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Reply To: Music while you cycle

KenH, February 19, 2016 at 8:28 am

I play bass guitar in a church band and sing in the choir. I love music. I love hearing music at RAGBRAI. But it does absolutely nothing for me when I am actually riding. I’ve tried to use it while riding rollers in the basement over the winter and it does nothing to either relieve the boredom or motivate me. So I watch videos instead which at least does the former even if, as I recently discovered, it is amazingly hard to stay on the rollers while watching a motorcycle chase scene shot from the point of view of the driver! If there is music that would have the right tempo to increase my cadence or otherwise motivate me I have yet to find it either in my personal collection or during RAGBRAI. I would find the rolling sound systems at RAGBRAI extremely annoying if they were much more prevalent than they are. But for the time being I would say don’t worry about it, there are not enough of you to spoil the ride for the rest of us. And maybe that will always be true. It seems like a whole lot of riders are on carbon fiber bikes with tiny or no bags for tools, tubes, and other necessities, and a few hundred yards past places where people are handing you free water bottles the ground will be littered with them by weight weenies who cast them off for fear of spoiling their average speed for the day. Can’t imagine any of them deciding to haul along a boom box!!

I’ve ridden all or part of four RAGBRAI’s now and there has been only one time when I was seriously annoyed by a bike sound system. It was last year as we were leaving Eldora (best as I can recall) and there was a bit of a traffic jam with police officers acting as stoplights at several intersections on the way out of town. We made several stops of a minute or three before we got out on the open road. At the first stop the guy right in front of me turns on his sound system at an ear splitting volume. None of us said anything, too polite I guess, but from the looks of those around me no one but him thought that was an appropriate thing to do at that time and place. So be aware of your surroundings and either leave it off in town and traffic bottlenecks or dial the volume back to a reasonable level. Those of us who prefer to hear only the natural sounds of the ride will say so on the survey but as long as you realize that not all volume levels are appropriate in all situations and adjust accordingly we will all coexist peacefully.

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