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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ban headphones while biking?

Makes a fair amount of sense. But of course, it will be shouted down. How dare anyone challenge the hipster death wish.

Actually, for now, we'd settle for seeing bikers punished for holding cell phones up to their heads while cycling. If motorists can't handle it, neither can they.

Comments (24)

I'll support banning headphones on bicyclists, when car drivers are required to wear helmets. :)

So what about the drivers I see every day with their cell phones glued to their ears? Oh, they must be "driving for work."

But really, the inherent risk I take saddling up keeps me much more alert than the makeup-applying, cell phone-chatting, radio-blasting drivers I see out there not paying attention all the time.

I just don't understand why we don't crack down on distractions for all modes of transportation but instead target people listening to audiobooks while they commute to work on a bike.

I like the philosophical exercise of these comparisons. An awful lot of joggers wear ipods, for example. And they're not even going anywhere! They're literally just running around out there!

Headphones are already banned for driving, I believe, but since most cars have radios, it's not big deal. No phones, cellular or head, for anyone, is safe.

Headphones are already banned for driving, I believe.

Not in Oregon.

Biking while smoking, biking while drinking lattes, biking down the sidewalk at high speeds nearly running over pedestrians stepping out of shops, biking while listening to headphones and not hearing the streetcar about to slice you in two...

I'm really tired of this 'bikes are from god and are sacred' attitude. People just need to stop leaving their brains behind when they go out and about, regardless of how they do it.

As a motorist, a cyclist, and a motorcyclist, I see lots of people using all of these modes of transportation stupidly.

Every bicyclist with headphones should also be required to wear a blindfold, too. Nitwits.

'bikes are from god and are sacred'


Now you must determine how you will worship them.

Bicyclists, are from God, too - but everyone make mistakes. I believe headphones should be mandatory...

...along with licenses and insurance.

Safety is NOT a spectator sport.

When you expect others to act safely, while you disregard your own safety (no matter how significant or not your actions are), you only put your own safety at risk - and you have no business or right to blame others or insist others deal with your own stupidity.

Instead of asking "what are our rights", why aren't we asking "what are our responsibilities"? And isn't it strange that most of what I'm hearing from regular "bicyclists" (I'm one) is a lot of anger about "rights", but I hear so very little in the world about "responsibilities".

In other words, it doesn't take a suite of laws and angry debate to know, intuitively, that disabling your sense of hearing while navigating a road is a very, very bad idea. You need all your wits and senses, regardless of how you're getting around.

Bicyclists, try phrasing this in a different way: should mothers pushing strollers across wide intersections be wearing headphones? If your answer is "they have a right to do so", you're missing the point.

I'm really tired of this "I'm really tired of this 'bikes are from god and are sacred' attitude" attitude. Stop making stuff up. Certainly nobody I know or encounter in Portland has such a silly thought. You must be projecting.

Everyone here itching to exercise control over how others conduct themselves: have a look in the mirror.

Couple years ago at, I think it was Clinton and 26th (intersection with the movie house)
I beeped my horn at a hipster biker woman.

She was on her cell phone with baby in a cart behind her while she blew through the stop sign at that four way stop. I beeped my horn, she turned around and called me a fecker for harassing bicyclists.

If I were out enjoying a bike ride and someone beeped at me from behind, my first thought would be "Did I do something wrong, dangerous, or inconsiderate?" If yes, "oops, sorry". If no, I might feel harrassed as well and get a little hot under the collar. I would, however, avoid provoking a road rage incident with a total stranger in a motor vehicle.

I'm pretty much with Mr. Grumpy on this — if you're on a bike and the other person is in a car, you're outmatched. A wave and a SEG make the best response. But after being menaced a couple of times while biking (say, your minding your own business, riding on the right edge, and someone comes along from behind, leans on the horn, startling you and forcing you off the pavement) it's necessary to suppress a hostile response.

Everyone here itching to exercise control over how others conduct themselves: have a look in the mirror.

You first. I'll go next.

Certainly nobody I know or encounter in Portland has such a silly thought. You must be projecting.

Pauline Kael would be so proud - she's been one-upped:

"I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon. Where they are I don't know. They're outside my ken. But sometimes when I'm in a theater I can feel them."

The thing that the biker fanatics fail to realize is that there are a lot of morons on bikes. And people in cars get sick of having to deal with their illegal and stupid behavior. Last week on my way to work (I go in early so it's dark out still), bicyclist runs the 4 way stop (and it was my turn to go), no helmet, yapping on his cell phone. Now would it really be so wrong to honk at the idiot or flip him off? I didn't bother since the local constabulary tend to frequent that area at that hour. And I've never seen Beaverton ticket a bike, just cars.

Maybe the bike evangelists could more spend time teaching their tribe to follow the law and common sense and less time preaching at the rest of us.

The sad fact isn't whether this is a serious situation. It's that the situation is common enough that someone felt that bringing up legislation was necessary. I don't necessarily agree with it, either, but I suspect that the proposal is due to the number of pweshious snowflakes who blast through lights while wearing headphones and promptly demonstrate that natural selection applies to all. That in itself isn't the problem, but their helicopter parents and family threatening massive lawsuits because the rest of the universe didn't drop everything to watch out for them and just them is. And this is why we can't have nice things.

I like bikes. And I like cars and trucks.

Unfortunately, the world is full of idiots.

I've experienced both: riding along, minding my own business, next to the curb, when a couple of jerks pull up next to me and the passenger leans out the window and shoves me in the back! Totally out of the blue.

But then, there was the young lady in the SUV at Bridgeport a couple of months back, performing the nearly impossible feat of holding a cigarette and a cell phone in her left hand and a Starbuck's cup in her right. Missed my car by a hair, perhaps was trying to steer with her knees.

Some are malicious, others are just idiots.

I don't think there's a cure for either.

I never cycle with headphones while sharing a road with cars. Your ears are usually alerted to the sound of the gas combustion engine long before your eyes. But I think, if they're legislating to make cycling safer, they also need to consider banning those fancy new electric and hybrid cars. Even with naked ears, sometimes you can't hear those non- polluters approaching. Repealing that stupid ban on using noisy studded tires year round would be a good idea as well. You can hear those suckers from half a mile away. Safety first!

Thanks to cc for connecting the voted-for-Nixon dot with the loony-statement-about-bicycles dot. I would never have drawn the line, but there it is.

I agree with Drewbob that using headphones while cycling is dumb and dangerous, at least for the non-deaf. But as far as I know hearing is not a legal requirement for cycling or even for driving. (Come to think of it, in the absence of licensing requirements, I guess you don't have to be able to see, either, to bicycle legally.) So it appears that the issue for cyclists using audio equipment is distraction. In that context, it seems as if distracted driving is much more prevalent and dangerous than distracted cycling, and therefore worthier of legislative attention.

In that context, it seems as if distracted driving is much more prevalent and dangerous than distracted cycling, and therefore worthier of legislative attention.

By what measure do you come up with this nugget?

It seems to me that the proportion of distracted (and wilfully, heedlessly law-breaking) cyclists to that of their armored counterparts is higher - much higher.

Add to that the societal cost of caring for the self-inflicted and collateral wounds resulting from these uninsured gladiators and one wonders why we require helmets, life jackets, permits, etc. for others who engage in inherently dangerous behavior.

Licensing and insuring bikes/bicyclists would be only fair. Even-handed enforcement of traffics laws likewise.

Then they would be free to be as idiotic as they like - as far as I'm concerned.

You go, Allan.

Thanks, cc. I actually agree with you about licensing and insurance for cyclists. It would take a lot of the noise out of the conversations. As for the statement about distracted driving, it's just an opinion based on personal observation, reporting I've seen and common sense. I haven't heard much about motorist or other third party injuries or deaths or even property damage occasioned by reckless cycling, or ruinous social costs from self-inflicted harm, so I guess I don't see what all the fuss is about.

I think the point that everyone is missing is that there are more pressing issues that need to be addressed sooner...seriously! In Salem, of all the issues that Oregon is going through we start with bikes? It's called "looking for easy tasks"

Portland police kills one person every two minutes...the schools are always closed...leave that aside and let's check if bike riders are wearing matching socks. More importantly, let's make sure that all their spokes are the same length because that puts the public in danger....

Get real!

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