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Zzzzzombie like tendencies?

July 11, 2012

Triggered by an article I read recently in ‘Australia’s most widely-read bike magazine’ Ride On, about cycling with earphones… I just had to comment!
Ride On states that they find that “ear-bud earphones set at a reasonable volume still allow riders to clearly hear the warning sounds of other riders.”
I just had to comment. What a ridiculous article! As one comment put: “Safety when riding is paramount and the only person who loses in bike/car accidents is the cyclist. Music covers up sound and distracts…” I agree.
Sorry but I am a cyclist and did previously use earphones daily… since Feb this year I have not and will not wear them while cycling.
Ride On’s claim that when using earphones you can still hear other sounds is a probable fact, but in doing this they are foolishly promoting the activity of earphone use while cycling.


I purport that the act of journeying is or should be an interactive activity. The addition of audio-entertainment to such activity is dangerous or at least restrictive. Whether in a car, on a bike or by foot the use of earphones inhibits the potential for interaction with the world. Yes, indeed, this could lead to potential incident with other road users but more importantly it leads to an insular, individualistic culture and the AA’s zombie like tendencies. It leads to an “us and them” attitude and not “humanity”…
The AA has has urged cyclists and pedestrians – and drivers – to pay attention to the road  [the journey] rather than be distracted by music. Edmund King, president of the AA, also commented on the Injury Prevention study, saying:
“We can’t stop the march of technology but we need to halt the iPod pedestrian, cycle and driver zombies.  Whether on two feet, two wheels or four, too many people are suffering from iPod oblivion.
“When on the move our brains have much to take in and using technological gadgets means that our brains can’t always concentrate on so many things at once This is when we walk into traffic; don’t hear the truck or drive cocooned from the outside world.
“The US research suggests that this problem may be growing so we all need to use common sense to ensure that technological cocooning doesn’t endanger our lives or the lives of others.

I have commented before about our attitude as road-users and indeed a general social attitude. Unless I’m mistaken, an ignorance is a key trait here. Ignorance is bliss?
Considering our use of cultural opiates (in the sense of anything that causes dullness or inaction or that soothes the feelings). We all imbibe stuff that will colour our perception, some more than others.  The radio, a podcast, music, TV, food, art, knowledge, and other stimulants/sedatives (as well as coffee and cheese) can all be stimulating and creative, however they can also act as a distracting eclipse and induce ignorance.


When journeying with or past others, i think it’s best to aim for an open mind and a considerate perception.
We all too readily ignore that which is beyond our perception or conception. We all enjoy a moment of bliss? But not while we are journeying with and past others!
Music can be a distracting eclipse and induce ignorance. The ignorant might excuse themselves with the notion of innocence?
Ignorant? innocent? bliss? contentment? enchantment? joy? beatitude? well-being…
Heaven help us all!?

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One Comment
  1. The way I see it permalink
    July 15, 2012 12:07 am

    Hear hear, I will share this on the http://facebook.com/drive2workday page as this is exactly my take on this stupid idea. Why can’t we enjoy the journey, socialise, and ride? 🙂

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