VeloClub is CyclingTips’ membership program which brings us closer to our members, and connects likeminded cycling enthusiasts.
by Mark Zalewski
November 4, 2016
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Haas on Lachlan Morton: ‘His potential is limitless if he wants it to be’; Armstrong appears in federal court as judge hears arguments; Helen Wyman posts update on medical condition; The Death of the Local Bike Shop?; Bike stolen from cyclist killed in hit-and-run; British Cycling emphasising ‘culture’ in search for performance director; Bjarne Riis becomes partner in Danish team Virtu Pro-Veloconcept; Stan Siejka Classic final race for Tasmanian trio of Goss, Sulzberger brothers; Trek issues recall of select Farley fatbike models; Cyclist crowdfunding South Pole record attempt; Research studies of air pollution affects high-speed cyclists; Researchers test altruism with staged bicycle accident; Strider Bike World Championship.
Anyone who cycles in an urban environment has to deal with the pollution caused by vehicles. While pedaling faster causes a cyclist to breathe deeper, inhaling more air pollutants, the higher speed also means the time of exposure is reduced. So what is the optimal speed for a cyclist to minimise the level of pollution?
Alexander Bigazzi, a Canadian engineer, developed a mathematical model to answer this question, and concluded that cycling faster than 20km (12.4 miles) an hour increases exposure to pollutants.
“The faster you move, the harder you breathe and the more pollution you could potentially inhale, but you also are exposed to traffic for a shorter period of time,” said Dr. Bigazzi. “This analysis shows where the sweet spot is.”
Dr. Bigazzi wrote in the paper that the sweet spot is 12–20 km/hr while bicycling. As well, small increases in effort do not have much effect, but large ones, such as going uphill, more than double the intake.
He also concluded that the average cyclist, such as commuters, already travel within the ideal speed range. “It appears that pedestrians and bicyclists choose travel speeds that approximately minimize pollution inhalation dose, although pollution is unlikely a primary motivation.”
Click through to read more at The Sun.