Caught In A Lightning Storm? – Cycle Safely

Caught In A Lightning Storm? - Cycle Safely

Lightning is a common phenomenon, so it can be frightening when it catches you at the wrong time. If you have ever been trapped in a storm while cycling, or are afraid of it happening to you, there are some things you should know!


One of the best ways to ensure your safety as a cyclist is to check the weather before you ride. Before planning a ride or leaving your house, try and remember to take a quick look at the weather, so that you’re fully prepared for what is to come next.

If there so happens to be an impending thunderstorm around the time you'd like to cycle, the obvious precaution to take would be to stay home.

If a storm is predicted around the time you'd like to ride, and you'd still like to continue with your plans, you can use a weather app to determine the direction and pace of the storm. This way, you can route your ride around the storm.

However, we all know that the weather isn't always accurate. Sometimes, a storm can start earlier or later than predicted, at times it can be worse than predicted, and sometimes it may come about without even being predicted in the first place!

Getting caught

Since thunderstorms are often abrupt and pick up quickly, you may find yourself caught in one even if you’ve checked the weather ahead of time. This can be uncomfortable or scary, but there are some ways to keep yourself safe.


  • Seek shelter in a sturdy building
  • Move under a bridge if there is no flood risk
  • Do not seek shelter under a tree; trees are prone to lightning strikes


  • Look for passing cars
  • Ask a stranger for car shelter
  • ​Hitchhike to a safer destination
  • If you are in the mountains, move to a lower altitude

​What if there are no cars or you're not on a mountain pass?

  • Crouch in the lowest area possible
  • Avoid places that could put you in the center of a flood
  • ​Don’t walk/ride through moving flood water
  • Only walk through still water

Riding in a storm or bad weather conditions can be dangerous, but don’t panic. Stay aware of your surroundings and try to utilize them to your best ability.

Make sure to get off your bike and stop riding—the first thing you should do is seek shelter.

If no sturdy or safe shelter can be found, the next thing to do is to look for moving traffic and attempt to get a ride.

If that is not an option, use the resources around you. Move to lower land, preferably the lowest point possible, and crouch, but don’t lie down.

Man cycling in a storm.

The higher you are, the more likely you are to get struck, and crouching in a low spot keeps you at a low risk. Stay put and wait for conditions to get better.

This post was last updated on September 21st, 2018 at 02:37 pm

About the Author Max Shumpert

Over the last few years, I’ve taken my love of the outdoors, hiking, skiing, trekking and exploring to the next level by starting this site. I started a bike shop in Denver, CO, and have seen amazing growth over the last few years. Getting paid to do what I love has been a dream come true for me. That’s also what led me to start In my shop, I spend a large amount of time helping people find the perfect bike for them and the style of biking they’re going to be doing. It only made sense that I expanded my reach and got online, making it possible for me to help people all over the world. If biking and staying fit is your priority, too, you’ve come to the right place.

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