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Good News/Bad News for Bike Commuters

Cyclists, take note. Some European researchers have found that urban bike commuters may be inhaling twice as much soot as urban pedestrians.

While unfortunate, this seems logical. Cyclists are typically exercising harder than pedestrians and are in closer proximity to cars, so it would stand to reason that more auto exhaust would get inhaled when riding along busy city streets. My own bike-commute takes me along some heavily traveled streets.

The good news is that the benefits of this exercise still greatly outweigh the negatives. Per the research cited in this recent Los Angeles Times blog post, a bike rider's lifespan increases from 3 to 14 months depending on their level of exercise. The negatives of air pollution and traffic accidents can knock a few days to a few weeks off of this average lifespan, but the net gain is still significant.

Will this study change your bike commuting habits at all? Would you consider wearing a dust filter mask when riding along auto-choked highways?

Posted on at 9:33 PM

Tagged: Cycling, bicycle, bike commuting and pollution

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Lets see those REI dust filter masks....

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Steve Gluckman Staff Member

BioLogic has pollution mask for urban commuters:


So why doesn't REI put it's stores in more bike-friendly locations and away from huge highway interchanges?! The store in St. Louis (actually in suburban Brentwood) is particularly disgraceful. Anyone wanting to get there by bike will have the pleasure of breathing in exhaust from 2 major highways and four busy, gigantic roads. Yes, I realize this is more convenient for many REI shoppers, but given the supposed concern with green living, I would think REI would be more sensitive to environmental concerns than other big box retailers.

It feels like REI is more part of the problem than part of the solution.


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