Riding through heavy traffic & car fumes

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  • Riding through heavy traffic & car fumes
  • konagirl
    Member

    There are quite a lot of articles about this. My understanding is, from a risk perspective, the benefits from undertaking the exercise far outweigh the added risk from pollution and risk of accidents. You also need to consider, what are your alternatives? If the alternative is to sit in a car in the same traffic (probably for longer because of queues) then your exposure to pollution would be the same or worse in the car than cycling.

    If it concenrs you, or is just unpleasant, can you take a few detours to avoid the worst congested bits? The tailpipe emissions from traffic typically disperse pretty quickly away from the major roads.

    mrchrispy
    Member

    I have a buff at the ready for the worst parts of my commute.
    you can get propper filter type masks, may try one at somepoint

    Premier Icon sandwicheater
    Subscriber

    Starting to ride to work more.

    I know my fitness will improve over the coming weeks/months but, allot of my ride is on busy commuter routes (24 miles all together). I’m very conscious of the car fumes as I ride, which got me wondering.

    Are the benefits of me cycling ie being healthier/fitter/longer life expectancy of being fit, wiped out by the nasty things I hoover up as I cycle ie nasty chemicals effecting life expectancy/lung capacity? It almost feels like I’m having a fag on the bike as the cars accelerate past me.

    globalti
    Member

    I’m very wary of diesel fumes because the particles go a long way into your lungs. However I’ve started to notice that even 3 year-old petrol cars have exhausts that are so clean, you can actually see gleaming clean metal if your headlights shine straight down the pipe. That’s amazing.

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    there have been a few studies done about exposure to fumes

    the biggest was done on CHIPS (officers)

    those exposed to most fumes (apart from those in tunnels) were the carbound ones, motorbike and cyclists the least

    a smaller study by KCL recently showed that cyclists were exposed to the least amount of diesel fumes of several groups

    however when you are busting a gut and breathing deeply then you may be absorbing more pollutants

    edit cant find the CHIPS one but heres another study saying the same thing

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23871818

    basically traveling by bike exposes you to the least amount of pollutants!

    One of the issues here is that if you’re riding hard, you’re moving a lot more air in and out of your lungs. As such, as well as the gunk in the air, there’s the increased volume of that gunk.

    If you’re really concerned, a Respro mask would be well worth looking at. FWIW, the best option in my experience is a Sportsta mask with Techno filters and valves. A Scotchlite mask is a better option in the winter;

    Premier Icon sandwicheater
    Subscriber

    😳 I’d not even considered I was breathing the same fumes when I’m in the car. Guess the pollen filters get rid of the smell but the nasty particles will I assume still be there.

    Love the idea of the masks but, I couldn’t bring myself to wear one. No idea why, i’ve no shame if my lardy body in Lycra is anything to go by.

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    part of the problem sandwhicheater is that car air intakes are at exhuast level

    and pollen filters arent even filtering out the relatively large diesel particles, the smaller and potentially more carcinogenic stuff even less so

    masks do not filter out the small particles which cause a lot of the problems 🙁

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    but they are better at getting the diesel particles, which are a major problem in cities, with buses, taxis and a lot of people buying diesel cars (now outselling petrol)

    personally Id like to see a mayor with the testicular fortitude to ban all non electric vehicles from their city

    globalti
    Member

    As in Zermatt? Mind you, the way London is going it won’t be long before property prices and the cost of living matches Zermatt.

    crikey
    Member

    That’s a handsome bloke in the respro mask Flashy….

    gwaelod
    Member

    there’s a big difference between riding a bike and riding a bike.

    My nan rides a bike and wiggo rides a big bike.

    Their rate of progress, effort exerted and lung functions bear no resemblance to one another.

    Riding a bike isn’t strenuous activity…unless you really want it to be.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    There must be a less congested route?

    You’re not wrong, Crikey.

    😉

    masks do not filter out the smallest particles which cause a lot of the problems

    True, but surely filtering out a lot of the badness is better than filtering out none of the badness?

    Premier Icon nedrapier
    Subscriber

    Anyone ever seen any figures for the effectiveness of those masks?

    I thought hard about getting one when I first started commuting in London, but figured given the volume of air you’re moving, the quality of the seal round your jaw/nose, and how much smaller they are than any industrial use air filters meant they couldn’t be doing a great deal more than placebo.

    Very happy to be proved wrong (and I’d get one tomorrow) but as I couldn’t find any facts/figures/graphs on the Respro site, I guessed the ones they do have aren’t especially impressive.

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