I noticed something a bit disturbing yesterday
Over the last weekend, I bought something I haven't owned in years: a bicycle. It's just a Walmart cheapie because I'm not a serious rider. There's a new stretch of road near my house with a sidewalk on both sides and it's ideal for bicycling, running, etc.... My sons are at their granddad's house for the week, so I thought it would be fun and it has been.
So anyway, I decided to do a couple of miles again yesterday. On the way back toward my house, there was a young woman who was running/walking and she had an MP3 player (I assume) with the earphones in. As I rode up on the bike and approached her from behind, I said, "Hi," basically as a polite way to get her to allow me to pass on the sidewalk. The dropoff to the street is about six inches and I didn't want to dive the bike. As I got closer, like within six feet or so, I said in a friendly, joking way, "Beep beep!"
Still no response. So I slowed almost to a stop, dropped to the street, and went around her. No big deal.
But here's the disturbing part. With her earpieces in, she had NO IDEA that I was coming up behind her. None. And this stretch of road (4-lane) is a bit rural. There are houses all around but it still feels somewhat isolated. It occurs to me that if someone had wanted to pull up in a car and abduct her, it would have been a piece of cake. Even if she was armed, she had no clue that I was easing around her on the street until I was slightly past her.
So do people really have ZERO situational awareness these days? This was a young (I'll assume 20's), attractive woman, pretty much alone out there, and she never even knew I had come up behind her on the sidewalk until I had passed. I'm no criminal, of course, but if I had been, she would have been an easy pick for [whatever].
I find this a bit alarming.