Travel: Here's how to make most of monsoon on your bike
'Be prepared to get dirty'
Dahisar resident Ekta Banodkar has been taking trips on her motorcycle for the last three years, and loves riding in the rains. "If you're queasy about getting wet or dirty, this is not for you," she says. Banodkar prefers to ride along highways, and picks her trip from Coorg to Mumbai as most memorable. If you're looking for something closer home and don't mind off-roading, she suggests Rajmachi. "There is a lot of slush, as well as boulders to navigate. It's challenging but also great fun."
Things to remember
1. Always check your tires before setting out on a long distance biking trip. If they're worn out, get them changed. You don't want to risk falling on slippery roads.
2. If you're worried about visibility through your helmet's visor, invest in a waterproof one.
3. When you're wet and cold, you'll frequently want to use the restroom. That poses a problem for woman riders, as clean public toilets are hard to come by. Your best bet is to use the washroom at a restaurant along the way.
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'Safety is of utmost importance'
Riding in the monsoon requires taking an extra level of precaution, says Vir Nakai, an avid biker and co-founder of adventure travel company Helmet Stories, who recently completed an expedition as part of Cruising Legends, a YouTube video series for The Vibe. Nakai picks a route close to home as a favourite. "The Konkan coast comes alive this time of year, and it's beautiful to ride along. There are ghats, the sea; everything is along the same stretch," he says. He also recommends Pangi Valley in Himachal Pradesh.
Things to remember
1. Get your bike thoroughly checked by a mechanic before you set out on a trip. Any exposed parts could cause problems if rain water gets in.
2. When it's pouring heavily, halt till the skies clear up a bit. It's better to run a little late, than risk poor visibility and end up in an accident.
3. There's nothing more miserable than having to ride with cold, wet feet. Get a pair of waterproof boots and keep your feet dry — it helps in the long run.
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