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Old 07-01-2012, 06:07 AM   #1
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Okay to ride a bike under high voltage lines?


Can somebody please put an answer in language simple enough for a middle school kid? (I might be able to understand myself then as well!) I don't even know him, but he spoke of his short cut riding his bike to school. He says that unless he touches the towers or lines that he is safe. Isn't there is something about induced current in nearby metal objects and/or arcing that he should know about?

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Old 07-01-2012, 07:02 AM   #2
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Okay to ride a bike under high voltage lines?


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Can somebody please put an answer in language simple enough for a middle school kid? (I might be able to understand myself then as well!) I don't even know him, but he spoke of his short cut riding his bike to school. He says that unless he touches the towers or lines that he is safe. Isn't there is something about induced current in nearby metal objects and/or arcing that he should know about?
Riding/walking under HT's is fine. Touching the tower itself won't hurt you either--if it did, there would be massive fences with razor wire around them.

Touching the lines on the other hand... well unless he's a bird that can land safely on only one conductor, I think it's probably not safe.

At work I have a window at my desk (yes, I'm clearly very important) and it faces out toward a set of HT's (Ok, so I'm not as important as the guys on the other side who have a view of the front of the building where the girls like to sun themselves after lunch)... I see dozens of people walking and riding their bikes directly under the path of HT's... so far no one is dead or injured.

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Old 07-01-2012, 08:43 AM   #3
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Okay to ride a bike under high voltage lines?


Thanks, I feel better. I guess the stuff I used to live behind with high fences and big signs from which emitted various buzzing, whizzing and crackly sounds was something a bit different from a "tower". I mean I could FEEL this place from my back room once in a while.

But I'm pretty sure it dodn't affecccc my braan...briann...brnpt...head.
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Old 07-01-2012, 09:17 AM   #4
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Okay to ride a bike under high voltage lines?


Did you ask if he is hopping a fence to take this route? If not, then there's probably no problem.
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Old 07-01-2012, 09:22 AM   #5
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Okay to ride a bike under high voltage lines?


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Thanks, I feel better. I guess the stuff I used to live behind with high fences and big signs from which emitted various buzzing, whizzing and crackly sounds was something a bit different from a "tower". I mean I could FEEL this place from my back room once in a while.

But I'm pretty sure it dodn't affecccc my braan...briann...brnpt...head.
I have plans for a tin hat I can sell you....real cheap....$99.95...but you have to supply your own tin foil.....

Actually, that buzzing and cracking your hearing is normal....the buzzing is the wire just oscilating at the 60Hz freq....when they are long enough...they do that....the cracking is just simple arching caused by dust on the insulators....all you need is one good rain to wash off the dust and it will get quiet.

If you go out at night when it's real dark, you can sometimes see the sparks at the insulators....

As much as the fear monger lawyers have tried to blame HT power lines for a slew of medical problems, they have not.

You will actually be subjected to more static electricity in your house walking on carpet than being around HT power lines....

Here in California, you will find a majority of Nursery's under the power lines.....plants come out normal....all the people working there are normal....but they do seem to have some really large bugs....
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Old 07-01-2012, 09:43 AM   #6
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Okay to ride a bike under high voltage lines?


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Can somebody please put an answer in language simple enough for a middle school kid? (I might be able to understand myself then as well!) I don't even know him, but he spoke of his short cut riding his bike to school. He says that unless he touches the towers or lines that he is safe. Isn't there is something about induced current in nearby metal objects and/or arcing that he should know about?
Depending on the voltage on the line and the humidity of the air, it is possible for the electromagnetic fields in the vicinity of the power lines to make hair, particularly the fine hair on arms or legs, feel funny.

Under some conditions a fluorescent tube will light up without being connected to anything.

Yes, voltage can be induced in metal objects. Nearby metal fences may need special treatment, sometimes including wiring the fence to ground rods spaced every 100 feet or so, to guard against electric shock to someone touching the fence.

Current flows, possibly through someone's body, because of a voltage difference between different objects (and/or the ground) a person is touching. Wiring the fence (the towers are already so wired) to ground rods eliminates the voltage difference between the fence and the ground near that ground rod.

Whether or not using cell phones for long periods of time causes cancer and other diseases is still open to debate, but the electromagnetic fields around power lines could be a similar concern if he rides his bike for a considerable distance under the power lines or does it on a frequent basis.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 07-01-2012 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 07-01-2012, 10:03 AM   #7
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Okay to ride a bike under high voltage lines?


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I have plans for a tin hat I can sell you....real cheap....$99.95...but you have to supply your own tin foil.....

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Thanks, but the aliens already left one in my fridge.
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Old 07-01-2012, 11:25 AM   #8
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Okay to ride a bike under high voltage lines?


Very very high voltage lines can "induce voltage" or create a "charge" in metal objects which are not touching the ground.

So if you parked the bike under the lines and it was resting on just its rubber tires (no metal kick stand touching the ground), then if you were to walk up to the bike and touch a metal part, you might feel a "spark" or brief "shock". Like touching a metal wall plate after walking on carpet.

Same with a truck or car parked under those lines. Walk up to it and touch a metal door handle and you might get a brief shock.

However ride the bike under and past the lines, then nothing other than what was mentioned above.

People who live and work under these lines need to be careful to "ground" long sections of farming irrigation pipes, metal fences, etc. The longer the metal, the higher the electrical charge and potential shock. This can be dangerous.

Here is a safety sheet for living and working under those lines...
http://transmission.bpa.gov/lancom/L...ines_11-07.pdf
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Old 07-04-2012, 12:07 PM   #9
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Okay to ride a bike under high voltage lines?


The movie "The distinguished gentleman" with Eddie Murphy has a scene on power lines and the placement of schools.

Based on the posted link I wouid spend as little time as possible near strong electric or magnetic fields, regardless of what the government says is safe. See Captive Regulatory Agency.

We are 1500' NW of an AM radio station and the field strength at my house is 100x below what the gov. says is safe but if I had small kids I would have moved.
BTW, the field is intentionally weakened in my direction to avoid interfering with a station in Rhode Island that operates at the same freq..
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Old 07-04-2012, 12:59 PM   #10
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Okay to ride a bike under high voltage lines?


Some scientists claim the EMFs from high tension lines are dangerous to humans. So far there has been no definitive proof there is any danger but there also has been no proof there isn't.

There has been speculation that living under HT lines causes leukemia, especially in children. This too hasn't been proven even though numerous studies have been done about this.

For me, when I take a bike ride, I prefer seeing nature during my ride rather than concrete and steel.
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Old 07-05-2012, 10:56 AM   #11
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Some scientists claim the EMFs from high tension lines are dangerous to humans. So far there has been no definitive proof there is any danger but there also has been no proof there isn't.

There has been speculation that living under HT lines causes leukemia, especially in children. This too hasn't been proven even though numerous studies have been done about this.

For me, when I take a bike ride, I prefer seeing nature during my ride rather than concrete and steel.
I researched this using Goddard's Tech library.
There was an obstetrician in Eastern Europe who radiated women's abdomen's during labor using 2450 MHz, which caused heating just like your microwave oven, which lessened labor pains.
He swears he didn't fry any fetuses.

I'm waiting for all the cell phone users to get brain or eyeball cancer.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 07-06-2012 at 12:44 PM. Reason: MHz and GHz are not the same. . .my bad
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Old 07-05-2012, 12:40 PM   #12
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Okay to ride a bike under high voltage lines?


Many lines are posted against trespassing.
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:35 AM   #13
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Okay to ride a bike under high voltage lines?


I'm a cyclist and I ride my bike more than some people drive their cars. I ride under high voltage lines all the time and aside from the eery buzz of the lines (explained above), I've never noticed anything adverse. I've gone under them on the roads and in the woods and neither case worries me in the least bit. There are actually paved bicycle/walking paths around here that utilize the open space under high voltage lines. While I don't necessarily trust the people mapping out these bike paths, I've also never heard of any resulting issues.

I wouldn't worry about it.

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