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Here's Why You Must Master These 4 Essential Bike Riding Skills Other Than The Basic Ones

Apart from basic skills, you must know the art of advanced braking, taking sharp turns and reading the hand signals.

  • 15 Sep 2020
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Apart from basic skills, you must know the art of advanced braking, taking sharp turns and reading the hand signals.

Given the current state of affairs where the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic still looms large, riding a bike to commute to the workplace and even otherwise provides the much-needed safety as per the social distancing norms.

Having said that, it’s vital to master some other essential bike riding techniques other than basic ones to ensure a smooth and safe ride. So, what are these bike riding tips that further elevate your experience? Let’s find out.

Advanced braking techniques

Before riding a bike, you were probably instructed to wrap all four fingers across the throttle and apply only the front brakes when the throttle was closed. While this is fine when you are just learning to ride or are in a parking lot, the situation is vastly different on roads.

While riding a bike on a busy road, you must have observed how difficult it is to cover the front brake with all the four fingers when the situation demands applying them soon. In such a scenario, you need to master the art of applying brakes with only two fingers, allowing you to shorten the reaction time, should the need arise for the same.

Advanced braking techniques also entail applying brakes when you roll off the throttle. You need to practise the art of blipping the throttle for downshifts while maintaining consistent pressure on the brakes. It is also essential to note that learning advanced braking techniques while riding a bike is not only limited to the front brake. It also includes learning the deft art of using the rear brake with prudence.

Imbibing lessons on advanced braking techniques can come to your rescue in challenging situations. Learning the art can save not only your life but also of the pillion rider  and others.

Situational awareness

Unfortunately, two-wheelers account for the lion’s share of fatal accidents in India, claiming thousands of lives each year. While not wearing a helmet, over speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, etc., are the major culprits, lack of situational awareness also contribute to mishaps.

Situational awareness means being alert while riding and constantly looking out for potential hazards. These may include animals or humans or other vehicles coming across unexpectedly, sudden change of traffic light to red and even the road itself.

Note that situational awareness comes with time. Equally essential is to keep your focus on the road while driving and avoid distractions at all costs.

Often while riding bikes, people use mobile phones or talk with the pillion rider. All such activities affect concentration and can lead to an accident. Thus, while riding, make sure to keep a hawk’s eye on the road. It will not only make your journey safe but also prevent loss of life and property to a great extent.

Mastering the art of turning at sharp turns

This is one of the most essential bike riding tips that’s often ignored. Turning your bike at sharp turns requires skill and the challenge compounds multi-fold if the space is small. Often while riding a bike on hilly terrains, riders encounter sharp turns too often. If you don’t practice well-enough, it can lead to a mishap.

Note that while turning, you also have to manage the accelerator and keep it smooth. While taking such turns, ensure you turn your bike at a 90-degree angle and look ahead. Often most riders make the mistake of looking down while turning, which is an absolute no.

While doing so, extend the elbow away from your body. This prevents the elbow from cramping and gives you more space to take a turn. After you have completed the turn, release the accelerator fully and have a firm grip on the handlebar.

At the same time, when you are approaching a turn, make sure to reduce the speed of your bike as accelerating may prove fatal. If, however, you are not confident of making the turn correctly, stop and manually take your two-wheeler to the other side.

Also read:

Reading hand signals

Though every two-wheeler is equipped with headlight, taillight and indicators, among others, that help you to communicate while riding, it may not always attract the type of attention you seek. You must know their limitations and must be adept in reading hand signals that’s often used to communicate.

Proper communication through hand signals also aids other motorists to read and recognise your intentions more accurately. It not only increases your visibility but also enhances safety and confidence while riding.

Hand signals help communicate between random riders coming from different directions. The poses and signals convey a very specific meaning and knowing them can make your journey pretty smooth. These signals also come handy if you are riding in a group and the message is communicated clearly to fellow riders.

In conclusion

Apart from mastering these skills, before hitting the roads, ensure that you have all the required papers at your disposal. Most importantly, you must have a valid driving license and a third-party two-wheeler insurance cover mandated by the law, failing which can attract a stiff penalty.

Also, important is to have a two-wheeler insurance policy  that provides a 360-degree coverage against financial losses arising due to natural and man-made calamities, including floods, earthquake, theft, riot, etc. Once you have all them in place, you can be sure of riding safe and happy!

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