"The heart of the matter, surely, is this: just how dangerous is it to listen to music while you ride? The idea is very appealing. But I don't do it because, instinctively, I feel I need all my senses to be safe. You're always listening for the car behind, even if you're barely conscious of doing so. And often it's precisely because you're listening out that you look behind, and then reassure yourself that the driver has seen you." - Matt Seaton, "Listen to traffic, not your iPod", Guardian, Feb 15 2006.
"My journey to work begins on a long, straight, broad road, and I'm always in a rush, so I hop on to my bike and then - when I'm already under way - need to fiddle around finding my dark glasses or putting on gloves or getting my iPod sorted (and that's a whole other sin, but let's not get started on that one). So I ride the first quarter-mile hands-free. It's probably not very sensible. Conceivably, even, I could get pulled over for riding without due care and attention. But I do it all the same. Because I can, and because I get a kick out of it." - Matt Seaton, "Two Wheels" column on "cycling's illicit pleasures", Guardian, April 12 2007.
At this point, I'm going to stop feeling guilty about cycling with headphones on. At least I do it with both hands on the handlebar.