Monday, October 12, 2009

Summer's Swan Song: Plugging My Ears

At about 10 degrees Celsius (48 F) I start getting earaches, especially if it is windy. I never hear other people complain about pain in their ears in this weather, and I am beginning to wonder if I'm a little odd in this regard. When I get to wondering if I'm weird, I naturally turn to a survey of unknown people on the Internet, because everyone knows that the readers of blogs are among the most normal and balanced individuals anywhere. So, cycling friends, answer me this:


Cool Winds...



In this time preceding balaclava / hat / headband action, I have found that plugging my ears with something is my best preventative measure against earaches. Most commercial earplugs, however, are designed to block out sound, and I don't like that. The best thing I have found so far for plugging my ears is about a third of a cotton ball. Sufficient wind reduction, without as much sound loss. I've often wondered if some cheap foamy stereo earbuds would work well... I could just snip off the wires altogether. I just keep forgetting to try it. If you use earplugs on the bike, let me know what's worked best for you. Because it really is quite annoying to me, I'm ready to try anything.


Yer Pal,



R A N T W I C K



Hey, Wait! I almost forgot to wish all of my fellow Canucks a Happy Thanksgiving! I know I'm thankful as hell for a great many things. Here's hoping that you are too. Also, turkey sandwiches are the BEST.

16 comments:

Steve A said...

Cold doesn't affect my ears, other than they get cold. Brain freeze is a problem. Some get achy joints. Cold is an individual thing...

Big Oak said...

I too hate the cold wind for the pain it brings my ears. I've never even thought about ear plugs. I use a tight, skull cap type hat I bought a couple years ago to use under my helmet.

lifein360 said...

You could be prone to sinus infections or irritations. Try taking a sinus pill an hour before you cycle and see if that helps. Also, some people, when the weather changes, begin to grind their teeth at night. That also causes sensitivity when the wind hits the ears.

Keri said...

I am totally unqualified to comment on the effects of cold.

Our heat index has been 100 for over a week now and we're not going to see a break until Friday. I'm ready to climb into my freezer. If I can fit, I'll let you know how my ears feel ;-)

ChipSeal said...

Will Keri tweet from inside the fridge? She may be able to answer that age old question of children; "Does the light really turn off when the door is closed?"

Keri, You can do it in the name of science!

My dear Rantwick, some have told me that reading my blog aloud causes their ears to ache too! Just call me old man winter then!

For me, in cold weather, I can tolerate much colder temperatures if I can manage to keep my hands warm. I have also noticed in winter that I become a bi-athlete: My legs pedal and my nose runs!

As for modifying those ear buds, why not assign your velo-optics customizer to the project?

Kevin said...

They just get cold, of course I don't really plan on riding too much past November. Maybe if we get a warm snap...

Also, happy thanksgiving to you as well Rantwick.

Rantwick said...

Big Oak - I cover up eventually too, but in this season I overheat if I cover my head...

360 - I think you hit the nail on the head. My sinuses are touchy pretty much all the time.

Keri - oh piss off. But stay out of your freezer. That may not work out so well.

Chipseal - Customizer! Of course!

Kevin - You seem to be in the majority... I guess my inner ear is just sensitive, and happy tg to you too!

Apertome said...

I use a headband-type covering, this prevents full head coverage, which is why I find almost any winter hat to be too warm. Some headband things have a built-in wind-breaking layer, and they are available with varying degrees of insulation. I have a wool one that's good for mild weather (but provides very little wind protection), a thin, but warm one that provides pretty good wind protection, and a thick, warm, fleece one that also protects against the wind.

Rat Trap Press said...

You should probably buy a Bern helmet with a winter liner.

http://www.bernunlimited.com/2008/upgrades.html

Rantwick said...

Apertome & RTP - I already have a headband, but I mostly use a lightweight balaclava that I wear 1) just around my neck 2) up over my head and under my helmet, pulled open to leave my face exposed or 3) fully covering everything but my eyes, depending of course on how cold it is, so I already have lots of covering options available.

I get too hot with headband or hat/balaclava in this "middling" weather, so that why I plug 'em instead. Thanks for the suggestions, though!

ChipSeal said...

When you get older like me and Steve, you will develops a natural ear plug.

When you get to the crusty old age as us, you become more hard-headed, and the hair becomes choked off from it's normal growth path. Thus the ears become the outlet for all that hair you used to see on the top of the head.

Your better days are ahead of you, dear Rantwick!

Anonymous said...

http://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/news/daily-news/crap-cycle-lanes-astragals-book-of-the-month/5209193.article
Have a look, then laugh, then cry.

Rollz said...

Now it is official. I am a weirdo. I have tried to get the wind out of my ears for a long time. This may sound goofy but the one thing I found that worked was I put chin guards from a football helmet on the straps for my bike helmet and positioned them to block the wind from my ears. It worked surprisingly well you just look like a doof. I then made some wind baffles from leather and they look and work better.

Rollz said...

Don't laugh if someday you see me.....

Rantwick said...

Rollz - Weirdo? Laugh? Have you read anything on this blog? If I were to laugh at ANYONE about anything, I would be the biggest jackass ever.

In addition, what works, works. Period. End of discussion. Unless of course you wanna talk.

Leah said...

Hi Rantwick,
I get the same problem too with my ears, I live in a place where it's always windy and my ears are sensitive to the wind, when I get wind in my ear all my left side of the head including my neck is so sensitive it hurts to even touch it, it's so annoying and I wish that someone knew what the problem is, I saw the ENT doctor and he said that my ears are fine and I was really hoping to hear that something was wrong so it could be fixed but no he said they were fine. I always have to use my jackets hood on to keep the wind out :( hope someone does find a way to get it fixed

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