Riding through flooded streets

Should you bypass road and path closures to ride your bike through flooded areas?

Road Closed

I’ve done it and maybe you have too. When roads are washed out and closed due to flooding, a bike can sometimes get through where larger vehicles cannot. Brad Whittemore in New Jersey uses his bike to bypass roads closed due to flooding from Hurricane Irene. A reporter in Vermont tried to bike past washed out roads to reach isolated communities. Others use bikes to deliver prescription drugs.

When riding through water, though, watch for hidden hazards. I once flipped over on my bike when I hit a deep pothole while biking across a flooded parking lot. The pothole was invisible under the murky water.

Sunshine Panda

Anthony Doleszny in Battleboro, Vermont was less fortunate. Sadly, he lost his life Sunday when he lost control and fell into the water while riding his bicycle across a washed out road.

If you ride through puddles and floods, please be careful! Be prepared for hidden obstructions, and avoid fast flowing water.

H/T to Warren for the inspiration. Read his blog for a funny story about a recent trail encounter.


  1. I was thinking this would be a great time to do the 100-200 route (http://100-200.org/). It’s 200 miles on Rt 100 in Vermont, which would have some interesting crossings. You can see the pics of the roads here: http://mansfieldheliflight.com/flood/. And here’s a map of the closed roads in VT: http://crisislanding.appspot.com/?crisis=2011_flooding_vermont.

  2. …my mom would have been heartbroken to see any of those very old covered bridges destroyed…we used to drive through the backroads in vermont on vacation to photograph them…she was a painter & loved those things…

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