The other day I was passing another commuter on my way in to work. A younger guy, nice bike, not slow, but kind of wobbling a little. It's my experience that when you pass a cyclist, you say, "on your left" or "on your right," not too loud, just to be courteous. Well, I said, "on your left" as I was beginning to pass, and the cyclist didn't respond. Hmph, I thought. Then I looked and noticed he had earbuds in place. I think this is dangerous, particularly if you use the isolation kind of earbud. (I also wonder if having his ears stopped up contributed to his wobbling.)
Well, there are new earphones on the block that use bone conduction to transfer the sound, and don't obstruct the ear canal, thus allowing sensing of ambient sound. Finally a system for safe cyclists! These are called "Zelco outis" (I guess they pronounce "outi" as "outie", like a belly button.) You can read a little more about them on Gizmodo.
It would be great to pick up Morning Edition as I bike in to work. Or All Things Considered as I go home. I think I'm going to have to get a pair of these.
It looks like these list for a little over a hundred dollars, but they're being heavily discounted. I'd love to hear from someone who has used them, and will gladly post on this blog any reviews from cyclists. So let me hear.