Since my town is an automobile-induced smog-city, I am forced to come up with some creative ways to beat the smog.
Smog is a powerful lung irritant that can cause permanent lung damage over the long run. It only occurs during the summer months when sunlight and heat cause certain chemicals in automobile exhaust to react, changing into smog. It can literally burn the lining of the lungs, causing them to "shed," a little like sunburn causes peeling. Bad.
The good news is that smog can be avoided. It occurs during the summer heat. It occurs (usually) after a certain time in the afternoon. Rain kills smog. Smog depends on weather conditions. So, if one is informed, smog can be avoided.
For example, since mornings are almost always clear of smog (I know this by checking official hourly smog levels, not by looking at the skyline or sniffing the air, since ozone is odorless and colorless,) I am thinking of riding the bike in the mornings and hitching a ride on MARTA in the afternoons, unless the ozone forcast is good.
Anybody else who lives in a big city have any smog-avoidance tips?