Sahara Dust Cloud - Avoid!

by caaad10   April 2, 2014  

I went cycling for a couple of hours yesterday (south west france) and today I feel like I slept in an old hoover bag - I did notice the dust on a couple of my vehicles before I set off but thought nothing of it, hearing the news on the BBC this morning I'm convinced this was the cause of my nasty cough which started just after I got home yesterday.....

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Was going for a pre-event training run tomorrow and picked-up the warnings on the news - no physical exercise outside in the affected region(s) wed and thur. Have decided to bin it, for the reason you highlight. Just need to cram the run in some other time - which is a bit short at the moment.

posted by NickK123 [63 posts]
2nd April 2014 - 14:58

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Meh, it's not too bad. I've been out and done a fairly hard 40 miles and I'm still here.

posted by bashthebox [625 posts]
2nd April 2014 - 15:11

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bashthebox wrote:
Meh, it's not too bad. I've been out and done a fairly hard 40 miles and I'm still here.

Where did you do your run? It seems quite localised (maps here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26844425 ). I am in Herts and it doesn't look good.

posted by NickK123 [63 posts]
2nd April 2014 - 15:24

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I'm still here too, but my lungs don't feel good. It's not worth it, I'm laying off until the dust has settled (hopefully it'll rain - I don't say that very often!)....

posted by caaad10 [101 posts]
2nd April 2014 - 15:43

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I'm in SE London, and went out into the North Downs and back. To be honest, at this time of year the pollen has a big effect on my lungs - long periods of exercise result in coughing and slight shortness of breath for a while. Pollution exacerbates them too, but far less.

posted by bashthebox [625 posts]
2nd April 2014 - 16:43

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Get yourself one of these, I'd have a respirator mask anyway if I lived in London

comfy-respirator-mask.jpg
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posted by Gkam84 [8701 posts]
2nd April 2014 - 16:58

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Think wearing the above mask qualifies one for the Darth Vader supporters club! Got a 40 miler in this am in the Chilterns and didn't turn into a pumpkin / have any lung-related probs. I suspect some people are more susceptible to smog-related issues and clearly the density of the smog varies considerably.

posted by NickK123 [63 posts]
3rd April 2014 - 13:30

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Hopefully it'll all blow over us and be gone for the weekend.. anyone know if this will be the case. I did a few laps of regent's park last night. Lovely temps, not too many people about and quite a nice ride generally.
The biggest risk faced was a National Express driver who shut the door on me (veered left to squash me into parked cars) when nothing was coming from the opposite direction, this on wide roads. I therefore feel he had no reason to do it At Wits End - I made sure he had seen me by way of his inside mirror and yet still I had to sprint forward to stop an accident.

However heavy the smog gets, we will still ride our bikes and enjoy doing it. only a little less so Smile

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.
I thought of that while riding my bicycle.
~ Einstein, in reference to the Theory of Relativity

posted by stealfwayne [58 posts]
3rd April 2014 - 13:48

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stealfwayne wrote:
Hopefully it'll all blow over us and be gone for the weekend.. anyone know if this will be the case)

Yes, it's forecast to be blown away by westerly winds tonight/tomorrow.

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posted by Tony Farrelly [4132 posts]
3rd April 2014 - 13:58

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I survived a half hour spin at lunch.

posted by Super Domestique [1592 posts]
3rd April 2014 - 15:41

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Just been out for a tempo run and no problems with breathing - just felt humid.

posted by Ghostie [77 posts]
3rd April 2014 - 18:12

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Its definitely a bit snoggy in Manchester, but if the Boat Race crews are out training I think you will survive. Looks like it will clear tomorrow anyway.

Between the S and the LOW

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posted by bikeboy76 [1191 posts]
3rd April 2014 - 18:15

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Another who rode in SE London and kent and now have a very unhealthy hacking cough.

posted by gazzaputt [179 posts]
4th April 2014 - 7:07

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The Isle of Man is always covered in mist so I can't actually tell right now O.o

Merlin Cycles women's race team ~ http://www.merlincycles.com
Manx nerd peddler ~ http://mooleur.blogspot.com

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posted by mooleur [542 posts]
4th April 2014 - 8:07

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Would those worried about the dust still be panicking if there were no news reports telling you to?

posted by Nick T [763 posts]
4th April 2014 - 9:01

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Normally I wouldn't have bothered, most 'news' seems to be sensationalised to the max.

However, I felt particularly rough after a ride on monday, the day before any news about the dust/ pollution was announced, and it was only after I heard about it I came to the conclusion this was possibly the cause. I live in the south of France and it passed here before arriving in the UK, I had already noticed a heavy deposit of dust on my car so I was certainly aware there was a lot of it in the atmosphere (though probably less of the associated pollution).

Of course it could be a coincidence, I may have caught something unrelated (I have had asthma in the past, and I do suffer minor hayfever too) - but my lungs felt bad enough to cause concern (in particular a really nasty cough, I can't remember having anything like that), it lasted a couple of days and I still don't feel 100%.... I was actually relieved to hear the advice not to do strenuous exercise (thereby giving a possible cause of the problem).

Overall though I'm pleased it became news - the next time I see an unusual deposit of dust on my car I'll lay off the exercise until it rains.

posted by caaad10 [101 posts]
4th April 2014 - 10:21

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Rode last few days, but last night the air tasted rank, and this is in rural Worcestershire/Gloucestershire.

Really wish government would grow a set and actually deal with pollution, blaming it on the Sahara is just looking for an excuse. Every winter if I go up into the Cotswolds and look out over the Severn vale you regularly see the brown crap in the air. I doubt it is any different in the summer just more obvious in winter.

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posted by mrmo [1035 posts]
4th April 2014 - 10:39

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