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01/26/2012

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todd mullins

I live in Korea at the moment and a lot has to do with what you mentioned. the UV is very high here!

Account Deleted

UV as Todd Mullins mentioned, all sorts of air pollution in urban areas, dusty roads in urban areas in winter with sand used to melt snow, then windswept or blown by vehicles. There's also the notorious "yellow dust" worst in spring, but often present with smog year-round (like daily weather, there are good days and bad days here). If exposed to yellow dust, it can cause severe respiratory infections requiring months of antibiotics, I experienced this twice (2008/2010) and burst a cluster of blood vessels in a lung trying to get rid of it. We do have perfect weather at times, good air quality depending on weather, humidity and precipitation (washes everything out of the sky in the smoggy periods). Plenty of reasons to wear a surgical mask while cycling in Korea. (: Cycling is still excellent here, the mountains, the oceans, the rural areas between, so I wouldn't stop cycling here, just precautions to enjoy it while out riding http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asian_Dust
http://korean-world.blogspot.com/2010/03/yellow-dust-attack-on-korean-serious.html

mike

in winter also a quite common picture in germany. breathing really cold air is not the nicest thing u can do to ur lungs

Leo Horishny

Matt, a complementary row of biking pics could be made of Americans masked while riding...I'm referring to the decorative face coverings Harley riders use! ;-)

BikeRidingLover in Korea

I think the guy doesn't have knowledge about the climate situation of Korea. Korea sees what is called "Yellow Sand Storm" coming from Mongolian Gobi Desert every spring. It blankets the whole Korean Peninsula a long period of time. Even a 50m or less distance can't be seen. It is almost under the shadow of darkness as if an eclipse happens. What is more serious is to cause a 'killing' respiratory system of one's body. In addition, when riding a bike, it also makes skin trouble specially on the face like allergy symptom. Those are a few primary reasons. Dark skin or white skin ? It is absurd. It is not a matter of skin collar. I think he or she, the author, misunderstood what Koreans say or he doesn't have good powers of observation.

newstar

As men do in the desert, it protects from the dust, from the sun, and your breath creates condensation on the fabric; it keeps your throat, lips and nostrils from drying and helps you from having to drink constantly.

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