Wife’s away visiting a friend from university. So having walked Huge Dalmation, fed, bathed & put Daughter to bed, I’ve spent the evening Wwilfing. Amongst other things, I’ve found pictures from the Armistice Day services, The Great War (the war to end all wars), and a whole lot of bike stuff.
Which brings me to this.
It was a bit nippy yesterday. Cold in fact. But when riding along, not that cold - I was wearing a polo shirt with a micro-fleece over the top, and having the time of my life riding down-wind. Just before getting home, I passed a guy riding in the opposite direction along the pavement. He was wearing the full “I Am A Serious Cyclist” Darth Vader on his day off outfit - chunky mountain bike shoes (to match the beast he was riding), baggy shorts, Lycra top & arm warmers, black helmet, killer shades (it’d been dark for almost two hours . . .) and a smog mask.
Now, Newcastle and the coast used to be pretty grim - take a look at Michael Caine’s Get Carter for images of what it used to be like just 37 years ago. But it ain’t like that now. Fresh air, wide open blue-flag beaches, and hardly any industry left to speak of (wonder what people do for a living?).
But maybe he was just a sensitive soul, and wanted to keep any risk of nasty outside air away from his lungs. With such a condition, the smog mask probably wouldn’t have been up to the task though. Something far more mil-spec would do the job far better. Like this outfit I found on The Practical Pedal Blog. It features a full gas mask (complete with eye protection), a bike with what looks like 29″ wheels (ideal for climbing those hugely uneven paving slabs), and a siren to alert pedestrians of your approach. Oh, and a tweed suit, so you’ll be ready for work when you arrive.
In all, a far more practical solution than just an off-the-shelf smog mask.