The New ABCs


The old ABCs — for checking Air, Brakes and Chain before each ride — may need an update.

What got me thinking of this modernization of the bicyclist’s creed was a Facebook post. What else?

Yesterday I posted an announcement for the January ride, a beautiful, off-road ride of medium range. An hour later I had an enthusiastic comment from a new friend,

After my 58 miler today, piece of cake!

This pushed my buttons a couple of ways. First, I gotta admit, was the envy, then guilt because on New Years Day I should’ve been out riding a big loop, too. Then rationalization took hold.

I qualify for membership in “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups”, a category developed by the EPA in its Air Quality Index and yesterday was a bad day for breathing. This typically occurs during winter months when the weather combines with atmospheric chemistry to put too much crap in the air. The AQMD declares a No Burn Day which clues me into staying close to home.

Would the benefits of the exercise outweigh the risks of vigorous breathing on a bad air day?

I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t for me.

Next time you’re prepping for a big ride, check your local air quality and download the app.

It’s part of the new ABCs.

The AQMD's Air Quality map

Major yuck! The AQMD’s Air Quality map for New Years Day