#Pocalypso | A Masked Ride on the Lakefront

2020-06-26 – One of the conditions for reopening Chicago’s lakefront path, supposedly, is that people wear mask when running or biking there. And I say “running or biking” and not “picnicking” or “sunbathing” because another condition for reopening is that people using the path keep moving and not congregate. The city promises enforcement of these rules.

I biked there Monday and again yesterday. I don’t see any sign that these rules are being obeyed, much less enforced.

I obeyed the rule, of course. The keep moving rule is easy. If you’re on a bike and you don’t keep moving, you fall down. My whole purpose of riding the lakefront path is to ride. Even in years past.

The mask part is also easy. I understand people’s resistance to it. I’m not crazy about wearing the mask, but, once it’s on my face, I basically forget its there.

Some people say they can’t forget it. They say they can’t breathe. They say they can’t get enough oxygen. To this, I say bullshit.

I rode 26 miles yesterday with my mask on with zero problem. I have worn it on 40 and 50 miles rides, also with zero problem.

I actually know what it is like trying to exercise in a low-oxygen environment—from hiking at high elevation in the mountains. It’s hard. Wearing a mask while riding my bike is not like that. It’s more like . . . riding my bike without a mask. People who say they can’t breathe while wearing a mask either haven’t tried it or they are experiencing some kind of psychological reaction. The scientific data on this point backs me up. Cloth masks do not reduce your oxygen. Period.

(Oh, yes, there might be a miniscule reduction but not enough to cause any physiological reaction. The small reduction be comparable to the reduction of atmospheric oxygen due to greenhouse gases. I don’t see you complaining that global climate change is making it impossible for you to breathe.)

Mayor Lightfoot, when I ride, my mind is free to think many thoughts. Yesterday, halfway through my ride, I decided to count the number of bikers wearing and not wearing masks. I counted all bikers approaching me as I rode from North Avenue to Hollywood, approximately 5 miles. Only 12.8% of bikers were masked. Your enforcers are visible, but they are looking at their cell phones.

Here’s a question for you mayor. If your cops aren’t going to stop people who aren’t wearing mask, will they stop people who aren’t wearing pants?

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