A Croatian man who was struck by lightning while cycling survived because he was wearing headphones, according to the website of local magazine, 24 Sata.
Zoran Jurkovic, now aged 41, had been riding his bike to his work on a farm near Petrovci in 2007 when a storm closed in, said 24 Sata in a report last week.
Instead of passing through his body, which doctors say would have stopped his heart and damaged internal organs, the charge went down the headphone cable, attached to a radio on his belt.
He was dressed in work clothes, including rubber boots, and instead of earthing via his feet, the charge earthed through his penis.
Jurkovic said that he had been trying to pedal to shelter when he was struck by the lightning bolt, but it was “too late.”
He was found by people passing by in a van, one of whom told 24 Sata: “We were shocked when we saw the man. He was sitting in the rain, with steam rising from him … [and] burns on his head and neck.”
They put him in the van and took him to hospital, where doctors said it was a “miracle” he was alive.
Opinion may be split on whether or not you should wear headphones while riding – but in this case, it turned out to be a life-saver.
If you are caught in a thunderstorm while riding your bike, you should seek shelter immediately.
Should none be available, if you are cycling with one or more other people, move away from one another so in the event someone is struck, another person can summon help.
Further advice can be found on the RoSPA website.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.