Speaker system for Minnesota rider is music to her ears
I got my Trikke carving vehicle in June of 2011. After two sessions — a couple hours each — I found the sweet spot and the passion was sparked. I rode regularly and was having a really good time. But living in Minnesota, the weather forced me to take a winter break.
When spring arrived I was riding again, and while carving the pathways, I noticed a lot of other exercisers were connected to sound systems. Bikers, runners, walkers — all listening to music. This observation had me thinking a lot about adding music to my carving experience.
I’ve always loved music. Even when I couldn’t hear it, I relied on my memories to provide me with the pleasures of rhythm and tune. I lost my hearing gradually over 30 years, but my enjoyment of music continued until my hearing loss was profound and hearing aids no longer helped.
I faced the possibility of never hearing music again. A cochlear implant was my last hope. This part of my story has a very happy ending. Now I am bilaterally implanted with cochlear implants. I hear and communicate very well and listen to music all the time.
So then the question became: how do I add music to my Trikke riding?
The cochlear implant system I wear has something called a T-mic. The T-mic places the microphone right in front of the ear canal, presenting a natural positioning for grabbing sound. I had read that other T-mic users were wearing earbuds and figured it probably worked pretty well, because they would sit right next to the microphone. I decided to try it and went for a ride wearing earbuds attached to my iPod. With the volume all the way up, I did hear the music and riding to music was great! It was a completely different feeling to the carving, like dancing. Although this worked, wearing earbuds was not a satisfying solution. I already have a lot of gear on my ears and adding more wasn’t something I wanted to do.
The other options available, such as “direct connect” — a cord that plugs directly into a cochlear implant processor, or an adapted earbud system — would give me great music sound but would also block out all other sound. Having no environmental sound was not acceptable to me or my family. Being able to hear a warning shout or the warning beep of large equipment with my hearing system is a blessing that we don’t take for granted. I decided to figure out another way.
I did some research on the internet and came across a video showing how another Trikke rider attached a pouch to his handlebars, which held a small speaker system for playing music. This looked like a great solution and I started shopping for speakers to create a similar system. I was surprised to find out how pricey some of those little speaker systems can be. When I found speakers that were a lot less expensive I worried they wouldn’t sound good. Finally I decided to take a chance on a little pocket speaker system I found for $9.99: an HMDX Speaker On the Go, available at Walmart or Amazon.
To my surprise and enjoyment, this little speaker sounds great and fits right on my handlebars. It’s easy to attach with a couple of little bungee cords. I can hear the music and environmental sound, so I haven’t missed out on the honking of the geese flying over the lake, greetings of people I meet and shout-outs from bikers passing. Now I’m having the time of my life carving to music.