The arrival of the monsoon in India is celebrated by everyone, young and old alike. The grey clouds heavy with rain bring sweet relief from the summer heat. Nature is in full bloom, wearing lush shades of green. And what better time to go adventuring with your bike for company?
Biking trip in the monsoon can be very fulfilling as the weather is pleasant and several routes have plenty of waterfalls and rivulets to admire. But, there are several safety aspects to keep in mind. Read though our article on biking trips in the monsoon – tips to keep in mind and be safe.
1. Getting your Bike Ready
Choosing the right kind of bike is very important when going on long biking trips in the monsoon. If you’re riding your own bike, take time out to ensure it is functioning well and that no parts need replacing or servicing. Make sure your headlights and brake lights not only work, but are bright enough. You need to make sure other motorists can see your bike when riding in the rain. Check your mud flaps and replace them if they look too worn out.
If you’re renting a bike, go for a bike that has modifications designed for biking trips in the monsoon. There are even different types of bikes that you can choose from, based on the type of terrain you’re looking to conquer. As with the self-owned bikes, ensure all the parts function smoothly. Ideally give your bike a test run in the rain to see how it rides. Riding for long hours can be uncomfortable, especially in the monsoon. Ensure you’re comfortable in your seat before heading out.
2. Waterproof Gear
Ensure you set aside some money to invest in good waterproof gear. This includes waterproofing your bag so your contents remain dry. You should also invest in a sturdy raincoat to wear over your clothing, preferable in a bright colour. Do not underestimate the value of keeping things dry. Rainwater has a way of getting into everything, especially when you’re riding on a bike. Riding with your clothes all damp can make you fall ill very quickly.
3. Type Of Tyres
The type of tyre on your bike is crucial when it comes to biking trips in the monsoon. You ideally need a bike tyre that can provide optimum grip and sturdiness. The treads of your motorcycle play an important role as they help maintain a good grip. Check the depth of these curvy lines on your types – the smoother your tyre, the worse the grip.
Your tyre should ideally be broader than regular tyres. We recommend setting your tyre pressure to a few PSI below the recommended level. This gives you larger surface area on the streets, ensuring better grip.
4. Gear For The Rider
While not all of these are necessary, we still recommend them as they can prove to be helpful. For one, get a bike mobile charger. This connects your phone to your bike battery to charge. Not only is it perfectly safe, it also ensures you have backup for your smartphone in case of any setbacks or emergencies. Additionally, wear a sturdy pair of shoes, ankle length boots if you can.
Make sure you wear a full-face helmet and clean the visor before you head out. Ideally, get anti-fog coating for the visor to be as best prepared as possible. Apart from a spare change of clothes, ensure you carry an extra pair of socks with you. Wearing damp socks for long duration encourages bacterial and fungal growth on the feet. You can carry all of these with the help of a motorbike luggage carrier. From a regular rack to a closed container, plastic or metal, you have plenty to choose from.
5. Know Your Route
It’s easy to stop and figure things out when riding in clear weather. But this poses a risk for you and other motorists in the monsoon. Low visibility and chances of skidding aside, it is important for you to know your route so you don’t have to make unnecessary stops over and over again. You can always use Google Maps, but the danger is that you won’t pay enough attention to the road. Potholes, speed breakers and puddles can prove dangerous when you don’t see them. Additionally, a motorist ahead of you could suddenly brake or skid. Choose wisely.
Pre-check for petrol pumps along your route. If you’re carrying backup fuel, make sure it is in a well-sealed metal canister or bottle and not just an old plastic one. If your fuel is around the halfway mark and you reach a petrol pump, stop and refuel. Don’t ride on in your haste to experience the road, deciding to refuel when you run low. You don’t know how long it will be before you reach another petrol pump.
Taking biking trips in the monsoon is something everyone yearns to do, biker or not. Ideally, go with a group of friends; this just ensures safety and security in case things go wrong as compared to riding solo. Keep all our points in mind, and your biking trips in the monsoon will be some of the best memories you make.