Pull the dicks out of your ear

March 20, 2015 § 42 Comments

No one ever asks me to review their cycling-related product or service. Perhaps it’s because of my disclaimer, which essentially guarantees that I will not say anything good, and that you’ll have to pay me for the bad review to boot. Or perhaps it’s because prior to requesting a review, the requester, who’s looking for a little “free publicity” clicks on my blog’s Bullshit Products link and comes up with a review like this, and concludes that his advertising dollar will more effectively be spent somewhere else.

Recently, however, a guy named Divad Zerep (not his real name) posted a link to one of his company’s products on my Facegag feed without bothering to sign up for the $2.99 monthly subscription and libel avoidance policy. He was touting the Samsung Gear Circle, which sounds like one of those mysterious bike parts that fits between the rear dropout, the pulley-wheel, and the turkey bushing.

However, it’s not an add-in to your electronic drive train. The Samsung Gear Circle is a plastic loop that fits around your neck so that you can listen to music when you jog, ride your bike, or have sex. True cyclists will not be interested in two out of those three applications.

The cool promo video shows cyclists listening to music as they sprint around the Carson velodrome, do bike tricks on the Golden Gate bridge, and look hot in their Lululemon stretch pants. Then, just before they get hit by a truck, they drop the volume with Samsung’s patented Sticky Finger Swipe Technology, so they can quickly hear the sound of onrushing tires and scoot out of the way.

After that, it’s more “all tunes, all the time.”

Once the promo video finishes, it segues into a 22-minute product analysis by a guy with tattooed fingers who dissects every aspect of the Gear Circle, with the possible exception of the jerk. He starts with the box and helpfully reads the label on the package because he knows that his target market cannot.

The last time anyone read anything to me it was because I was two years old, so I declined to waste any more time listening to a stranger review a product that I would never use, and more importantly, that my three regular readers would never use because they are a retired plumber in Texas who is still riding a steel bike that he bought in 1972, an ex-pro who makes wine and rides the same steel bike he raced on in Belgium in the 80’s, and an Englishman who lives the British motto of “God, Queen, Country, and Horribly Frugal.”

For years I have wondered about people who listen to music while riding their bicycles. Have they not noticed that they share the road with things called “cars” and often with things called “trucks”? Have they not noticed that these things are large, fast, and deadly? Have they not noticed that often the only clue as to the proximity of cars and trucks is something called “sound,” and that the sound of the oncoming truck cannot be heard when you have the equivalent of twelve screaming dicks stuck in your ear?

I’ve wondered other things about idiots who listen to music while they ride. For example, haven’t they noticed that when other people pass them, or they pass other people, they can’t hear anything? And that when someone says “Hello” and you don’t respond because you have twelve screaming dicks in your ear, they think you’re a Delta Bravo?

Nope, people who listen to music using the Samsung Circle Jerk and similar devices don’t ever consider these things. They just turn it up and keep on pedaling.

Now I know what you’re thinking. “Hey, Wanky, that’s unfair. I listen to music to relax on along rides.” Or, “Hey, Wanky, I listen to music to get me in the mood for my killer workout.” Or, “Hey, Wanky, the next time I see you I’m going to pound your face into raspberry pancake batter.”

Music may help your workout, but if you need twelve screaming dicks to eke out those last five watts, and those five watts are going to make the difference in The Most Important Masters Bike Race Ever, then you’ve got a big problem because on race day your training crutch won’t be allowed.

What’s weirder is the people who have to listen to music when they simply ride. This is weird and sad because they obviously don’t find enough in the act of riding the bike to occupy their brains. In other words, riding is boring. Can you imagine any fate worse than spending $10k on a bike and twelve matching sets of slick stretch underwear to do something that’s so boring the only way you can endure it is with twelve screaming dicks?

Worse, it’s evidence that the main therapeutic effect of cycling, which is to let your mind freely associate and drift away from the quotidien, doesn’t work for cycling music listeners. In other words, the unassisted noise in their head is so awful that the only way they can deal with it is by drowning it out with twelve screaming dicks stuffed into their ears.

This is the saddest thought of all, because the bicycle is the ultimate psychotherapist if you let it do its job. Screaming dicks not required.



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§ 42 Responses to Pull the dicks out of your ear

  • Greg says:

    Samsung TSD is more catchy than “Gear Circle” which sounds like some kind of sex toy.

  • sorta_TX_racer says:

    I read this with Led Zeppelin dicks in my ears

  • Michelle Landes says:

    A man aka) wanky told me not to wear earbuds during my triathAlons lonely riding days! I’ve been having great conversations ever since:))

  • Dean Patterson says:

    For the record, it was made in ’87, “It” is a Pogiliagi, http://www.classicrendezvous.com/Italy/Pogliaghi/Pogliaghi_main.htm and has all Mavic components (which are now old and don’t work so good). It’s a 7 speed, which means I can use all those old 7 spd clusters and sedissport chains, until I die. which, hopefully, will be sooner than later.

  • A-Trav says:

    Is it OK to listen to podcasts of “All Things Considered”?

    • Sausage™ says:

      Yeah I’m with Marvin. I’ve got a 30-45 minute commute in the dark at 5:30am through some fairly uninteresting city streets between Playa del Rey and Brentwood/SM for rides that leave from the West Side (Mandeville, Amalfi, NOW and Nichols), and I find its a great time to catch up on podcasts (in my case, stuff like Freakanomics). The dicks are kept at a moderate volume and come out when the commute ends and the real ride begins.

    • fsethd says:


  • billius says:

    I listen to music when I ride. I listen to audio books when I ride. I have a little Bluetooth speaker that is directional enough not to bother others and not loud enough to drown out the sound of anything else.
    I don’t believe in earbuds while riding as I will probably die quicker or just will be the jerk that didn’t acknowledge a ‘hello’ (in the unlikely event a roadie ever says anything nice to me on my ElliptiGO)
    When I am riding along the Lagoon at night I turn off the music or the audibook and listen to the froggies.

  • So where do you get Twelve Dicks? And such “fine” music. So critical on the First Day of Spring.

  • I apologize! I just linked on the the other Twelve Dicks and they had some pretty good music. It was that first 12 that left me weak…..

  • LesB says:

    I know the CVC makes it illegal to wear ‘phones while driving a motor vehicle. Does the statute not include all vehicles on the roads?

    • fsethd says:

      You have to remember that most people with earbuds subscribe to the mantra of “We’re cyclists. Who cares what the law says?”

  • dangerstu says:

    I can’t imagine anything that for me, would destroy the joy of the ride than listening to anything. I want to out in the world with only my thoughts for company and when I don’t want those I pedal real fuckin hard so I can’t think about anything. That is the true beauty of the bicycle for me.

  • Tom Paterson says:

    Yup, still retired, and good memory on the bike, too– 1972 is correct.
    Pre- Nuovo Record Record dérailleurs. OMG, spel-czech *forced* that accent in there– don’t care ’bout no grammer rulz neether!

    A moment for Ruth Riffe, RIP, a fine rider and best-ever Spin instructor, who *turned the music OFF* when warmup was over and it was time to get to work. Thank you.

    • fsethd says:

      I had no idea that Ruth is gone. What an awesome woman. Remember many a ride with her and Billy.

      • Tom Paterson says:

        Rider, racer. One of the best wheels in the bunch. Vets/Women/Jr. races were a lot more fun when Ruth was in there, you bet.

  • pvannuys says:

    Music on the h-bars is one thing. Ear buds are something else. They’re a giant middle finger to everyone approaching from behind.

  • channel_zero says:

    You need to do a rant about the guys riding with the speakers blasting.

    I am chugging up Westridge and riding into a couple of guys, one of which has the banda music blaring out of his backpack.

    I’m wasting time at the ridge picnic benches and here comes banda-boy with the banda still going. Sits down at another bench, banda still blasting.

    I’m still surprised by this. I just don’t get it. Plus, I like the silence too much so it annoys me.

  • marc caruso says:

    Very true besides nature provides enough music you really don’t need earphones. To provide you with artificial noise.

  • Jah Slim says:

    I asked a repeat offender earbudsman during World Cup soccer mania if he was listening to replays. He didn’t deny it.

  • gochya says:

    There was an interview with Marianna Vos in Bicycling where she said she never listens to music while riding so she can listen to her breath. I haven’t ridden with music since.

  • noel says:

    gentle reminder, cycling not a psychotherapist. cycling is putting you in contact with you and that makes your psychotherapist’s job involve a lot less heavy lifting. we want you to unemploy us. also, endorphins are nice… you know, the little pain and stress fighters in your head. hug them too. please don’t ride your psychotherapist or psychologist. that costs extra.

    • fsethd says:

      If my bike’s not my psychotherapist, does that mean I can stop taking all the drugs?

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