Headphones Whilst Cycling?

On the news this morning was an item about the possibility of banning headphones whilst riding a pushbike.  There were arguments put forth from both sides but I have to say that I’m firmly on the side of the ban.  Surely cyclists have enough to contend with on the roads already without the further distraction of noise or music blasting forth from headphones as well?  I am a cyclist myself although I would still class myself in the novice realm but I seriously cannot see how you can wear headphones whilst cycling and be safe enough.  I say “safe enough” as, in my limited experience, there are some people who shouldn’t be allowed anywhere nearly a cycle, let alone wear headphones whilst riding said vehicle.

One person interviewed this morning said something along the lines of only wearing headphones so he could hear when his phone rang.  Jeez – can’t you go for a cycle ride and be out of touch for that long?  If the phone rings while you’re cycling, it’s either tough shit or you stop, pull over and answer if you can’t bear to ignore it (I’m sure there’ll be another blog along about that subject in the not too distant future).

Someone else said that the music relieved the boredom of the cycle ride.  What?  Are you kidding me?  How about enjoying the scenery, people watching, concentrating on where you’re going, what other idiot road users are doing and keeping yourself out of trouble as much as possible whilst pedalling?  Or are you in too much of a hurry to get where you’re going to appreciate some of the simple pleasures of riding a bike?

I have seen numerous cyclists on my trips to work, pedalling along and texting at the same time (yes, really) and watching them weave to the right and left with me wondering whether they’ll bother to look up at all and realise there are people coming towards them or whether they’ll stay in their own little (nobody in the world matters but me) bubble and I’ll be the one to have to swerve out of *their* way because they’re too stupid to realise how much of a potential risk they are to others.

In short, I’m very tired of having legislation being brought in for the simple reason that most people have no common sense and this is just another prime example.

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