What are the pros and cons of listening to music while cycling?
For some, listening to music while riding is a perfect way to combine two beloved activities.
But scientific research and polls are controversial about the impact of music while cycling. Many respondents cited that cyclists are unaware and unresponsive to dangers, therefore more likely to be involved in incidents.
On the other side, a study by Dr. Katrina Jungnickel and Dr. Rachel Aldred found the use of music and headphones actually helped create a “sensory strategy” which calmed cyclists riding in dangerous environments.
The research was conducted on urban cyclists. It showed that they were just as aware of their surroundings, if not more so than other transport users. Basically, music engages in sensory strategies that manage their exposure to risk. Just as drivers use the radio to create a safe, social, and comfortable space on the road, cyclists benefit from sensory strategies as ways of negotiating and taming challenging environments.
Outside of the chaotic urban environment, listening to music while training may also play a major part in increasing your fitness. It can boost your ability to ride harder, faster, and with more enjoyment. Most headsets for portable devices are designed in a way that does not inhibit outside sounds from reaching the ear. So you can have the music at a lower volume and hear everything you need for good situational awareness.
In most states, it is legal to wear earbuds or a headset while riding. Of course, if you’re listening to music at ear-damaging volumes, outside sounds may be drowned out, but no law requires vehicle operators to be able to hear. An Australian study found that a cyclist wearing ear-bud style headphones and playing music at a reasonable volume hears much more outside noise than a car driver — even when that driver has no music playing.
So, evidence suggests it is possible to cycle safely with headphones, once the cyclist is sure they are still aware of their surroundings. This is a sentiment shared by British Cycling: “It’s best to use all your senses while riding a bike but your hearing is far less important than your sight,” said a spokesperson for the organization. “People who are deaf can ride perfectly safe while on the road. In the end, we should all be looking out for each other.”
Turn on a Bluetooth speaker or wear a pair of regular headphones that will allow you to hear oncoming cars, sirens, and other traffic sounds. Enjoy our mix and be safe on the road!
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Genre: Electronic music, Downtempo, Chillout music, Chillout
Style: Downtempo, Chillout
Mood: Inspiring, Soothing, Positive
Duration: One Hour
Feature: Without Lyrics
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