Biking in Beijing + my pollution solution

by Wilfred Chan from Beijing

I’m tired of moping over my pollution-induced hacking cough. I refuse to hide inside my apartment any longer. I have six more weeks here, and damn it, I am going to have fun, I am going to explore this city, and I am going to do it without getting lung cancer.

Besides, what am I so worried about, anyway? This city is full of rainbows:

braving an AQI of 220, fixie rider explore Beijing with unhealthy particles in the air, including pollution and viruses. I can actually smell fresh air when I inhale. I can bike. I can walk outside to buy groceries.

Braving an AQI of 220, with the mask on, I can bike. I can walk outside to buy groceries.

The good news is that I’ve found a way to save my trip, thanks to the Totobobo Mask I bought yesterday for 180 yuan. It has two filters that trap microns down to 0.3 microns in diameter, and filter out 92-96% of unhealthy particles in the air, including pollution and viruses. I can actually smell fresh air when I inhale. I can bike. I can walk outside to buy groceries. And I may look like a post-apocalyptic piglet when I’m wearing it, but I don’t care, because I feel like a functioning human being again!

So, I kind of apologize for the complaining last time. I may have to wear a freaky mask now, but I am going to give this city another chance.

Today, with mask firmly attached, I went out with Juanes for a 20-mile ride (complete route here), braving an AQI of 220* with very high PM2.5 in the air.

An air quality index of 220 is considered Moderately Polluted according to the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection, which I like to think of as humans should probably fucking stay indoors.

I will show you a picture of what my mask looked like AFTER the ride. The left side is a new set of filters. The right side is my mask, after three hours of biking.

Totobobo filter after three hours of riding in AQI200 Beijing air

Totobobo filter after three hours of riding in AQI200 Beijing air

Yep! I’m never taking this thing off again.

More user stories:
Totobobo filter after one month cycling in London
Bert Leatherman review Totobobo mask
Scrollsaw workshop review by Steve

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