Thursday 15 August 2019

Riding in the Rain: Difficult situations teach you great lessons

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Today I did not have any special plan to spend the day. As it is 15th August today, i.e. Independence Day of India, the only plan I had was to visit the office in the morning to be a part of the flag hoisting ceremony and then return home. After the flag hoisting ceremony was over I was about to return home when I received a text message from a friend of mine asking if I was free today to go for a bike ride with him and few others. As I had no plans I agreed at once. We met at a location near Khanapara, Guwahati from where we headed towards the most favourite roads of riders of Assam, Guwahati-Shillong road ( Why we ride to Meghalaya? ). It was around 11:30 AM and the weather was hot and sunny but the Scoyco riding jacket provided enough ventilation to keep me cool as long as the bike keeps moving. The iridium blue visor from Steelbird helmet also provided enough protection to the eyes from the scorching sun. After we have reached our destination, the Umiam Lake in Meghalaya we had some food and had a good time chilling near the lake. It was about 3:30 PM and my friends were not ready yet to return but I had to as I was not carrying a clear helmet visor along with me ( Clear Visor Vs Mirrored Visor Vs Smoked Visor ). And I knew that if it gets dark it will be difficult to ride with this visor on. So, I left the place early towards home. It was only 5 mins after I had started my journey back home and it started raining cats and dogs. I was expecting the rain to be over after riding a few kilometers but the weather had some other plans as the rain only got heavier. Bikers started taking shelter under bus stops, shops, and wherever possible but I knew that the rain was not going to stop any sooner so I kept riding without taking any stop. I kept the speed of my bike slow as my bike do not have an ABS and the roads of Shillong are infamous for accidents during rains. Even the smallest lean of the bike made the rear tire wash off, which was a scary feeling every time it happened. I kept the hazard lights on as the visibility had reduced tremendously due to the heavy downpour. I had come across a few bikers and their pillions who were drenched in the rain and were shivering due to the cold mountain wind but kept riding. It was around 5 PM and the sky had started turning dark and it is then when the iridium blue visor of my helmet started showing its darker side. The combination of heavy rain, dark sky, and the visor almost blinded me out. So, I decided to keep the visor open and ride. It was difficult as the raindrops almost felt like nails piercing through the skin of my face. The sinking zones of the roads had already started to fill with water but I crossed those areas before it got worse. At around 5:30 PM I finally made it to my home safely and it was still raining. So, it was around 80 KM that I have ridden in a heavy downpour, the highest that I have ever ridden in the rains. It was a different experience in itself. Riding in difficult riding situations always provides great riding lessons, and here are some that I have learned today:

  • Do not use mirrored visor while riding during heavy rain.
  • Use clear visor or use dual visor helmet during long rides.
  • Always carry rain wears during long rides even if the sky is clear.
  • Do not lean your bike to much if the roads are wet.
  • The roads might have oil spills which might spread on the road during rains. So, ride slowly and do not brake hard.
  • If you are feeling cold and shivering, do not keep riding. Take shelter and warm your body otherwise you might get sick.  
  • Keep electronic items like mobile phones and cameras, and also the wallet inside water resistant bags, or else keep them inside plastic bags to prevent any damage.
  • Keep your headlights and hazard lights on to make your presence visible to others on the road.
Location: Guwahati, Assam, India

1 comment:

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