bike because I feel I need to hear what's going on around me for my own safety. A friend emailed me this article the other day:

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/h...sing-ipod-hit-by-tram-20100616-yfcc.html#poll

That is one lucky dude.

Granted, almost all of my riding is done in the city, so perhaps when riding in the countryside traffic isn't such an issue.
 

jdd

Maximum Pace
Hardest Crash
Jul 26, 2008
2,517
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Kanazawa
#4
I'm a definite anti-headphone person. (And sorry, I can't figure how people who enjoy riding, enjoy riding with headphones.)

Even if you're faster, and thinking that you'll never be overtaken from behind, by using/wearing them you're setting an example for others who don't know that only the gods are allowed to use them.
 
Sep 2, 2009
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#6
You are going to hate what I about to say, but for me, on my previous commute, I wore headphones constantly, at full volume.

It was the only thing that stopped me having a heart attack when the trucks hammered past me.

Very very pleased I don't work there any more. HORRIBLE daily commute.
 

trad

Maximum Pace
Dec 4, 2006
393
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Tokyo
#7
one ear ok?

Pete - re the law in Japan 4 years ago.. Do you know if one year riding is OK? In California, I used to ride with headphone in one ear - with volume set LOW - as I don' t have an self powered internal jukebox like Mike. Have been wondering about law in Japan....
 
Sep 2, 2009
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#8
Mate, think about it for a second...

In Japan, on a daily basis, cyclists ride up THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD in front of police officers, and they do nothing about it.

A lycra clad missile wearing headphones is not going to be stopped by the police.

Hell, I have ridden past the police holding an open can of Chu-Hi before, and nothing happened.

Cruise slowly past them, in the early evening, with no lights on your Mama-Chari, and you might get stopped, however.
 

kiwisimon

Maximum Pace
Dec 14, 2006
2,681
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Japan
#10
the law is there as a guideline, I was stopped by a detective investigating a robbery in the neighbourhood, had to take my headphones off before he started questioning me. Have an accident wearing them you moght be in trouble but otherwise, who cares? Seriously I can't tell by listening if the car approaching from behind is going to give me room or not.
 
Sep 2, 2009
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#11
the law is there as a guideline, I was stopped by a detective investigating a robbery in the neighbourhood, had to take my headphones off before he started questioning me. Have an accident wearing them you moght be in trouble but otherwise, who cares? Seriously I can't tell by listening if the car approaching from behind is going to give me room or not.
Exactly.
 
Apr 26, 2010
212
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Shimokitazawa
#12
I've got no problems with other people using headphones, as long as they're riding safely. I'm a habitual daydreamer though, and music or a podcast or anything else to focus on could cause me to semi-forget that I'm on the road. I go into autopilot a bit which is dangerous in the city. If I were able to stay focused on riding while listening to something, I might feel differently, but I know me and it's better for everyone if my attention is undivided.

Now the mamachari riders going the wrong way, typing an email, holding an umbrella with headphones in? They deserve a vicious clothesline administered with extreme prejudice by me. I suppose in that case though it's not just the headphones, but rather the totality of their jackassery that upsets me.
 
Jan 14, 2007
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Noda
japanichiban.com
#13
Our Wednesday and Tuesday night training squad passes a high school. (we ride after 9pm) but sometimes students are still coming home from it and ride up the road on the wrong side, mobile and headphones ablaze... we haven't managed to kill any of them yet...
 
May 22, 2007
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Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#15
In Japan, on a daily basis, cyclists ride up THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD in front of police officers, and they do nothing about it.
I've seen cops riding up the wrong side of R246, a major arterial dual carriageway, in the street. Next one I see is going to set some gaijin in his face.:mad: (I have professional contacts at Metropolitan Police HQ...)
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
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Yokohama
#19
Very good read, they have done studies into motorists use mobile devices whe driving to having a greater effect on the senses than being drunk while driving.

One alarming figure is the amount of accidents involving children and electronic devices.