5 Ways to Avoid Being Struck by Lightning

More than a couple of times as a kid, I was stubborn to come in for shelter during a lightning storm. I just came across some useful tips for those of us who ride in lightning prone areas. Here are some tips to limit your 1 in 3000 chance of being struck in your lifetime by lightning, specifically for cyclists:

1. Obey the “30/30” rule. When lightning is seen, count the time until thunder is heard. If it’s 30 seconds or less, seek shelter immediately. Storms can move at 50 mph (80 kph). Stay protected for 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder because lightning can occur 10 miles (16 km) from the storm center.

2. Get inside. The safest places are a substantial building or a car with a metal roof. As the National Weather Service advises, “When thunder roars, go indoors.”

3. Get down. If you’re caught in the open, get into a ravine or ditch. If there are none and bolts are hitting all around, get away from your bike and make yourself small by squatting on the balls of your feet or kneeling with your toes touching the ground. Experts say this posture may prevent lighting from passing through your heart. Get down right now if a thunderstorm is near and you feel your hair stand on end.

4. Avoid lone trees and isolated stands of trees. Low bushes are safer shelter.

5. Avoid metal objects. This includes fences, guardrails and especially anything tall such as flagpoles and power stanchions. It also includes your bicycle. Even carbon bikes still have some metal.

** Reposted from roadbikerider.com

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