Read This Before You Start Bike Riding:
Bike riding or safe riding is an aspiring passion for many! But it is not as easy as buying something from the market. It requires rigorous practice, and then eventually, a ‘common rider’ evolves into a ‘skilled rider’!
Like any other achievement, you cannot accomplish skillful bike riding without dedication, devotion, time, and, last but essential- money. Training yourself is crucial as this hobby or passion involves significant monetary investments and risks (even your health). Especially in India, riding a high-speed bike is more of a challenge. In the UK, one has to complete an introductory training course before riding a motorcycle on the roads.
Here are 10 tips for beginners on bike riding:
1. Which bike to start with?
Most of the time, people are confused about choosing their first bike. The first bike should be of a small capacity: say 100-125cc bike, which is enough to start with, and one should ride it for at least 50,000 km. As a beginner, you should ride it for 3-4 years and cover smaller distances to be ready for a bigger bike. We strongly recommend NOT to go for bigger bikes in the beginning. Instead, practice on small bikes first and steadily move up the ladder.
Distance is the most important aspect of bike riding/safe riding. How much distance you can cover in a day depends on your riding experience, fitness level, road conditions, and terrain. During the early stage of bike riding/safe riding, the goal should cover smaller distances. Please don’t push yourself to the extreme during the beginning as it may cause excessive strain on your body which you are not used to.
In the beginning, avoid interior roads as they do not have enough fuel stations/service stations. Instead, use state highways, as most have toll-free helplines, in an emergency. Know your route well by getting adequate information about fuel stations, refreshment centers, etc., along the way. Increase the distance step-by-step by setting up goals for yourself. Setting goals and achieving them will boost your confidence level.
3. Group riding or Solo riding?
Yes, this is a tricky question. Riding solo/safe riding and riding in a group are two different things. To begin with, start with solo rides. Group riding is quite different as it requires teamwork, speed synchronization, coordination, and patience, which you could acquire only after significant riding experience.
To experience the joy of group riding to its fullest, it is advisable to ride with members having comparable riding capabilities; otherwise, group riding could be boring. Also, all the bikes in the group should be at par in terms of power and performance. So, better start solo and then move to group-riding.
4. Practice, practice & more practice.!
The practice has no alternative or excuse. The rigorous training is the crux of bike riding, without which your passion could not be satisfied. Therefore, you have to set aside some time to practice bike riding. If you can’t find time to practice, it is hard to believe that is your passion.!
5. Safety Gears:
They are the MOST crucial part of bike riding/safe riding. Yet, people say they don’t need any safety gear, including the helmet, most of the time. But it’s wrong as safety should be your top-most priority. Always remember, if you remain safe during crashes, you can ride again.!!
Specifically, on roads, proper safety gears are a must. Dangerous situations may arise suddenly from nowhere. Start with essential riding gear like helmets which is a legal must. Helmet, gloves, and riding jacket are primary gears, and each one has its safety feature. Remember that safety gear is a one-time investment for your well-being on the bike.!
6. Bike’s maintenance and DIY:
Most people are ignorant about their bike’s maintenance. Yet, it is the most crucial part of long-distance and hassle-free bike riding/safe riding. Therefore, routine maintenance as specified in the user manual is a must. For example, periodic changing of engine oil with better quality oil ensures a healthy lubrication system and prolonged engine life. Similarly, timely replacement of oil, air & fuel filters, spark plugs, etc., avoids unscheduled breakdowns.
As a bike rider, you must know the basics of your bike’s maintenance, such as: removing the tire when it punctures or repairing the puncture of a tubeless tire and lube and tightening the chain, etc.
Everything in your life comes with dedication, so bike riding/safe riding! Sometimes short rides are also enough to keep the passion alive! It’s like ‘do it with commitment or don’t do it at all.’ If you don’t do it passionately and with complete dedication, you won’t do it in your life. You will only keep dreaming about it, but that dream will never turn into reality.
8. Road safety:
For every rider, road safety is of prime importance. However, especially in India, not many people know road safety. Therefore, following traffic rules such as: obeying traffic signals, following road signs, and speed limits are most important for the protection of the rider and his bike. Specifically, knowing the traffic rules first and following them is crucial in bike riding. For example, overtaking from the left side of the highways must be strictly avoided at all times. Also, it would help if you honked before overtaking a large truck so that the driver quickly noticed you.
9. Bike Riding Skills/Safe riding:
Once you have been familiar with bike riding for at least a couple of years, consider upgrading your bike and further sharpening your riding skills. Skills like cornering and maneuvering in traffic also require practice, which you can try. In addition, you can build a strategy for enhancing your riding skills. You can also join track-days and test your skills on race tracks.
10. Bike Riding/Safe Riding during the night:
Riding at night must be avoided in the beginning. Experienced riders also find it very difficult to ride at night on some highways. It involves many risks such as unreadable or missing road signs: pedestrians, cattle & other animals. Besides, dangerous overtaking by other drivers and continuous high beams from the opposing traffic add to the risk.
It’s better to avoid night riding, but in case of an unavoidable situation, follow these rules: Clean your helmet’s visor frequently and ensure it is free from scratches. Also, wear a reflective jacket over your riding jacket to improve visibility.
Make sure that your bike’s headlamps and tail lamps are working correctly. During long rides, your saddlebags must have reflective strips too. In addition, your bike must have a reflector beside the tail lamp, which helps if the tail lamp does not work.
For bike riding skills/safe riding, please have a look at this page:
We are sure that following these tips will help keep novice riders and their bikes safe on roads. So keep the riding passion flowing in your veins!