I’m generally okay if folks want to rock out on the trail with an iPod. It is when they do both ears and have the tunes up high enough that they can not hear the world around them. There is a whole list of mini-rants that I could go into about missing turns on group rides and not being able to interact with other trail users and coming across as jerks. Blah Blah Blah….
Here is a case from a ride a couple of days ago that involved a hiking “iTard”. I’m riding along and spot a rattlesnake on the side of the trail. I stop and check him out. He is a good sized snake but has not reacted to me yet. I like to get this critters away from the trail as some boneheads will kill them if they encounter them. After getting a couple of shots I’m about to get the snake’s attention so it will go away when I hear a couple of hikers coming. The snake and I are near a curve, with the snake being between me and the approaching hiker. From the sound, I could tell they were trail runners. I yell for them to hold up. Nothing. The first runner in all of his iTardness rounds the corner in all of his white-corded bud wearing glory. I yeah “snake” really loud now and his girlfriend (just rounding the corner) stops and joins in the yelling fest. The dude is on a collision course with this snake. I wave my arms frantically and yell one more time and iDumbAss finally stops and looks at me with a bewildered look like “What”? I simply pointed at the snake that was about two strides away from being in striking distance. iTard freaks out at bit in full reverse. After that I snake gets a little concerned and makes some noise and goes away.
Shortly after the hikers pass me, I hear iTard’s girlfriend running him through the ringer about not being able to hear what is going on. I snickered as I got rolling again to complete some North County trail goodness.