Lightning on a Bent?

Discussion in 'Recumbent bicycles' started by EVSolutions, Feb 29, 2004.

  1. EVSolutions

    EVSolutions Guest

    Just curious about this. When someone is in a car/truck they are told the all those rubber tires
    protect them from being a crispy critter if lightning strikes. Would the same apply to a bent...in
    particular a tadpole. I suppose if the lightning hit you and not the bent you are on, then it is
    game over. But if the lightning hits the pavement of something very close...would your tires
    protect you. Summer storms pop up rather quickly and I'd like some ideas about what to do and what
    not to do.

    Joshua
    *****
     
    Tags:


  2. Because you are insulated from the ground by your rubber tires lightning
    will NOT hit you. Ride on, in safety.
    "EVSolutions" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Just curious about this. When someone is in a car/truck they are told the all those rubber tires
    > protect them from being a crispy critter if
    lightning
    > strikes. Would the same apply to a bent...in particular a tadpole. I
    suppose
    > if the lightning hit you and not the bent you are on, then it is game
    over.
    > But if the lightning hits the pavement of something very close...would
    your
    > tires protect you. Summer storms pop up rather quickly and I'd like some ideas about what to do
    > and what not to do.
    >
    > Joshua
    > *****
     
  3. Brian Hughes

    Brian Hughes Guest

    Actually the reason a motor vehicle is so safe is the metal surrounding you acts as a Faraday cage
    (so the current and energy travels through the metal of the vehicle's body, not through you). True
    rubber tires are electrical insulators, but so is air and lightening travels right through that. So
    much for the rubber tire theory. In short, rubber tires of the car is not what protects you, it's
    the metal that's around you.

    Brian

    "EVSolutions" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Just curious about this. When someone is in a car/truck they are told the all those rubber tires
    > protect them from being a crispy critter if
    lightning
    > strikes. Would the same apply to a bent...in particular a tadpole. I
    suppose
    > if the lightning hit you and not the bent you are on, then it is game
    over.
    > But if the lightning hits the pavement of something very close...would
    your
    > tires protect you. Summer storms pop up rather quickly and I'd like some ideas about what to do
    > and what not to do.
    >
    > Joshua
    > *****
     
  4. "WheelsDealsThings" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Because you are insulated from the ground by your rubber tires lightning will NOT hit you. Ride
    > on, in safety.

    Well not really. Lightning has a voltage potential of millions of volts at a very high current. At
    that voltage there are very few insulators that will hold up. Especially if they are wet, and in
    most lightning conditions it and you will be wet. I think 1/4 inch of dry air is good for 1000 volts
    of insulation, humid air is much less. I'm guessin That much rubber might be good for 9 or 10,000
    volts if it's dry. It also depends on how much carbon content in the rubber. Lightning is like the
    poverbial 500 pound Gorilla it pretty much does what it wants, It's just best to stay out of its
    way, and not make eye contact, lest you become a statistic. Denny in Sayre, Pa "Bent but not Broken"
     
  5. EVSolutions

    EVSolutions Guest

    Yes I already figured out I would be toast if the lightning did hit me. I need to know how to
    prevent being a statistic. Scenario, riding down the totally flat highway in the Prairies...where
    everything is flat and I am the only thing sticking up. Big storm appears, lots of lightning bolts
    heading my way...what do I do? Aim for a ditch, pull Mr.Blankie over me and suck thumb..hmmm cannot
    think of a 3rd option.

    Joshua
    *****
    "Denny Voorhees" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:w5u0c.97534$%[email protected]...
    >
    > "WheelsDealsThings" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > Because you are insulated from the ground by your rubber tires lightning will NOT hit you. Ride
    > > on, in safety.
    >
    > Well not really. Lightning has a voltage potential of millions of volts at
    a
    > very high current. At that voltage there are very few insulators that will hold up. Especially if
    > they are wet, and in most lightning conditions it
    and
    > you will be wet. I think 1/4 inch of dry air is good for 1000 volts of insulation, humid air is
    > much less. I'm guessin That much rubber might be good for 9 or 10,000 volts if it's dry. It also
    > depends on how much carbon content in the rubber. Lightning is like the poverbial 500 pound
    > Gorilla it pretty much does what it wants, It's just best to stay out of its way, and not make eye
    > contact, lest you become a statistic. Denny in Sayre, Pa "Bent but not Broken"
     
  6. In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > Just curious about this. When someone is in a car/truck they are told the all those rubber tires
    > protect them from being a crispy critter if lightning strikes. Would the same apply to a bent...in
    > particular a tadpole. I suppose if the lightning hit you and not the bent you are on, then it is
    > game over. But if the lightning hits the pavement of something very close...would your tires
    > protect you. Summer storms pop up rather quickly and I'd like some ideas about what to do and what
    > not to do.

    I seem to recall a year or so back about a cyclist on a rail trail or similar MUF that was struck
    and killed by lightning while on an afternoon ride just a few miles from home. There were web
    comments and even TV web video. Perhaps someone can recall the link.

    --
    Cletus D. Lee Bacchetta Giro Lightning Voyager http://www.clee.org
    - Bellaire, TX USA -
     
  7. On Sun, 29 Feb 2004 21:20:00 +0000, WheelsDealsThings wrote:

    > Because you are insulated from the ground by your rubber tires lightning will NOT hit you. Ride
    > on, in safety.

    Unfortunately WheelsDealsThings is wrong. Lightning is a big risk for recumbent riders and tens of
    them are struck and maimed each year. This is why so many riders attach a springy metal rod to the
    luggage carrier to protect them. For safety you may want to put a flag on the end of the rod,
    otherwise you may poke it in your eye or that of other people.

    AC

    > "EVSolutions" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    >> Just curious about this. When someone is in a car/truck they are told the all those rubber tires
    >> protect them from being a crispy critter if
    > lightning
    >> strikes. Would the same apply to a bent...in particular a tadpole. I
    > suppose
    >> if the lightning hit you and not the bent you are on, then it is game
    > over.
    >> But if the lightning hits the pavement of something very close...would
    > your
    >> tires protect you. Summer storms pop up rather quickly and I'd like some ideas about what to do
    >> and what not to do.
    >>
    >> Joshua
    >> *****
    >
     
  8. Jeff Wills

    Jeff Wills Guest

    "Real" rubber is an insulator, but most bike tires contain carbon black, which turns them into
    effective conductors. I wouldn't count on them protecting you from a Lightning strike.

    Here's a couple links: http://www.cdc.gov/nasd/docs/d000901-d001000/d000907/d000907.html
    http://www.pacifier.com/~jwills/Gallery/photos/photo_3.html http://www.loglar.com/song.php?id=6198

    Jeff Wills

    "brian hughes" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Actually the reason a motor vehicle is so safe is the metal surrounding you acts as a Faraday cage
    > (so the current and energy travels through the metal of the vehicle's body, not through you). True
    > rubber tires are electrical insulators, but so is air and lightening travels right through that.
    > So much for the rubber tire theory. In short, rubber tires of the car is not what protects you,
    > it's the metal that's around you.
    >
    > Brian
    >
    >
    > "EVSolutions" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > Just curious about this. When someone is in a car/truck they are told the all those rubber tires
    > > protect them from being a crispy critter if
    > lightning
    > > strikes. Would the same apply to a bent...in particular a tadpole. I
    > suppose
    > > if the lightning hit you and not the bent you are on, then it is game
    > over.
    > > But if the lightning hits the pavement of something very close...would
    > your
    > > tires protect you. Summer storms pop up rather quickly and I'd like some ideas about what to do
    > > and what not to do.
    > >
    > > Joshua
    > > *****
    > >
     
  9. Mark Leuck

    Mark Leuck Guest

    "EVSolutions" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Just curious about this. When someone is in a car/truck they are told the all those rubber tires
    > protect them from being a crispy critter if
    lightning
    > strikes. Would the same apply to a bent...in particular a tadpole. I
    suppose
    > if the lightning hit you and not the bent you are on, then it is game
    over.
    > But if the lightning hits the pavement of something very close...would
    your
    > tires protect you. Summer storms pop up rather quickly and I'd like some ideas about what to do
    > and what not to do.
    >
    > Joshua
    > *****

    In theory yes although I wouldn't want to test it, in reality you should also factor in the rain
    that will come with lightning and I'd imagine with water everywhere on the bike you will have a
    contact to ground.
     
  10. "EVSolutions" skrev...
    > Just curious about this. When someone is in a car/truck they are told the all those rubber tires
    > protect them from being a crispy critter if lightning strikes. Would the same apply to a bent...in
    > particular a tadpole. I suppose if the lightning hit you and not the bent you are on, then it is
    > game over. But if the lightning hits the pavement of something very close...would your tires
    > protect you. Summer storms pop up rather quickly and I'd like some ideas about what to do and what
    > not to do.

    Its not the rubber tires that protect you in a car. Its the cars body that acts like a Farraday cage
    and leads the lightning around you and to the ground. But the car won't be feeling very well after a
    hit according to the accounts I've read.

    /Mikael
     
  11. GeoB

    GeoB Guest

    > Just curious about this. When someone is in a car/truck they are told the all those rubber tires
    > protect them from being a crispy critter if lightning strikes.

    Yes, but as has been said, it is the steel cage.

    > Would the same apply to a bent

    No.

    > if the lightning hit you and not the bent you are on, then it is game over.

    Yes.

    > But if the lightning hits the pavement of something very close...would your tires protect you.

    Maybe, but don't count on it. Depends.

    The best thing to do is go read a hiking and backpacking advice page, they all repeat the same
    things. Working with lightning strikes, and working in fire lookout towers, I have had my ears open
    to lightning wisdom for years. I have ben around lightning purdy close. With my first command, a 5-
    man fire crew, I was so gung-ho that I had a mutiny. I wanted to get out there and put out the
    strike while the lightning was still hitting all over the slope. Sheesh. My crew wouldn't get out of
    the truck. :-(

    Other times, I have run for my life, with bolts landing all around.

    1) Run, don't walk, to the nearest low place.

    2) Get away from your bike, fast.

    3) Grab everything metal on you, or in your pockets, chains, watches, coins and fling them away
    from you. Quickly. How far? Dunno... how far away do you want the lightning?

    4) If you hair is standing on end, don't assume it is from fright. It maybe because you are about
    to become a conductor for more than you can handle.

    5) DON'T lay on the ground! Kneel, just the legs from knee to feet should touch the ground. Keep
    head down, keep hands off the ground, on the legs/knees is OK I think.

    Metal isn't just a conductor, it can be an actual attractor as charged metal emits ions which can
    stream up and become like a flagpole-high conductor screaming "Pick me! PICK Me!"

    A human body is a better conductor than the ground in most cases. If you lie down, the strike near
    you is likely to flow through you as it moves outward from the strike point. Thus only the legs on
    the ground so current doesn't flow through your heart or brain. Most cattle that are killed by
    strikes are lying down. Blood has about the same concentration of salt in it as does the ocean. Salt
    water is an excellent conductor. Salt, in water, disassociates into polarized ions and becomes a
    good conductor. Sweat mixed with rain water might feel similar to a lightning bolt too.

    Don't hide under a tall boulder. I like to climb rocky peaks. On top, I sometimes find boulders with
    a void under them, as in a rock pile. I like to collect the melted sand that is down there from
    lightning shooting out of the bottom of the boulder towards the ground (or the opposite way,
    whatever).

    Not so long ago several of this last TV watching generation were up on Half Dome (100 miles from
    here). A Thunderstorm cloud came floating by, shooting sparks. They hooted and yelled and danced up
    there on the lip above 5000' of nothing. Lightning did what lightning does. Out of four or five, I
    think 2 died. Think 2 were paralized partially. Think only one had minor injuries. One that died was
    on the rock having convulsions and rolled off the edge. It isn't clear why no one helped him, maybe
    they weren't in good enugh shape to do so. I think the survivor was a girl who was a way back
    yelling at them to get back and try to find a safe spot.

    TRIVIA:
    Q. What, aside from burns, are the most common injury from non-fatal lightning strikes?
    R. Nerve damage. 3rd most common? The tips of your toes blown off.

    Old Geezer: Are you here? Bet you could add something here from your store of knowledge and wisdom.
    (Old Geezer is an avid hiker)
     
  12. Tom Sherman

    Tom Sherman Guest

    EVSolutions wrote:

    > Yes I already figured out I would be toast if the lightning did hit me. I need to know how to
    > prevent being a statistic. Scenario, riding down the totally flat highway in the Prairies...where
    > everything is flat and I am the only thing sticking up. Big storm appears, lots of lightning bolts
    > heading my way...what do I do? Aim for a ditch, pull Mr.Blankie over me and suck thumb..hmmm
    > cannot think of a 3rd option.

    3rd Option: Have upright bicycle riding companions. ;)

    Tom Sherman - Quad Cities (Illinois Side)
     
  13. On Mon, 01 Mar 2004 21:13:21 -0600, Tom Sherman wrote:

    > EVSolutions wrote:
    >
    >> Yes I already figured out I would be toast if the lightning did hit me. I need to know how to
    >> prevent being a statistic. Scenario, riding down the totally flat highway in the Prairies...where
    >> everything is flat and I am the only thing sticking up. Big storm appears, lots of lightning
    >> bolts heading my way...what do I do? Aim for a ditch, pull Mr.Blankie over me and suck
    >> thumb..hmmm cannot think of a 3rd option.
    >
    > 3rd Option: Have upright bicycle riding companions. ;)

    And ride slightly apart from them so that you won't all be zapped at once. If you or they are hit by
    lightning you may be able to resuscitate each other. I read in the New-Scientist a few years ago
    that a large proportion of people who died of lightning strikes could have been saved.

    AC
     
  14. On Sun, 29 Feb 2004 22:55:24 +0000, Denny Voorhees wrote:

    >
    > "WheelsDealsThings" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    >> Because you are insulated from the ground by your rubber tires lightning will NOT hit you. Ride
    >> on, in safety.
    >
    > Well not really. Lightning has a voltage potential of millions of volts at a very high current. At
    > that voltage there are very few insulators that will hold up. Especially if they are wet, and in
    > most lightning conditions it and you will be wet. I think 1/4 inch of dry air is good for 1000
    > volts of insulation, humid air is much less. I'm guessin That much rubber might be good for 9 or
    > 10,000 volts if it's dry. It also depends on how much carbon content in the rubber.

    Put another way, lightning often hits aircraft that aren't connected to the ground either by either
    conductive or insulating tyres.

    > Lightning is like the poverbial 500 pound Gorilla it pretty much does what it wants, It's just
    > best to stay out of its way, and not make eye contact, lest you become a statistic. Denny in
    > Sayre, Pa "Bent but not Broken"
     
  15. EVSolutions

    EVSolutions Guest

    This is the best and yet most frightening reply so far.

    I have a lot of respect for lightning, when I was camping as a boy scout I came across a hill with a
    rock formation and a sign that read "Lightning Rock", looked like a small Stonehenge and being dim
    witted I put up my 12 boy tent in the middle of it. About 3 am I discovered why it was called
    Lightning Rock. I figure every lightning strike for 1,000 sq. miles was concentrated into that rock
    formation. A lot of crying and wetting ourselves, but one hell of a light show.

    Farmers used to put Lightning Rods on the top of barns. I wonder if the perfect solution for a
    tadpole would be to use a telescopic aluminum pole that would serve as a mast for your red flag and
    then when Lightning is seen...crank up the Mast to say 25 feet with a Lightning Rod on top and run
    for cover...in case it right angles after hitting the trike.

    I know one area of my intended route is like Tornado Alley...but with Dry Thunderstorms..Dry meaning
    no rain but lots of thunder and lightning.

    Joshua
    *****

    "GeoB" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > > Just curious about this. When someone is in a car/truck they are told
    the
    > > all those rubber tires protect them from being a crispy critter if
    lightning
    > > strikes.
    >
    > Yes, but as has been said, it is the steel cage.
    >
    > > Would the same apply to a bent
    >
    > No.
    >
    > > if the lightning hit you and not the bent you are on, then it is game over.
    >
    > Yes.
    >
    > > But if the lightning hits the pavement of something very close...would your tires protect you.
    >
    > Maybe, but don't count on it. Depends.
    >
    > The best thing to do is go read a hiking and backpacking advice page, they all repeat the same
    > things. Working with lightning strikes, and working in fire lookout towers, I have had my ears
    > open to lightning wisdom for years. I have ben around lightning purdy close. With my first
    > command, a 5-man fire crew, I was so gung-ho that I had a mutiny. I wanted to get out there and
    > put out the strike while the lightning was still hitting all over the slope. Sheesh. My crew
    > wouldn't get out of the truck. :-(
    >
    > Other times, I have run for my life, with bolts landing all around.
    >
    > 1) Run, don't walk, to the nearest low place.
    >
    > 2) Get away from your bike, fast.
    >
    > 3) Grab everything metal on you, or in your pockets, chains, watches, coins and fling them away
    > from you. Quickly. How far? Dunno... how far away do you want the lightning?
    >
    > 4) If you hair is standing on end, don't assume it is from fright. It maybe because you are about
    > to become a conductor for more than you can handle.
    >
    > 5) DON'T lay on the ground! Kneel, just the legs from knee to feet should touch the ground. Keep
    > head down, keep hands off the ground, on the legs/knees is OK I think.
    >
    > Metal isn't just a conductor, it can be an actual attractor as charged metal emits ions which can
    > stream up and become like a flagpole-high conductor screaming "Pick me! PICK Me!"
    >
    > A human body is a better conductor than the ground in most cases. If you lie down, the strike near
    > you is likely to flow through you as it moves outward from the strike point. Thus only the legs on
    > the ground so current doesn't flow through your heart or brain. Most cattle that are killed by
    > strikes are lying down. Blood has about the same concentration of salt in it as does the ocean.
    > Salt water is an excellent conductor. Salt, in water, disassociates into polarized ions and
    > becomes a good conductor. Sweat mixed with rain water might feel similar to a lightning bolt too.
    >
    > Don't hide under a tall boulder. I like to climb rocky peaks. On top, I sometimes find boulders
    > with a void under them, as in a rock pile. I like to collect the melted sand that is down there
    > from lightning shooting out of the bottom of the boulder towards the ground (or the opposite way,
    > whatever).
    >
    > Not so long ago several of this last TV watching generation were up on Half Dome (100 miles from
    > here). A Thunderstorm cloud came floating by, shooting sparks. They hooted and yelled and danced
    > up there on the lip above 5000' of nothing. Lightning did what lightning does. Out of four or
    > five, I think 2 died. Think 2 were paralized partially. Think only one had minor injuries. One
    > that died was on the rock having convulsions and rolled off the edge. It isn't clear why no one
    > helped him, maybe they weren't in good enugh shape to do so. I think the survivor was a girl who
    > was a way back yelling at them to get back and try to find a safe spot.
    >
    > TRIVIA:
    > Q. What, aside from burns, are the most common injury from non-fatal lightning strikes?
    > A. Nerve damage. 3rd most common? The tips of your toes blown off.
    >
    > Old Geezer: Are you here? Bet you could add something here from your store of knowledge and
    > wisdom. (Old Geezer is an avid hiker)
     
  16. "EVSolutions" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Just curious about this. When someone is in a car/truck they are told the all those rubber tires
    > protect them from being a crispy critter if
    lightning
    > strikes. Would the same apply to a bent...in particular a tadpole. I
    suppose
    > if the lightning hit you and not the bent you are on, then it is game
    over.
    > But if the lightning hits the pavement of something very close...would
    your
    > tires protect you. Summer storms pop up rather quickly and I'd like some ideas about what to do
    > and what not to do.

    Just stay low, and think about the fame you'd receive if hit on your trike. They'd sell like
    icecream in sahara after that. The risk of being eaten by killer turtles is a lot greater, have you
    thought about remedying that?

    Regards, Torben
     
  17. Bruce in Texas

    Bruce in Texas New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2003
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    As a real life survivor of a lightning strike, no not on a bike, I can tell you it is not an experience you want to have. Took me close to 5 years to get over it physically and indirectly resulted in back surgery.
    I was totally ignorant of lightning and its consequences until hit. Since then (25 years ago) I have read and watched documentaries on the subject. So I have no training, just practical experience.
    Your bike will not protect you, but you might get welded to it if you are hit. If the lightning starts suddenly then look for a low spot to crouch in. Get away from the bike, it is probably metal and might attract the stuff. If you can get to an overpass then good. Go for it and take shelter under it as close to the top as you can get. Standing underneath an overpass does not guarantee protection.
    The advice on feeling the hair stand up on the back of the neck is good. Some eyewittness accounts have stated that a person who was about to be hit emitted a St. Elmo's glow. I don't know about that one.
    Because you can see lightning coming from clouds 10-20 miles away don't assume you are safe just because of the distance and it might be clear over you. Lightning has been know to hit people from great distances in clear weather where the person was. That is exactly what happened to me. I was walking around a high school track with my late Mother. We were discussing that it appeared some folks were getting rain to the south of us. Since we live in the desert SW portion of Texas, rain is not common. We continued walking when I heard a slight click and found myself spinning on the ground, surrounded by blackness, deafening ringing in my ears, and my heart beating faster than could be believed. More like an M-16 firing off rounds. I have since learned that lightning kills most people by the huge elevation in heartrate, not the injury itself.
    None of this has kept me off the bike or motorcycles. I am careful. Oddly, after this, I was nearly hit on 4 other occasion in the next two years. Strangely enough, for a while, anytime lightning was around I found myself quickly abandoned by wife and friends. It was, "you stand over there, we will be over here". Ah, it is good to be loved.
    Be careful, it hurts, it's no fun if you survive it, you will be hurt in some fashion probably seriously, take it serious. All of that to say that it is totally out of your hands, just take the precautions.
    Bruce
     
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