I won’t be able to use this system whilst out riding, as it is too delicate and would be ultra sensitive to the sweat I put out whilst training.
People often wonder how I cope with being Deaf and riding in traffic. Often they are amazed that I would still venture out as in their minds, riding without hearing is dangerous. Most people rely on their hearing to hear approaching traffic, while I have to rely on my visual ability to survive on training rides amongst traffic.
Tips for riding in traffic without hearing:
- Always be on the look-out and be proactive – I am constantly checking behind and around me for on-coming traffic
- Be confident and use hand-signals/eye contact with drivers. You will find that most drivers let you into spaces if you let them know early enough about your intentions. When a driver lets you into space that they could have claimed, always thank them with the thumbs up gesture (works well in most countries)
- Ride predictably and in straight lines. This works for hearing people too, although they can react to approaching noise by moving out of the way
For the most part, I don’t have any major issues when out riding due to my hearing loss. Sometimes I don’t even have my hearing aids on, but hearing nothing at all does not affect me. I will also race without hearing aids, depending on the weather (raining or too hot). Sometimes, I get yelled at in the peloton, but I have no idea what they are yelling about. I will wear one hearing aid mostly so that if someone does talk to me, I can at least communicate. In group rides, I will try to wear both hearing aids and participate in the social aspect of the ride as much as I can.