How a Pedal Strike Can Start a Wildfire // Bicycling

Your mountain bike isn’t the only thing that can get damaged when you pedal-strike. In late August, Inyo National Forest fire investigators determined that a bike pedal colliding with a rock August 5 started the Rock Creek Fire in California’s Eastern Sierra.

When three mountain bikers reached the bottom of the second section of the Lower Rock Creek Trail that day, they looked back and noticed smoke; a fourth mountain biker descending the trail saw the fire on the side and unsuccessfully tried to stomp it out with his feet.

That section of trail is fast and winding, scattered with rocks, and surrounded by a dry, grassy slope. From a single pedal strike, the wildfire managed to burn 122 acres of forest before it was contained.

Sound ridiculous? Plenty of people thought so. The thing is, says Kirstie Butler, a fire prevention technician for the Inyo National Forest, while it’s unlikely that a pedal strike would cause a wildfire, it’s not impossible.

Read the full story online at Bicycling.

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