Urban v Rural


Fair enough. It’s a specific point but its an interesting insight.

I wear earphones most of the time when I’m out on a bike, although a lot of the time with one out. I spend between 12 and 15 hours per week on a bike. I have not had one single, even fleeting incident where I thought that wearing earphones had put me or anybody else in danger. In any given week, I will have a car door opened in front of me, I’ll be cut off at a corner, a pedestrian will step out in front of me, a car will overtake without leaving any room for manoeuvre, along with many other dangers. My sight is sharp and honed to the dangers that surround me on the road. My hearing is much less of a requisite.

If you are really concerned with other peoples safety, you would be much better cutting down on car journeys, rather than worrying about a threat that I still haven’t seen anybody actually prove exists.


Congrats on your success. It doesn’t make cycling without your ears any less dangerous/reckless. In the enclosed space of a car, hearing plays a slightly different role, but I regularly wind down the windows at certain junctions because being able to hear as well as see makes a big difference. We need all our senses, and all our concentration on the roads. Not just the bits left over from Morning Ireland.

I doubt if any road safety expert in the world would agree with your practice. But they don’t have ray-vision that lets them ‘see’ what’s coming behind them.


:slight_smile: It would seem from your own evidence of near-misses above, that you’re the one who should cut down on opportunities to be slammed and bammed. Whether you’ve had sufficient proof to show that a threat exists, your intuition, logic and experience on the road should be enough to make you cautious.

In deciding liability in an accident, the wearing of headphones by a cyclist would certainly be seen as detrimental to whatever side of the case they were on. To do otherwise would be ludicrous.

Irish roads are not, in the main, made for cycling. We’re all equally responsible for how we use the roads. And we’re all obliged to concentrate on our driving/cycling as much as possible. Listening to the news on a bicycle is no less a crime than putting on make-up or using a mobile phone while driving because both interfere with concentration.


Well that is for sure. I got stuck on a country road last week behind some guy on a bike with headphones on. Just having a great old time for himself positioned in the middle of the narrow road, sometimes veering left or right. Oblivious and clearly enjoying himself. I had to crawl along behind him for about 2 miles until we came to an intersection. It was kind of funny to be honest, but he was at risk.


A small correction relating to my post though it may still apply) regarding these kids it seems they were accompanied by the BMI busitng girls is that right? I red it as two kids.


Sorry but this reads like a Sunday Independent article by one of the snooty wannabe yuppie women who write for them. There are no fat people in the “Pale” of course. And eating their dinner at lunch time. How uncouth.


You haven’t actually shown that it is any more dangerous cycling with earphones in than cycling without earphones. Your own opinion is not what I would call conclusive. I would actually accept that it probably is more dangerous but only a tiny level and only in very specific circumstances.
Winding down the window at a junction to listen for traffic, well that’s a new one on me. I grew up in a really rural part of Ireland and I have never seen even the most loopy of drivers engage in that practice. Presumably you didn’t enage in that practice while taking you test :smiley:

I really don’t understand this point. As a cyclist, there is always traffic passing you from the rear. You hear all the ambient noise on the street/road. How do you tell if a noise is a danger to you or not? Maybe the squealing of brakes but at that point, I am not sure that there is much you can do anyway. In fact, being nice and relaxed while taking a hit might just save you from worse injuries! I am arguing using my own first-hand experience of cycling every day. Granted, it’s an anecdote but it I would say that it is a step up from an opinion from somebody who likely doesn’t engage in cycling on a regular basis.

I am cautious on the road, to a huge extent. I can spot most threats at forty metres. I have every parked scanned from twenty metres for somebody that might open a door. I have taken note of pedestrians up ahead that are likely to step out in front of me. In most cases I can judge the likely threat from a vehicle by the demeanour of their driving. If you are not a regular cyclist, you couldn’t even comprehend how alert you have to remain while on the bike. Yet, I am happy that I am not in any significant way endangering my safety by wearing earphones, and not in any way at all endangering others.

Ok, regarding liability, a simple example, if I get rear-ended while wearing earphones, are you saying that I am going to share liability with the imbelicle that has just hit me? Seriously, unless you can produce something to back that up, I am ignoring it.

Wearing earphones while cycling is not a crime. Using a phone while driving or putting on make-up is.


It’s illegal to use a phone while putting on make-up? :confused:


Wearing headphones whilst cycling is about as nutty as cycling without a helmet, but plenty of people do that as well.


ray, for a smart guy, you’re being very silly.

If you need me to show you why it’s more dangerous to cycle with headphones in than not, then you shouldn’t be on the road.

There are a couple of places I travel regularly which necessitate using dangerous exits onto narrow, winding roads. I can’t see around bends, but I can hear things coming if I open the window. I’m happy to be ridiculed on that score while I remain in one piece.

Your experience as a cyclist and mine as a driver tell me the same thing - the roads are dangerous, we should all take more care.


No offence blown-in but even your language indicates the battle that cyclists face. If cycling without a helmet is nutty then driving a car or being a passenger in one is also nutty. I usually wear a helmet, except during very short trips. I believe that in certain circumstances it will offer me greater protection. However, for cycling fatalties, where the cyclist wasn’t wearing a helmet, the outcome wouldn’t have been changed by the cyclist wearing a helmet in the vast majority of cases. If a truck or other large vehicle runs over you, a helmet doesn’t offer any protection. There are lots of studies out there on the pros and cons of wearing cycling helmet. You should check some of them out.


It seems that we need some research on this area to answer the question once and for all. When I have a chance, I will dig further into this topic to see if there are any studies that actually quantify the risk.

Ok, I guess that our best hope is that we don’t meet on one of those corners because I am not going to hear you with earphones in and you are not going to hear me, window up or down, what with my bike in silent mode :smiley:

Yes, I did jest a little at your strategy of rolling down the window. I honestly haven’t heard of that strategy before but one of my uncles who lived in England, when visiting, he would beep the car horn on bad corners and bends. I often wondered about the effectiveness of that strategy.


That’s common practice, combined with slowing down. I was taught to do so by my instructors, both car and bike. It’s mostly to get pedestrians onto the verge (or into the hedge if necessary :laughing: ). A slowish-moving car doesn’t make much road noise, but can still do significant damage.


It’s the houses on a little plot of land on the side of a busy road that I just can’t get my head around. No footpaths, and the road is too dangerous for walking so there is no way of leaving the house other than in the car. There are lots of them, though, so plenty of people must not be bothered by this. Definitely not for me. I certainly can see the benefits of small town / village living though.


The ones that really confuse me are the one-offs built right up to the roadside. Eh? :confused: Surely, if you own the land, why not have a front garden and a hedge for some privacy and sound insulation? Weird, just weird. :exclamation:


Heh - how about the one off houses with a ranch fence around a square of grass with a house in the middle

Planting a hedge / trees or shrubs is too taxing for their imagination, vegetables are something they find in the Aldi deep freezer


Erm, I did answer the second question. The first question I didn’t answer as I don’t know that answer.

He was not statistically insignificant to me nor to his family. If the cyclists answer to “why does nobody care about cyclists’ deaths” is “we don’t care about pedestrian death caused by cyclists” then it is hardly surprising you sometimes get an unsympathetic ear.


I meant second from a numerical perspective not ordinally, so yeah, you didn’t answer the second question. Thanks for your input, such as it was.


At least 1.

Happy now?

Oh and since you want to be a pedant about it and you didn’t specify a country, 7 in NYC between 2001 and 2010 nyc.gov/html/om/pdf/bike_lanes_memo.pdf


scientificamerican.com/artic … al-health/

schizophreniabulletin.oxfordjour … 4/795.full


I never heard of anyone deliberately building right up to the road side in rural locations (unless its an established town/village street) quite often what happens is roads get realigned or widened and a house endsup on it.

If you check your standard planning permission you would often see clauses stating how far the front wall has to be from center of road, also that houses have to align with neighbors and so on.

I took extra few feet above what was required from the road to construct the wall, hell also tarmacked it with a better surface than the main road which apparently was not resurfaced anytime in my lifetime :smiley:, its handy when there are extra visitors for extra parking not interfering with main traffic (and less garden to maintain :slight_smile: ).