If you are a bike rider in India, there is absolutely nothing you must dread more than the rains. There is that small honeymoon period in which you’d enjoy raindrops on your face, the potentially beautiful view all around, and the subtle overwhelming rush of a slight loss of control over your bike. But beyond that, the rains are a surefire way to the hospital if you are not careful enough. Don’t worry, I’ve got your back. Here are 12 commandments for every biker to remember, tell your biker-bros about them!
1. Thou shall suit up :
Investing in good rain attire is a given, especially if you value your health and do not fancy looking like a hassled pigeon. Also, there is nothing sexy about riding in soggy clothes. At all.
2. Thou shall be headstrong:
A good helmet with a strong visor will be your best buddy, especially in bad weather conditions. Keeping your face protected will automatically make your journey that much safer.
3. Thou shall get tread-locked:
Just like you’d wear monsoon-specific footwear, your bike needs to have a set of monsoon-ready tires. In the absence of that, quite obviously you’d be slipping here, sliding there, everywhere!
4. Thou shall keep eyes on the road, always!
Let’s be honest- Indian roads are far from the best in the world. The slightest distractions could have you driving into sewage, garbage, potholes, zoned out a-holes, and who knows what else!
5. Thou shall stay away from liquid rainbows:
As bright and colourful as they may seem, these multicoloured blots are in fact oil spills. Get ready for a world of stickiness, grime, dirt, and a whole lot of scrubbing once you pass through one of these.
6. Thou shall wait it out:
The best offence is a good defense; stay out of a short spell of rains as much as possible. The roads are most dangerous then, given the dirt and grime that gets unsettled.
7. Thou shall straighten your bike:
The greater the angle of your bike, the greater the chances of you losing grip of your vehicle. Slow down, figure a less devilish angle to tread on, and be on your way. This is especially true on metallic surfaces (read drainage covers and manholes). They would be super slippery.
8. Rear brakes > Front brakes:
Repeat this a thousand times if you must: “Rear brakes before front brakes”. Chances are your bike will do an endo the second you jam those front brakes. Not a great situation, even for the most experienced of motorcyclists.
9. Thou shall pump them brakes, yo!
As much as it’s advised to keep your hands on the brakes at all times, do some sudden braking, and you are most probably done for. Use your brakes diligently, and keep pumping them so that your bike doesn’t aquaplane.
10. Thou shall keep your distance:
Irrespective of how well you drive in rainy conditions, always take it for granted that there is at least one other person who is not in control of their vehicle. Of course, this is not to get you paranoid about riding on the streets, but surely you can’t be too careful, right?
11. Thou. Shall. Wear. Bright. Clothing. :
This one is pretty simple: brighter clothing = brighter blobs on a rainy street. By any standard, the chances of you getting rammed into are much slimmer if you’re wearing bright clothing. Just sayin’.
12. Thou shall enjoy the ride!
The pure joys of cruising on your bike should not be affected by rain. Like every other biking experience, riding in the rain is about enjoying every second of the ride. And if you are a biker, you already know that!