Bicycles and flooded streets

I saw this news photo of a cyclist riding through a flooded street alongside the Danube in Budapest, and I thought, “Don’t bike on flooded roads, Bro.”

Cyclists ride through the flooded Danube River in Budapest June 7, 2010. REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh (HUNGARY - Tags: DISASTER ENVIRONMENT)

The last time I did that, I hit a hidden pothole and wrecked my front wheel. I thought I broke my arm, too, but it only hurt like it did. It was amazing how quickly I went down. I was cycling across a flooded parking lot, and then a split second later I was down on the ground in a daze.

It was the junk bike, but still — a wheel’s a wheel.

Bike paths are often built along levees and drainages that flood during heavy rains. You can’t really watch for hidden hazards like rocks, tree limbs, discarded computers, corpses, etc because, well, they’re hidden.

It’s all fun and games until somebody gets hurt.

Cyclists ride through the flooded Danube River in Budapest June 7,2010. The Parliament building can be seen in the background. REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh (HUNGARY - Tags: DISASTER ENVIRONMENT)


  1. The last time I road through standing water was in the flooding we had in '96. I was biking to the Mountain View Sun campus along San Antonio Rd. Highway 101 was mostly closed due to many of the under/over passes being flooded.

    After I road through the standing water at San Antonio Rd. A police woman informed me that I just cycled through the runoff from the sewage treatment plant. I was covered in untreated sewage up to my knees. Not fun.

  2. =v= We were once caught in a flash flood riding our Bike Fridays in France. The water was high enough that only the tops of our 20-inch wheels could be seen. I chose to ride down the middle of what seemed to be a wide road, but on the return trip I saw that it was a road next to a canal and had of course been riding close to the edge.

    The bikes held up, certainly better than our shoes, though I had to relubricate everything and pull many coarse hairs out of the cable housings (possibly from goats, or Neptune's beard).

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