While the ride has historically enjoyed pretty incredible weather both during training season and the week of the ride itself, severe weather sometimes happens. Here are a few tips on what to do and what to you need to know when and if the skies darken, the wind howls, the rain falls and lighting and thunder start.
Inclement and Severe Weather
Thunderstorms are a normal part of life in Ontario and Quebec in the summer, but the severe thunderstorms that cause damage are relatively rare.
In the event of inclement weather while you are riding or you feel unsafe, you should take independent steps to stay safe.
One well-known guideline is the “30-30” rule: Take appropriate shelter when you can count 30 seconds or less between lightning and thunder, and remain sheltered for 30 minutes after the last thunder clap.
Some Information About Lightning
- Lighting doesn’t just happen in or during heavy rain. It also remains a danger when storms are dissipating or have passed by. Lightning can also occur as far away as 15km or more from any rainfall.
- As cyclists, we are at most risk when we are under or near tall trees, on or near hilltops or happen to be the the highest point on flat land, such as when riding through fields and farmland.
- When the skies darken, look AND listen for increased wind, flashes of lighting or thunder. If you hear thunder, you are close enough to be at risk of being struck by lightning. Take safe shelter immediately!
- Contrary to popular belief, rubber-soled shoes and rubber tires DO NOT protect you from lighting.
What Kind of Shelter is Safe?
- A sturdy building, an underpass, large barn, store, porch or railroad station are good places to seek shelter, if there are any around.
- If you are on a hill with exposure to the sky, try to head downhill. Seek out an overhanging bluff, valley or ravine where you can lower your exposure. Creekbeds are generally not safe places, as they can be at risk of flash flooding during heavy rainfall.
- DO NOT take shelter in small sheds or under tall or isolated trees.
- If you are caught outdoors with no obvious shelter close-by:
- find a low spot away from trees, fences and poles;
- make sure that the place you pick is not subject to flash flooding; or,
- if you are in a wooded area, take shelter under shorter trees as lightning is more likely to strike the tallest trees.
- If you feel your skin tingle or your hair stand on end:
- dismount IMMEDIATELY and get away from your bike;
- squat low to the ground on the balls of your feet to minimize your contact with the ground; and,
- place your hands on your knees, and your head between your knees and make yourself as small as possible.
Training Ride Cancellation Policy
The safety of our participants will always be our first priority and there may be times when a training ride will have to be cancelled. This will be at the discretion of the Team Leaders leading that day's ride. If a training ride is cancelled it will be posted to the Bike Rally face book page as well as being sent out via twitter. As well the team leaders will go to the starting point to ensure that all riders are aware that the ride is cancelled. Rides can be cancelled based on the following criteria:
- Heavy downpours that last more than 10 minutes
The Week of the Ride
During the week of the ride itself, Bike Rally leadership closely monitors weather and will advise riders and crew of weather forecasts at the morning announcements. In the event of unexpected inclement weather while you are riding, you should take independent steps to stay safe. If bike rally leadership instructs you to dismount or find shelter, please do so for both your safety and for those on the road with you.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 February 2013 20:10