11.13.2005


some time ago I created this little piece in Photoshop
it got a bit of a response
friends and e-quaintences flooded me with emails

there was much discussion back and forth on the issue

since then I have been more and more conscious of my criticism


this is what I have come up with...
in the heavily populated areas on the crowded multi-use trails...

in the city on the heavily trafficked streets...

in these places the variables are different than on the country road
or on a remote section of dirt in the woods
on the trail where a person will be passing people or where people will be passing them...
iPODs and other headphone devices are not a good iDea


too often I approach a rider (or walker, jogger, or rollerbladder) and they are maintaining a straight trajectory

as I get more near I give an audible of my pass

the person being passed may drift or may make an irrational movement into my path

the movement is not due to my audible alert

the movement is not due to an obstacle in their path

but due to their wandering mind
risking a crash that could easily avoided


then from the perspective of the rider with headphones

there are cars approaching that are counting on the cyclist (or runner or walker) hearing the approaching vehicle
the car driver expects the person to clear the path as they come barreling through
the headphone wearing individual may not sense the approaching vehicle and may not respond appropriately


one of the main issues of the headphones is not so much its removal of the individual's ability to hear

it is more the combination of the inability to hear and the lack of focus
instead of being in tune to the surroundings
the individual is focused on the music
letting the focus drift away from the variables around them

the same goes for mountainbiking... snowboarding... rollerbladding... whatever...


lately with my recent shoulder injury I have been walking to work
I own an iPOD and I enjoy music

as of yet I have not used my iPod on my 40 minute walk

to me there is enough around me to entertain me

it is not so much a safety issue it is more an issue of taking in the world around me
the sounds of the city...
every day is as poetic as Paul Weller's
"That's Entertainment"
which is a great song that rests on my iPod

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