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24/09/2010 // INFO 1 Comment

Are you an iPod zombie?

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iPod Zombie

Have you ever had a near-miss on your bike or not heard approaching vehicles because you had your headphones plugged in? I have, so we decided to make this the topic of yesterday’s Thursday Throwdown: iPods whilst cycling, dangerous distraction or must have motivator?

Since my near miss, I must admit, I had a bit of a think as to how dangerous it actually was cycling with headphones – yes, a bit of Roxette certainly helps me up the hill on Queenstown Road, but is it worth having an accident over? Would I be safer without them, what was the cost benefit? Since weighing up the Pros and Cons, I have arrived at a happy compromise whereby I do still use my iPod, but at a very low volume so I can still hear traffic and other cyclists.

After reading some of the comments from the Throwdown I may well, as Roger and Julie suggest, only wear my headphones in one ear and at a low volume – although I am not certain why Julie suggests left ear? I assume this is down to traffic overtaking on the right and not symbolic of personal orientation….?

The Throwdown gave rise to conflicting opinions, with many stating that it was a must have, Budgie reckons it can make the difference between a good training ride and a slog; Martin’s hearing impaired mate reckons that not having auricular capabilities heightens the sensitivity of his other senses (I am sure this is true, but probably doesn’t apply to headphones etc).

On the flipside, there were exaltations of “why deny yourself of one of your essential senses”, that it was an additional distraction and as Louise states, provides motorists with extra ammunition against cyclists, of which the less the better…..

On the whole, there were some comments largely for headphones, some against, with the middle ground being that if you have the volume turned down and have only the left ear plugged in, it shouldn’t be hugely dangerous…….

Think we’ll sit on the fence on this one and let you decide.

1 comments [leave one]
E.P. September 25, 2010 at 1:46 am

zombie? hmm, sounds oddly familiar. Definitely not a good idea to cycle with headphones, especially through traffic. This isn’t Amsterdam, cyclists don’t have priority over every living thing, so to be frank I’m kind of scared to bike my way around town. Come to think of it, with headphones at least I’d have a nice accompaniment when I meet my maker.

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