If you’re a cyclist, you know that biking during a thunderstorm is not a good idea. But this doesn’t mean that you should give up biking altogether in the summer months. In fact, there are plenty of ways to enjoy cycling without putting yourself at risk. Here’s how:
Do not put yourself at risk.
Thunderstorms can be both beautiful and dangerous. While they may bring much-needed relief from the heat, they can also pose serious risks. The three main dangers during a thunderstorm are lightning, falling trees and power lines.
- Lightning bolts can strike a biker at any time. If you’re riding on pavement or concrete and you’re struck by lightning while being out in the open, there’s a good chance that the lightning will bounce off of your body and strike another object nearby (a tree) instead of killing you outright. This is called “being grounded.” Being grounded means that electricity flows through your body instead of striking anything else close by; this is usually how people survive being struck by lightning!
- Falling trees are also something that could happen to anyone riding their bike in a thunderstorm—and they will happen if there’s enough wind and rain around them. A tree doesn’t have much control over its own fate once it loses all its leaves (which happens during fall), so if there’s enough wind whipping around it might just fall over onto your head!
- Landslides are another common occurrence during severe weather events like tornadoes or hurricanes…and yes: these can occur even during winter storms too!
Check the weather before you leave your house.
You should check the weather before you leave your house.
You can do this by checking the weather forecast, the weather radar, an app on your phone, a website on the internet or even watching TV.
If you see dark clouds, lightning storm, or hear thunder and it’s not dark yet, it’s probably about to storm. You should also keep an eye on the sky for sudden drops in temperature and barometric pressure; both mean that a storm is coming soon. The wind will also pick up as a storm passes through, so keep an eye on that too!
Make sure that you have a way to contact emergency services.
You can do this by bringing your phone, or purchasing a portable phone charger and making sure it’s fully charged before you head out. If possible, bring more than one battery so that if one dies, there are backups available.
You should also make sure that your bike is equipped with a mount or holder for the phone so that it can be easily seen and accessed while riding. If you have an iPhone XS or later model, consider getting one of those fancy new cases from Apple because they are waterproof (but not submersible). Also don’t forget about screen protectors!
Don’t ride alone if you can help it.
- Stay off the road. If you’re riding with a group, stick together and stay on the shoulder of the road. If you’re riding alone, try to find a safe spot off of traffic where you can wait out the storm.
- Have an emergency plan in place before you start your ride. Make sure someone knows where you are going and when they should expect to hear from you again if things go awry.
If all else fails and lightning strikes nearby:
- STOP! Get off of your bike immediately! Do not attempt to rush into shelter—the current will travel through any conductive materials such as metal frames on bikes or cans of soda in packs (or even water bottles).
- Move away from tall objects like trees or signs; these act as lightning rods and attract electrical charges from clouds above them much like how a magnet attracts iron filings (which is why there’s no need for helmets!)
Get out of the storm quickly and safely.
If you are caught in a thunderstorm, the best thing to do is get out of it quickly and safely. If you can’t get out, try to find shelter under a covered area or by riding into an alleyway or parking garage. If possible, avoid riding in the rain as it will make you wet and cold. Avoid riding in thunderstorms if you are not prepared for them (i.e., wearing appropriate clothing) or have had no experience with biking through heavy rains like this before.
Even seasoned cyclists should avoid biking in thunderstorms.
Even seasoned cyclists should avoid mountain biking in thunderstorms. They are the most dangerous weather event for cyclists, and biking through one can be fatal. Lightning strikes on the road can kill you or cause serious injury. Most injuries are caused by a lightning strike to your bike or body that electrifies it, and sends shockwaves into your limbs and heart, causing cardiac arrest within seconds. A small portion of people who have been struck by lightning have survived with no permanent damage beyond an unpleasant memory of being hit by lightning, but getting struck is like rolling a dice—you don’t know if it will be fatal or not until after it happens to you!
We hope that this article has helped you to understand the dangers of biking in storms and how to avoid them. Biking is a great way to get around, but it can be dangerous if you don’t take proper precautions. Remember these tips, and stay safe out there!