I road bikes for 50 years, started in a local farmers field aged 13 on a 350 matchless with no silencer, my last bike was a Yamaha 900 diversion, up until the late 70's all my bikes were unfaired, my triton was fast and noisy and ridden with no helmet, I can remember my work mate, Alan, coming in on Monday morning boasting that he had done the 'ton' flat out on his triumph up the M1. My Honda 4 would travel at 90-100mph down the autobahn for hours and still purr over like a new bike, my Norton Interstate Mk3 that was swapped for the new Honda would rattle like it needed something doing to it after the same journey.Richard, It isn't the bikes that make one deaf, it is the wind noise in the helmets.... And usually it is only the "modern" riders who wear ear plugs. When the ear bones are worn with big gaps, it stops hurting. - What did you say? I can't hear over 8KHz... I can't hear soft sounds any more? - Sorry, I missed that?
And the constant whistle (like the TV used to make after midnight) is only there while I am awake... But at speed on the bike the wind noise drowns it out! Why is there a Government limit of 92dB at 70 mph for helmets? For a 6 hour ride it should be below 78dB! ear plugs may knock-off 1~3dB... And in the 70s, with very good helmets of that era, I could easily do 4 or more hours at the speed limit and not hear for 2 or 3 days afterwards...
I also served 6 years with a tank regiment, for fun, yep was fun. Standing up head out of the turret in the days before helmets the noise from a chieftain tank in full flight was deafening, we did wear ear defenders on the ranges though, today I wake up to birds singing and stand outside my back door in the evening listening to the birds singing, the resident Blackbird sings to his partner who is usually some way off and can hear her very clearly.
Only after retiring have i started to use 'ear muffs', a grinder seems really loud, my band saw cutting thin sheet is also too loud.
Some noises do annoy though, those toy radar guns and my neighbours radios during the day, are they all that deaf
I have in the past successfully stopped the noise from a fish farm that is two miles across the water from our house emitting a whine 24/7 and their lights shining across the water like search lights now have covers that prevent light spillage.
But there are other things that I notice, we have a small one way road below our house and on a calm day with the windows open I can smell a smoker walking down the road while paint and solvent fumes need a mask every time.
Melting metal reminds me of my younger days as an apprentice compositor, we had to melt the type and pour it into moulds easy and safe when shown the right way but you always get the smart guy, "watch this he said one day as he went to pour the molten metal into a cold damp mould!
I was out of the door before he even tipped the big ladle, needless to say the company was advertising for an apprentice the next week.