Being struck by lightning on a cycle

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by HowardSteele, Nov 20, 2006.

  1. HowardSteele

    HowardSteele New Member

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    We were ridding in a thunder and lightning storm recently and the topic arose of being struck by lightning. Would the rubber tyers and the fact that you have spinning wheels play a part that you wouldn't be earthed and therefore not be a target?

    Has anyone ever been struck by lightning on a bicycle.:eek:
     
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  2. sogood

    sogood New Member

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    Most people who get struck by lightening have rubber soled shoes... Don't take chances or you may regret it.
     
  3. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    I been hit several times and I am fine it's just that the big lizard under my desk uses obscene language all the time but I suppose that is because the purple weasel drinks all his beer and dhen urinates on my shoes,vert distracting.


    Any insulating material will afford some protection since it is the difference in potential that causes the damage, but when you are talkng about 1 million volts and a near or direct hit a tremendous amount of protection is needed.
    You could be struck and hit in a car or a house and killed.
    Best to not tempt fate.
    Most lightning fatalities annually occur in Florida and are males.
     
  4. Jaguar27

    Jaguar27 New Member

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    It's amazing, these Days there's a web site for everything, here's one that should answer all your questions...
    http://struckbylightning.org/
     
  5. dougadam

    dougadam Member

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    Not a direct hit. But close enough to make my rims black. :eek:
     
  6. cyberlegend1994

    cyberlegend1994 Moderator

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    Your tires, being only an inch or so thick, will not stop lightning that has traveled several thousand feet - if not a few miles - through the air. Also, a common misconception about lightning is that it always strikes the tallest objects - not so - the path that lightning takes is purely random.
     
  7. Insight Driver

    Insight Driver New Member

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    A common misconception is that the rubber tires on a car insulate the passengers from a lightning strike. The fact of the matter is that the car body, being metal, routes the current over the surface of the car and does not enter it, then jumps to the ground. A metal cage in which current will not go into is called a Faraday cage, named after Michael Faraday, the father of electricity, as he is sometimes known as in history books.

    A bicycle clearly is not a cage. Being metal it is like a lightning rod. The tires offer no insulation from a charge that can blow a hole through an inch-thick steel plate. It is possible that the strike would not go through the rider of the bike, however, it is just as likely as the current will fry the bugger to a crisp. In that case, can I have your bike?
     
  8. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Yup. What he said.

    It should also be said, though, that being on a metal bike doesn't make you any more likely to be hit, either. Hell, you could wear foil clothes, and your chances of being hit wouldn't change. It's all about the static electric charge in your local environment and how close the potential difference in charges is to the point at which lightning can manifest.

    You can also forget that old saw about lightning never striking the same place twice.
     
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