Should NAUCC/UNICON ban headphones and audio players?

Track and Field, the national governing body for running, has banned headphones and audio players at all their events this year primarily to ensure safety, but also to prevent runners from gaining an edge. According to today’s NYTimes, “many runners say that music has the power to push them through the loneliest and most grueling parts of a race.”

Here they claim it’s basically an insurance issue.

Personally, I find having the theme to Rocky blasting on repeat while I ride is better than steroids. Is it anyone else’s business if I can’t hear cars honking at me, bike riders yelling at me to ride straight or to use both feet, and all those other distractions. Since we’re unicyclists, we don’t need insurance, right? :smiley:

Anyway, since NAUCC and UNICON seem to be largely modeled on Track and Field, I wonder if there’s been any discussion of this issue.


if its banned for the “competitive edge” thats stupid, because these things are so easily attained now-a-days, that anyone can get them to get that “edge”. i think it should not be banned and the athletes choice.

This should be in Just Conversation.

Yes, these devices should be banned along with all drugs, firearms, and “improper” sexual orientation. Liberty is over-rated.

You should have stayed a monitor, so you could move it there.

I am not, nor have I ever been, a giant lizard.

I think iPods should be allowed, but only the pink ones and only if they have a Hello Kitty sticker on them. They also need to have the entire album for High School Musical hard coded in a ROM and it has to play at start up every time the iPod is turned on with no way to skip past it. These special iPods would be sold by Nike especially for athletes.

Interesting discussion though in that thread. Seems the change is being pushed by the insurer. There is a possibility for trickle-down. Professional cyclists get to wear an earpiece for a radio that communicates with the team director. It’s only in one ear though and doesn’t play music.

the more my eyesight is going down the more I use my ears.
I thus can spot the mad MTBiker coming at a crossroad, the car behind me … and the birds that whistle comments on my riding… :stuck_out_tongue:
When listening to music I can’t do something else …

(BTW wasn’t the fatal accident in England last year due to the fact that the poor unicyclist didn’t hear a tractor coming?)

You mean FORCED by the insurer.

But this cannot trickle down onto us!

Unicyclists are not sheep!

Of course not. They’re clowns.

I don’t know. I think that this is the right place to post it because it does involve unicycling and could be an important issue in the future…and I never have time to go to Just Conversation and I would be bumbed if I didn’t read this one!

Would you be bummed if they were banned?

I don’t think it would make much difference for the 100 m, etc.

But for the 10K, which is always at NAUCC, or for other really long races which typically have not been incorporated into NAUCC yet, people like headphones. Thye tried to ban them at this year’s NYC Marathon, but I think in the end runner’s objections won out.

I don’t know about the safety issue. I have an iPod and I’ve used it a few times on unicycle rides. More often, I use it in my truck at work.

I can still hear traffic, I can still hear the engine of the truck, (thus still able to shift at the right rpms). I can still hear my cell phone if it rings. I can still hear a voice if a person near me says something to me.

I’m not listening at super low volume either.

I don’t feel that wearing the phones makes me less able to sense danger on a ride.

But I can think of another reason to ban them, they run against the communal nature of racing. Billy mentioned the 10K and a thought occurred to me: there is a sort of social environment happening during a race, even if racers say nothing to one another. Wearing headphones would have the tendency to isolate racers from one another…might as well be riding solo on some deserted path. I expect few people to care about this aspect (or even agree that it exists), but that’s my take.

If music were banned in these comps, then Joe Hodges would be screwed. He suffers enough on normal rides without his precious mp3. :roll_eyes:

What, you mean Joe Hodges the 10k racing champion?

Good point. Then again sans music on a deserted path you can still hear the birds, breeze, and crunch of the tire. With an ipod you might as well be riding in a vacuum. Oh, I guess in a vacuum you wouldn’t be able to enjoy the ipod either. But breathing would be more a problem than music. :slight_smile:

I don’t have any decent way of carrying an ipod without it flopping about. I find this a disadvantage to ridding.

I re-read my comment and realize I worded it wrong. I don’t mean to say that I favor banning mp3 players, only that I think they detract from the experience, particularly on group rides, (including races). I guess my official position would be something along the lines of “to each his own”.

If I am passed by a rider who is clearly getting an adrenaline boost from his earbuds I would get an adrenaline boost because I had just been passed.

@thejdw: yes I agree, the mechanical aspects of keeping the player or the wires from distracting me is another reason to dislike using it on rides.

@Unibugg: yes the crunch of the tire, one of my favorite sounds! (btw what on earth is that in your avatar?)

This is how I read it the first time.

My avatar is a drawing done by the late Edward Gorey. It’s titled “Insect on a Unicycle” 1975. As it appears to be a wingless insect, I guess the species is up to your imagination. An ant? Termite? Walking stick? I like to think it is a walking stick who’s found a better mode of transportation than six legs. :slight_smile:


@thejdw: yes I agree, the mechanical aspects of keeping the player or the wires from distracting me is another reason to dislike using it on rides.

Well, mp3 player in my right pocket, headphone wire goes under my shirt, out the top of the shirt, then into my ears. Never get tangled, no floppiness of the mp3 player, and Ive been doing this for years now, even before mp3 players were out. Sucked when cd players didnt have esp.