Riding or owning a motorbike is a passion for most riders but the passion can turn into a pain though when you have to tread the tough and the ‘adventurous’ roads. Riding a bike in itself needs knowledge, experience and the knack or technique to handle the bike in any road condition.
Day in and day out you find different weather and road conditions but being cautious will always help you gain some momentum.
Staying alert can trigger the presence of mind even if it is lost and it aids the rider to ease through any riding situation.
Sadly, Indian roads will offer you a variety of adventures that serve beyond your imagination. One such difficult to tread terrain is a gravel track or road that we see more often than not. It is good if you want to try your bike riding ‘skills’ on such a gravel stretch. Remember this is not what your buddy taught you when you first started clutching the bike. And on a serious note it can be hazardous to any rider if one doesn’t know how to deal with such ride situations. Here are a few tips to ride without tripping on gravel laden roads.
– The first thing to know is that gravel comes in different sizes and depth, identifying them is quite a task; riders who frequent riding on such roads will have a fair idea about them, which means experience counts.
– It is common sense to look for car or bigger tyre tracks and treading along those tracks for smoother ride.
– Then the first thing we do after entering gravel road is to hold the handlebars too tight and it can tire the shoulder. Loosening the grip and staying alert can help endure your stamina for longer.
– A lighter bike will certainly help and do not be in hurry to use the front brake, stay calm and don’t even think of using the throttle. Just move straight into the stretch and ensure the tyres are moving straight ahead without wobbling.
– Stability of the bike and the rider is very crucial; take the help of your knees to remain centrally positioned and so do not try to dangle your legs in the air hold them a little firmly around the tank, which will help you handle the bike and yourself maintain enough balance and avoids a fall.
– Remember to have firm yet a light grip on the handlebar; to be clear relax your arms, front wheel should not overly work, just a bit is fine. Sudden braking or sudden shifting results in traction and you will most certainly have one laughing stock Humpty-Dumpty fall.
– Speeding your bike will be a foolish instinct, too slow will also not serve your purpose, so opt for something in between these two extremes that will help. But speeding up a little on the loose gravel is good thing to do.
– Front brake as you know by now is a no no, until it is very necessary. Rather use the clutch if you want to slow down and touch the rear brake lightly, again only if it is a must else use the first gear with no brakes and you might cruise through safely.
– If you want to corner, do it gently and slowly Because gravel doesn’t facilitate good grip and it becomes tough to lean the bike as we otherwise do. So going slowly helps.
– Look up straight and do not keep your eyes on the gravel, you might simply land down otherwise.
It pays to avoid riding on gravel roads. But if you should, bear in mind these simple tips to tread safely.