Keep Your Ears Clear When Riding 

Bike New York events require riders to follow a few simple rules for safety, including not wearing headphones or using a cell phone. This is a good idea when you're riding on your own as well. Here, BNY's Bicycle Education Program explains why.

Would you ever consider riding your bike blindfolded? No way! You'd miss out on the vital information you need to see while cycling, like streetlights, stop signs, and car doors opening in your path. Lots of bicyclists put themselves in danger by similarly limiting their senses, though, by cycling while wearing headphones or chatting on a cell phone. Seem harmless to you? Well, consider what those cyclists are missing out on, and you’ll get the message loud: Keep Your Ears Clear!

Critical sounds you won't hear while bopping to your favorite playlist:

  • Cars and trucks--particularly, speeding cars and trucks--approaching you from behind.
  • Vehicles approaching an intersection with a blind spot, like cars parked on the corners.
  • Trucks and construction vehicles driving in reverse into your path of travel.
  • The rev of a car engine as it prepares to leave a nearby parking space.
  • The click of a car door about to open into your path of travel.
  • The sounds of a bus pulling into a stop behind you or pulling out ahead of you.
  • Emergency vehicles approaching you from behind or crossing against a streetlight ahead of you.
  • Fellow cyclists ringing a bell or calling out "passing on your left."
  • Park users calling for loose dogs or children as they enter your path.
  • Birdsong, chirping crickets, and friends calling out your name.
  • The "ooohs" and "aaahs" from on-lookers as they admire your bike skills!
So, leave the pulsing beats for your gym workout and your phone calls for when you can fully focus, and cycle to the heart-pounding rhythm of the city. It just might save your life (and your eardrums)!