Tuesday, June 2, 2009

South Korean Bike Ninjas!

So another story about my friend Mr. Kim . . .
Two classes ago we mentioned the poor air quality of Seoul. Last summer Mr. Kim visited my house in Northern California. At the time he visited, Northern California was suffering from horrible forest fires. The air quality was so bad that I had trouble breathing. Anyway, we pick Mr. Kim up from the airport and when we get to our house, he does something kind of funny. He got out of the car, put his hands up in the air, spun in a circle and said, “The air here is amazing!” My parents were actually going to apologize to him at one point during his visit for the poor air quality, but they decided it probably was not necessary. I thought I would do a little research on South Korea’s air quality. I found that they do have something similar to our EPA: the Ministry of Environment Republic of Korea. I also found this interesting article on South Korean Bike Ninjas. Many of the bicyclists wear masks to protect them from car exhaust pollution and this kind of makes them look like ninjas. They bike to fight pollution – 3.9% of those who live in South Korea suffer from asthma and that percentage rises to 12% for young children and the elderly. Pollution seems to be a big problem for many South Koreans.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, well nice article, however I DON'T RECOMMEND wearing a mask while biking,unless you're just strolling. True story, A few months ago when I still lived in GA, I would ride my bike to PT (physical training) at 0605ish. It was cold so I put on a neck gaiter (a turtleneck) and my helmet and the only thing exposed were my eyes. Although being the way I look I don't think I looked like a ninja but a terrorist. Anyway, when I got to pt and when I finished, I had a huge headache. I think it's because I was pedaling hard and could not breath well and my head didn't like that so it taught me a lesson by giving me a headache. My wife also told me that I was also breathing in too much carbon monoxide (I think that's what we exhale right?) instead of oxygen so that could also have contributed to my headeache. So if you are on a motor bike and not really needing to inhale/exhale a lot it's ok, but if you are going to breathe hard, think twice, :) raul :)