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I haven't been on the bike since this past Sunday, mainly because of the heavy smoke in the air due to the current wildfires. I was about to go riding after work today but changed my mind as I saw the smokey horizon. I am thinking about going riding tomorrow or maybe saturday but am still not too sure of the air quality. I was just wondering if anyone else out there are avoiding outside activities because of this heavy smoke. I don't have asthma or any other health problems but the last time I rode when there was smoke left over from a heavy fire it smelled so bad that I had to turn around in less than 5 miles.
 

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I've been riding consistently all week. I have EIA and I've suffered no symptoms from the smoke. I've been riding at a pretty high intensity on the southern peninsula. My understanding is that the east bay and southern marin are at higher risk than other areas in northern california.

when in doubt, check the http://www.sparetheair.org/about/five_day.htm
 

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It's really an individual thing. Follow your intuition and don't rely on the air quality index/Spare the Air site, since for me at least, there's clearly irritants in the smoke that are not accounted for in the index. And I don't asthma, respiratory problems, etc. I checked the index before I headed out for a ride Tuesday, and it was surprisingly listed as "moderate," even though it was very smokey. I really regret it. About half-way through the ride, I was really suffering. The next day I woke up hoarse, chest congestion, etc. I haven't ridden since Tuesday, and here it is Friday, and I still haven't completely recovered.
 

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I rode Tuesday, and went slowly, breathing in though my nose and out through my mouth. I haven't ridden since as the conditions have worsened. They guys I ride with are still going out, but for me, it's not worth it. I don't smoke cigarettes because they are not good for you and this is many times worse.
Each to their own though.
 

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I rode Montebello on Tuesday and OLH on Thursday, and set new PRs on both. Montebello was clear as a bell, while Portola Valley seemed slightly hazy. For me it was no big deal in the hills. On the South Bay valley floor it didn't seem any different to a typical bad air day in the winter.
 

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I've been riding in the south bay this entire week-- taking it more easy than usual due to the smoke. I really don't feel any different, but I'm afraid the air is going to do some damage. I'm going mtn biking later today w/ a friend so we'll see how much worse its gotten since yesterday. I'm dying to do Calaveras tomorrow :(. But I don't want to die doing it....
 

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i haven't been riding all week. i live in the north bay and the smoke has been really bad. i've seen a few people out, but not me. who knows how they felt afterwards. i seems to be "clearing" up, but i may head off-road tomorrow and see how it goes. depends how well i can see the hills from my house really.
 

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The North Bay is Bad

I live in Calistoga and it has been smoky since last Sunday and really bad since Tuesday. I rode in the smoke on Sunday and Monday and it was not too bad. However, the short flat ride I did on Tuesday was a mistake. I could really feel it in my lungs. Wednesday through most of today (Friday), it was so bad you could feel it if you took a deep breath, so riding was definitely a bad idea. Thankfully the wind has picked up this evening and it is already much better.
 

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Well, I am determined to ride on the Sunday “south bay” ride in its entirety, but in sort of mirroring what Dr. John states, I’ve had a similar condition which actually started a couple weeks ago when riding home from work (Friday) into the dark orange smoke cloud originating from the Bonny Doon fire. I started feeling really awful the same day, and I have barely seen any improvements since. This respiratory thing really sucks, however, I think I’d rather have fires than hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, blizzards, or white supremacists.

Hope to see you all on the ride on Sunday!
 

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smoke

No way can this be worse than all the dust I've inhaled in MTB races over the years. Once visibility drops to less than 10 feet, I'll reconsider :) But then I'm hardly riding anyways, smoke or not.

This reminds me, I'm pretty sure I remember reading Ned Overend actually wore a filter over his mouth, I think it was the race down at Snow Summit, b/c of so much dust thrown up making it hard to breathe. But after the first lap he rode off the front so the trail was clear for him and he ditched the face mask. Easy for him...

Nose breathing helps. Lots more filtering in your nose than your mouth.

Cheers,
 

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I posted a question about riding in the smoke and the basic gist I got was to take it easy if possible - even ride an indoor trainer. I'm sure it's bad in the Bay area, but we currently have over 150 active fires in Shasta County alone. There have been several days where you needed to use headlights during the day to increase visibility - even grounded Air Attack. So, as much as I want to ride, I'll stay on the trainer until the smoke clears a bit more.

Always amazes me where people think "Northern California" starts....looking at a map, seems like the Bay area is about as Central Calif, as you can get.....
 

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Raced in Truckee

Much of the smoke has been heading over to the Reno / Tahoe area. I did a Reno Wheelmen race on Tuesday 6/24/08 in the smoke. 24 mile road race in some hills just east of Truckee (Boca / Stampede area). The officials considered cancelling the race but enough locals showed up that it was still held.

Surprisingly the smoke wasn't as much of a factor as I envisioned. A few racers had watery eyes at the start but you couldn't really differentiate between allergies and smoke. When I came into the finish I expected to find people hacking away but it didn't factor in at all.
 

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guys, here's a couple of links where inhaling small particles called PM2.5 from polluted air can bypass normal defense mechanisms in our lungs because of their smaller size, and readily get into the blood stream and may cause heart problems..interesting read considering that's what we're facing now with all the fallout and haziness from the wildfires we're having...probably time to switch to indoor training for now (i.e., elliptical, trainer, etc)
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/06/010612065427.htm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/1383645.stm
 

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kretzel said:
No way can this be worse than all the dust I've inhaled in MTB races over the years. Once visibility drops to less than 10 feet, I'll reconsider :) But then I'm hardly riding anyways, smoke or not.

This reminds me, I'm pretty sure I remember reading Ned Overend actually wore a filter over his mouth, I think it was the race down at Snow Summit, b/c of so much dust thrown up making it hard to breathe. But after the first lap he rode off the front so the trail was clear for him and he ditched the face mask. Easy for him...

Nose breathing helps. Lots more filtering in your nose than your mouth.

Cheers,
Dust is not normally considered a carcinogen.
 
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