Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 09-10-07, 07:39 PM   #1
Terrierman
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Terrierman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: SWMO
Bikes:
Posts: 3,179
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 53 Post(s)
A scientific question

Does the insulating properties of my rubber tires and carbon fork outweigh the electricity conducting properties of the steel frame on my bicycle during a sudden thunderstorm with lots and lots of brilliant and highly impressive nearby lightning?
__________________
It's all downhill from here. Except the parts that are uphill.
Terrierman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-07, 07:55 PM   #2
Skipper
Senior Member
 
Skipper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Limburger capitol of the USA
Bikes: Trek 1500, Trek 7300FX, Cannondale RT3000
Posts: 361
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
A lightning bolt travels hundreds/thousands of feet through the air to reach the earth. I wouldn't count on a skinny little rubber tire to slow it down much.
Skipper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-07, 08:09 PM   #3
Tom Bombadil
His Brain is Gone!
 
Tom Bombadil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Paoli, Wisconsin
Bikes: RANS Stratus, Bridgestone CB-1, Trek 7600, Sun EZ-Rider AX, Fuji Absolute 1.0, Cayne Rambler 3
Posts: 9,980
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
When this lightning strikes, will your tires be wet?
Tom Bombadil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-07, 08:14 PM   #4
head_wind
Hypoxic Member
 
head_wind's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Colorado Springs
Bikes:
Posts: 545
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Lately some car and truck tires have been hardened with silicates but
in the past they had lots of carbon, as in black, messy, conductive carbon.
Toll booth operators hate the silicate tires because without the carbon
grounding the tires they get more shocks. I suppose you'll ask next
about bike tires!!

I don't know anything about the electrical properties of carbon fiber either.
head_wind is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-07, 08:19 PM   #5
Lurch
Fossil
 
Lurch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Raleigh, NC
Bikes: Bianchi Bergamo, Raleigh Misceo
Posts: 330
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
No.
Lurch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-07, 08:26 PM   #6
old and new
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 3,134
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skipper View Post
A lightning bolt travels hundreds/thousands of feet through the air to reach the earth. I wouldn't count on a skinny little rubber tire to slow it down much.
VERY TRUE .The lightening just doesn't "care", It'll jump. Many individuals who are struck and live are actually "struck" by PART of the bolt's electricity spreading after the direct hit. Your chances of getting a direct hit are very slim anyway.Tires,carbon .. none of that matters.As far as the indirect hit, nothing you can do about that either. Down here in NC, knowing farmers, not at all unusual to encounter someone who's been struckto one degree or another. It can travel through a phone receiver. Golfers and farmers are at greatest risk. Out in the open,it matters less how high an object is. Seek cover if you want to be protected. If you live in the San Francisco Bay area,you've virtually NO chance of getting hit. Tire and fork selection are not key.
old and new is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-07, 08:29 PM   #7
Tom Bombadil
His Brain is Gone!
 
Tom Bombadil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Paoli, Wisconsin
Bikes: RANS Stratus, Bridgestone CB-1, Trek 7600, Sun EZ-Rider AX, Fuji Absolute 1.0, Cayne Rambler 3
Posts: 9,980
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If you are out riding and a thunderstorm rolls in on you, then you should get off of your bike and hold it up in the air to ward off the lightning.
Tom Bombadil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-07, 08:49 PM   #8
dbg 
Si Senior
 
dbg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Naperville, Illinois
Bikes: Too Numerous (not)
Posts: 2,595
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
But shouting defiance at the sky will help keep it away.

(So somebody please remove this post because I can't stop myself from adding this joke:
What's the difference between a rooster and a lawyer?
A: The rooster clucks defiance.)
__________________
David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino
dbg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-07, 08:59 PM   #9
Road Fan
Senior Member
 
Road Fan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Bikes:
Posts: 12,264
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrierman View Post
Does the insulating properties of my rubber tires and carbon fork outweigh the electricity conducting properties of the steel frame on my bicycle during a sudden thunderstorm with lots and lots of brilliant and highly impressive nearby lightning?
If you get hit by lightning, it is a sign you are already a low-impedance path to earth, and hence some pointy aspect of your head was more pointy, and most especially taller, than anything else in the locale!

So if you get hit the lightning will conduct through your body to the frame, arc across the bearing interfaces and cross the tires. Now tire are rubber, but heavily filled with lampblack. This makes them conductive, but to around a millionth the degree of conductivity as the steel frame, or your wet body. The lightning energy will probably force an arc across the tires, melting them.

But this is all extremely unlikely, because you would need to be far from anything taller than you: a tree, a building, a utility pole.

FWIW, as an electical engineer who has studied grounding and lightining protection systems, I agree your tires shouldn't insulate you significantly.

Road Fan
Road Fan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-07, 09:08 PM   #10
jppe
Let's do a Century
 
jppe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: North Carolina
Bikes: Pinarello Prince/Campy SR; Cervelo R3/Sram Red; Trek 5900/Duraace, Cervelo P2C/Duraace
Posts: 6,500
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
If you get hit by lightning, it is a sign you are already a low-impedance path to earth, and hence some pointy aspect of your head was more pointy, and most especially taller, than anything else in the locale!

So if you get hit the lightning will conduct through your body to the frame, arc across the bearing interfaces and cross the tires. Now tire are rubber, but heavily filled with lampblack. This makes them conductive, but to around a millionth the degree of conductivity as the steel frame, or your wet body. The lightning energy will probably force an arc across the tires, melting them.

But this is all extremely unlikely, because you would need to be far from anything taller than you: a tree, a building, a utility pole.

FWIW, as an electical engineer who has studied grounding and lightining protection systems, I agree your tires shouldn't insulate you significantly.

Road Fan
Talking about lightning bolts, how about those Mountaineers!! Sorry-just couldn't resist!

And as a fellow EE I'd agree that if lightning is that close it's going to go to ground.......and go through the tires if necessary.
jppe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-07, 09:26 PM   #11
will dehne
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: rockford, il
Bikes: Trek 7700, C'dale R2000
Posts: 2,646
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I do worry about this subject because I do take chances with riding in borderline weather. If I were not, I would not be biking most of the time in this area.
I do not know what is correct. I was told that the ground provides conduit for the lightening to connect to. That means that anything what looks like ground is to be avoided such as water lines on Golf courses and Golf Clubs and a bike wet on wet ground.
I am not sure about any of this so please educate me.
The fact is that I often bike in T. Storms.
will dehne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-07, 09:30 PM   #12
Hermes 
Elite Rider
 
Hermes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Bikes: Too Many
Posts: 9,687
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
OMG, let yet another EE weigh in...lighting will strike the highest object in its path. We know from lightning protection theory that there is a cone of protection that extends from higher objects (assumes lower resistance) to lower ones. However, this does not mean that the lightning cannot jump from one object to anther that offers a lower path of resistance.

Golf courses offer the most opportunity to be struct by lightning due to the open areas and trees offer points of collection and humans under tress offering a possible alternative path to ground.
__________________
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. Aristotle

Cat: Killer
Hermes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-07, 09:32 PM   #13
maddmaxx 
Small Member
 
maddmaxx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Bikes: Leader home built hardtail, Diamondback Response
Posts: 7,136
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 132 Post(s)
The positive approach would be to concentrate on lightening the bike, not lightning the bike.
maddmaxx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-07, 09:41 PM   #14
Artkansas 
Pedaled too far.
 
Artkansas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: La Petite Roche
Bikes:
Posts: 12,858
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Cars offer some protection because they route the electricity around you. It creates what is known as a "Faraday Cage". If you could climb inside of your bike frame, it would offer the same protection.

The tires offer no protection. Think of it. In the rain, the tires are wet. The electricity goes straight down them.
Artkansas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-07, 09:48 PM   #15
maddmaxx 
Small Member
 
maddmaxx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Bikes: Leader home built hardtail, Diamondback Response
Posts: 7,136
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 132 Post(s)
Actually, the first thing the lightning will do is overheat the air in your tires causing them to go flat. About 3 miliseconds later when the rims touch the pavement you will fry.
maddmaxx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-07, 10:42 PM   #16
Digital Gee
I need more cowbell.
 
Digital Gee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Reno, Nevada
Bikes: 2015 Specialized Sirrus Elite, 2012 Masi Evoluzione
Posts: 8,111
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You wanna see Bolts, come see the Chargers, baby.
__________________
2015 Sirrus Elite
2012 Masi Evoluzione

Proud member of the original Club Tombay
Digital Gee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-07, 10:48 PM   #17
Red Rider
Don't mince words
 
Red Rider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Vacaville, CA
Bikes: '08 Orbea Diva "The Avocado"; Specialized Dolce comp "Sweet Thang"; Co-Motion Roadster "Blue Jay", Fuji Team Pro
Posts: 6,948
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
No, go find the nearest tree.

...okay, I'm not blonde, but which is safer in a lightning storm: Fetal position under a tree or fetal position on open ground?

Because we get fewer than 10 thunderstorms per year in this part of California (wrong thread, sorry) and I've completely forgotten how we dealt with them in parts of the country prone to thunderstorms (which we are not, here in glorious California).
Red Rider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-07, 10:52 PM   #18
Digital Gee
I need more cowbell.
 
Digital Gee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Reno, Nevada
Bikes: 2015 Specialized Sirrus Elite, 2012 Masi Evoluzione
Posts: 8,111
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Rider View Post
No, go find the nearest tree.

...okay, I'm not blonde, but which is safer in a lightning storm: Fetal position under a tree or fetal position on open ground?

Because we get fewer than 10 thunderstorms per year in this part of California (wrong thread, sorry) and I've completely forgotten how we dealt with them in parts of the country prone to thunderstorms (which we are not, here in glorious California).
When I was a kid back in Ohio, a buddy and I camped out under a big BIG old dead tree. Something made us move our tent that night, which was a good thing. Sometime during the night there was a violent thunderstorm and lightning to beat the band. We discovered why you're not supposed to touch the inside of a canvas tent during a rainstorm, btw...

Anyway, next morning we went back by that big old tree. A branch as large as most trees had snapped off, the result of lightning. Landed right over where our tent was. We'd a been dead had we stayed there. So...I opt for fetal position on open ground. YMMV
__________________
2015 Sirrus Elite
2012 Masi Evoluzione

Proud member of the original Club Tombay
Digital Gee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-07, 11:22 PM   #19
Tom Bombadil
His Brain is Gone!
 
Tom Bombadil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Paoli, Wisconsin
Bikes: RANS Stratus, Bridgestone CB-1, Trek 7600, Sun EZ-Rider AX, Fuji Absolute 1.0, Cayne Rambler 3
Posts: 9,980
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by will dehne View Post
I do not know what is correct. I was told that the ground provides conduit for the lightening to connect to. That means that anything what looks like ground is to be avoided such as water lines on Golf courses and Golf Clubs and a bike wet on wet ground.
I am not sure about any of this so please educate me.
The fact is that I often bike in T. Storms.
Short list:
http://weathereye.kgan.com/cadet/lig...ety_rules.html
http://www.health.state.ny.us/enviro...her/lightning/

Long List:
http://usscouts.org/usscouts/safety/safe-lightning.asp
__________________
"Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

There are two types of road bikers: bikers who are faster than me, and me. Bruce Cameron - Denver Post
Tom Bombadil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-07, 05:14 AM   #20
stonecrd
OnTheRoad or AtTheBeach
 
stonecrd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Weston, FL
Bikes: Ridley Noah RS, Scott CR1 Pro
Posts: 2,170
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by will dehne View Post
The fact is that I often bike in T. Storms.
I live in the lightening capital of the US. Please do not ride your bike when you can hear thunder even if the sky is clear. We get people killed almost weekly down here from lightening. Roofers, landscapers and a couple of months ago a diver who surfaced off shore. Lightening can hit from quite far away even when the sky is blue above you so riding in an active thunder storm is risky. We have lightening detection systems at most of the schools and golf courses, when I hear the sirens go off I head for home.

http://www.bocaratonnews.com/index.p...y=Local%20News
__________________
The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard and the shallow end is much too large

2013 Noah RS
stonecrd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-07, 05:44 AM   #21
DnvrFox
Banned.
 
DnvrFox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Bikes:
Posts: 20,916
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by stonecrd View Post
I live in the lightening capital of the US. Please do not ride your bike when you can hear thunder even if the sky is clear. We get people killed almost weekly down here from lightening. Roofers, landscapers and a couple of months ago a diver who surfaced off shore. Lightening can hit from quite far away even when the sky is blue above you so riding in an active thunder storm is risky. We have lightening detection systems at most of the schools and gold courses, when I hear the sirens go off I head for home.

For more info

http://www.bocaratonnews.com/index.p...y=Local%20News
I have to disagree. There were over 40,000 folks killed by cars just last year in the US of A. Using your line of reasoning, one should never drive (nor ride a bike). Average lightning deaths per year for the entire US of A is 44 deaths.

Lightning deaths receive TREMENDOUS publicity. Automobile deaths (and bicycle deaths) receive a little side article, if anything.

Florida is 1st, Colorado is 2nd.

Lightning Deaths by State, ranking. 1997-2006

State Deaths Rank of
1997-2006 Deaths
Alabama 16 6
Alaska 0 47
Arizona 9 17
Arkansas 11 12
California 7 22
Colorado 30 2
Connecticut 2 38
Delaware 0 48
D.C. 0 49
Florida 71 1
Georgia 21 4
Hawaii 0 50
Idaho 2 37
Illinois 11 13
Indiana 6 26
Iowa 3 31
Kansas 2 38
Kentucky 7 23
Louisiana 16 7
Maine 2 39
Maryland 6 27
Massachusetts 2 40
Michigan 10 16
Minnesota 2 41
Mississippi 11 14
Missouri 7 24
Montana 5 29
Nebraska 4 30
Nevada 1 44
New Hampshire 0 51
State Deaths Rank of
1997-2006 Deaths
New Jersey 9 18
New Mexico 3 32
New York 7 25
North Carolina 19 5
North Dakota 1 45
Ohio 13 8
Oklahoma 8 20
Oregon 1 46
Pennsylvania 12 10
Puerto Rico 3 32
Rhode Island 3 34
South Carolina 13 9
South Dakota 3 35
Tennessee 12 11
Texas 25 3
Utah 11 15
Vermont 2 42
Virginia 9 19
Washington 0 52
West Virginia 2 43
Wisconsin 8 21
Wyoming 6 28

TOTAL 1997-2006
United States 437


Annual MV Deaths, USA, last 10 years (through 2005):

42,065
42,013
41,501
41,717
41,945
42,196
43,005
42,884
42,836
43,443

Last edited by DnvrFox; 09-11-07 at 06:31 AM.
DnvrFox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-07, 05:44 AM   #22
Beverly
Senior Member ??
 
Beverly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Englewood,Ohio
Bikes: 2007 Trek Madone 5.0 WSD - 2007 Trek 4300 WSD - 2008 Trek 520 - 2014 Catrike Trail
Posts: 5,094
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Gee View Post
You wanna see Bolts, come see the Chargers, baby.
Why settle for an imitation. We have the real thing here.....the local high school - Northmont T-Bolts
__________________
=============================================================

Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.
-- Antonio Smith
Beverly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-07, 05:56 AM   #23
HopedaleHills
Streetfire
 
HopedaleHills's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Slightly Off Center
Bikes: Trek 1200c, BMC Streetfire, Gary Fisher Wahoo
Posts: 723
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Gee View Post
You wanna see Bolts, come see the Chargers, baby.
Let's talk after sunday night, GO PATS
HopedaleHills is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-07, 08:46 AM   #24
Terrierman
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Terrierman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: SWMO
Bikes:
Posts: 3,179
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 53 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by maddmaxx View Post
Actually, the first thing the lightning will do is overheat the air in your tires causing them to go flat. About 3 miliseconds later when the rims touch the pavement you will fry.
I was afraid that might be the deal.
__________________
It's all downhill from here. Except the parts that are uphill.
Terrierman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-07, 08:51 AM   #25
Hermes 
Elite Rider
 
Hermes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Bikes: Too Many
Posts: 9,687
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Rider View Post
No, go find the nearest tree.

...okay, I'm not blonde, but which is safer in a lightning storm: Fetal position under a tree or fetal position on open ground?

Because we get fewer than 10 thunderstorms per year in this part of California (wrong thread, sorry) and I've completely forgotten how we dealt with them in parts of the country prone to thunderstorms (which we are not, here in glorious California).
Old article but nothing has changed.

http://science.nasa.gov/newhome/head...d18jun99_1.htm

Isolated trees, telephone booths, and open structures like gazebos or porches make poor lightning shelters. If there is a tall object nearby, move as far away as possible - at least 2 meters (7 ft). Standing next to tall isolated objects like poles or towers makes you vulnerable to secondary discharges coming off those objects.
__________________
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. Aristotle

Cat: Killer
Hermes is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:34 PM.