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  1. #1
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Ever shocked under power lines?

    A few years ago I read a magazine item from a mountain biker who stopped on a hilltop below high voltage power lines, and as he stood over his top tube he felt his hair stand on end, then he got an unpleasant shock in the um...groin.

    Today there's a thread in the road bike forum started by a guy who got several shocks from his bike and from a guardrail under some power lines yesterday - makes me wonder how often this happens.

    I suspect quite a few mountain bike trails go along power corridors. Anyone get shocks like that ever?

  2. #2
    Senior Member sipes77's Avatar
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    Shocked

    No I have not been shocked by powerlines, but I was dern close to some once. You can hear them sizzle and crackle like crazy. Gave me some serious goose-bumps!
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    Commited Suicide WannaGetGood's Avatar
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    We have a jump up here and its right under powerlines. Here is a link of it. And Another. +1.

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    Long haired freak. wethepeople's Avatar
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    Ya, I get it every so often.

    Not bad shocks, just annoying little titters.

    "the bus came by and I got on, that's when it all began...there was Cowboy Neal at the wheel of a bus to never-ever land."


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    Show Me What'cha got Blazinall91's Avatar
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    electricity scares me, one of the fastest ways to die, I have no problem bombing down a rocky slope, but high voltage electricity to me is like bungee jumping with kite string
    "I'm; young enough to know the right car to buy yet grown enough not to put rims on it. I got that 6-deuce, with curtains, so you can't see me and I didn't even have to put tints on it."

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    Senior Member filtersweep's Avatar
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    Seems there are always great trails around power lines to service them.

    I have never been shocked, but I find the electrical noises they make to be very interesting.

  7. #7
    kipuka explorer bkrownd's Avatar
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    I'd rather get a tickle from powerlines than roasted by lightning any day.
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  8. #8
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sipes77
    No I have not been shocked by powerlines, but I was dern close to some once. You can hear them sizzle and crackle like crazy. Gave me some serious goose-bumps!
    Goose bumps from being nervous, or goose bumps from some kind of static electricity?

  9. #9
    Senior Member skiahh's Avatar
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    Yep, riding up at Whistler on some trail, crossing under power lines when this group of horse riders came along. I dismounted and when I grabbed the metal handlebar, I got the tinglies (and not in a good way!). Immediately shifter to the rubber grips and avoided touching any metal parts until clear of the lines.

    Kind of unnerving. Now I push a bit harder when I cross under power lines.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Low power lines killed my great uncle. The electricity jumped 12 feet.
    Bring back the Sig Test!


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  11. #11
    Hey let's ride. pathdoc's Avatar
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    Its seems like a bike would make no contact with the ground since it rides on rubber tires. I guess that doesn't give me any piece of mine since obviously people are getting shocked. I avoid power line like the plague.

  12. #12
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pathdoc
    Its seems like a bike would make no contact with the ground since it rides on rubber tires. I guess that doesn't give me any piece of mine since obviously people are getting shocked. I avoid power line like the plague.
    The power line is surrounded by a powerful magnetic field that may somehow induce a charge either in the bike or rider. Perhaps when you dismount or if the tire is wet some transmission to the ground occurs, or perhaps the charge can jump the inch from the wheel rim to the ground. I'm speculating here, and hope to get some electrical engineer's opinion at some point.

  13. #13
    Perma-clyde Alox's Avatar
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    Not an electrical engineer, but I am a (materials) engineer with several years in the power industry.

    Power lines do have EM fields around them. When metal objects move relative to the EM field, or when the fields (power lines) move relative to fixed metallic objects (as on a windy day), then a static charge may build up in them. This charge may be considerable if the field is allowed to accumulate for a long time, and the field may discharge when rider's metal SPD cleat contacts with the ground, and the other is still latched onto the metal pedal/crankarm/frame of the bike.

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    I was the guy that got shocked. It felt like lighting. Knocked me clean off the bike! I usually go thru their fast(20-25 mph) I was tired and only doing about 15 this time. Going back this Wed. thought about making a grounding strap out of rubber like they use to put on cars to disapate static electry!

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    Riding under power lines around my area I could really feel the electricity. It felt kinda strange. cant' explain it.

  16. #16
    Senior Member sipes77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooker
    Goose bumps from being nervous, or goose bumps from some kind of static electricity?
    I suppose it's a little of both, the static does make the hair on my neck stand up a little
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  17. #17
    Old School Rad mtnbiker66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooker
    A few years ago I read a magazine item from a mountain biker who stopped on a hilltop below high voltage power lines, and as he stood over his top tube he felt his hair stand on end, then he got an unpleasant shock in the um...groin.

    Today there's a thread in the road bike forum started by a guy who got several shocks from his bike and from a guardrail under some power lines yesterday
    It's OK for a roadie to get shocked in the groin,they don't have any gonads anyway.
    Like a circus monkey on a stolen Harley......

  18. #18
    Rollin' the dice 56Bulldogs's Avatar
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    I remember riding on trail under some huge powerlines a long time ago on my old Schwinn (not sure if it was steel or whatever) but I do remember feeling the electricity running through the frame. Kinda weird and a little unnerving in any case.

  19. #19
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    Not bike related, but I use to work on/around oil rigs here in S. Texas. One winter we actually had snow, and I was called out about midnite to start a job. Got to rig and started connecting up my equipment. Well, rig wasn't grounded properly since ground was so wet. As I started to wire up 220v to their breaker box, wiring decided to ground through me. I found myself jumping a couple of feet in the air, waving my arms frantically up and down, while I was holding 220v. I realized what was happening, must have been several seconds or more, so I concentrated on throwing wires out of my hand. Thank God, I was able to release wiring, stagged around and sat down. My heart must have been about to bust out, but I survived, but had chest pains for several weeks!

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