Riding Toward Lightning - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 14 Old Oct 8th, 2011, 12:41 pm Thread Starter
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Riding Toward Lightning

You're traveling up a two-lane highway, surrounded by nothing but earth-colored flatlands. The scenery hasn't changed for 20 miles. It's early afternoon but the sky is growing dark with storm clouds and your windshield keeps count of the occasional rain drop.

It starts to rain in earnest and you note lightning coming out of the even darker sky ahead, ending its destination somewhere beyond your field of view. You can't hear it (the thunder); it might be too far away or maybe you're earplugs, engine noise and rain are masking it. You're 20 miles from your journey's end; 20 miles of flatlands and isolation; 20 miles and closing in on a dark grey veil of sky, rain and lightning.You become aware of the dull ache in your palms as your hands tighten around the grips. The winds begin to gust. More lightning jumps out of the storm.

You think about turning around. It's at least 20 miles, and probably more, before you'll find any shelter. Turning around will end your weekend plans; it means heading for home and missing a much anticipated weekend ride with friends.

What would you do?
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post #2 of 14 Old Oct 8th, 2011, 1:32 pm
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Re: Riding Toward Lightning

Been in a really heavy rain and wind storm in Texas. Everthing is bigger in Texas even the storms. No bridges no exits, no turning around even. We pushed on with the theory that we would get out of it sooner. May not be the best advise but that's what we did. Every situation is different though, another time we pulled into a motel and called it a day. It helps if you have options. Lightning awesome at night. I wonder if its better to be a moving target or a sitting duck?

Just Go
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post #3 of 14 Old Oct 8th, 2011, 1:56 pm
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Re: Riding Toward Lightning

Tough call. I have been in the same situation too many times and I keep thinking about the guy in CO that got nailed right through the helmet with lightning. At least he never knew what hit him.

There have been many times I should have turned around but I pressed on. If I keep that up I'll likely get nailed. At the base I work at we have to get off of outside equipment when lightning is within 10 miles of the base.

John
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post #4 of 14 Old Oct 8th, 2011, 1:59 pm
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Re: Riding Toward Lightning

I would continue on to my destination regardless of the weather. I did 1,100 miles in heavy storms a couple of weeks ago riding to a lobster dinner. Much less tire wear in the rain & if it's night out lightning helps light up the road .

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post #5 of 14 Old Oct 8th, 2011, 7:00 pm
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Re: Riding Toward Lightning

Yeah...I'm a guy that presses on. One day that will get be in trouble.

Wade
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post #6 of 14 Old Oct 8th, 2011, 8:13 pm
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Re: Riding Toward Lightning

Riding through a thunderstorm ain't my idea of a good time, neither is rain in general , but when you're in the middle of nowhere, what else you gonna do? Saddleman is Carl from "Caddyshack". "I'd keep playin'. I don't think the hard stuff is goin' to come down for a while yet."

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post #7 of 14 Old Oct 8th, 2011, 8:20 pm
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Re: Riding Toward Lightning



Snip> saddleman<

Quote:
I would continue on to my destination regardless of the weather. I did 1,100 miles in heavy storms a couple of weeks ago riding to a lobster dinner. Much less tire wear in the rain & if it's night out lightning helps light up the road
.

You The Man

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post #8 of 14 Old Oct 8th, 2011, 9:00 pm
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Re: Riding Toward Lightning

We get a lot of lightning in the Tampa Bay area. Almost every afternoon in the summer.

Around water we use the 5 mile / 30 second rule. If it's that close I'll stop, turn around and get some shelter, otherwise keep riding / diving / swimming......

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post #9 of 14 Old Oct 9th, 2011, 4:34 am
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Re: Riding Toward Lightning

Interesting question... never thought about being hit by lightning while riding, even though I've ridden through a lot of storms, and we get some doozy thunderstorms around the Sydney coast.
I have been hit while driving home from work at about 120kph though... or at least my car was close enough to the strike that I could smell the ozone and the hair on my arms were standing on end. All I remember seeing was a white ball at a close distance in front of the car, then BANG.... I think if I was on 2 wheels I could well have been sliding down the road, and not knowing it..... scary thought.

Chris
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post #10 of 14 Old Oct 9th, 2011, 6:50 am
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Re: Riding Toward Lightning

Living in the western states, well, if I didn't press on, I probably would not get any where.
That said, there have been times I should have.hung it up..........I have ridden from Cheyenne to Rocksprings, about 240 mi, in weather I knew I had no business heading towards.....rain hail lightning, and the appearance of the evil one.....

Gear up and give it a shot.........worst case, yer screwed..............



Jim and Cyndy
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post #11 of 14 Old Oct 9th, 2011, 9:03 am
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Re: Riding Toward Lightning

Most times lightning episodes are brief- so if shelter is around I'd just pull over and wait a while. But where there is no shelter one gets choice. In that case I'd pick what minimizes my exposure.
In NC this summer I noticed that area where smoke was coming from forest fires seemed to have an unusually high amount of lightning- probably because of the smoke particles in the air making some sort of conductive path. I could give these areas a few miles of distance and stay well away from the lightning though I still got just as much rain.
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post #12 of 14 Old Oct 9th, 2011, 12:42 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Riding Toward Lightning

Good reading all your responses. I DID press on, making it to my hotel room safely if somewhat mentally exhausted.

Being from Southern CA, I can count the cloud-to-ground lightning strikes I've seen on one hand. I think if I had heard the "crack" (thunder) immediatly after the strikes I would have turned around (30 second rule).

In any event, I felt like I rolled the dice; my heart was telling me to turn around, but my "get-there-itis" ruled the day.
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post #13 of 14 Old Oct 10th, 2011, 12:55 am
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Re: Riding Toward Lightning

Quote:
Originally Posted by wrmoss
Yeah...I'm a guy that presses on. One day that will get be in trouble.
I hate to stop, especially if I don't have far to go but on one occasion my 5'4" backrest was in tears over the scary sky we were headed into. She talked me into stopping in the middle of nowhere at the slimiest motel I've ever stayed in. The next morning we road through mud left by a flash flood. Talk about hearing 'I told you so'.
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post #14 of 14 Old Oct 10th, 2011, 8:08 pm
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Re: Riding Toward Lightning

The way I figure, is, a little lightening never hurt anybody.
So I keep going. Stick to the plan, that's my rule.
But I may alter course, depending on weather. But not always, not necessarily. One may alter course, right where the storm is going. You can't always tell which way the storm is going.
dc

Remember the rule, tho', Ride Your Own Ride.
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