For the urban cyclist, life in the big city moves pretty fast. We’re all busy people, and thinking about air quality exposure can feel like one task too many in an action-packed day.
Seem like hard work? It doesn’t have to be.
Here’s how to beat the smog with maximum efficiency. Making sure you breathe better both on and off your bike is as simple as one, two, three.
1) Live air quality alerts right in your pocket.
It’s kind of tough to see something that’s invisible, huh? Yet knowing what you breathe is the first step in avoiding bad air.
How would you like to get a tailored air quality alert whenever pollution picks up?
It’s super simple. Download the Plume Air Report and activate smart notifications
Not only will we notify you when air quality drops, we’ll tell you when the air is clean too! You don’t even have to open the app.
Go easy on your bike commute when smog strikes. Leaving just five minutes earlier will save you from gasping.
Clean air on your lunch break? Slip on the sneakers and go out for a ride. Easy!
2) No time to change your routine?
We can all agree that sometimes rescheduling isn’t an option. What do you do if there’s smog and you still have to go out?
Get equipped—make sure your utility belt is worthy of any smog-battling hero.
If you cycle to work, make sure there’s a quality pollution mask tucked into your bike bag. In periods of high pollution, a certified smog mask can help you breathe easy.
But what to look for when buying a pollution mask?
During particulate matter peaks, you’ll want a fibrous filter that prevents the passage of particulate matter less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter. (Also known as PM2.5).
Check the label. The certification N99 (American) and FFP3 (European) guarantee to filter 99% and 98% of these particles respectively.
The World Health Organisation advises that even prolonged exposure to moderate levels can impact your health. So when in doubt, suit up.
Want to really upgrade? Flow, our personal air quality tracker, is now open for pre-orders. Hang Flow from your handlebars or backpack to know what you’re breathing the whole length of your ride.
3) Air quality off your bike is just as important!
It might not be the first thing you think of, but air quality indoors in poorly ventilated areas can be significantly worse than outdoors.
But don’t worry! Once your bike is safely stowed away, breathing better indoors is super simple.
Ready for our top tip?
Open a window.
It may seem obvious, but how many of us actually do this every day?
Just ten minutes of ventilation to renew the air in your home or office can flush out harmful pollutants. Use our free air pollution forecasting app, Plume Air Report, to check outdoor levels and find the best time to let clean air in.
In the home, you should also open windows after cooking or using cleaning products, as these processes can emit harmful volatile organic compounds (or VOCs).
For more top tips on banishing indoor pollutants, check out our air quality FAQ.