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Tunes On The Road


Hotfoot
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I'm curious what you guys think about listening to music while riding on the street. I know there are helmets and earpieces available now that make it possible to listen to music while riding; would you do it? Do you think it is fun and as safe as earplugs, or dangerously distracting? Ok anytime, or only in certain road conditions (country roads, for example), or never a good idea?

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If I rode a quite bike and/or hours of riding on flat, straight roads I might but probably not though.

For anytime in the foreseeable future the answer is no, my bike provides me with enough tunes. "The Little Italian Drummer Boy" playing speed metal inside my helmet.

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Personally I find it distracting. I drive 25,000 Miles a year in my work. I keep the radio on in the truck. When thing start getting interesting in traffic I flip the volume down or off.

 

I can't do that on the bike quick and easy like. So I would rather have the undistracted attention when I need it. Beside the voices in my head sing some times when we are on a really good curvy road, and I like it when they get along. :D

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I don't ride on the street anymore but when I did I would never have done this. No way, never. Admittedly, on those *really* long and boring stretches I sometimes sang to myself inside my helmet. Often "Born to be Wild" (or course) but also "After the Goldrush" for no apparent reason and also a brutal rendition of "Seven Bridges Road".

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Interesting to read. I do play music in the car, and on a sporting drive have, with some fun music I get more enthusiastic.

 

In traffic, I turn stuff down too.

 

CF

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm all for music while riding. I mean if it was really such a bad thing, Honda wouldn't have put a stereo in the Goldwing, would they? :rolleyes:

The way I think of it is that yes, music could be a distraction if you focus on that to the detriment of your riding. But this is true of anything else while riding - there are many possible distractions, you could focus on the dent in the armco where a vehicle has crashed, you could focus on the pretty lady walking down the street. But as a rider you choose what to focus on, you can decide what distracts you and what doesn't.

 

Actually that leads to an interesting question - what is more important for a rider, to be able to eliminate possible distractions, or to be able to deal with them so they never actually distract? ;)

 

Personally I tend not to listen to music on short trips, only because I figure it's not worth the hassle to put in the ear buds & fiddle with the cord, etc. And my exhaust gives it's own soundtrack when it can run through the rev range around town and in tunnels (oh, the tunnels!).

 

Long stints on the highway are completely different, mind-numbingly boring to just hear that constant-rpm exhaust drone... anything more than an hour on highways, I'll usually go for the music. I would wear ear plugs anyway, which cuts the wind noise and general "loudness", but that exhaust drone is still there. Music just helps break that up.

 

A couple of times I have listened to music while riding the twisties, I think it actually enhances the experience. I would say that I can have a tendency to take my road riding a bit too seriously sometimes, having a bit of music in the background seems to remind me "hey, chill out - enjoy the ride". :D

 

But I never have music so loud that I can't hear other vehicles, horns etc. #1 that would damage hearing, #2 it's a poor excuse as to why you didn't hear the police siren. :blink:

 

Another thing I've found is that the canalphones (in-ear headphones) are so much better than regular headphones. They act partly as an ear plug which is the only way you can use them while riding without big volume. You can get some good low-profile ones that fit well under a helmet. Tried regular headphones once and I either couldn't hear the music over the wind noise, or I arrived part-deaf because I had to have the volume up so loud (louder than the wind noise)!

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  • 1 month later...

Twist of the Wrist II on CD loaded on to my iPhone is my favorite companion to riding. I'm amazed at how much I I've learned this way. I need a lot of repetition to absorb material thoroughly and this is a big help to me. Its really useful to get the idea in the moment when riding where it applies exactly.

 

Music...not so much but sometimes. As was noted above I just love the sound of my exhaust to much to let anything get in the way even a little bit. Riding a powerful bike like my "Black Night" is a privilege and a huge thrill. I've never been on the track and I'm sure I'm going to love it but it will never replace the joy of street riding. Hearing that exhaust note and using it to protect my self and yes, to be seen and admired and unfortunately hated at times is all a part of the joy for me.

 

Phone: I always have that on in case my wife needs me or a friend I want to talk to calls maybe to meet for a ride. I almost always pull off the road to use it though. Not because I find it too dangerous but because I haven't found a system that works well enough (that I can afford so, in fact, I'm going to start saving for one right now!). My earbuds also work as protection from excessive noise. Ear canal buds would be nice but again the ones I've seen are a little pricey. Good topic. Thanks Hotfoot.

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Twist of the Wrist II on CD loaded on to my iPhone is my favorite companion to riding.

 

I have the audio CD set and listen to it in my car constantly. I drive long distances for my job so this is the perfect time for me to absorb. I find myself quoting large portions the material word for word at this point. I don't listen on the bike.

 

As for music, I didn't use to do so. However, over the last year I have found it to be a nice companion while riding solo. If I were to be distracted by it then I would shut it off immediately. It is more of an ambience than something to actually listen too. I would say that I play music in my helmet perhaps 50% of the time.

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When I was a newer rider, it was a bit much. I've been listening to music for a while now, and it's set real low. I've never owned a helmet (Scorpion, Shoei, Arai and now even Bell) that kept the wind from giving me tinnitus after a moderate ride. I started with earplugs and graduated to headphones. As long as their not blaring I'm comfortable with them on.

 

It's just like in a car. If you're paying attention to the road in a car (like going through heavy traffic) you don't always know what's on the radio. My ex-wife used to do it to me all the time. If I'm in heavy enough traffic, she could put it on country and I wouldn't even know it was playing. When I'm in an open space, I can refocus on the music. If you're focusing on heavy traffic, music playing with headphones on won't distract you at all.

 

I tried over 10 different types of headphones, and still occasionally experiment with them with my friends headphones. Skull Candy (without the mic on the cord) are far and away the best ones I've used. I could hear music up to 140 mph. That's not turning it up, either. They also keep my ears from ringing for days after long rides. Living in Arizona, Nevada, and Texas before that, I can go LONG distances between points, and having some music playing helps me keep the little sanity I have left.

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  • 1 month later...
I've never been on the track and I'm sure I'm going to love it but it will never replace the joy of street riding.
I'm anxious to read what you post after your May School at NJMP...Rain[/quote

 

Kevin, This is ridiculously brazen and should be taken with a grain of salt but if one must think like a winner one must think like a winner. My hope and intent for a post after NJMP is Keith agreed I didn't learn much and refunded my money...I need to save up for the other levels and CODE RACE even if I have to set a precedent. I've had lots of implosions in my many athletic careers and I'm due for an outstanding achievement.

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So let me get this straight, you'll be disappointed if you find out there are things you can improve on, or learn, at the school?

 

If you call the office and tell them that, they will probably be willing to refund your money right now.

 

You might want to go ride an open track day soon, and get a realistic gauge of your riding compared to other track day riders. After that, if you really don't feel you have anything to learn from the school, don't come. If your expectation or hope is to come to the school and have everyone admire your amazing skillz, you are coming to the wrong school, it isn't that kind of place. It's all about making improvements, whether you ride a Harley on Sundays or race AMA, if you aren't there to improve your riding you are wasting their time and your money.

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Hotfoot, I'm sorry you missed the point completely. It has nothing to do with wanting to be admired and everything to do with finances and improvement. Firstly, you won't give me my money back right now. Finances for me are super tight now and everything I know about the School tells me its the best in the world. If I am good here, I'm good anywhere. I would like to go to CODE RACE and the money is going to be hard to come by since I am semi retired and we are trying to save for retirement. Winning a race is important to me because of the same reasons its important to anyone. Everyone who races wants to win. Everyone tries as hard as they can. That's racing. And yes, ultimately, being admired is part of winning. Winning means you were the best on the track that day and that's something no one can take away from you. There's nothing wrong with that. Its unlikely that at my age, nearly sixty, that I'm going to have a lucrative career in racing but its conceivable that I could do well in CODE RACE. I'm happy and proud that I have the confidence to know what I want and to believe in myself. Our School instills pride in us. That's great. Its a great School.

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Ok, good - if your post was all about enthusiasm for doing the school and CodeRace and just wishing it was easier financially, I totally get that and I misunderstood your post. I apologize for my response and I'm glad you will be coming to the school to learn - if you show up mentally and physically prepared to be a good student, I'm sure you will make oodles of progress and have a great time. Seeing fellow students have their own successes adds to the fun of the whole thing, I bet you'll enjoy that as well.

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Nic,

 

I believe you logic is flawed, if your goal is to win a race, your best chance will be at a club racing weekend with other novice racers, the skill and experience level of the attendees at a Code R.A.C.E. camp will vary from novice racers to highly skilled experts, you might even have a few riders with AMA Pro race licenses there. While you goal of winning a race is admirable, you really should attend a track day, and have a slightly more open mind about what track riding is about. No matter how fast you may be on the street, in the windy roads around your house, it doesn't translate to the racetrack. Taking the school levels and doing the Code R.A.C.E. program will assuredly give you the skills and confidence to ride at your best on a race track, it is without a doubt the best place to start.

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Tyler, Thanks for explaining. Please know my ability to even think about racing represents true growth in confidence for me as I was afraid until two weeks ago. It was just a natural part of study in the School and faith in Coaching.

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