I transfered to MTB from road biking about a year ago. On the road, I would listen to music to keep my cadence. I have headphones which are designed to allow external sounds. I kept the volume low enough that I could hear approaching cars and have conversations. I tried this on the trail, but mountain biking is so much more active. My phones kept yanking out. Also, the constant need to hear approaching cyclists and hikers meant that I wound up not listening to music. The result? My rides are not as intense and the exercise is not as good. So, I’ve started playing music on my phone’s speaker which is in my pack near my head. It is loud enough that I can hear it while climbing but quiet enough that I can hear things behind me. I generally can’t hear it when descending.
So, the other day a guy was listening to loud head-banging music with amplified speakers. I could hear him coming for 15 minutes before I finally saw him. Technically we were doing the same thing, listening to music in the open. I was annoyed by this guy. Am I annoying others? I still don’t know. Am I setting a bad precedent? Is this the logical next step in the progression? I am still looking for solutions.