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Houston Riders(6 posts)

Houston RidersO
Oct 6, 2002 4:40 AM
I was just reading the UK version of Conde Nast Traveler magazine (September 2002). Included in the magazine is a picture of the Houston skyline. In the photo, the sky is a sickly yellow haze. The author states that the city is "the worst place in (the) world for air quality."
My questions are: Do people really bike in this environment?

What have people done to alleviate this devastation? I imagine that the long term effects this polution has on people, especially children, will be very detrimental.

Would you define the polution as a product of a lack of "environmental awareness," or just plain apathy, (or something else)?
re: Houston RidersInhighgear
Oct 6, 2002 5:03 AM
I ride in it four days a week. You should have seen it last month when a easternly pressure system stalled over Houston and it was like a polution fog over the whole area...Gross..I have a chronic sore throat and it's either allergies or this smog.

That said, Houston is the place for making money. 5 million people do so. I got a Litespeed Vortex to prove it. Unfortunately it's an oil controlled town. Just take a drive down I225 to see the huge industrial/oil complex that oil controls and the wealth that derives from it.

Take a look at I10 with it's sea of bumper to bumper auto's 24/7 and no one can firgure out how to do mass transit in this town.

With oil in control, this town will either choke itself to death or stop when the last drop of oil is pulled from the earth.

I think of moving daily.
re: DowntownSteveS
Oct 6, 2002 3:04 PM
The picture you are referring to is of downtown and indeed there are riders in that area and a couple of miles out around Memorial Park. Why someone would want to ride in downtown, I have no idea. Traffic would be a much greater threat to your life ending before its time. I would imagine if one cycled around the refineries and chemical plants they would get quite a fill of pollution, again, if they weren't killed by traffic first.

I live 25 miles north of the photograph you saw, have ridden here for years, have no pollution related health problems and see dozens of riders on the roads every weekend. There is no "devastation" despite the magazine's hype, certainly not in my riding area. Now heat and humidity, those combined with traffic are definite factors to consider when riding.

Follow Mark Twain's advice; don't believe anything you read and only half of what you see.
Is this a cycling question? Post it on non-cycling forumDave Hickey
Oct 6, 2002 4:27 PM
Some how I don't think this is a cycling question. I think O has other motives.
re: Houston Riderstigermilk
Oct 6, 2002 4:38 PM
I'm a Houston rider (or a 15 mile south of downtown rider. I can see the ring of haze/pollution around the city when I drive in. Fortunately it doesn't come too far south yet. But we sure get nice sunsets with that pollution :)

I doubt it is the worst place in the world for air quality. I imagine places like Mexico City, perhaps Lima, Hong Kong, and some other 2nd/3rd world cities are topping the list. Houston's problem isn't so much from the lack of environmental awareness; it's more the environment itself. We often get high pressure systems in the Gulf preventing the flow of air and thus keeping the pollution in its place rather than drifting off. Similiarly Mexico City has problems because it's nestled in the mountains and little air can push it through. Even out in LA you have to get the benefit of winds to clear out the smog. Sure you can alleviate it with emissions controls, but nature is a big factor for some cities.

In our case it's simply a bunch of cars, plenty of industrial emissions, and one lousy weather pattern.
Conde Nast(y)-the new authority on the environment.MXL02
Oct 7, 2002 6:56 AM
Yes, Houston is horrible...so is the rest of Texas, due to a little known chemical interaction between Longhorn manure and crude oil distillation byproducts, the air quality suffers. The only cure is to put down the poor beasts, but no one has the heart to do it, and besides, the Texas Rangers guard them night and day with sawed off shotguns.
So we suffer. It is a miracle that Lance Armstrong has succeeded as much as he has. So Conde Nast readers/travelers beware, stay away from Texas. Go to... (let's see)... Los Angeles!, yeah thats the ticket, or maybe New York...quiet, safe, no pollution, no traffic...yeah, you'll love it there....