Cyclists can suffer electric shocks near power lines

Cyclists who ride beneath overhead power lines occasionally suffer a small electric shock, according to the National Grid. So-called ‘micro shocks’can happen when a cyclist passes through the electrical field surrounding a power line and picks up a small electric charge themself.

If the cyclist is holding rubber hand grips at the time they are insulated and the charge they have picked up is unable to go to earth until their hand touches the brake lever, their thigh brushes against the bicycle frame or any other part of their body touches something metal on the bike – this can result in an electric shock that can be, at worst, mildly painful.

A spokesperson for the Environmental Transport Association (ETA) said: “A micro shock is little more powerful than static shock you might suffer after walking on a carpet, but the easiest way to avoid the risk altogether next time you cycle under a power line is to ensure your hand is in contact with the metal part of your bicycle handlebar.”

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