Six months ago if anyone had told me that I would be writing a blog post about cycling while masked I would have laughed (what?! like a Halloween mask?) Yet that's where we are.
State laws are changing almost daily to require or not-require masks, but at least half the country requires face coverings in public or when it's impossible to social distance. Several states require masks in any indoor or outdoor setting, and New Mexico specifically includes the requirement to wear a face mask while exercising inside or out.
Although I didn't know it till now, face masks for cyclists to keep out air pollution have been a thing since at least the early 2010s, mostly in larger cities where cyclists can find themselves in lines of chugging cars. Those masks, like these from Respro, are very good for keeping out pollution, and their appearance will likely help you keep a social distance from everyone too.
Although we at Tonik don't plan to manufacture masks anytime soon, some of my compatriot cycling companies have started making some breathable, moisture wicking options. Check some of these out if you are considering a cycling mask but don't want to channel Darth Vader.
Here in Northern California, where Tonik is located, we're required to wear face masks in public, so I've got one on when I'm tooling around on my bike downtown, where I might get close to someone. On hills though, I have a hard enough time getting my breath going up a hill with NO mask. So my approach, and that of most cyclists I know, is to stay WAY distant from people and, maskless, huff and puff my way up the hill.
Are you wearing a mask for cycling these days? Are you eyeing one of the Darth Vader models? Let us know!