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Riding safe and sound on a bike

Well, we have seen many people just pushing their way on bikes. It happens that many a times people do get enamored by the very fact that they own a bike and hence can easily weave their way through traffic. It is quite true as well. One would come across many Valentino Rossi look alikes or rather mock riding ones who would race off at a traffic signal, cut corners and also have a tense body language.  However you would meet all these people at the very next signal, ready to repeat the whole cycle. Well, we have got some tips for our readers here as to how to ensure that you reach your destination safely and in one piece.

Slow coaches :

While everyone hates to be slow or being rather labeled as a tortoise, it is by far the best way of reaching your destination. When us humans try to be faster we actually do it physically. The mental part of it is all forgotten. Spotted a gap, close the gap. That’s what we think all the time. However this makes for jerky riding. Thinking further ahead and riding smoothly is the way to go. Choose better gaps and focus on reading the gaps. Holding onto average speeds is what takes one safely through to their destination and not going at 60 kmph then coming back to 20 and again going up. Also keeping your cool while riding goes a long way in reaching your destination faster.

Risk factor :

Reducing the margin of safety and vrooming ahead doesn’t make sense. Riding swiftly is the key however safety shouldn’t take a back seat. Realize as to what exactly is the braking limit of your bike. More often than not under hard riding duress, the motorcycle brakes would start to fade and the next time you roll the accelerator and try to brake suddenly, the brakes would apply after some hesitation. Also read the patterns of the driver ahead you. This will help you in understanding him better as to if you can actually overtake him and if so, from which side. When you know that you cannot beat that car to the signal, then why try and be a boy racer. Better to be labeled as a safe rider than a fast one.

Maintaining distance :

Focusing on the traffic ahead is one of the key ways of reading traffic. The further ahead you can see, the further you can plan your overtaking maneuver. What riders usually do is try and hurry down a road and in the process try to ride closer to other vehicles. This actually obstructs the vision and hence shuts a part of your brain which is prepared for involuntary actions. Focus is then shifted onto the car/bike ahead and you check its brake timings. However in this whole picture, the other traffic elements tend to be ignored. Keeping space around us and being patient helps in picking up gaps better as also to spot potential hazards early on. If the traffic is slow moving don’t try and act smart by ignoring the signs and trying and edging past all those sea of three wheelers and 4 wheelers. If possible stand on the foot pegs of the bike and look ahead as to what is the reason for the traffic jam. Here also giving oneself the space and maintaining a steady pace helps in dealing with the situation. As the saying goes “If you can’t beat them, then join them”.

Use of mirrors :

The mirrors given on your bike (if they are still intact) are to be used. And not for seeing your reflection or hairstyle but for checking out the vehicle which is fast approaching you. Checking out the mirrors often helps in checking out the options as also helps in knowing when one can change lanes effectively and without too much of a hindrance. If the mirrors are not functional or if they are small enough not to provide much information then the traditional way of slowing down and looking past your shoulder helps. It is quite possible that by this method, one can avoid disasters and also pass other vehicles faster and without the fear of getting hit. Also use the turn indicators well in advance so that the one behind you isn’t caught by surprise by your actions. It is noticed that people often forget to turn on the turn indicators and just take one sweeping turn. They never realize that they have just surprised some one coming from the opposite direction or following them. Such actions are grand invitations for disasters. Last but not the least is wearing proper riding gear or ensuring that atleast a helmet is on the head of the rider.

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