Sunday, April 3, 2011

Lightning In Jefferson

Riding in the hills of Colorado, you can accumulate a few good lightning stories, no matter how hard you try to avoid it.

We were riding the Colorado Trail from Kenosha Pass to Georgia Pass, with the mountain bike club, one day when the clouds started to gather above us.  Luckily, we weren't above treeline, at the time, so we felt a little less danger than we might otherwise have.  Still, it gave me a feeling of foreboding to sit in the middle of a meadow, watching the clouds gather in the valley and move our way.

I sent the group ahead, downhill toward the Jefferson Campground Road, and I stayed behind for a couple of minutes.  I always rode at the tail end of the group, so that I would catch up to anyone who was having a problem, and I usually would wait until the last rider had been had out of sight for a couple of minutes before I would take off.  Then, I could ride at my own pace until I caught the slowest rider.

The group disappeared into the trees, and I sat on the trail, watching the aspen leaves flutter in the wind. 
Suddenly, my hair started trying to stand on end,  and BOOM! Lightning hit one of the aspens, about 100 feet from me,  I felt a shock and I fell off of my bike.

I think I caught a little bit of a ground charge, but luckily I didn't get an arc from the tree.  My ears rang for a day, and I was a little shaky for a few hours afterward, but otherwise I didn't experience any ill-effects from the strike.

I had been close to lightning strikes, at other times, but I had never gotten a jolt from it like I did on that day.

And, I hope I never do, again.


1 comment:

  1. One thing I do not like about Texas is lightning...


As always, sorry about the word verification. It's a necessary evil, unfortunately.