Are you riding your bike fast enough to stay alive ? Yes, there is an optimal speed if you are a commuter riding in traffic – as if, distracted drivers aren’t a great enough risk…
You are now being advised to allow for air pollution when you factor in the risks involved in cycling to work.
But don’t worry the boffins in lab coats Do have an answer !
So what speed should you travel at?
Cyclists should be riding at speeds between 12 and 20 kilometers per hour on city roads, while pedestrians should be moving at two to six kilometers per hour to minimize their inhalation of air pollution while still getting the health benefits of exercise, according to new UBC research. For female cyclists under 20, the ideal speed linked to the least pollution risk is 12.5 kilometers per hour on average on a flat road. For male cyclists in the same age group, it’s 13.3 kilometers per hour.
“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. This analysis shows where the sweet spot is,” said Alex Bigazzi, a UBC transportation expert in the department of civil engineering and school of community and regional planning who conducted this analysis.
Using a U.S. Census-based computer model of 10,000 people, Bigazzi calculated ideal travel speeds that he calls the minimum dose speeds (MDS) for different age and sex groups. For female cyclists under 20, the ideal speed linked to the least pollution risk is 12.5 kilometers per hour on average on a flat road. For male cyclists in the same age group, it’s 13.3 kilometers per hour. Ideal travel speeds were at 13 and 15 kilometers per hour for female and male cyclists in the 20-60 age group. source eurekalert.org
Video – Riding In New York Pollution
Image credit eurekalert.org