It had been the dream of one 37-year-old Harley rider from Los Ojos, New Mexico to ride up and attend the 75th Annual Sturgis Rally. So he and his wife loaded up their bike and truck and headed out, but they didn’t make it to the rally.
A thunderstorm rolling over U.S. 64 caught the husband and wife duo on their way to the rally, and before the 37-year-old could pull over and take shelter in the truck, a bolt of lightning came out of the clouds and struck him. In May, a woman riding with her boyfriend was also struck by lightning while riding in New Mexico. These riders account for two of the 22 lightning deaths recorded nationwide this year. Colorado has seen one such fatality, but not every lightning strike ends in death.
How Did A Colorado Motorcyclist Survive Being Struck By Lightning?
A Colorado Army National Guardsman from Greeley was also struck by lightning during rush hour on August 17th. Experts suspect that the guardsman was struck by an arc from a bigger lightning bolt, and that arc seemed to enter and leave the man’s arm. Such a low energy strike was probably why this serviceman survived, but the incident was powerful enough to earn him the nickname of “Volt” around the Buckley Air Force Base.
Have There Been Other Lightning Strike Survivors On Motorcycles?
In 2013, an Oregon motorcyclist was struck by lightning while riding his bike through a thunderstorm. He pulled over at a nearby gas station to ask for help, and the police discovered that the wiring in his helmet and motorcycle took the brunt of the hit.
For every fallen fellow rider, there is also a story about one who made it through, but you should still check the weather report before you go out. If you see storm clouds while you’re riding, find shelter as fast as you can. For more riding stories and info, keep up with our blog, Twitter and Facebook.