Thursday, December 3, 2009

Does Wearing Headphones Make You A Rude Cyclist?

so beautiful...

I don't ordinarily wear headphones while riding because I ride on the streets more often that on a bike path. However, I think wearing them on a bike path is fine. What I'm more concerned about is what happens when you get off of the bike. For example, a bike path I used to ride ended in Little Five Points where there were lots of coffee shops and boutiques. A little further down Moreland Ave. is a shopping center with a Kroger, Target, etc. It didn't seem rude to me to walk into the shopping center, the post office, or let's say, Wish, with earbuds on. They're fairly discreet even with conspicuous white wires. But what about getting off of your bike and walking in a shop with big turquoise headphones on? I wouldn't want to sully the cyclist's reputation for being smart and nice.


  1. To me cycling is a form of community, I can stop on the spot for a conversation with a fellow cyclist or pedestrian, I can stop and speak with the elderly lady waiting for the bus, when I am stopped by the adjacent traffic signal.

    By removing the sense of hearing you bring an aloofness and in some cases a lack of awareness to your surroundings.

    I don't wear headphones(or earbuds) when riding, I have poor hearing to begin with and need every bit of it to survive along the pathways I travel.

    Just a few of my observations.


  2. Hmmm. I guess I wouldn't be a very good biking ambassador wearing those big headphones, but, upon reflection, I've realized that I like to appear aloof sometimes. I can recall times when I've tried to cultivate a bit of solitude while walking outdoors wearing earbuds only to be waved/shouted down by talkative acquaintances or strangers on their front porches. It probably didn't help that I often had my sister with me--people are said to talk to you more often when you have a dog with you. Perhaps conspicuous white wires hanging from one's ears are no match for the presence of a pooch.

  3. Riding with headphone is likely to make you a dead cyclist. Up here is RI and in nearby MA it could make you an arrested cyclist. Don't do it.


    il Bruce

  4. I wouldn't consider wearing headphones while riding on the road or sidewalk. I'm not aware of any laws that prohibit it in Georgia though. I'll have to look into that.