Is it dangerous to go mountain biking in a thunderstorm?

Home Forum Bike Forum Is it dangerous to go mountain biking in a thunderstorm?

Viewing 22 posts - 1 through 22 (of 22 total)
  • Is it dangerous to go mountain biking in a thunderstorm?
  • Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    Dangerous relative to what? IIRC the UK suffers from around 3 deaths per year due to lighting strikes. 😆

    General advice it to avoid wide open spaces, water courses, overhangs/caves and trees.

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    Mountain Biking is dangerous, you can fall off.

    On a serious note if you were on exposed, ie open, ground you could be struck directly. As far as I know the charge dissipates pretty quickly once in contact with the ground, you just don’t want to be the thing that connects the lightening to the ground !

    Premier Icon Garry_Lager
    Subscriber

    I don’t think it’s any more dangerous than going for a walk in a lightning storm. Most people would try and avoid this, although obv the chances of being hit by lightning are low.

    I’m riding in the Peak tomorrow and will see how the land lies – it it’s like something out of Wagner I’ll turn back, but I doubt it will be that bad.

    glupton1976
    Member

    See where that lightning is going – that’s where nearly all lightning goes.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    If you have to avoid open spaces, but also rocks, and trees, where can you go?

    I was out in it earlier on today and the thought did cross my mind as I was surrounded by trees, but then I thought about that a little more- I was surrounded by trees, in a forest of about a kabillion of ’em, many of which are taller/higher what are the odds the tree I’m passing catches it? So I basically said up your Thor, and carried on.

    vickypea
    Member

    I was going to say the same thing Northwind!

    Jambalaya, I have more control over falling off than I do over where lightning chooses to strike!

    This is an entertaining read: especially the 50m step decision thing for a strike that starts Km’s above us.
    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/weather/resources/askjack/archives-lightning-safety.htm

    As for bikes:
    Q: Is someone riding a bicycle safe from lightning?

    A: NO! This isn’t only wrong, it’s potentially dead wrong. If someone told you this, he or she might have been using the false reasoning on why you’re generally safe from lightning in a car. A car, with its windows up, can protect you from lightning because the lightning will follow the metal of the car to the ground. If the windows are down, the lightning could jump into the car. A car’s tires do not insulate it from the ground as you sometimes hear. A lightning bolt that’s jumped through a couple of thousand feet of air – which is a good insulator – isn’t going to be slowed by a quarter inch of rubber in a tire.

    On the other hand – I’m still alive. So maybe they’re wrong.

    busydog
    Member

    what are the odds the tree I’m passing catches it

    I guess the odds are pretty good it won’t hit the one you are under/next to, but I was up riding in the mountains a few years ago and a bolt of lightning hit a 75 foot or so tall ponderosa pine about 50 yards from me. The trunk literally exploded and pieces of shattered timber were scattered up to about 75 yards out. Scared the crap out of me.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Sure- tree strikes are pretty impressive, we had a good sized cedar catch one a while back and you’d think it’d been dynamited. But then, being surrounded by trees will give a lot of protection from tree bits too.

    vickypea
    Member

    Someone told me that it is dangerous to ride in a thunderstorm because when the ground gets wet it can transmit lightning. We are planning a Peak District ride tomorrow and thunderstorms are forecast.

    Premier Icon lerk
    Subscriber

    A car, with its windows up, can protect you from lightning because the lightning will follow the metal of the car to the ground. If the windows are down, the lightning could jump into the car.

    Doesn’t even need windows… As long as you remain inside the faraday cage system you’ll be fine.

    Maybe a possible excuse for n+1 though, carbon is marginally less conductive than ally! 😀

    user-removed
    Member

    Many, many years ago, I went for a ride out into Royal Deeside, along the disused railway line from Aberdeen. It started absolutely pissing it down – proper stair-rods. When I reached the bridge at Maryculter, there was so much water flowing over it, it looked like a river. There must have been two full inches of water.

    As I started over the bridge, lightning struck the far end. The whole bridge flashed white under my tyres as the water conducted the lightning. I may have screamed. If I let my bladder go I didn’t notice – I was already soaked to the bone.

    Exhilarating.

    Premier Icon gofasterstripes
    Subscriber

    Wooooooooooow – that’s a good story.

    ICBA 2 type mine right now – but yeah – 20m away a tree was struck, in the Pyrenees in from of me when I was 8.

    I ate a ham quiche, that’s how shaken up I was.

    user-removed
    Member

    Oh FFS. Now I fancy a bit of ham quiche.

    chris_db
    Member

    Get out there, if you can cope with the torrential rain what’s the problem with a bit of lightening?

    Premier Icon JoeG
    Subscriber

    Get hit by lightning, win a free awsumz tattoo! 😯

    There’s a risk you could get struck by lightening its up to you if you want to take that risk. Oh and if you do get struck by lightening then….I Told You So 😛

    On open mountain tops and exposed ridges – yup.

    E.g:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/3702389.stm

    fasgadh
    Member

    Once saw a summit cairn completely obliterated by an obvious explosion and tell tale runnels through the surrounding earth – Streap, Lochaber.
    Glad I was elsewhere at the time.

    Premier Icon benji
    Subscriber

    If you want to know more about the car idea, just look up Faraday Cage, Sir Michael Faraday did a fair few experiments involving lightning, including flying kites in it.

    Just get out and ride, if it’s your number it’s your number, when the big person upstairs decides it’s your turn he will get you.

    Premier Icon Ming the Merciless
    Subscriber

    Only if your riding whilst wearing copper armour shouting obscenities at God!

    …….I maybe wrong

Viewing 22 posts - 1 through 22 (of 22 total)

The topic ‘Is it dangerous to go mountain biking in a thunderstorm?’ is closed to new replies.