Wearing a gas mask while bicycling
- November 16, 2009 6:50 pm at 6:50 pm #78915
Likely, many of us have noticed the bluish mist that automobile headlights illuminate. How about the soot that heavily speckles piles of snow along roads during the winter or cakes on our derailleur gears ?
Keeping my bicycle cleaner would prevent me from continuing to ‘customize’ my pants and the bright yellow cycling jacket I bought recently.
But what can we do about the particles in automobile exhaust that settle in various parts of our respiratory tracts? Has anyone who frequently is a non-motorized user of our roads thought of or actually tried using a gas mask ?
The best website I have found so far on gas masks for bicyclist is at http://totobobo.com/blog/cyclist/.
Maybe I am just reading into things—you tell me– but after bicycling vigorously in moderate to heavy traffic, I tend to get a tight and heavy sensation in my chest and upper back which I associate with some sort of cardiovascular distress (in addition to sometimes getting a raw, tickled feeling in my throat).
I read somewhere that the benzene in automobile exhaust not only is linked to an increased risk for some types of cancer, but it is also a chemical that may somehow disrupt a personÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s cardiovascular system.
Some say that traveling in an automobile involves breathing as much, if not more fumes, the key difference being that a person is breathing more deeply while bicycling.
Whatever the case may be, my attempts to use my bicycle as a viable means of transportation (and not just as a work-out tool on the multi-use trails when the weather is nice), has led me to think seriously about wearing a gas mask for at least some parts of my two-wheeled trips.
Being stuck in my car in traffic can be frustrating, but I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get the urge to gag.November 16, 2009 6:53 pm at 6:53 pm #316178
What doesn’t kill you…November 16, 2009 6:59 pm at 6:59 pm #316179November 16, 2009 7:00 pm at 7:00 pm #316180
It might be a valid concern but who wants to wear a gas mask riding your bike? I mean, you’ll look like a dam fool.November 16, 2009 7:02 pm at 7:02 pm #316181
Porky wrote >>
It might be a valid concern but who wants to wear a gas mask riding your bike? I mean, you’ll look like a dam fool.
helmets too!November 16, 2009 7:04 pm at 7:04 pm #316182
Porky wrote >>
It might be a valid concern but who wants to wear a gas mask riding your bike?
gas mask, not so much.. The OP seems to have posted something that looks more like particulate masks however.. they seem to be ok…
Loved this picture, btw:November 16, 2009 7:25 pm at 7:25 pm #316183
I remember going to Outland (the original one) on a quiet night and seeing a guy there wearing a full-face gas mask, sitting and playing chess. It made me wonder what I was getting into moving here, but the lease was signed.November 16, 2009 7:49 pm at 7:49 pm #316184
Wow, I’m in awe of their endeavor to cycle around India and China for a year. While I was on a bus in New Delhi it struck a bicyclist, knocking him to the side, and just kept on navigating through traffic. Though I’m even more intimidated by the thought of riding amongst the overloaded trucks on dusty country roads.
I think you raise a good point that concern about our air quality is on the rise and there are products to accomodate the need to actively protect ourselves. We’re not only talking about huge industrialized cities in other nations if your lungs are hurting here at home. Hey – you could try using the mask for your commute, take photos of the filter color throughout the year and share your findings!November 16, 2009 7:56 pm at 7:56 pm #316185
Same here. In a lot of places I’ve traveled cyclists and scooter riders wear surgical masks.
I kinda like the gas mask aesthetic and the statement it makes. Go for it.November 16, 2009 8:04 pm at 8:04 pm #316186
Yeah, wear a mask if you want to. It’s not getting in anyone else’s way. Instead of looking at “that funny guy with the mask on”, people could look at “that funny color all the air around us has”. It’s bigger, so it should distract from your sartorial choices. Haha.November 16, 2009 8:16 pm at 8:16 pm #316187
At the other end of the spectrum…November 16, 2009 8:25 pm at 8:25 pm #316188
Portland? I’ve heard of some people fomenting having a naked bike ride here…. could be fun.November 16, 2009 8:26 pm at 8:26 pm #316189
trust me, there are plenty of places having naked bike rides.
The hard part was finding a picture that would not get me a warning.November 16, 2009 9:28 pm at 9:28 pm #316190
Riding a bike with a gas mask and certain attire makes you look like a crazy badass. That <1% of motorists who are belligerent will be much less likely to honk or say anything to you. I do know what you’re talking about, especially on some days Downtown when the daily suburban evacuation of the city can make breathing difficult. I just try to maintain a good distance behind other vehicles.November 16, 2009 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm #316191
Ehh, balance potential harm with the overall good effects of riding a bike and being physically active.
I also remember seeing something about cyclists being higher than the exhaust where as a car’s intake for your air/heat sits right at the level of the tail pipe.
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