We had one of our crew members recently hurt themselves in a motorcycle crash about a month ago. The crash was avoidable and was his own damn fault. Tweeter is an idiot and here is what you can do to avoid ending up like him.
Tweeter is a relatively new rider with his first relatively quick bike (by Indian Standards). He did all the right things – Wore his riding jacket and gloves, riding well within his limits – also he is more or less the sensible, responsible type that doesn’t fit into your typical poseur/squid mould.
Hmmm, now you may be wondering how in the hell did he ever end up crashing? It’s pretty lame, he hit a dip in the road and went flying off his motorcycle scraping bike parts and a few mm of skin off his knee (the only part of his body that wasn’t protected).
In India, any road which has not been laid has at the least 5 potential death traps for motorcyclists for every kilometre of tarmac. Loose gravel, giant pot holes, unmarked speed breakers, random garbage that people were too lazy to actually throw away in a dust bin and pedestrians are just an everyday affair. Roads that have recently been laid though are to be looked with caution. There is zero quality control for roads laid and don’t be surprised if you find your tires sinking in or if you find a random pile of tar and gravel lying on the road because the contractors were too lazy to properly dispose of it once the work was done. It doesn’t matter. Riding in India is a dangerous affair and even trying to keep at the speed limit increases your chance of a mishap by 400%.
On our roads you can’t assume anything, you can’t just decide to open your throttle when you see a clear road because jaywalking asses have this knack of literally materialising out of thin air. Other road users seem to think GTA and Mario Kart are based on real life scenarios and drive/ride exactly the same way. Even with all this, you can still be safe or at the very least reduce your risk. The goal is keep your traction constant and not let it throw you off the bike like a rag doll.
When Tweeter got thrown off his bike, we had our crew in a support vehicle following, so they were able to limp the bike back to the venue and Tweeter was able to nurse all his bruises and scrapes. The tumble wasn’t a serious one and he managed to get away without too much damage to his bike or himself, his ego though is another story.
How could he have avoided crashing? Simple by riding a little slower and trying to look a little further ahead. The idea is to ride only as fast as you can see and react. You should always be able to bring your bike to a complete stop well within your line of sight. I like going fast and I am sure a lot of you’ll do to but sometimes sensible riding on the streets translate to fast riding when done right. Slower entries, faster exits. You not only end up being faster but you become much safer.
Slow down the pace, analyse your surroundings. Paying attention to everything around you will help you spot potential hazards quicker, do you see a median coming up, maybe the car on your left might swerve across to make the turn but if you already noticed the potential hazard, it no longer is one. Commuting becomes not just safer but less chaotic.
If you ever want to know if you’re going too fast for your own good- it can be summed up in one line, if you think you’re going fast, you’re going too fast. Back off, focus on learning and practicing your skills. When you do this out of habit, fast won’t feel fast, it will feel safe.