Research shows that tuning in to your favorite jams can make you ride happier, harder, and faster. Music is scientifically proven to reduce perceived exertion, boost your energy levels, and increase your endurance by as much as 15 percent.
If, however, you have "Don’t Stop Believing" blaring so high that you cannot hear cars approaching behind you, another rider trying to pass you, or a barking dog coming straight for you, it can wreck your ride—and someone else’s—in a second.
Here are 3 rules to have your tunes and stay safe.
1) Use one earbud. Unless you’re on your trainer, pull the left bud (which faces traffic) out of your ear and ride with just the right one in so you can hear cars, other riders, and your general surroundings. You do not want to be taken by surprise by canines, deer, or vehicles, which can happen in even remote settings.
2) Follow the 60/60 rule. Blaring music, even in just one ear, can be distracting and even damaging to your hearing. If passersby can hear Lil Jon screeching from your ears, it is too loud. Most headphones’ max volume is around 105 decibels. Normal talking is between 40 and 60 decibels. Ear health experts recommend keeping the volume on your player to 60 percent of max—the level of someone talking loudly—and limit it to about 60 minutes a day.
3) Pluck those buds on social rides. Social rides by definition are rides where you are there to enjoy the company of others. Wearing earbuds—even one—is a bit antisocial in these circumstances. Leave them at home and enjoy the sights, sounds, and conversations of the ride.