Thursday April 22nd 2010, 9:03 am
Filed under: Anecdotes

This morning on my regular commute across the 2nd street bridge I noticed an interesting incident. Just as I am a quarter of the way up the Louisville incline of the bridge I see another cyclist up ahead, traveling in the same direction as I am, towards Indiana. There’s a large pick-up truck in between us, they’re about forty yards ahead. I noticed the cyclist, because I hardly see other bicycles on the bridge, especially not in the street.

All of a sudden I see the dude on the bike stop abruptly and the truck come to a quick stop behind him. As I continued approaching it appeared the guy’s chain had come off his bikeā€”lame, right? (Here’s a time you want your bike mechanically sound if there ever was.) In order to get out of the truck’s way, bike dude steps up to the sidewalk just as the truck begins to blow his horn, exactly: get out of the way.

Mere seconds later I am about to pass the stalled commuter, I loudly ask him if he’s alright and if he needs any help. No reply. I’m no more than three feet away from him and he doesn’t respond. It was as though he didn’t hear me. In fact, it’s likely that he didn’t due to the headphones in his ears. I’m wondering if he even heard the truck’s horn behind him moments ago. He probably did, but I’d be willing to bet he didn’t know the truck was as close to killing him as he thinks. I’d bet he wasn’t aware at all of the truck’s presence at all.

And the point of this post is this: if you’re going to ride your bike among traffic and survive, you have got to be aware of your surroundings. I don’t care how low you’ve got the music or whatever playing, you’re not as aware as someone without headphones. In fact, having headphones on at all makes you look totally oblivious to what’s happening around you. It’s probably one of the more stupid things you can do on your bike. If you’re riding amongst traffic, or the potential for there to be traffic, and you’ve got headphones on, I just called you stupid.

Is the music so important? Be aware of the music and the sounds of your environment, and enjoy that for a change! Be smart for a change!

5 Comments so far
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Wow! There are cyclists and there are people who just ride bikes.

Comment by Rob Grissom 04.23.10 @ 6:49 am

So do “cyclists” have to wear lycra?

Comment by tim 04.24.10 @ 10:46 pm

Not sure about the staunch need for semantics on this one, just feel free to substitute cyclist for whatever term you’d like to use to describe a person riding a bike.

Comment by presta 04.26.10 @ 2:26 pm

but riding with headphones is sooo much fun. but its fun like cigarettes are fun.

Comment by mark 04.25.10 @ 3:56 pm

but riding with headphones is sooo much fun. but its fun like cigarettes are fun.

Comment by Bruce 05.19.10 @ 11:01 am

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