Cycling has become a more and more popular sports activity in modern life. And there is also a great deal of people willing ride to work, while many others like to do cycling trips in the wild. They may ride for a very long time and a long distance. So they really need something to relax and comfort their bodies and hearts such as music. Therefore plenty of people would like to put on earphones listening to music. It can help them ease themselves and feel more different things in cycling. However, does wearing earphones a safe behavior or a dangerous one for cyclists? Will it lead you to heaven or hell?
From a positive perspective, listening to music is an enjoyable thing for cyclists. We can never indeed deny the miraculous effects of music since the ancient time, for it always brings people something special. If you enjoy listening to music while riding, get this, some research show that tuning into your favorite jams can make you ride happier, harder, and faster. Music is scientifically proven to reduce perceived exertion, boost your energy levels, and increase your endurance by as much as 15 percent. The world’s most prolific researcher on music and exercise boils it down to this: “Music is like a legal performance-enhancing drug for athletes.”
Someone may say that if you put on your earphones, you cannot hear the noise or sounds around you, or even affect your riding and get yourself hurt. However, according to the results of some surveys and tests, we can see:
1.A bike rider with ear-bud earphones playing music at a reasonable volume hears much more outside noise than a car driver, even when that driver has no music playing.
2.A bike rider with in-ear earphones playing music at a reasonable volume hears about the same outside noise as a car driver with no music playing, but more than a car driver playing music.
3.Ear-bud earphones set at a reasonable volume still allow riders to clearly hear the warning sounds of other riders.
Besides, if you listening to various music with you headphones in different kinds of places, for example, when you cycle in the city or you are speeding up you may like some intense music, while you ride in a breeze outdoors, some gentle music might better for you. Besides, you can get some important information of the road from the Traffic Message Channel, so that arrange your routes better.
On the other hand, putting earphones when you are cycling still existing a lot of risks. No matter for yourself or other drivers and riders on the road, it is possible for you to hurt all of them for wearing earphones. There are three concerns for it.
Firstly, the concern is for the safety of other road users, while it is very easy for you to hit others if you put your earphones on when you are cycling. Like motorists who insist that they can safely text and drive, perhaps cyclists should skip the headphones simply because it’s unfair to take unnecessary risks in other people’s road space, regardless of personal risk tolerance. People enjoy themselves in the fantastic, and extremely loud music which can bring them some sort of ultimate thrill. At the same time, they cannot hear others shouts, sounds of horns, and many other surrounding sounds. It is very very dangerous for other people who walk or drive on the road. For example, you never know what kind of crazy lunatics are out there trying to drive and simultaneously find the next song they want to listen to.
The second concern, which has come to my attention, is hearing loss. Permanent damage can begin at 85 decibels, which is only 70 percent of the maximum volume of the typical MP3 player. Busy streets already reach that level on their own, so it’s reasonable to assume that a cyclist’s headphones would have to be far louder to overcome the sound of traffic and the constant buzz of the wind in our ears. In addition, people should better follow the 60/60 rule. Blaring music, even in just one ear, can distract and even be damage to your hearing. If passersby can hear Rihanna’s high pitch from your ears, it’s too loud. Most headphones' max volume is around 105 decibels. Normal talking is between 40 and 60 decibels. Ear health experts recommend keeping the volume on your player to 60 percent of max—the level of someone talking loudly—and limit it to about 60 minutes a day. Going longer? Just turn it down a notch.
With respect to traffic safety, the last concern is that wearing headphones increases the likelihood or severity of an accident. To many, this risk is acceptable because the potential consequences are easy to understand—either you get hurt or you don’t, and riding with care to prevent this from happening is straightforward enough. Listening to music when you are cycling is totally different from you sitting in your room doing that. Since you have on the road, everything around you could happen, everywhere exists potential risks which may hurt you or even kill you. After you put your earphones on in a loud voice, it is difficult for to hear the sounds behind of somewhere you cannot see. And others may hit you when you didn’t give the way to them.
All in all, cycling with your earphones on is not an absolute right or wrong thing. Considering advantages and disadvantages of it, it is ok for you to put on or not. Sure. as long as you don't try to share the road with cars, trucks, motorcycles, or any other motorized vehicles, it can be fine for you. Besides, it is necessary to control the volume of your headphones, especially on the road of the city, which will not only protect you from being hit but also prevent you from getting deaf for the loud voice. Finally, don't be a cyclist that puts the entire burden for your safety on the people around you. You only have to be wrong one time for this to become an extremely bad idea.