This is uncharted territory and I’m curious what you have to say about it. I’ll be writing about this issue in the coming days/weeks so I might share your input with the broader community if you don’t mind (and I won’t be using your name when/if I do FWIW).
I’ve personally worn a traditional mask and a cycling neck buff thingy (from Castelli). Neither were ideal. Fogging glasses, kept falling down, and was just not super comfy in general.
Are you wearing a mask when you ride?
If so, what type of mask?
How is it going for you?
Share a pic if you have one.
I see cyclists wearing different face coverings but don’t wear anything myself – not even a bandana. I find it cuts my air supply off too much, everything gets hot and wet, and it makes normal things like runny noses, drinking water, etc. miserable to deal with. Even when riding in single digit temps, I never cover my face.
I’m sensitive to the fact that the vapor off me travels much further than regular social distancing guidelines specify. However, I don’t ride paths and the roads I take have few cyclists so maintaining plenty of space is both natural and easy.
What I do is not ideal, but I believe the risk to others and myself is less than most people consider acceptable for walking and riding about. Plus, I think it’s important to be mindful that masks are much like helmets in that they only reduce risks in certain situations and aren’t even effective in others.
I love my rides as always. In fact, I enjoy in town more than usual due to reduced numbers of motorists and cyclists. The only thing I really do differently is I don’t bomb down steep hills to minimize potential for demand on medical services.
I have been using a balaclava that I can pull up over my mouth and nose. (It helps that I usually ride in the morning when it’s cool, so it doesn’t make me too hot.) Even though the fabric is pretty lightweight (which means it probably doesn’t offer much protection), I tend to cover my face only when I see other people near by.
Although I don’t have a lot of faith in the protective value of non-medical-grade masks, I want to support common use by using one myself, because it makes sense that they can somewhat reduce the spread of droplets from the user to others. I’m looking to get a better mask with heavier fabric than my balaclava.
I put more weight on physical distance… by riding solo and favoring lightly-traveled roads. I’m riding downtown more (lots of room and little traffic) while staying off the Springwater Trail when it’s nice out (impossible to keep adequate distance). And then regularly doing virtual coffee with the people I rode with in normal times.
Bandanna. Works great.
And hel-muffs by GIgi.
This weekend I went in to the office I have been staying away from to take some stuff home. I brought my respirator, with its particulate filters installed, rather than the VOC fume filters I originally got it for. I did not wear it on the trip in, but put it on in the building and left it on for the ride home.
Yes, it is an impediment to breathing when riding up hills. Yes, I think I am going to continue to wear it. Not everywhere, probably not for shopping trips if the store is not packed, but when I’m exerting myself.
And since I’ve been mostly sitting on my butt for the last three weeks, riding for even my usual short distances feels like exertion.
I’m not wearing a mask on bike but also not getting within 10 ft of anyone except my house mate.
And hel-muffs by GIgi.
That’s my wife’s product! Thanks for your support
I love ‘me. Probably had the for ten winters now?
I love my buff, and I can breathe through it just fine.
Mask is really important whenever you go outside.
I’m using a balaclava for now, but hoping to upgrade to a real sewn mask soon.
Went out for the first time in 16 days last night to do some curbside food pickup.
love the look of that mask. Gigi’s Handiwork huh?
LOL. Actually not in this case. A neighbor beat her to making masks in bulk and gave our household some. But Gigi has already started modifying ours from ties to elastic bands.
Here’s my mask when I’m out on my fast bike. It’s a Buff. Works well but isn’t very sealed at all.
I became very aware today, riding to my office to pick up the official “start working from home” laptop, that my fabric mask protects no one from any bug I might have. It protects me a little, because when I inhale, it seals itself around either my nostrils (no air - suffocating) or my mouth. I can get enough air through the mask and through my mouth.
On the exhale, the air’s path of least resistance is straight up and past my glasses. Even in today’s warm weather, the glasses fog. Everything that lands on them is aerosolized.
That means the mask is little more than virtue signaling, saying “I believe in this and am doing my part. Now back off and give me some room.” I haven’t seen any runners wearing masks - they’re signaling a different kind of virtue. Breathing hard, shedding virus, if they happen to have it.
That depends on where they are – a reasonable percentage of runners I see wear masks. Masks probably help some as aerosol that gets caught in the mask and on your glasses is stopped. Having said that, people have a lot more faith in the effectiveness of masks than they should.
That’s not good because it makes driving look like the best way to get around. Frankly, driving probably is the best way to get around by a purely transportation point of view. Roads are open, parking is everywhere, you’re fully shielded, and even your air is filtered should you be concerned about someone breathing 20 feet from you.
I’ll stick with walking and cycling all the same
What I read some time ago about air quality in cars suggests that we’re better off passing them in a bike lane than in a car stuck behind other fume-emitting vehicles. Your car’s air intake is perilously close to the previous car’s tailpipe. And I don’t know what kind of air filtration your car has; as far as I know, mine has none. (Now I’ll have to dig up the manual and look.)