As one of our five major senses as humans, and one of our strongest connections to what is going on in the world around us, our sense of hearing is incredibly powerful.
Riding bikes and listening to music can both escapes to another world, each in their own way. We all know that the selection of and presence of music can make a video edit that much better, and at the same time the absence of music and only the sounds of nature and a bike with its rider connecting with the earth can create a totally different and equally strong sensory experience and feel.
For some, music can provide motivation to ride harder and finish a workout, get stoked, or just further achieve the next level of zen while listening to Phish's 1998 Maryland Heights rendition of Bathub Gin. For others, listening to a mix of Disturbed and Slayer fosters the right head space to get pumped up and smash down the mountain before skidding to a stop and high fiving the homies at the bottom, and we all know that it's a common sight to see racers warming up with headphones on before a race run.
As the sport of mountain biking continues to grow, there are more people riding for different reasons than ever before. Personally, I enjoy hearing the outside world and tuning in with the woods and nature around me or chatting with my friends and whoever else I may encounter on the trail...not to mention hearing how the bike sounds, for better or worse. For others, a ride may simply be a workout and the tunes add that extra element of escape or help drown out a rough day at the office.
Is there a time and place for music in nature and while on the bike, or does it further damage the already fragile connection we have with the earth, take away from our other senses and alienate us from those around us? Yes, it's certainly situational at times, but when it comes to music on the bike, how do you generally feel?