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It’s dangerous to ride a bike or scooter with headphones in. You can’t hear cars and pedestrians, and miss the subtle cues that make it possible to navigate D.C.’s congested streets and busy bike lanes.
That doesn’t stop some people, of course. They yammer incessantly into their AirPods as they scoot along the 15th Street NW cycletrack, or bob their heads to music as they pedal across the city. Most go without and let the city provide their soundtrack. But there is a third option for the safety-conscious and entertainment-starved rider: Blast your own music through your phone or speakers.
In 2016 I was delivering food by bike and spent a lot of time pedaling around the city. The song of choice back then was “Panda,” Desiigner’s fun romp about, among other things, broads in Atlanta. The song, it seemed, was everywhere, and especially in the speakers of cyclists.
But times have changed. This morning, a woman in a reflective yellow vest carefully signals that she intends to turn. Sound follows in her wake as she executes the maneuver. The unmistakable voice of a radio reporter says something about Mick Mulvaney and whether or not he’ll testify in the impeachment inquiry as the biker fades into the distance.
Will Warren writes Scene and Heard. If you know of a location worthy of being seen or heard, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.