Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

2nd hand exhaust

Old 07-16-08, 03:37 PM
  #1  
dvickery
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2nd hand exhaust

The last few days of riding, I've been pushing myself a little more. This results in harder breathing and sucking in more exhaust. Today I was passing a long line of traffic at the lunch hour and I could really tell the diff. in my lungs from breathing in exhaust. I can tell a big dif. between getting winded on the road w/ traffic vs. getting winded on the trails w/ the mtn bike.

I'm sure there are health consequences from breathing in vehicle exhaust but not sure how bad. I don't really have a point, just wondering what some of you think. I think I'll plan my road rides around the lunch hour & rush hour traffic from now on..

dv
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Old 07-16-08, 03:50 PM
  #2  
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I would think that this is mostly a placebo effect, maybe the smell of the cars is bringing it along. Modern pollution control systems on cars are extremely efficient. I can't imagine riding past a line of cars would be a problem.

Then again, I'm so slow I could ride with a plastic bag over my head and not run out of oxygen, so, yeah.
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Old 07-16-08, 05:21 PM
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Unless someone inhaled and exhaled the exhaust before you did, it is not second hand.
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Old 07-16-08, 05:30 PM
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i get what you're saying and i feel the difference too. and despite what kc0bbq said, even though there are stricter regulations on newer cars, there are still plenty of older cars on the road who contribute a good amount of bad polution. not to mention in ANY city: riding, walking, living... you are going to inhale tons of bad air and if you live/exercise in those conditions long enough it's possible to suffer some long term ill-effects. that's why i'm deciding to move to the country... not to mention it's much prettier.

if you want more information there's quite a bit on the internet... or if you were just talking then talk on... i agree with you
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Old 07-16-08, 05:36 PM
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The thing in car exhaust that you should be concerned about it CO. When you breath in CO, it makes strong bonds with the hemoglobin in your red blood cells. These bonds take a long time to be released, and with fewer available hemoglobin bonds for oxygen to bond with, you have a reduced aerobic capacity.
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Old 07-16-08, 05:40 PM
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I have wondered about car exhaust too, but the people in the cars would be breathing the same air as you.
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Old 07-16-08, 06:03 PM
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The only thing I can say is make sure to go to the front of the line at stop lights so that you don't get any more than needed. Other than that you are going to get some exhaust.
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Old 07-16-08, 06:51 PM
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Yeah, CO2 is localized heavily at busy roadways. Not much you can do about it other than choose a different route. I've had asthma for years, but no changes in it's status after 17 years of HARD urban road riding.
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Old 07-16-08, 06:54 PM
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Studies have shown that drivers and passengers in a car have more exposure to exhaust than cyclists and pedestrians. Think about it, at a light you are sitting right behind a car idling for a few minutes.

On the other hand, between the city buses, school buses, and trucks, I figure my commute is the equivalent of a pack a day habit.
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Old 07-16-08, 08:13 PM
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Man who rides in front of cars gets tired.

Man who rides behind cars gets exhausted.
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Old 07-16-08, 08:22 PM
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I can tell many of you haven't spent all day riding in city traffic. You'd know it as soon as you took a shower, wiped your eyes, or picked your nose. You get covered in and inhale soot from car exhaust, and no it is not good for you. That black gunk in the corners of your eyes and in your nose is soot. That big black swirl going down the drain when you first get in the shower and especially on your legs, that's soot. That grit on your legs is little pieces of asphalt and who knows what else.
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Old 07-16-08, 09:24 PM
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CO2 does come out of cars but CO is the deadly stuff. CO is what kills people when they run the car in a closed garage. They also spew NOx, HC, and other lovely stuff. Diesels put out a lot more soot and solids than gas engines, although 2007 diesels are cleaner than older ones. Yes, if you ride in slow traffic you can feel it, but it's not a bad as tobacco smoke.
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Old 07-18-08, 09:48 PM
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As far as breathing the same or more exhaust while being in a car vs outside the car on bike.. When I'm in a car in traffic with the windows up, I don't smell it. I'm also not breathing hard either. When I'm passing a mile of stop-n-go traffic, large trucks included, I'm breathing hard and can definitely smell it. And like I said, seems like my lungs feel it too as opposed to not when I'm mt. biking where there's no traffic.

Thanks,
dv
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Old 07-19-08, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by otismedina View Post
The thing in car exhaust that you should be concerned about it CO. When you breath in CO, it makes strong bonds with the hemoglobin in your red blood cells. These bonds take a long time to be released, and with fewer available hemoglobin bonds for oxygen to bond with, you have a reduced aerobic capacity.
You are exactly right; it's called carboxyhemoglobin when bonded. CO has a much great affinity for hemoglobin than O2 (around 200-300 times greater, depending on your textbook). But for this to be a factor, you'd have to take in a significant amount of CO to tell the difference. When riding, even in traffic, you are getting plenty of fresh air along with the CO and other poisonous gases released by vehicles for CO buildup to be a factor. Usually, the first sign of CO poisoning is a headache.
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Old 07-19-08, 11:01 AM
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10th grade biology, baby!
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Old 07-19-08, 11:05 AM
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I read a study a few years ago on the BBC's website that was talking about the dramatically increased damage to your lungs if you are working out in a polluted area. They studied cyclists and runners and found that when they are working out they are breathing far deeper and using more of their lungs than just pedestrians. As a result they are placing pollutants far deeper into their lungs, which is far harder for your lungs to remove with their self-cleaning methods.

Anyone see this too? I wish I could find it again.

Bottom line, it's not good for you. As far as degrees of not goodness, who knows. But I hate the feeling too. I can 'feel' it when I'm in the exhaust.
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Old 07-19-08, 05:06 PM
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Just to clarify, CO is what cars spew out (Carbon Monoxide.) CO2 is Carbon Dioxide - that's what YOU breathe out.
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