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  • Posted Apr 6

An excerpt from the President's letter from the Potomac Pedaler's Touring Club from Falls Church VA
This was posted March 31st 2020

This is EYE-OPENING friends

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A respiratory signature is, in non-textbook terms, the footprint we leave in the air every time we expel air from our lungs through our nose and mouth. This can be anything from simply exhaling, to laughing, talking, and yes, coughing and sneezing. And with that exhalant comes anything that may also be hanging out in our nose, tonsil area, and upper respiratory tract. Things like pollen particles (especially this time of year), mucous, bacteria that live happily in our system without ever causing us harm, and yes, even dangerous viral particles. Those particles, being as light as they are, will stay afloat in the air for a decent amount of time, creating this sphere of breath from the person who coughed, snot rocketed, or even just talked for a while (kind of like I’m doing now). Each person out there has their own unique- or signature- sphere. THIS is why it’s constantly being drummed into our brain spaces right now to maintain at LEAST a six-foot distance away from another person, especially a person of unknown health status, because that’s typically the radius of our respiratory signature.

But, what does that look like for cyclists?
Picture if you can- you’re zipping along on your bike, your lungs are working hard, you’re exhaling hard through your mouth. If you’re like me, your nose opens up and the mucous tap handles fly open. Maybe you’re laughing at how silly you look with snot streaming down your bike frame. Maybe you’re chatting with your riding partner about how gorgeous this spring day is. But the entire time, your respiratory signature is not just a stationary, six-foot sphere around you, but it turns into a comet-shaped trail while you’re at speed. The majority of your signature is still around you in your sphere, but you’re moving fast enough that your sphere starts trailing behind you, where you used to be.
Thankfully you don’t have to picture it. Juan, our amazing PPTC graphic designer, helped us out with that.
But, picture yourself creating these comets. Or riding through a comet tail.

Thanks to Anne and Juan for this detailed information
(fyi - Anne has a PHD in tiny things that want to kill us)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ride Safe
Stay Healthy
Keep Your Distance
Do Your Part
Stop The Spread


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