Monsoon Survival Guide for Bikers

It’s been raining heavily in Mumbai for the last few days and the biker in me has been completely ‘happy-happy-joy-joy’. Now, normal bikers would grumble and mumble under their breath and park to the side of the road every time there is a slight downpour. I however, continue on–the reason being that I have a few tips of my own on how a biker can survive the rains to have fun, even in the most torrid weather. Read on ‘cuz this is where I’ll share those!

Trench coat (duh!)–buy one that is long and reaches at least till your shins. Make sure the sleeves have elastic at the ends because you don’t want water getting in from there when you are riding at full tilt.

Most people seem to think that it is OK to wear just a waterproof jacket but in reality that’s worse. What happens is that the water trickles down from your chest into your pants; making you look like you pissed in them. I’d recommend one of those Duckback two-piece raincoats, complete with waterproof jacket and trousers over a trench coat. It’s a pain to carry around but it’ll keep you as dry as a wafer chip.

When wearing the rain coat, make sure the jacket overlaps the pants. DON’T tuck the jacket into the pants as that makes it easier for the water to trickle in. Also, do keep 100-odd rupees in the pockets for emergency sake.

Backpack–Where else will you dump your trench coat after you have reached your destination? Make sure your backpack is waterproof, so you can dump your wallet, watch, mobile and other valuables without worrying too much about them.

It is recommended to carry an extra shirt/t-shirt in the backpack, though not compulsory. However, do carry three plastic bags. Why three? Because if you have a two piece raincoat – like me – then the pants tend to become dirtier than the jacket. They also seem to take on a muddier colour, and then you don’t want to keep the two in the same plastic bag. The third bag can be used for emergency or you can dump your valuables in it.

Wear the backpack inside the jacket, so that it is further protected from the elements. Now you also know why it was important to keep the emergency money in the raincoat pockets 🙂

Plastic board on crash guard of bike–I used to disapprove of the plastic crash guard once upon a time, but having fitted it these monsoons, I can safely vouch for it. Nothing else will protect your shoes from looking like they were pulled out of quick sand!

Shoes–When it’s raining, it’s important to be wearing shoes and NOT slippers or Crocs. The slippers will make your feet dirty and won’t provide you with adequate warmth. From experience, I can tell you that having cold feet is not a very comfortable thing, especially when riding. Crocs are another no no because contrary to popular belief, your feet stink after wearing those useless pieces of plastic for a while. Also they tend to get worn out faster than any other pair of footwear I know of, so it’s best to avoid those altogether!

It is important to note that wearing a raincoat and a helmet impairs your judgement to a little extent, especially when it is pouring hard. It is therefore very important to ride responsibly. Keep these in mind and you’ll love the monsoon rides.

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The Weekend Synopsis

This has been the first weekend when I’ve been alone in Delhi. Saturday was fun, as I was in Noida meeting a few friends… Watched a movie and went out for dinner later. Returned to the hotel late at night. I had no plans of meeting anyone on Sunday, so I decided to venture out alone and experience the sights and sounds of Delhi on my own! I must say that there is not a more liberating feeling than walking down an unfamiliar road, surrounded by strangers, in an unfamiliar city, not knowing anyone else and not knowing where the closest HDFC ATM is (yes, am paranoid). Feels wonderful in a way. I wandered from Karol Bagh to Delhi Haat and was generally being a glutton… The chaats over here are so different from Mumbai! The puri’s of the pani puri are baked (as far as I could tell) and for the first time in my life, I had cholay with samosas and I liked the combination… Washed it all down with a small glass of lassi, feeling all content and happy by myself.

Since this was an extended weekend I have an off today also (Monday) and having spent 1k over the last 2 days, i decided to stick to the hotel room for the day.

Having decided on the hiatus from civilisation, the only thing left to do is to turn up the AC and watch TV.. Lol. This after ages! I realised that news has become very irrelevant these days! Have u ever watched India TV? The people there made something as trivial as kids skating below logs of fire as their breaking news story! To top that, they played the clip over and over again till I had memorised the line and could say it better than the presenter! I also realised that F.R.I.E.N.D.S is still not off the air! The other top shows airing in the 2003 era are STILL around!! The likes of MTV, Channel [V], Etc, B4u and blah played the same repeat songs… Also, have u watched VJ Mia? She looked like she was doing meth… Talking with no emotion, no dialogue delivery and what not… The only thing I found funny in her show was when she asked the viewers to send an sms to get her wallpaper… Heh… ‘Like fat chance’, I thought to myself.

Though this weekend has not been life altering or eye opening in anyway, it has been rather nice… I liked the solitude, the idea of being anonymous, the opportunity to do what I wanted to and a chance to put up my boots and call a ‘time out’ in this game called Life…

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