Cycling and music go along very well in this scenario, but today’s discussion is about is it ok to ride a bike with headphones on.
According to US laws, some states like California, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, New York, Rhode Island, and Virginia have strict rules against covering both ears with headphones. However, the UK and many other European countries have no rules according to this topic.
Plugging your ears for your next bike commute is a serious issue. There are many factors why you shouldn’t put headphones in this case which I will mention down below.
Solo bike commuting became a meditation therapy, it’s just like being off from the outside world and clearing your head from everyday struggles or even responsibilities. I get it but there are pros and cons while you enjoy music and your favorite activity you do.
Benefits of Listening to Music while Cycling
Acts as a Motivator
Listening to music while cycling motivates you especially if you pick fast-paced dynamic songs. It really determines our mood, if we listen to sad songs we feel sad, and vice versa if the music is energetic, you feel energetic too.
Besides music listening, you can find a good podcast to listen to and start your day as a motivating bomb waiting to explode.
Studies have shown that music improves performance, so wearing headphones to work while cycling can result in productivity throughout the day.
Innovative Technology for Music Safe Cycling
Today technology reached the point where everything sounds possible. Music enthusiasts, feel free to try out headphones that are dedicated to Safe + Sound design. This model was created keeping in mind the deaf Beethoven who was able to create masterpieces by joining a metal rod to his piano.
These so-called Safe + Sound headphones work by sending acoustics from the wires to your ear. The bone conduction can clip into your cycling helmet sending the music directly to your ears through your cheekbones. It’s perfect, you should definitely check it out. Also, it doesn’t plug your ears, it’s just placed near your ears.
Music Releases Dopamine and Serotonin
Thousands of researches are done on this topic and it resulted like this ” Music increases blood flow, drops the heart rate as well as helps in increasing dopamine and serotonin. That is the top reason why it makes us happier so, in more quiet places, it’s perfectly fine to put them on, but not in the traffic.
Obstacles of Listening to Music while Cycling
Cycling with Headphones is Risky
Nobody can ensure that you won’t get injured while cycling with headphones on. Traffic is a disaster, sometimes you can’t be aware of what’s going on around you even though when you are focused let alone while wearing headphones. This is the top reason why many states have prohibited the use of headphones while riding a bike.
The bigger issue arises when you aren’t able to hear a horn or any noise because you are distracted by your favorite song. It would be better to stop by when you are tired and then you can fully enjoy your music listening times.
Bone Conducting Headphones
When it comes to this particular problem, bone conduction headphones are the solution.
Bone conduction headphones are made in a way for you to enjoy music without completely canceling the ambient noise, so yes it means that you will be aware of the surroundings.
Bone conduction headphones unlike noise cancelling headphones play music through the bone of your skull to the cochlea, they bypass the inner ear.
So with this, you will be able to hear the ambient sound or say the external noise so you can remain aware of your surroundings and avoid pit hazards.
The wind noise might be a bit of a problem but it is nothing serious.
Avoid Headphones for High Regard
If you are a solo rider, then it’s ok, but if you have a significant one or a friend, it would be disrespectful to just avoid them. Wouldn’t be better if you spend more time with the people you care about and make small memories? because who knows when will we will run out of time.
Headphones Keep the Risk of Hearing Loss
I bet you didn’t know that over time, listening to music at excessive volume can create hearing loss. Yes, the recommended volume level is no more than 70 dBA. Any audio that is upper in decibels will most likely damage your ears. Many researchers have proved that if we are constantly listening to music or stay in an environment that is higher than 85 dBA shows a high risk of hearing loss. Over time, you can lose your hearing senses permanently.
Headphones are Prohibited by the US Laws
It’s not a coincidence why US states (not all of them) brought a rule on headphone use while riding a bike. The result of injured bikers is 9 out of 10 according to BBC’s official web page Headphones dilemma for cyclists in the UK. Boris Johnson suggested prohibiting headphone use entirely in New York City (especially covering both ears). Click the link to see a short video about cyclists.
Why You Shouldn’t Wear Headphones While Riding a Bike?
Believe me, it’s not worth risking your life for the sake of music or a podcast. Getting injuries that aren’t curable is a fact that results from keeping headphones on while cycling. Stay safe and wear your headphones somewhere else which is basically everywhere. Just stop for half an hour and enjoy thoroughly.
I don’t understand why people cannot move without headphones on, it’s not food, air, or water. You can perfectly live without having them. Some people enjoy listening to audiobooks or news while cycling which is their excuse. Society and social media can wait till you get to your final destination.
Since you insist on wearing headphones, pick somewhere quieter where no cars and motorcycles are passing, then you can put them on, otherwise, it is the most unnecessary thing to do while cycling. Try to fully enjoy the ride instead of risking your health for a pair of headphones.
A Brief Summary
To conclude this article, I would like to say that you have 3 reasons to wear headphones while cycling and hundreds of side effects. Music acts as a motivator or increases dopamine and serotonin and picking the Safe + Sound designed headphones are considered an advantage of wearing headphones while cycling.
However, using headphones are prohibited in many US states for health risks, and hearing loss over time for obvious reasons. You shouldn’t put on your headphones while cycling keeping in mind that “safety comes first”. You can wear headphones simply anywhere, why would you choose to wear them while cycling. I get it, the ride with music is more enjoyable, but is it worth the damage? The answer is pretty simple.
Oh also make sure you keep cycling through the bike lane, never forget this one part.
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You’ll never find anyone more passionate about audio as me. I love to share my knowledge with others and help people find the right equipment for them.