Eventually one day regardless of how much planning, you end up caught off guard and end up riding in the rain, or maybe like some of us at IAMABIKER you just love to do it. Here are some quick fire tips to make sure you are safe even when the heavens decide to pour plenty.
- While venturing out into the rain make sure that you have at-least your minimum safety gear on. Such as a shoe, glove and a jacket. Rains bring in its own share of unpredictability and chances of a skid or a hidden pothole surprising you are more. So be prepared than sorry.
- Firstly analyze the situation, if the rain is heavy that visibility is reduced to couple of meters, you are better off taking shelter. If the rain is on a lighter note, ride at a very comfortable speed, say 50-60% of your normal comfort speed. This helps you by giving enough reaction time so that you can avoid panic braking.
- In all probability a waterlogged section might be hiding a open manhole or a deep pothole. Always take your bike where the road is visible. Water splashing is fun but dangerous, even on a known road, because rain can create instant potholes.
- Keep your headlights on. You may be riding safe, but due to the low visibility you might not be visible to that speeding car or other bikers. So increase your visibility by riding with your lights on. Make sure you make liberal use of the indicators while changing lanes.
- Brake lights usually light up the moment you tap on them without much braking force involved, so make sure you warn people behind you early that you are going to brake by keeping them slightly depressed before you go hard on them.
- Avoid painted patched like the white lines on roads as these are very slippery during the rains.
- Make sure your tyres are inflated to the right pressure to avoid grip issues.
- Respect pedestrians and other motorists. Nobody wants to be sprayed by gutter water. Especially when you do that odd indulging on that known road, make sure you do not spray an unsuspecting stranger.
- Keep a good gap between you and any other vehicle, so that you are never caught unaware and have to brake hard and because rains increase your braking distance by almost double. Also be prepared for lock up of the brake on any sort of panic braking. Remember keep distance and avoid sudden acceleration.
- If you hit a patch of water clogged road and if the level is higher than your silencer out, make sure you are in a lower gear and you keep the rev’s high to avoid water getting into the silencer, also do not shift gears while in the water.
- Raindrops get accumulated on the RVM’s and hamper your visibility, you can apply a dry layer of shampoo or some tobacco on the RVM’S. This makes sure water does not not get deposited and ensure good visibility, the same method works on helmet visors as well. But both are not a perfect solution either.
- Many people are confused whether to open or close their visors. Opening means getting hit by rain water, which is pretty painful. Closing means, possibility of fogging up and less visibility. The fogging up can be solved by wearing a balaclava. Another good solution is to “half” close the visor so that it shields some of the rain hitting your face mainly your eyes and provides enough visibility through the partly opened visor.
- The rains actually cool’s down your body quite a bit and you should not ride for prolonged periods completely drenched. You are more prone to cramps and fatigue. It also slows down your reaction times.
- The simplest solution to avoid drenched clothes, is getting good rain gear that goes above your riding jacket and pants. It is good to buy high visibility rear gears with reflective patches etc. so that you are visible to traffic.
- If you are on a ride make sure you pack your rain gear at a quick and easily accessible area of the bag.
Always remember its sensible biking that saves you, the riding gear is just basically paint protection.
Any handy points that you use or know of? do leave your input below.