If you ride a motorcycle, you're well aware of the many`sounds that bombard your ears every time you're on the bike. There's the sound of your engine and your exhaust, the sound of your tires on the road, the noise of traffic, and your music—if you're playing tunes as you go down the road.
I've tried several different types of hearing protection over the years, but this is what I'm using these days. I keep the tube in my pocket so I never need to hunt for them and if I'm going to be on the bike for any length of time at all, I slip them in my ears before I slip on my helmet.
It doesn't happen very often, but occasionally someone who doesn't ride will comment something like, "Is your bike so loud you have to wear ear plugs?" in a sarcastic tone. I usually don't even bother to answer, but there are enough continuos loud noises on any motorcycle, that it's just a good idea to add a little protection to your safety gear.
Why do I do it?
Yep, those are hearing aids.
A year or so ago, after several additional years of "encouragement" from my wife, I decided it was time to get my hearing tested. It was no surprise to her when we discovered that I had some hearing loss and needed to treat it with a set of hearing aids.
I don't know if it was the motorcycle, or listening to music too loud as a kid, or maybe some genetic thing, but there were certain frequencies I just couldn't hear. Among them was my little granddaughter's voice—which is really what pushed me over the edge. Regardless of what has caused the hearing loss, the drone of the road certainly didn't help.
Whenever I get on the bike these days, I slip the hearing aids off, put them in a case, and into my pocket before I put the ear plugs in and the helmet on. I want to make sure I can follow the conversation at our lunch stop (or dinner, if we're on a tour). A noisy restaurant is another one of those places where it was difficult for me to hear.
I've noticed on those times when I don't wear the protection and have been on the bike for an hour or so, I sense that my hearing is dulled for a little while—so I now try to always make sure my ears are protected when I'm on the bike.
Although I don't always answer the uninformed person who gives me a little bit of grief as I put hearing protection on before I get back on the bike, it not only protects my ears, and, I find I'm less fatigued at the end of a long day on the road.
There are a number of options available to protect your hearing; from very expensive custom-fit ear plugs to the foam plugs you twist that expand in your ear canal after you insert them. I'm partial right now to these noise canceling earplugs by DeFtGet you can pick up at Amazon.
Sue and I can still converse over the Sena bluetooth communicators, but the background drone of noise is significantly reduced inside my helmet.