Soapbox: Trail Running T-Shirt

I need to get a new t-shirt or two for my trail runs. On the front, it should read, big: Wear A Proper Mask* and on the back, a little smaller: “Yes, that means you, elderly white person, and you, mountain biker.”

I’ve seen it too many times by now – it can’t be just coincidence.

Mountain bikers are making it too easy to be considered the most obnoxious and annoying trail users anyway** – but 8 guys riding single file behind each other, fast, breathing hard, and none of them wearing a mask? s.p.e.c.i.a.l.   A community outbreak in the making – and mobile…

And what’s it with the old white folks? Men and women alike, all 60 or 70 years old, hiking buddies, often in groups of five or more people, backpacks and trekking poles and proper shoes and gear and everything – chatting and yapping and laughing, but none of them with a mask! #okayboomer you’re tougher than this? Cool. <rolls eyes>

I’m wearing a simple surgical mask. When there’s no one around, I can pull it down to my chin. As soon as I approach people, I pull it up into place. It’s super easy, no hassle at all, and these masks are very lightweight, breathable, and most of all, pretty effective: “the three-layer surgical mask, which may look flimsy to some, was nearly as good as the N95” (see link below).


*) see https://gothamist.com/news/study-face-masks-finds-one-type-s-worse-no-mask-all: Knitted masks and bandanas performed the most poorly. Fleece masks, as mentioned above, were rated worse than wearing no mask at all.

**) often too fast to stop for slower trail users; cutting extra use trails into the vegetation – because “fun”; always at least one disturbing the peace and quiet of nature with a shitty loudspeaker blaring music; etc. etc.

4 thoughts on “Soapbox: Trail Running T-Shirt

  1. Well, I’m one of those old white folks! And I’m usually not wearing a mask on the trail. I hike on trails with far fewer people than the ones you’re talking about, I suspect. There are no groups of bikers, in fact, on most trails I use, bikes aren’t allowed. If it’s a place I’m likely to encounter people I keep the mask handy and if it’s getting crowded toward the end (nearer the parking lot) I’ll put it on then. The way I deal with it is by stepping well off the trail and facing away from people. Often there’s a small spot or a side trail, I cat use, where it’s easy to distance myself 6′ or more from people on the trail. Mask wearing is sporadic here, and they’re more likely not worn by younger people. I’m surprised to hear about the groups of older people who are clearly not related not wearing masks. People here are pretty good – sometimes stepping aside for me, often wearing masks. But those who flaunt the rules do draw my ire. Oh, for a vaccine!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, that’s pretty much how we’re handling it here too – when Shuwen and I are out on the trail together, there’s no need for either of us to wear a mask, but we put it on when we approach people (if it’s one good friend who’s behavior I know and trust there’s no need to wear a mask either).

      It’s those groups of older people without masks. I’m not worried about picking it up from them (after all, I pass them in a matter of seconds when I run, and I wear my mask then) – but they’re spending an hour in close proximity to each other, talking etc.; it just doesn’t seem to be wise…

      Liked by 1 person

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