Summers in most parts of India bring with them scorching temperatures and unbearable heat. All major metropolitan cities in India are subjected to this horrible weather which makes sure to take a toll on you unless you’re one of those privileged people who spend all their time in Air conditioned environments. As a biker, the summer heat is second only to the monsoons in terms of how irritating it makes it to ride a bike. Combined with the horrible traffic jams which can be found in every major Indian city, the high temperatures of summer are more dangerous to bikers than you would’ve imagined. To make sure that you stay safe while riding around on your bike, follow these tips and suggestions for riding a bike in Indian summers:
1) Dress properly and cover your skin
Have you ever wondered why those Middle-Eastern guys wear those long robes that cover everything except their face even though they live in a desert? Well it’s because your skin gets damaged and burned quite soon in direct contact with sun rays. The same goes for biking. You may be tempted to ride around in shorts and a T-shirt but make sure that you wear full-length clothes that cover as much exposed skin as possible. You can wear light cotton t-shirts instead of jackets to stay cool.
2) Carry Water
I know it’s a bit irritating to carry anything as a biker unless you take a bag with you, but make sure to carry water with you at all times. Staying immobile at long traffic jams in 40 degree heat can dehydrate you really fast and not drinking water when you really need it can be really dangerous. This brings me to the next point.
3) Be wary of Heat Exhaustion
Your body will send you signals that it’s having trouble with the heat, which can include nausea, headaches, extreme fatigue, dizziness, and heavy sweating. Left unchecked, you can develop Heat Exhaustion, which is a form of mild shock. If you’re feeling these symptoms, it’s time to pull over, rehydrate, rest and recover for as long as it takes.
4) Avoid riding behind buses and trucks
This is a rule you should follow in general but it is even more relevant during summers. Being stuck behind a bus or a truck in a traffic jam will leave you breathing in exhaust fumes for a long time and added to that is the continuous wave of heat that emanates from their engines. That extra amount of heat can wreak havoc on you so be wary of suck situations.
5) Wear Gloves
I know it seems counter-intuitive to wear more items of clothing than necessary but this one is very useful. The bike seats and handlebar are two components you are in contact with which get extremely hot under the sun, especially if you park your bike outside. While you can’t do much about the seats, wearing gloves will prevent your hands from getting burnt or damaged and will make you confident of gripping the bars tightly in case it is required.
(Also read: Best roads in India for a summer road trip)
Have any other tips that you follow while riding bikes in the summer? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll be sure to add it here. Happy Riding!
This article is brought to you by Wheelstreet – India’s first bike rental platform.