1. Auto rickshaws aka Samosas! Yeah thats we call them at Monoshock. These guys are not made in the same assembly line as normal human beings. You can be trained hard enough to become Rossi but you have to be born an auto driver.
Keep a look out for these very sharply. They can swerve to extents unimaginable and land up right in your path and cause immense damage. Most of these guys have unions which could get you into trouble if you hit one, so its a double jeopardy situation.
Solution: Slow down while overtaking one, and honk!
2. Bazaars. These are treacherous grounds. While crossing a town or a small village along a highway, you will come across these. Lazy fruit, vegetable and meat sellers will look at you from both sides of the highway.
People who just finished buying their veggies will cross the road and buy meat, and never assume that they know its a road. For them, its part of their market place and you are an intruder. Children can be seen crossing the road too and fro at insane rates, candies, fries or cheap ice creams in hand. Solution: At all costs, just crawl. Enjoy the colours of this country. You will emerge a happier man. Dont curse them, it will not get you anything.
3. Cattle. We have a simple rule for this one. Size. Judge these bovine buggers by size. The smaller and younger it is, the bigger the threat. As these four legged dudes get older, they get lazier and do not move much unless provoked. Younger ones are jumpy and will come right in your path for nothing and from nowhere.
Solution: Never assume anything. Slow down to a crawl if you see too many of them. If you judge their next move by human standards, you will be taking the bull by the er, horn!
4. Cyclists. The Monoshock travel India dictionary says ‘a cyclist in India is a human being riding a bike with no motor of any kind, yet carrying the attitude to beat out a Busa, whether in traffic, straight lines or corners!’
Let them be in their blissful states of mind please. There are millions of them and each one has a different CPU!! Solution: Honk like crazy when you are overtaking one. If there are more, stop, have some water, light a smoke and let them get out of the darn way!
5. Level Crossings. Indian railways have laid a crazy amount of track. However, they have not manned all their crossings! Amazing! Whenever you see one of these coming up, STOP! No matter what you feel/ think/ assume. Even if you see a lazy cyclist pedal across, stop and verify the proximity of a train.
If you just ride across one that is unmanned and there is a diesel loco coming down hauling 3000 tonnes of steel behind it, you will be squashed like a bug! Curtains. Not worth it we say! Notice the two jerks with cycles sniffin the train’s body!
6. Narrow Bridges. While you are going down this two way strip, enjoying the scenery, you will suddenly come across a small bridge/ culvert that will be half the width of the road. Now thats not such a bad thing you tell yourself. You are darn lucky they made one there in the middle of nowhere. Yes.
All that is fine unless there is a Sumo coming the other way. Trust us, it will not slow down for you. Just slam your brakes, let the pads feast on the rotor and let him cross in peace. If you are caught midway on the bridge, you are erased!
7. Trucks and Buses. Be very careful while overtaking as well as letting them pass as oncoming traffic. In this case, trucks are easier to trust. They will let you pass at the first chance they get. Buses have some serious ego issues and will immediately get into the ‘lets race’ mood. Avoid overtaking them from the left. You might get squeezed! If you see a bus trying to overtake another, coming on to you from front on a two way street, just get the hell out of the way! Just get the hell out of the way! Yes, double emphasis on that one.
Be careful while you are riding. Stop when tired, there is nothing you are proving to anyone. Enjoy yourself and remember, there are people waiting at home, to hug you when you get back. Just think of that when you are getting edgy! Happy riding!