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I was almost caught in a huge storm about an hour ago. This has been the biggest storm in quite awhile.

Whats the best way to avoid getting killed by lightning if you get stuck while riding?

I know you arn't supposed to stand under a tree, but what if your in a forest with a thick canopy?:confused:

Thanks.
 

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life is a barrel o'fun
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I'm terrified of lightning, always have been. Got caught at the beginning of a storm a couple of weeks ago while jogging in the park, and couldn't understand why everybody wasn't running for cover as it approached!! That's some crazy sh!t.

My sister e-mailed me the following, which I posted on our local board:

OEM RECOGNIZES LIGHTNING SAFETY AWARENESS WEEK IN NEW YORK

As the summer gets underway, the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) reminds New Yorkers that June 12-18 is Lightning Awareness Week in New York State.

While lightning can be fascinating to watch, it is also extremely dangerous. Lightning causes an average of 67 fatalities and 300 injuries each year. New York State is considered to have a "moderate" occurrence of lightning, with 3.8 strikes occurring per square mile each year. This compares to 20 per square mile in Florida, and two in California. The bottom line: lightning poses a real threat during the summer months and it is important that New Yorkers know how to respond.

IF YOU ARE IN A HOUSE OR BUILDING:

Do not use the telephone or any electrical appliance connected to the building's electrical wiring.

Do not use showers, sinks, or any object, machine or device connected to the building's plumbing system. If lightning strikes the building, the current will likely flow through either the electrical wiring or the water pipes, and you could receive a fatal shock.

Structures like bus shelters or any small non-metal structures do not provide sufficient lightning protection.

IF YOU ARE CAUGHT OUTSIDE DURING A THUNDERSTORM:

Stay away from tall, isolated objects like trees, flagpoles or posts, and avoid large open areas like fields or parking lots where you are the highest object.

Stay away from lakes, ponds, railroad tracks and fences, which could carry current from a distant lightning strike.

If there is no shelter, crouch down, grab your ankles and bend forward, so that your head is not the highest part of your body and your head does not touch the ground. Do not lie flat on the ground.

WHAT TO DO IF SOMEONE IS STRUCK BY LIGHTNING:

Call for help. Call 911 or your local ambulance service. Get medical attention as quickly as possible.

Give first aid. If the victim has stopped breathing, begin rescue breathing. If the heart has stopped beating, a trained person should give CPR. If the person has a pulse and is breathing, address any other injuries.

Check for burns in two places. The injured person has received an electric shock and may be burned, both where they were struck and where the electricity left their body. People struck by lightning carry no electrical charge that can shock other people. You can examine them without risk.

Learn more about lightning on OEM's website
Read more about Lightning Safety Awareness Week
 

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I know you arn't supposed to stand under a tree, but what if your in a forest with a thick canopy?:confused:

I get a little spooked in a forest even on very windy days as things tend to fall from up above and I'm afraid I'l get clobbered. High winds tend to go hand in hand with thunderstorms so I like to get out of the canopy quick if a storm blows in.

On the other hand I've headed out on the road bike plenty of times when there were severe thunderstorm warnings to play chicken with mother nature. When I do this I take a loop where home is the center in case I need to "bolt" home in a hurry. I ain't been hit by lightening yet cuz I'm soooo fast;) .
 

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i'm scared of lightning too

If I was caught in a thick forest during a lightning storm I would ditch the bike and head down into a gully and "assume the position" like the above poster has stated. Getting off the highest point around is key. Sh!t happens, though--did you read about the motorcyclist who was riding near a lightning strike? Rubber tires didn't keep him from getting fried. I always turn around whenever I hear the thunder ahead, but if I'm caught unawares you're gonna find me in the lowest point around, assuming the position...and praying. You don't f!ck with lightning, it f!cks with you.
 

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xcguy said:
If I was caught in a thick forest during a lightning storm I would ditch the bike and head down into a gully and "assume the position" like the above poster has stated. Getting off the highest point around is key. Sh!t happens, though--did you read about the motorcyclist who was riding near a lightning strike? Rubber tires didn't keep him from getting fried. I always turn around whenever I hear the thunder ahead, but if I'm caught unawares you're gonna find me in the lowest point around, assuming the position...and praying. You don't f!ck with lightning, it f!cks with you.
Contrary to what many people believe, its not the rubber tires on a car that keep you from getting shocked by lightning. Its the fact that the lightning travels through the car body/frame, and through the tires to the ground, rather than traveling through YOU.

On a motorcycle, the lightning would most likely travel through the person and the bike to the ground, thus injuring or killing the person.
 

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Reminds me of the airline joke: "In case of emergency, put your head between your legs and kiss your ass goodbye!" :-D

In a forest, I'd probably feel a *little* safer knowing I'm not the tallest thing around, but the bike would be the most mettalic thing around :-(

As already mentioned, park the bike, seek lower ground and assume the position ("Kiss yer ass goodbye" :p )

What freaked me out most as a child was when they said you'd feel your hair stand on end just before getting struck. To this day I am paranoid about feeling my hair stand up during a thunderstorm. I hope they're not still freaking out little kids with all this info- it could've waited 'til junior high!!
 

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You asked a great question... One of those questions that aren't published in well known books... One of those questions where it is like... "Oh, I've heard this before, but I can't remember the answer..."

In situations where there is no awesome, single answer, I'd use the best sense I could muster at the moment. The advice above has been good.

As for me... Here is the situation (a situation/your situation). I am in the middle of a 11 mile trail through the woods. I've got 5 miles ahead of me... 5 miles back... The storm rolls in... And there is lightning...

Just like above.

Off the bike I go. Lowest area I find... Don't directly touch a tree or any thing else... Head down... Assume the position. Prepare for 30 minutes of this... Rain... And waiting for it to pass by.

If you are lucky you might be with a friend. Don't be right next to your friend though, put some distance between the two of you... Because if something bad happened to one of you, the other could "book it" for help...

It would be bad, if you both were 2 close to each other, and the lightning jumped between you, and you both were unconsious after the fact.

Happy riding. Best of luck with no spills, no broken bones, no injuries, and no lightning strikes.
 

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grawbass said:
Contrary to what many people believe, its not the rubber tires on a car that keep you from getting shocked by lightning. Its the fact that the lightning travels through the car body/frame, and through the tires to the ground, rather than traveling through YOU.

On a motorcycle, the lightning would most likely travel through the person and the bike to the ground, thus injuring or killing the person.
Actually you are wrong as well. It is because the charge inside a sphere is always zero. Electrical charge is just a relative idea. It means that there is an overload of electrons in one area compared to another. So when lightning strikes a car it charges the whole thing and the charges give equal pull from all sides, rendering the net charge zero. Its simple physics. And the lightning just arcs over the rubber tires or melts them.
 
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