If you’re cycling in Brisbane, you need to be prepared for wild weather during storm season. As we have seen in the last few days of flooding across South East Queensland, the weather here can be unpredictable.
Getting caught out in the rain on your bike can happen more easily than you might think. Especially in summer, a blue-sky Brisbane day can often end with a storm.
Cycling can become quite dangerous during thunderstorms, heavy rain or flash flooding. As a cyclist, there are a few hazards you need to be aware of when riding in wild weather.
During heavy rain or storms, visibility can be reduced. This can be a serious risk for cyclists on the road.
Be aware that drivers may have difficulty seeing you. If you’re riding on the road, you need to slow down and ride defensively. Cyclists should also install lights or reflectors on their bike to increase their visibility.
When it starts to rain, road surfaces can become slippery. If you’re riding in the rain, you should slow down and brake gently. Take care around corners and on metal surfaces. Braking, pedalling and turning on slippery surfaces can cause you to lose traction. Instead, stop pedalling and glide over wet surfaces.
Riding your bike during a thunderstorm can be very dangerous. If you hear thunder, this means that lightning is nearby. Be aware that metal bicycle frames can conduct electricity. You should quickly dismount from your bike.
Seek shelter in the closest building. Always avoid:
- Sheltering under a tree
- Sheltering in a tent or shed
- Sheltering near metal poles, fences and cables
- Sheltering near a lake, pond or body of water
- Staying in open fields, ridges, hills
If you are travelling in a group, spread out to avoid the current travelling between you and your fellow cyclists. Don’t be tempted to huddle together.
If you are out in the bush and can’t find shelter, the best thing to do is to get off your bike and crouch on the ground (don’t lie down). This will help to make you less of a target for lightning to strike.
Brisbane can be prone to flooding. All it takes is a few days of intense rain, like we’ve seen this week, and the city fills with water. Floodwater can be dangerous for cyclists. Remember, if it’s flooded, forget it.
If you’re out riding and come to a flooded road, the best option is to turn around. Even if it doesn’t look too deep, floodwater can have a very strong current that will carry you away. Floodwater washes away and erodes road surfaces, creating uneven surfaces and potholes. There will also likely be debris and hidden dangers in the water.
Don’t put yourself in harm’s way. Turn around and find another route.
Now that you know some of the hazards for riding in wild weather, we hope you’ll be able to have a safe and enjoyable time riding your bike.
Thinking about riding to work?
At cycle2city, our fully-staffed facilities have everything you need to freshen up after your ride to work, especially if you are caught in a storm on your ride.
Whether you are working during the day or starting in the evening, you’ll have access to our facilities 24/7. Securely store your bike, have a shower and even put your bike in for a service at the onsite workshop.