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Old September 12th 20, 11:56 PM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
Joy Beeson
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Posts: 1,638
Default Riding with face mask in smoke and ash

On Fri, 11 Sep 2020 20:19:44 -0700 (PDT), Kenneth Litwak

Can I use a face mask for COVID-19 to filter out smoke and ash on a ride?

1. If I go out on a ride would one of these protect my lungs from smoke and ash at all?
2. Is it possible to breath enough through one while riding?

I haven't been able to ride this week because there are fires all around me in Riverside County, California (Fontana/Jurupa Valley area) because he sky is orange with smoke and ash. I have face masks for COVID-19. They are not designed to keep smoke, ash or viruses out. In fact, scientifically, except for N-95 masks, a mask to protect others from me (the point of a mask during the pandemic if I am sick but don't know it). ( want to ride moderate to hard but mostly moderate. Since I have exercise-induced asthma, racing didn't work out very well. I can breath with one of my masks on while walking or sitting but I'm on my bike with a mask on. Any opinions? I really don'tr want to miss my chance for a longish Saturday ride on a day off work. Thanks.

Disclaimer: I know nothing from nothing and this is all theoretical.

Whether a mask will keep out smoke and whether you can breathe through
it depend entirely on the mask.

I pull my mask down when I mount the bike only because it makes my
face hot; I can breathe through it just fine, and was thinking of
wearing it in the winter until I realized that it would interfere with
taking sips of water while I ride.

One thing to look out for is that nearly all masks leak around the
edges. This doesn't matter if it's a protect-others mask, because the
escaping air stays close to you, but air that flows around the mask to
get in is immediately inhaled.

Smoke contains toxic gasses -- CO, for example -- and only a full-bore
respirator will help with that.

Since the mask isn't to keep out germs, you can keep using it until it
gets clogged -- perhaps halfway through a ride, if the smoke is thick.
Some masks can be washed and then used again, and some have replacable

I'm pretty sure you couldn't wear a Scott Pack while riding. (A
fireman taught me to put my backpack on the way he put on his Scott
Pack, and it *works*!)

Some of the masks I've seen pictures of would very dangerously
restrict your vision.

The "duckbill" mask my hygenist wears looks as though it would filter
ash. It can be pulled tight to prevent leaks, and there is a large
volume inside it and a large area of filter to let the air in.

Your hardware store is probably sold out of suitable dust masks.

Whatever, I'd try a mask on a short and slow ride and work my way up.

Joy Beeson
joy beeson at centurylink dot net

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