Lifestyle Travel 15 Apr 2016 Ride all you want ...

Ride all you want — but gear up before!

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | MERIN MARIA JAMES
Published Apr 15, 2016, 12:00 am IST
Updated Apr 15, 2016, 7:38 am IST
Though the reason behind adventurous biker Veenu Paliwal’s death is unknown, bikers from the state stress on the importance of safety measures.
Veenu Paliwal
 Veenu Paliwal

There is no dearth of women bikers in the country, and the numbers are increasing. No, that’s not the alarming news — but the death of Veenu Paliwal, often referred as ‘Lady of Harley’, has sent shock waves among the bikers across the city. Known for driving her bike at very high speeds, Veenu advocated road safety and was wearing protective gear at the time of her accident. Though there a lot of reasons coming out regarding her death, no one knows the exact cause.

In the wake of this horrendous accident, we talk to bikers from across the state and find out whether the youngsters follow safety measures when gearing up for nationwide tours. Chithra Priya, the first Indian woman to cover 1,000 miles (1609.3 kilometres) in less than 24 hours on a bike as part of Iron Butt Association’s Saddle Sore challenge, says, “Honestly, there are no institutions which give training to street bikers. True to the adage ‘experience is the best teacher’, one can only learn from experience. Once you are there on the road with your machine, you will automatically learn how to control your speed and will become more alert.”

 

The biker, who hails from the city, is not happy with the condition of the Indian roads. “No one is to be blamed here — but the riders, especially the young ones, should be super alert while riding at high speed in India.

There will always be something going on — speed breakers, potholes, animals and people crossing the road without looking at both sides. Young riders don’t understand the value of investing in protective gear. I have six-seven riding jackets and I make it a point to invest in riding gear. I do a lot of tours and I have learned everything from my experience,” says the biker, who hold the record for the fastest Kashmir to Kanyakumari ride in India.

 

Superbiker Dilip Rogger claims that Indian roads are not suitable for bikes above 250 CC. “I am not saying that we shouldn’t use such bikes to ride — but you can’t utilise the full potential of those bikes. One should be very careful about that. If riders are interested in safety gear, there are a lot of options available for them to choose from.”   

City girl Alisha Abdullah is against people using half-face helmet. “I have no clue why people use half-face helmet while going for adventurous rides — there is no sense in that. One should use a full-face helmet to protect the whole face! I want to encourage people to invest in protective gear like helmets, boots, gloves and a one-piece suit,” she says.

 

A full set of riding gear will cost a maximum of 1.5 lakh. If a person can invest in a bike worth lakhs, they should be sensible and invest in protective gear as well. “A good, branded helmet will cost between Rs  20,000 and 45,000. But many riders opt for fake helmets, which only cost a few thousand bucks. They should understand the difference between proper and fake helmets. When it comes to boots, they should be high enough to reach a little below the knees. Gloves should be good enough to protect the knuckles and wrist from breaking.” she adds.

 

Alisha also stresses on the importance of a one-piece suit for bikers — “They should not panic while riding on the roads. Proper training should be given for the youngsters regarding that.”

Delhi’s super-biker Seema Sharma Dora wonders whether it is the bikers or the commuters who should be blamed for mishaps — “Not only bikers, but the commuters and other drivers on the road should also be careful. Usually bikers ride a long distance between 4.30  am and 5 am in the mornings and I’ve seen pedestrians walking very carelessly during that time. How many ever protective measures you take, a small distraction on the roads can lead to tragedy.” If you want to pump up your adrenaline by riding nationwide, make sure to have protective gear and a good road sense!

 

 

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