Mask Inserts

Eugene Ho

I've had no luck riding with a mask on.  Blessed with minimal aerobic capacity, which no amount of interval training can seem to improve, I do a lot of huffing and puffing biking up even slight inclines.

Once the heavy breathing starts, my mask gets soaked and plasters itself against my face with the fabric getting sucked into my nose and mouth. At that point, I have to pull the mask down.  If I'm passing thru a town or biking in a crowd, I put the mask back up but it's just pandemic theatrics since I can't replace the mask carefully enough for it to be effective.

I had been trying to conjure up something to hold the mask out far enough from my face to keep it dry and to allow air to pass through all of the fabric rather than the small portion that's not sticking to my face.

When I mentioned this problem to my wife she took out a bag of "mask brackets" which she had ordered from an online vendor.  These were intended to solve a fogging problem with her glasses which occurred when she wore a mask.The "brackets" are a plastic frame that fits inside the mask and is curved in the right places to fit around one's face.  It sticks out far enough to keep the fabric away from the nose and mouth .The breeze from biking keeps the mask dry and the space inside allows normal breathing to mitigate the effects of a running nose.

I used one on a 48 mile ride today.  The only times I had to remove my "bracketed" mask were for drinking or eating. It worked way better than expected. I keep the bracket in place by putting some double sided tape on the front of it where it contacts the mask. They're cheap, between $1 and $2 each.  Amazon or any number of vendors have them.

Eugene Ho is a CRW member who lives in Newton. Gene, both in his professional life and personal life, spends much of his time spinning his wheels and riding around in circles.




I have had the same problems as you describe. So I tried your method, and it worked very well! This was the first time that I could wear a mask while cycling, not steam up my glasses, and still breathe during the whole ride. The mask got wet, but the bracket held it away from my nose and mouth so that I could still breathe. Thanks so much for the tip.