Experience of using Totobobo mask in Beijing

Mr. Monin riding with totobobo mask in Beijing

Mr. Monin riding with totobobo mask in Beijing

Mr. Monin lives in Beijing, he bikes a lot and has been using a Totobobo mask since 2010. After one year the strap was broken too many times and he need to order replacement. “My earloop is broken in at least 4 places — I should have ordered earlier in fact. It seems that the duration of an earloop is roughly a year.” Said Jean-Francois. He used a Classic Totobobo at the beginning and afterwards changed to Earloop version because he found that it fits better. We took the opportunity to interview him about his experience of using Totobobo mask for cycling in Beijing. Here is the full interview:
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1) Why do you like to cycle in Beijing?
I like to cycle in Beijing because it is the most eco-friendly and most predictable transportation mode. It is the fastest for short distances (< 4km)
Compared to other mode of transportation, bicycle is as fast as the subway and cars, and faster than bus on longer distances (up to 15 – 20 km).
By experience, I was often faster than people using other transportation means. I think that electric bikes (very common in Beijing) are faster, but they are a bit more expensive; and then you are more incline to use roads with heavy traffic where air pollution is worst.
The problems of other transportation modes are the following:
– Buses suffer from waiting time and depend on traffic.
– Subway is not very frequent and waiting time can be very long in some situations.
– Cars? parking issues and traffic is unpredictable, and sensibly more expensive.
– Taxis? You may have to wait, and traffic is unpredictable.
However cycling has a couple of drawbacks: namely road danger and air pollution. You need to understand the local traffic culture, which is very different from France for instance. To cut down the pollution I use a Totobobo mask.
2) Is there any reason that makes you feel needing a pollution mask?
Before (having a mask): I discussed with friends and became aware of pollution issues.
Now (having used a mask for 1 year): the change of color makes it clear that it is actually useful!

Totobobo filters after one week of cycling in Beijing

3) Have you tried other mask before?
No
4) What do you like about the Totobobo mask?
Efficient, light, easy to wash and change filters.
5) How often do you use the mask?
Every day, at least twice, often 4 times
6) Where would you like to see improvement of Totobobo mask?
Sometimes I have to remove the mask from nose and mouth for a few minutes, I’d like to do it conveniently, without stopping (I often use my 2 hands in this operation or the converse one — installing the mask on my face again, hence have to cycle without hands, which may a little bit dangerous).
Another suggestion is for the Totobobo website: it says very few about matrix filters. I tried to find independent information about zeolite and decided to test matrix. More precise explanations and evidence about the efficiency of this product would really be welcome on your website.
7) Will you recommend Totobobo mask to others?
Yes
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Philippines: Cool picture of SuperCool

Thanks to Al Castillo from Manila, we got this cool picture from him: ”Based on the color of the filters which I used only for a day, it filters well.”

Al is part of the Tiklop Society of the Philippines, Tiklop- meaning folding, TSP is a folding bike riding group. On the 7th of August the group was riding from Manila to Bulacan, an 80km ride! Al didn’t need to use the mask for the entire trip, possible only use it for half of the trip where the air pollution is more apparent.
more about the Bulacan ride

Riding with SuperCool mask - photo credit Al Castillo 2011

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Indonesian bicycle taxis face uphill battle

From http://english.aljazeera.net

“Ojeks”, or bicycle taxis, were once a common sight in Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta.

But as cars and buses have become cheaper, the ojek transport industry has gone into decline, and there are now just a few hundred riders left.

Al Jazeera caught up with one of the riders who is finding it difficult to make ends meet.

 

“Bicycle is anti-pollution but the rest of the vehicles are not. we are just right behind them!”  Said the bicycle taxi rider.

The last sentence touches me the most:  ”I want to just enjoy my life, just let it flow!”