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Old 04-19-06, 08:30 PM   #1
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Cycling in traffic fumes

I'm someone who actually is chemically sensitive.. traffic isn't usually a problem, even though I have always despised the stench of diesels (I hold my breath when buses go by).

But now that winter is over, I'm noticing this week that traffic fumes seem to be pretty crap. And I'm currently living in a valley.

I was wondering if traffic fumes bother other people too, and what they do about it.. I saw on the web this yellow mask for cyclists with a carbon filter.
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Old 04-19-06, 08:37 PM   #2
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Yep, bothers me that I have to breathe that crap. I always feel dirty after riding through it.
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Old 04-19-06, 09:34 PM   #3
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I hate car exhaust, it's the main reason I will filter up to the front of the line. Diesel is the worst. The local BusCo finally got rid of their GM diesel busses with the street level exhaust a few years ago, that makes things a lot better, but there are still a lot of diesel delivery trucks w/ street level exhaust, not to mention all the pseudo contractor yahoos with Dodge/Ford/GM diesel pickups (Mercedes too).

edit: I would credit exposure to exhaust fumes while cycling at least in part on my development of asthma as an adult.

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Old 04-19-06, 09:36 PM   #4
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I wonder if pedaling around with a surgical mask is a viable alternative?

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Old 04-20-06, 04:16 AM   #5
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respro -

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Don't run red lights, wear a helmet, use hand signals, get some cycle lights(front and rear) and, FFS, don't run red lights!
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Old 04-20-06, 10:16 AM   #6
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I've found that masks don't work well and scare little children and old people with your darth vader/bank robber look. Best options are to plan routes through side streets that avoid most traffic or, quite literaly, suck it up. It totally bothers me too, though. The worst is when you're behind a truck or car that is just spewing out exhaust and you can't go fast enough to get past them (always meeting up at lights and stop signs) and they won't go fast enough to leave you behind to enjoy clean air. Sometimes I just pull over and wait for a couple minutes to give those cars more distance.
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Old 04-20-06, 10:20 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by markhr

Gangsta not only can you ride to work, you could rob a bank on the way!

Seriously though, it looks like a great design with the vent holes as most bike riding is done during warm(er) months. I'm not looking forward to the day when everyone needs one
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Old 04-20-06, 10:30 AM   #8
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I saw someone this morning pedalling with a surgical mask. I've seen that in asia, but never here -
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Old 04-20-06, 11:24 AM   #9
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I live in Atlanta where we have SoCal type bad air. I get smog alerts delivered to my email box and when they appear I just ride slow.
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Old 04-20-06, 12:47 PM   #10
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It's not as bad in my smaller town of 130,000. However, I ride a relatively heavily travelled truck route, and I hate the diesel fumes. It's really the only way I can go to get out of town, since it connects up to the only county roads that I can take to work. I also try to hold my breath to let the fumes clear, but this is often unfeasible.
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Old 04-20-06, 03:19 PM   #11
Time for a change.
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I ride offroad and one of the reasons is to get away from the Cars and pollution. Ridiculous thing is that in our offroad area is a pollution checking centre. This is located on the top of a hill and it is surprising how many times the air pollution at this centre registers High. No cars any where near it, and only 3 miles from the South Coast. Highest pollution is shown with a southerly wind blowing in from France, With nothing between France and the UK except the sea.

Note to Asthma sufferers- one of my riding partners has the problem but since he has been riding regularly for the last 4 years his problem has decreased greatly-Maybe coincidence. I had a bypass 7 years ago. One of the Incidental contributors that they were looking at was that I was a sales Rep- working London as my area, and had been for 20 years, and they were looking at Carbon monoxide as a possible cause of the Thickening of the arteries. No definite conclusion was drawn on me, but is still being looked at as a possible cause.
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