As God paints his live canvas wet and green, most everyday commuters on two-wheels find it increasingly difficult to get to their workplace without getting drenched. What makes it worse for them is the amplified possibility of a slip or a fall, making riding to work even more hazardous. While the inherent inconveniences or hazards associated with riding in the rains cannot be entirely eliminated, here we have tried to create a handy cheatsheet for the everyday city commuter to get to work without getting wet, dirty or hurt. Have a look at this list of tips and tricks to make your commute in the rains safer and more convenient.
Helmet glass wipers
You may have already read about this little piece of equipment in one of our previous posts. Finger wiper is a small and simple product, designed for wiping water from helmet visor while riding through rain, allowing proper vision to the rider. You can order one online for just INR 50. You can also opt for a modern, electrically operated unit but this one would set you back by several thousand bucks and is difficult to source in India.
Waterproof riding gear
Most of the windcheaters that I have bought have failed miserably to offer any protection from rains, while some fared okay. I would any day prefer to wear my riding gear with a rain liner over a cheap windcheater, but not everyone would want to shell out INR 15,000-20,000 for safety gear. Although not an alternative to the safety aspect, you can buy quality rain-protection gear from manufacturers such as Steelbird or Quechua to name a few.
Steelbird recently launched its premium range of riding gear called Ignyte. The list of accessories include gloves, jackets, pants and shoe-cover and are priced between INR 1,139 and INR 1,699. Let us warn you that these products do not come equipped with armour and would not offer much protection in case of a crash. On the positive side, though, these products do not cost a bomb and would provide sufficient protection against downpours.
Rain cover for shoes
Your shoes face the maximum muck and mud. Along with protection from mud and water, shoe cover will also increase the life of your shoes while saving you the embarrassment of squeaky, mucky and smelly footwear when you reach your workplace. Steelbird’s Ignyte range also offers a rain shoe cover which will set you back by INR 1,349.
Unlike cars, most motorcycles do not receive a hazard light switch. However, installing one is no rocket science and all it takes is a switch and some wiring modifications to get one on your motorcycle. You can either purchase a hazard light switch from an Indian dealer or buy one from eBay for 1/4th of the price quoted here. I bought a pair for INR 250, shipping included, while some local dealers quoted anywhere between INR 400-700 for a single piece. Getting the switch installed and wiring modifications from a local mechanic will cost another INR 100-200 bucks. Hazard lights improve your vehicle’s visibility during downpours or in low visibility conditions.
One of the major issues while riding in the rains is visor fogging. The problem rises due to lack of ventilation which keeps the condensed air inside the helmet, thus fogging the visor. A quality helmet may set you back by a few thousand rupees but the ventilation system can enhance the visibility significantly, and work as an active safety aid in low-visibility conditions prevalent during monsoons.
Muddy roads and rains can spoil your precious backpack and, in some cases, the contents inside. A backpack cover is probably the cheapest way to protect your backpack from water and mud and you can buy a quality cover online for as low as INR 250. Quality ones from Quechua would set you back by about INR 500-600.
These are the best products we could think of but we are sure you can add some more accessories to the list. Hit us with your list through the comments section below. Do share this list with your friends through social networks.