The Chainlink

Music... headphones or bluetooth speaker? I stopped wearing the right ear headphone. 

Bluetooth speaker has been good. At stop lights, some people (most) smile and laugh - late 80's / early 90's dance music. Just because. Nothing obscure, just making other riders smile - like when they smiled when they went to a good movie like Life of Pets or whatever their Secret is. 

Anyway - those of you who wear full headphones... BOO on you!

Those who have a bluetooth and people can hear you and the music you like. Good for you! 

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I think headphones are dangerous and  would not recommend them for bike riding.  I have the Boombotix speaker and like it. I do not use it a lot on the bike but find that when I do it provides good sound for me and  anybody close to me without becoming an exporter of noise pollution. It is also nice to be able to answer a phone call by tapping a button and keeping my eye on the road.  The device also provides decent mono sound that is very portable from backyard to picnic to ...wherever. My wife wanted to play an audio file for a workshop she was teaching and used the speaker rather than playing the audio file off of her phone.

I am curious to hear the opinion of the lawyers that read these forums.  Will wearing earphones or listening through a speaker affect damages sought in the case of a crash?

It could.  Remember that judges and jurors probably are not cyclists and will be all too willing to blame you for causing a crash.


I would never cover my ears while cycling for the same reason that I wouldn't cover my eyes, but I don't mind when other cyclists have speakers.  An old man who lives near me rides with a boombox in his front basket blaring Chinese music.  Always brings a smile to my face.

Why? Would damages be any different for vehicle drivers if they could prove they weren't listening to loud music or driving distracted while they crashed into a cyclist? (Which isn't even enforced in Chicago.) Only 24 tickets distracted driving tickets given out this past year.

FYI your music sucks. I really don't care what you're listening to, it sucks and I don't want to hear it. 

I was initially excited about the spread of inexpensive, portable speakers. Cool! You can take your music anywhere! 



I include myself in this, I like Fidlar, AJJ, Butthole Surfers; I know there are plenty out there that think that music just plain sucks. Why should they have to listen to my bullshit on their commute?

Keep it to yourself. Wear some earbuds or just listen to the sound of the tires and your dry over-tensioned chain.  

I do occasionally listen to earbuds while riding, and I can do that, because I'm a better rider than you. 

I don't think this is a personal attack, just pointing out that all of us have personal music preferences. I laughed when I read it because it's true - we all LOVE our own music. Everyone else's? Not so much.  I am not a big fan of the big box of music or the tin-sounding music coming from little speakers. I have a friend that uses a speaker played low and attached close to her ear. I have no problem with that speaker because I can barely hear it. 

Personally, I use one ear bud in my right ear, leaving the left ear to hear noises, cars, cyclists, etc. Even on the bike path, wearing two ear buds is dangerous. "On your left" goes unheard by joggers and cyclists who opt to ear bud both ears.

Thanks Yasmeen. Definitely not a "personal attack" on anyone, just my opinion given in, what I hope was, a humorous vein.

Humorous vein? Almost. ;) Personal attack on anyone? Nah.

Yes, and convertibles (cars) with the radio on, cars with windows down and the radio on, people speaking out-loud on the train -- or on the sidewalk, babies crying in the park, the sound of skateboard wheels click-clicking on every crack -- all those noises are terrible and suck!  All us super-sensitive folks should probably get some noise-cancelling earbuds and wear them 24/7, eh?!

Personal attacks are not necessary John.

Heh. I think he's not attacking anybody (in particular, at least) but just making a point that he doesn't want to hear other people's stuff.

(Personally, I say TFB. If you can't deal with it for two seconds, you have bigger issues. Also, it's a good way to, say, let people know you're passing if your voice ever gives out.)

Wearing headphones would not impact damages.  Damages have to do with how bad somebody is hurt, or what they have lost. The question is whether wearing headphones could effect liability.  Did you fail to hear the horn honking or the man screaming at you or the lady yelling," Watch out!"?  Would you have heard the engine of that approaching vehicle? (of course in a post Tesla era of motor vehicles that might not be possible any more.) This is why even though your musical tastes may be awful it is better for us to hear your music rather than have you be oblivious to all signals we use to get from point A to point B in one piece. Yeah, you want to give yourself the upper  hand if there is litigation but really, why should there be any litigation? Pay attention, hear the ambient noise and your experience as a rider is gonna get you home. As a courtesy to the rest of us though, please use some discretion in determining how loudly you rock out to whatever that drivel is blasting outta your speaker. :-)


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