Day by day, our roads are getting chaotic, traffic snarls have become a routine. India can definitely boast of being the country with the highest number of motorcycles (mainly commuters).
I have been a motorcyclist all my life and trust me commuting on a motorcycle in Bangalore is an absolute ‘Pain in the Ass’.
What makes this blog post more important is the fact that – Riding a motorcycle in the city has to an extent become ‘Dangerous‘.
Experience is a great teacher but I have had some narrow ones too. To help cut short the experience I have complied 6 tips to ease your urban motorcycle commute and to have some fun :
Tip One: Taking off the Rear View Mirrors is UNCOOL
Come on taking off the mirrors wont make you a RACER ; don’t even think of any excuse of motorcycle weight reduction or that girls love motorcycles without mirrors.
Mirrors are your ‘EXTENDED EYES OF THE ROAD‘ ; so ride with them and never get rid of them.
FUN TIP: Mirrors are also helpful for that occasional glimpse at your girl in the pillion 😛
Tip Two: Look through the Wind Shield of the Car
Practice the habit of looking through the windshield of the car in-front to know ‘ Whats Happening Ahead ? ‘. Trust me this saves a lot of mental stress than honking incessantly at the slow moving car in front of you.
Tip Three: Avoid Parallel Tailing
‘Parallel Tailing’ is what I refer to all those motorcyclists who ride parallel or in the BLIND SPOT of other motorcycles and cars. Identifying the BLIND SPOT is pretty easy, if your front wheel is more than 1/4th parallel to the adjacent car or motorcycle, then you are in that car or motorcycle’s ‘Blind Spot’.
Please ‘ RIDE PARALLEL TO OVERTAKE AND NOT FOR KILOMETERS TOGETHER‘
Tip Four: Look at the body of the car in front
This is something I have picked up over years of city commuting. The Body of the car ahead is essentially a BIGGER REAR VIEW MIRROR, so take a quick look at the car-body to see the behavior of the traffic behind before making a move in bumper-t0-bumper traffic
Tip Five: Never tail the Big Boys
‘Big Boys’ are buses, trucks, tempos, goods carriers and even some SUVs. You wont have a clue of what is in-front of them and most of time, THEIR ESSENTIALS (Brake Lights, Indicators, Reflective Strips) DON’T WORK.
So maintain distance from them and either overtake them swiftly or let a car take the spot behind them.
A motorcyclist is the last thing the ‘Biggies’ would look-out for or consider, so let them play in their league 🙂
Tip Six: ANTICIPATE and OBSERVE
Nothing helps if you cannot ANTICIPATE and OBSERVE the traffic behavior.
In simple words, most of our city commute is a regular route (to office or college or dance classes etc) so are the OTHER MOTORISTS on the same route at that PARTICULAR TIME OF THE DAY.
Hence observe the road conditions, the way people ride, regular spots where pedestrians cross, where BUSES stop at their OWN WILL etc and ANTICIPATE THEM.
With the growing number of motorcycles on the road, increased impatience and the hopeless system of procuring Riding Licenses, you got to look-out for yourself and for others on the road.
Remember ‘ YOU WONT WIN A TROPHY BY SHAVING YOUR COMMUTE TIME BY 2 MINS ‘.
Practice the above tips and share it with your beloved biking friends and family.
Ride to Live and Love for Another Day.