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Anyone have any good suggestions about trying to ride/train when the air is thick with particulates from a series of local forest fires (the storms that rolled through Northern Cal Friday night/Saturday had LOTS of lightning and set off LOTS of fires)? I don't want to stop training for a week or more while the air clears, but the smoke is bad enough you can taste/smell it all over town (even smelled it in my bathroom from the vent after leaving it closed off all night).

TIA....Bruce in Redding
 

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Fwiw

my advice would be to stop training until it's gone, unless you can drive to somewhere upwind of the fires. When it's that bad you're probably doing your lungs and cardiovascular system more harm by exercising than you would by laying off. You could wear a dustmask respirator, which catches a lot of the particulates, but a fire like that produces a lot of bad gaseous stuff (CO, ozone, NOx, etc.) that the mask won't stop. There may be masks with activated-carbon filters that are small and light enough for cycling, but it seems like a lot of trouble and discomfort.
 

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Smoke vs. smell

nor_cal_rider said:
Anyone have any good suggestions about trying to ride/train when the air is thick with particulates from a series of local forest fires (the storms that rolled through Northern Cal Friday night/Saturday had LOTS of lightning and set off LOTS of fires)? I don't want to stop training for a week or more while the air clears, but the smoke is bad enough you can taste/smell it all over town (even smelled it in my bathroom from the vent after leaving it closed off all night).
If things are hazy, then there are a lot of particulates in the air and a dust mask would help, though it would be uncomfortable and make riding difficult. If it is a matter of smell and taste, but no significant visual haze, then your risk is extremely small (if any).
 

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I wouldn't go by a haziness criterion. My understanding is that the smaller the particle, the more danger it poses to health (which won't necessarily equate to haziness), and exercising just pushes those particles deeper into your lungs. I'd go by reports on PM10 (particulate matter measures) issued by your local weather/ air quality service. If it's in the unhealthy scores, I'd stay indoors to exercise - and check on how to keep indoor air quality OK.
 

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Today's alerts in Sacramento

At 1 p.m., PM2.5 levels have reached Unhealthy levels in the Sacramento region due to wildfires in central and northern California. These Unhealthy PM2.5 levels are expected to continue through tomorrow.

Everyone should avoid outdoor activities if you can see or smell smoke, even if you’re healthy
Contact your doctor if you have symptoms of cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms you believe to be caused by smoke
To monitor current air quality conditions, please visit www.SpareTheAir.com

Smoke-Related Health Statement


Sacramento, CA 6/23/08 – Smoke continues to impact the Sacramento region due to fires burning throughout Northern California.

The Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District Quality Management District in consultation with Sacramento County Health Officer Glennah Trochet, M.D., is advising residents to take precautions and consider restricting outside activities.

If you smell or see smoke, individuals should consider taking the following actions:

Everyone should avoid outdoor activities if you can see or smell smoke, even if you’re healthy
Children, the elderly and people with respiratory or heart conditions should be particularly careful to avoid exposure
Stay indoors with doors and windows closed as much as possible.
Asthmatics should follow their asthma management plan
Contact your doctor if you have symptoms of cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms you believe to be caused by smoke
Those with heart disease should especially limit their smoke exposure since PM can cause heart attacks
“Smoke can affect anyone, but it’s especially harmful to people who have existing breathing problems, like seniors or anyone suffering from asthma or emphysema,” said Glennah Trochet M.D., Sacramento County Health Officer. “The fine particles in smoke can obstruct the airways, making it harder to breathe and reducing oxygen intake,” she said.

And from sparetheair.com, people most susceptible to health problems from air polution include you.

Overall Health Effects
Many of us experience some kind of air pollution-related symptoms such as watery eyes, coughing, or wheezing. Even for healthy people, polluted air can cause respiratory irritation or breathing difficulties during exercise or outdoor activities. Your actual risk depends on your current health status, the pollutant type and concentration, and the length of your exposure to the polluted air. People most susceptible to severe health problems from air pollution are:
Individuals with heart disease – such as coronary artery disease or congestive heart failure
Individuals with lung disease – such as asthma, emphysema or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Pregnant women
Outdoor workers
Children under age 14, whose lungs are still developing
Athletes who exercise vigorously outdoors

TT

I did not ride today and will not ride tomorrow. But forecasts have the smoke clearing by Wednesday.
 

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I live in Auburn (well, above Auburn). It was not too bad this morning, a little hazy. The delta breeze was blowing and it actually quite pleasant. Now the breeze has gone away and air is full of smoke. They say it will get worse tomorrow. I'll try to get out early, PM will probably not be healthy. I think there are 14 separate fires going on in Ca.
 

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I live in LA. We've had our share of brush fires down here and I have learned that the best thing to do is NOT ride. If you have a trainer, set it up indoors.

Yeah it's a drag to not be able to ride for a week but like JCavilia said you'll do yourself more harm than good. You don't want those particulates in your lungs.
 

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I have a really great filter that doesn't get too hot on hot days. I'm in 90 degrees and 100% humidity, but it still works well at keeping the oxygen flowing and not feeling like I'm suffocating. I'll try to get the name of it.
 

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Really smokey today..

It's so smokey that you can't see the sun, you can smell the smoke in the air. Today's Sacramento Bee stated that there are hundreds of fires going on in Ca, twelve major ones. They say the smoke is going to be around for awhile.
 

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The sky out here in Folsom is in such a haze that there’s no sun to be seen and the light being reflected through the windows is a red-orange color. My girls and I had plans to go to the aquatic-center and I would have liked an early morning ride but the smoke was already bad at 6:00 am out in our neck of the woods.

I’m not sure where in the Sacramento the OP resides in, but I for sure would not ride out in this heavy air ridden smoke, even if you could find a way around not breathing the air. I’d worry about what effect the smoke would have on my eyes and skin, the skin has to breath too…

Peace :cool:
 

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Elfstone said:
The sky out here in Folsom is in such a haze that there’s no sun to be seen and the light being reflected through the windows is a red-orange color. My girls and I had plans to go to the aquatic-center and I would have liked an early morning ride but the smoke was already bad at 6:00 am out in our neck of the woods.

I’m not sure where in the Sacramento the OP resides in, but I for sure would not ride out in this heavy air ridden smoke, even if you could find a way around not breathing the air. I’d worry about what effect the smoke would have on my eyes and skin, the skin has to breath too…

Peace :cool:
He's in Redding.
 

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il sogno said:
He's in Redding.
Thanks; I missed that part at the end of the OP…

Peace :cool:
 

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smokey statewide

I just got back from a ride, it's so smokey that some folks are driving with their headlights on. For some strange reason, I liked it.

There is a fire going on off Mosquito Ridge Rd (Foresthill), combined with the fires up north. I remember a few years ago they had a big fire in Oregon and we had cinders in the air here in NorCal.

There is also a fire going on in Butte County, which is about 70 miles away.
 

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Dr. Placebo said:


time to look like one of krang's foot troopers
Why does this remind me of Rock Racing.....and the gimp?
 

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OK, so I'm a fool. Just got back from a 2 hour ride. That's the last time I believe the Bay Area Air Quality Index. And as of 1 PM today, it's still rated "moderate" in all areas around the Bay. It was terrible. If that's not unhealthy, I'd like to know what is, or they really need to redefine what they mean by unhealthy. Reminded me of when I was a kid out playing in the late 60's in L.A. - burning eyes, headache, tight chest, etc.
 

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It's ugly in Reno NV too. I hate being down wind from California this time of year. Visibility today is <2 miles when it's normally >20 miles. And I was really getting into my commuter-single speed groove. Oh, well...
 
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