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Thread: Do you listen to audio books while riding?

  1. #1
    USERNAME
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    Do you listen to audio books while riding?

    i'm considering adding audio to my bike so that on long trips i can listen to someone besides myself. one thing i've thought about is that you can get audiobooks to listen to.

    do any of do this? i've listened to two books on tape in my life while in a car. it was interesting. what im wondering is if you have done this on the bike, did it mess up your concentration? i wonder if my brain can process riding awareness and book content simultaneously for hours at a time. in a car i feel ok zoning out occasionally, but on the bike i'd like to minimize that. so if you've tried audiobooks, i'd like to hear about it.

  2. #2
    rocketman
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    My immediate response would be "not a good idea" and yes I would think it very distracting. but I would have to temper that statement with the fact that I find anything other than the machine, the road, the wind and sky a detraction to riding. Lots of folks like music, but after a few rides with some tunes I decided it was not for me, the *ride* is all.

    RM

  3. #3
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    Audio tape stories

    I love them. I drive for a living and find them great. I'm not much for music and find these great for passing the time. I have never tried them on the bike though. I have a cassette/radio setup and can't imagine a cassette spitting out the tape going down the highway. I would suggest spending more time trying them in your car before you do the bike thing.

  4. #4
    Loose Cannon flash412's Avatar
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    In Keith Code's book A Twist of the Wrist, he talks about the $10 bill worth of traction you have and how to spend it. You also have a $10 bill worth of attention. Listening to music is a background task that takes maybe $1. When you "read" a book, even an audio book, you have to PAY attention or you miss what you're reading and have to re-read it. Haven't you ever done that with a paper book when someone comes in the room and talks to you, flipping back a page?

    When you are PAYING attention to the book, you are NOT paying as much attention to the road surface, the road topology, the traffic ahead of you, the traffic beside you, possible threats, weather, police presence or a myirad of other things that can affect your ability to survive long enough to arrive at your destination.

    I can't imagine the hassle of digging in the tank bag to rewind the tape or go back on the CD because your "reading" was interrupted by the fact that you HAD to pay attention to the RIDE because some bonehead just tried to merge into you. You probably would have seen that coming if you hadn't been "reading." To me, listening to an audio book while riding a motorcycle is every bit as reckless as watching a DVD while driving.

    I don't even listen to music when I ride. I FOCUS on the ride.

    It's your ass. You make your own choice.

  5. #5
    El Dookey loves to ride. 99007's Avatar
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    no way - books on cd are a cop out. i always read when i ride. (didn't you notice the book mount on the snow queen?) no short cuts for me.
    Don't winterize; Rounderize!
    www.yearroundriders.com

  6. #6
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    Audio Books While Riding

    Don't do it. They require a level attention that will be distracting on a motorcycle. I commute a fair distance every day. I listen to audio books when
    I can ride along in the slower lanes...and even then I have to force myself to
    pay greater attention to the road. Music is OK...it's all background stuff.
    Audio books on a bike will scare you...if not worse.
    Tyeeman

  7. #7
    USERNAME
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    good feedback.

    cliffy - so you read the actual book? i was considering developing a device that would scan the book in my tank bag and scroll the text along on the HUD on my visor. that way i wouldnt have to look down and i'd feel safer.

    do you laminate the pages of the books? i hear you ride in some adverse conditions...

  8. #8
    Brrr YB in IN's Avatar
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    I'm looking forward to getting my XM unit installed on my bike. I noticed that when I traveled across the cornfields going to and from Colorado last summer it was pretty hard to focus on just riding in a straight line on I70 and I80 after two hours straight of the same scenery. Basically I just got really bored, and think that if I had some tunes to listen to it would help me from totally tuning out, and help keep my brain active. I see that their are some different opinions obviously, but I'm just speaking for me.

  9. #9
    leave my monkey alone LORAZEPAM's Avatar
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    I have tried audio books ( I drive 1000-1500 mi weekly) and found that when I focus on my driving and traffic around me, I may as well not have the book in at all. It takes way too much concentration for me to keep up with the books. they are great for passengers though.
    Gale Smith
    2009 Versys
    1999 R1100RT

  10. #10
    67-year-old Teenager indygt's Avatar
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    Ditto

    [QUOTE=flash412]In Keith Code's book A Twist of the Wrist, he talks about the $10 bill worth of traction you have and how to spend it. You also have a $10 bill worth of attention. Listening to music is a background task that takes maybe $1. When you "read" a book, even an audio book, you have to PAY attention or you miss what you're reading and have to re-read it. Haven't you ever done that with a paper book when someone comes in the room and talks to you, flipping back a page?

    When you are PAYING attention to the book, you are NOT paying as much attention to the road surface, the road topology, the traffic ahead of you, the traffic beside you, possible threats, weather, police presence or a myirad of other things that can affect your ability to survive long enough to arrive at your destination.

    I can't imagine the hassle of digging in the tank bag to rewind the tape or go back on the CD because your "reading" was interrupted by the fact that you HAD to pay attention to the RIDE because some bonehead just tried to merge into you. You probably would have seen that coming if you hadn't been "reading." To me, listening to an audio book while riding a motorcycle is every bit as reckless as watching a DVD while driving.
    QUOTE]

    I generally agree. I listen to music, but avoid anything that requires more attention.

  11. #11
    Tells it like it is......
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    Talking

    Even though my '03 RT is wired for a radio, it'll never see one installed.

    I don't have speakers in my helmet. And I definitely don't want an intercom system either. I don't need a CD player, or an MP3, or an X-Box wired into a tankbag. GPS? Naw.....I don't think so. I'll use a map if needed.

    Maybe it's just me, but when I ride......I want to do just that! I never get so bored, that I have to be entertained, by anything else, other than the scenery, as I pass by it.

  12. #12
    Registered User mistercindy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocketman
    My immediate response would be "not a good idea" and yes I would think it very distracting. but I would have to temper that statement with the fact that I find anything other than the machine, the road, the wind and sky a detraction to riding. Lots of folks like music, but after a few rides with some tunes I decided it was not for me, the *ride* is all.
    Well put.



    Quote Originally Posted by Cliffy777
    no way - books on cd are a cop out. i always read when i ride. (didn't you notice the book mount on the snow queen?) no short cuts for me.
    LMAO!
    Grant
    '05 R1200GS
    Former owner of an '03 R1150R
    BMWMOA #113847

  13. #13
    SweetT
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    I have a sirius sat radio on my bike and I learned fast not to listen to NPR or anything else that requires me to pay attention while riding. Music somehow doesn't require the same degree of attention. Especially if its songs you already know all the words too. However I did install a volume knob within easy reach so I can shut off the sound when I need to.

  14. #14
    Go Leafs Go CANADIANSTEVE's Avatar
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    audio books

    Please do not even consider " zoning out occasionally " while riding the motorcycle ! Bad enough in the car ... as a rider, I worry about inattention by fellow motorists ! But that's just me.
    Steve
    steve now in CT
    moved from Toronto
    92 R100RS

  15. #15
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    I listen to audio books all the time on long trips. The drone of super highways is ameloriated by the attention to the book. I used to read before the traffic became so congested that attention was necessary. A multi-functioning brain is more attentive to all tasks rather than the other way around.
    Jim

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