Monday, December 18, 2006

Turning the World Down A Bit

A couple years ago when Baldy-Beard loaned me his scooter for a couple months, I rode with an open-faced helmet. The wind noise was incredible, and I began wearing earplugs pretty quickly.

Then I got my own bike (the mighty VX800), and a full-face helmet. The helmet was so quiet (in comparison) that I felt like I was riding in a luxury car. Only, you know, much more awesome.

Now I've got my Triumph, and she's a bit louder than the VX. And the wind noise is incredible again (that might be because of the increase in power and resulting speed). So, I vaguely thought I should get some earplugs again.

Last week I finally bought some (at the prompting of Lady Luck) and started wearing them.

I love it.

All the annoying noises, such as the roar of tires and wind, are barely noticeable, while the good sounds, such as the roar of the intake and my always hilarious vocals, are perfectly audible.

Of course, there is one downside: I have tinnitus. I have had it for as long as I can remember. I'm guessing it's because when I was born, Black Sabbath was there to mark the occasion.

Anyway, for most of my life I just figured it was the "System OK" sound, much like the spots one sees in the dark (uh, you all see those too, right?). After college it finally dawned on me that most people do not hear ANYTHING when there's no sound. Hmm.

I did some research on tinnitus, and learned that people who suffer from it, suffer because they're freaked out there's this ringing in their ears, and they start to obsess about it a bit. I know I did, briefly.

Most of the time, there's enough background noise that I don't notice it. I sleep with a fan on, and usually just don't ever think about the high-pitched ringing inside my head.

With the earplugs in at a quiet stoplight, though, I hear "eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee." Annoying, and kind of spooky. It's a horror-flick sound.

Luckily, I have a cure: outrageous Ronnie James Dio impressions. Not only does it keep me sane, but the looks from other drivers (you can't do Dio at a stoplight without looking vaguely skyward and "clutching the mystical orb" here and there) are priceless.


Wolfie said...

Oh shit, man; now I have GOT to work "clutching the mystical orb" into conversation.

Combatscoot said...

More proof that you are perfectly sane. I was beginning to worry about you, until you wrote that book, but this clenches it.

Steve Williams said...

Is Ozzie your godfather or something? No celebrities were at my birth.

I ride with earplugs all the time. It helps with the peaceful easy ride.

red said...

(uh, you all see those too, right?)

see what?

Were your parentals jamming to Sabbath while you fought your way into the world? That's pretty cool.

Lucky said...

Wolfie - Everyone does.

combatscoot - I always come around in the end.

Steve & Red - I think I was the only celebrity present at my birth. I'm fairly certain that my parents don't like Black Sabbath.

I just needed the name of a band that filled three criteria:
1. Known for being incredibly loud
2. Were around in 1977
3. Didn't suck.

So you can see why Kiss and Van Halen were right out.

James said...

"So you can see why Kiss and Van Halen were right out."

And Neil Diamond for that matter.

Biker Betty said...

Did you get the earplugs that are molded to your ears? They are so expensive that I can't bring myself to buy them. Plus, on long rides I listen to music.

I do understand that there are earplugs designed to listen to music and you don't have to have the music up so loud. But, once again, they are even more expensive then the molded earplugs due to the special design.

Lucky said...

James - It goes without saying... ;)

Biker Betty - Nope. I got the cheapie dozen-for-2-dollars variety.

Actually, I think they were four dollars, and they're shockingly comfy. Definitely worth the extra $2.

I'd love to get some of the custom ones, but I assume I'd lose them in some embarassingly stupid way.

I don't listen to music when I ride, though I'm planning a ride to Nevada that I expect will be very dull. I'll probably have headphones on for those 6 hours. :D