Thursday, December 6, 2007

Winter Rules

During the summer months, the rules of the group ride state riders may not wear headphones during the ride. I support this rule and I feel it makes the ride safer overall. I mean, it is tough enough to corral 50 riders at 25-30 mph but throw in some loud music and it is an accident waiting to happen. But in October the group becomes smaller and the tempo slacks. And so do some of the rules. From October to May wearing headphones is fair game. For the same reason the headphones are dangerous in the summer, they become a welcomed relief in the winter. The headphones remove the rider from their surroundings just enough to take the edge off the cold. Some club members joke that with the music piped directly into their ears, they feel warmer and insolated, allowing them to tough out another hour or two of cold pavement and biting wind chills.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Never wear'em with a group....

Alone, almost always.

Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring.

Em

chiefhiawatha said...

I agree with the anon. if you want to be by yourself, then be by yourself.

Ari said...

I had a discussion with a pal about the difference of riding rollers with a stereo playing music and an mp3 players with headphones. We came to the conclusion that it is better with the headphones. Riding outside in the winter or riding rollers is not fun. It is just work to keep some form and also to keep the poundage off.
Ari

brent said...

I LOVE MY HEADPHONES IN WINTER! IN A GROUP, ON THE TRAINER OR ALONE. MY MAGIC EARMUFFS.

Anonymous said...

Kelly never used an iPod.

End of discussion.

Guy WR said...

Whatever happened to listening to the rolling of the tyres, the clicking of the gears, and the wind slipping past?

Cycling remains for me an escape from the usual audio barrage.

Tarik Saleh said...

Seriously,

I still don't get wearing an ipod when you are outside. There is no shortage of things to look at, listen to and watch out for. Its not like you are on a track or in the pool. Besides, headphoned riders tend to ride like a complete idiots and are not compatible with group dynamics of anysize. I would rather ride alone than ride in a group with a rider who is plugged in.

Diablo Scott said...

I can't get those things to stay in my ears when I'm sitting still; on my bike I wouldn't make it out of my driveway before they fell out.

iPOD only on the spin bike for me (with the headband kind of earphones).

cyclochris said...

I beg to differ for once with our fine host. Headphones and music don't belong on group rides whatever the weather. I avoid such riders because they can't hear what's going on around them and therefore tend to be erratic. It's just not safe. Perhaps it works in small groups that know each other well, but I have real doubts.

I don't even support the idea of riding solo outside with them because you can't hear traffic. My ears are my third eye looking backwards.

And there is something to suffering in silence in the winter for a strong spring and summer.

Anonymous said...

It seems some of you should be also putting that you like long walks on the beach and puppies too! guy wr.... NERD ALERT! Group ride, no head phones, alone or on the rollers almost always! While alone I leave the road side head phone off and over the ear.

bikesgonewild said...

...old school guy on this one...
...wouldn't even consider it out on the road or up in the hills...

...the danger & the inconsideration are only one side of the equation...

...i won't even reiterate guy wr's statement...it works 100% pour moi...

"nerd alert" ???...sorry dude, but that's a lame response...

Chris H said...

This has been a standing debate in our area as well. I definitely agree that they are out in the summer on group rides.

In the winter and solo rides all year around they're a must to help pass those long hours in the saddle. I've found that only using the right ear bud allows you to listen to your music while still being able to focus on your surroundings and carry on conversations.

The stock iPod ear phones suck. Go to you're local big box electronic store and get the ones with the tapered rubber fitting. They never fall out. Something similar to these:

http://www.brilliant-electronics.com/earphones_coby_cve31.htm

Matt said...

I see the validity of maintaining a rule for this in the context of group rides, but when it comes to riding solo, it seems to make more sense to simply go with what works for you, where you ride. A rule cannot be applied here. I've found that certain styles of music allow much if not all traffic noise to permeate the stock ipod headphones. For example, the jazz I listen to is compatible with traffic noise at moderate volumes. Other stuff I listen to with more low end frequencies is not compatible with traffic noise. i.e., I can't hear traffic well.

After some time listening whilst riding in Montreal, in every season but summer, I eventually stopped listneing to music except for when I rode on the mountain, where there is no car traffic. This was often a very enjoyable practice, as I was able to really listen intently to my music while putting out a steady climbing rhythm on my bike. I could hear my tires, the wind, and my music; it was a matter of directing my attention where I wanted it to be. I think listening to certain musics can allow you to get into a meditative state on the bike, and this is a good thing from my perspective. But I don't see this happening on a group ride, or in traffic.

Matt

Anonymous said...

word. Winter rules RULE ! They are never a problem in our group....in winter only. Music is my performance enhancing drug.

Ari said...

In the old days a keen rider by the name of Gianni Bugno had terrible problems descending mountains. He was world championship, tour and Giro material but had this problem. He had a balance problem in his head and what do you know it was cured with music.

DonEye1 said...

What everyone seems to be missing here is the legal aspect. In my state, as in most other places - having headphones or similar devices obstructing both ears is illegal while driving.

Once again, we need the usual bit of extrapolation to consider this applicable to us on bikes - but isn't that what we are all fighting for - equal consideration in traffic.

I might be a bit biased by my predominantly urban riding environment but it just seems like common sense to keep all your faculties alert when you're out there.

I can't count the number of spaced-out bikers/rollerbladers/joggers I've been almost been taken out by while navigating the sketchy corridors bikes are sometimes relegated to.

R. Zach Thomas said...

Stuck here in Chicago, most of my training is on the lakeside path, only because of its proximity and the lack of quality roads on which to train. Usually I'm out with a teammate or two, or on a slower day, a friend just new to the sport. On those days, I ride sans-headphones, as the conversation is animated, just so long as we're not cranking it. Plus, one needs to hear the ratcheting clicks of a downshift in preparation of an attack.

But on those days that I can't rustle up a posse, I load up my iPod Shuffle with a mix of hardcore punk (the good stuff, such as Black Flag, Adolescents, Minor Threat, Effigies, etc.), and head out for some hurting. The tempo of those songs keeps my cadence up and the aggression in the singers' voices act as no reprieve when that sweet ache of exertion comes on strong.

I'll come home after riding with my iPod, and even after a short ride of around 1 and 1/2 hours, I'm positively exhausted.

Anonymous said...

I miss the old days when me and my pal Dave Stohler would go out and ride big miles and sing Italian arias. That was good times.

To this day I don't see the point of an iPod -- I've got the music in me already.

Although the ear plugs are handy if you don't want people to talk to you or think that you are listening to them.

I borrow my kid's iPod for that on long drives with him and his mates. They think I can't hear them and they talk about things they probably wouldn't if they knew I was listening.

As for indoor training, I like quiet. I go in the basement with the lights off and crank the egg timer and ride the rollers for an hour. It's quite the transcendental experience.

this one guy said...

definitely NOT IN A GROUP ever.nothing "nerdy" about it, just respect. i won't ride with you&your earbuds (and i know you wanna ride with me.) what y'all do alone is your misfortune and none of my own, so git along little doggies. ride on...

Anonymous said...

On group rides I see a few guys wearing headphones. They usually are "experienced" riders but I consider it rude and antisocial. As for not wearing a helmet, one pro does that and I consider him an idiot and try to remind him of that but he considers himself too pseudo-Euro. Hope he feels good when some poor kid gets himself killed trying to emulate him.

John said...

I wear them on a rare occasion on a group ride with people i know are experienced riders. i wear them all the time by myself. what i don't understand is going lidless in the winter? How do you feel about this? i never do this but a few expros and a couple cat 1's ride with do it all the time?

Rubio R. said...

cycling cap while training, catlike whisper while racing. there is no excuse for wearing a helmet when you are not sanctioned to. it is not romantic or traditional. as for the headphones...they are OK if the tunes are loud and yanni.