Listening to music while biking (part 2) – headphones and biking

Headphones while biking

Since my last post I have been getting email and real life comments from people about using headphones while biking. So far my back of the napkin calculation is that it’s 60/40. 60% of those I talk to say it’s OK, and 40% are concerned.

It is all over the map in regards why people are either for or against. I’ve found that the majority of people who are worried about using headphones while biking are mainly concerned about the ability to hear or notice the surrounding environment. The ones who are set about using headphones are always cautious to say that it should not be too loud. Though I have not heard anyone say what "too loud" is.

Overall, anyone who discusses this with me is always concerned about safety. I was reading my favorite bike magazine ( and came across this link to bicycling magazine to an article called "Is it safe to ware headphones while cycling."

The article is by Neil Bezdek. He does a good job discussing the topic in regards to other items like hearing issues, distractions, the pure feeling of a long ride, and the temptation to compare this with wearing a helmet. I found the article is similar to some of the conversations I have had about headphones and biking. What really struck me were the comments.

Take some time and read through everyone’s responses. Again, I was shocked at how similar the responses were to the discussions I have had regarding this topic.

So what is your opinion or thoughts? Do you use headphones while cycling? Only on the bike path, not on the streets?

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