Berry on a Bike!

By Kevin Michaluk on 14 Oct 2008 08:05 am EDT

Dear Berry Dear Berry,

The other day I was riding my new expensive hybrid. I say "expensive" because you would think I would want to be extra special careful with it and it would be a priority over my BlackBerry - well I do want to take extra special care of it. I love it!

So I figured out a way to find a front pouch that sits on my handle bars and I can just put my BlackBerry in it. I thought what a great idea then I can check messages and answer calls. One big problem, a call came in and I did as planned....however, I hit the brakes with one hand while answering the BlackBerry with the other hand and almost ended up with major injuries. I don't want to be without my BlackBerry while on my bike and was wondering if you had any suggestions to do both?! Thank you,

- Almost Flattened

Dear "Almost Flattened",

Yes, I completely understand and applaud you for being inventive and finding a pack for your bike in the front for easy access to your BlackBerry. But you will be happy to know there is an easy solution to your problem (a friend of mine uses this as do I). Just get yourself a Bluetooth ear piece. That way your BlackBerry can stay in the pouch and you can answer and hang up calls by just pressing a button on the ear piece of the Bluetooth head set. I'm sure you wear a helmet ;-) - please do if you don't - and the helmet will actually help hold the ear piece in place as well. As for checking messages, that's more of a challenge and I suggest you do that when you break for a drink or something. Sorry, I know the wait is difficult!

Be careful out there. Enjoy your wonderful hybrid bike and by all means, make sure to push on both sides of the brakes at the same time (I myself have learned that lesson the hard way ;-) )!

- Berry

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Reader comments

Berry on a Bike!


I have to agree. I ride my motorcycle everywhere. I was able to add an intercom/audio system to my bike tht plays into the helmets. I did this a while back when I had an older cell phone. When I got my BB, I started looking for solutions that would work with it and my system. I found the comfort cradle for my 8830 not only held my precious BB on the handle bars, it also kept the phone charged. My intercom/audio system has bluetooth capabilities and automatically answer the phone for me after two rings, so I don't have to let go of the handlebars just to press a button. The cradle also lets me see who is calling as well. :)

Audio systems aren't always an option for bikes. There are several bluetooth solutions coming out now that attach to the side of the helmet. A speaker goes against your ear and had a boom mic with windscreen. You can pair it with your phone and when on the bike, you just have to push a button on the bluetooth to answer the call. Having a regular bluetooth earpiece isn't always a viable option with helmets. If you have to push a button on the device to answer calls, the helmet will block the buttons (if there is a way to set up auto-answer, then it might work - volume controls would still be blocked). Bluetooth earpieces may also have their mics blocked by the helmet. The bluetooth helmet device takes care of this since it attaches to the bottom of the helmet and has the answer button on the outside. Check out your local motorcycle shop to see if they carry them.

I've yet to encounter a decent bluetooth headset that will compensate for the wind noise encountered while riding a bike. Not a motorcycle/helmet combo...but a bicycle & biking helmet combo. I have tried several different bluetooth headsets (Plantronics 5xx, Motorola S9, BlueTrek, Cardo 700/500 & now the older Jawbone)...and none of them handle wind noise effectively.

The only way I've been able to handle an emergency phone call (the only kind I'll answer while riding) is to have my Curve in a snack bag (not a sandwich bag as it's too big, but a snack bag which is just the right size for most smartphones) and talk through the bag. The plastic will stop all wind from hitting the microphone, but will still vibrate enough to let my voice through. The only bummer is that since my Curve is in a bag, it's impossible to use the rollerball...doh!

I've not tried using it as a speakerphone, but that might work pretty well.


I would think some of the newer motorcycle helmet systems could work for bicycle helmets as well. They are lightweight, attach to the side of the helmet, have wind protection on the boom mic, and use a rechargeable battery. I guess the only issue might be how to attach the speaker.

Here is a concept or idea.... Why dont you pay attention to what your doing because its obvious you dont have coordination enough to riding a bike and talking on the phone.. Especially if you are hitting the brake when grabbing the phone. I raced for several years and if you are dying to be talking on your phone that much and cant "Handle" doing both dont ride the bike as your a danger to obviously yourself as well others..

i just go no-handed whenever i get calls. which i'm sure is much much more unsafe than the bluetooth option. i would say go with that.

i ride a fixie and just slow down with my feet. i whip out my curve and sms and everything. steer the bike with one hand and use my bb with the other.

Here's an idea, learn to separate play and normal life. The reason for getting out on the trails on a mountain bike is to have fun and disconnect from the stresses of everyday life. If you are truly an avid mountain biker, judging from the amount of money you claim to have spent on your bike then you are one, then you would pack the BB into your camelback and pull over when a call comes in or ignore it and call them back later. I've seen stupid people on the trails I ride almost kill themselves thinking they are so important and talented that they can handle business on the go like that. you see that once and you laugh as they dump and end up tossing their BB into the creek. Use your head and learn to detach from things and enjoy the trails and outdoors.

I ride my bike 3-4 times a week and always carry my BB Pearl. I wear a "belly bag" that I bought for $4.97 at Wal-Mart. I can carry my phone, my ID and my XM Radio Inno for music in the bag and it doesn't get in the way. If I need to use the phone, I simply reach around and unzip the pocket and get my phone out then put it away again. No problems so far and I've been doing it this way for a few months now.

Keep on riding!

Part of the reason to be out on your new hybrid bike (I bought one too.. a specialist brand) to get AWAY from work/wife/kids/etc. Sure, my phone is in my saddlebag, but I sure as heck aint txting or answering the damn thing while riding.
Enjoy your bike. Believe it or not, the world still went around before mobile phones..

Historic bike tours of the Berry College campus start Saturday. The free tours are offered the third Saturday of each month by Oak Hill and the Martha Berry Museum, former home of Berry College founder Martha Berry (1865-1942). The site is at the intersection of Georgia Loop 1 and U.S. Highway 27 in Rome, Ga.
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