The monsoon is here! With it comes a huge respite from the scorching heat of summer and for many this marks the beginning of long drives/rides. Like any other traveller, the monsoon brings out the inner explorer within most people including cyclists. This is one of the best times to go out for a long ride on a cycle, but many precautions need to taken to keep oneself safe.
Like driving cars or riding motorcycles, riding a bicycle in rains can be tedious task. Plus it is more dangerous because in this season road-users, including cyclists, become prone to accidents thanks to lower tyre grip and lower visibility. We have summed up few tips which will improve your cycling experience this rainy season:
1. Keep a Poncho raincoat – You never know when the cool and cosy weather will change into a lashing downpour. Though a Poncho raincoat may add a bit of bulk to your riding kit, it is the easiest to deploy and gives very good cover.
2. Be visible – People driving or riding in rain often have a harder time in seeing things on the roads. Use of reflective materials and bright clothes is the easiest way to make yourself visible to others. Reflective strips are the most affordable way to make your cycle visible, the standard reflectors have been found to be lacking.
3. Ride carefully – Water is the enemy of grip, brakes and tyres have lesser grip on wet surfaces. For a fall-free ride, lower your speed, avoid sudden direction changes and plan your stops well ahead. Also, avoid taking crowded roads, getting stuck in a jam or having to weave through traffic is not the best (or safest) experience when it is raining.
4. Look out for hazards – Potholes, which are abundant on many Indian roads, are extra dangerous during the rainy season. They become bigger during this season and are hidden from sight thanks to the water lying in and around them. Approach submerged roads with caution. Painted road surfaces become extra slippery when it rains, try avoiding going over them to prevent the tyres from slipping.