Water Crossings!

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All the brave adventurers who have dared to head out to the Himalayas, Ladhakh regions in particular on their trusted bulls have often kept in mind 3 major perils of the region namely dropping temperature, altitude sickness and water crossings. Good Clothing and Diamox can get you through the first two but there is no aid you can call upon to get over the water crossings. Each one to his own!

There are many different kinds of water crossings – some flowing into your path, some away from you, some perpendicular and even other unimaginable angles. There are some that make a huge splash and a lot of noise and some that flow silently without any issues.

You have no idea what lurks underneath but sometimes it’s on the surface.

The technique is really simple and manageable at speeds in the lower gears and medium revs with the clutch let out. Before getting into the water establish a firm stance on the bike (either sitting or standing) and look where you want to go. (Not just 2 feet ahead of the tire!) Start the crossing with a bit of acceleration so your front wheel is light which will enable you to climb easily over the obstacles and give you a bit more clearance. Honestly it’s as easy as that. Always stay calm and make sure that your actions are from thinking and not from panic reactions.

SOME BASIC RULES TO FOLLOW

  • Take time to study the crossing and don’t be in a hurry
  • Keeping your shoe dry is not an ultimate aim.
  • It’s better to wait before the crossing and watch other people cross than to wait on the other side while you can dry yourself.
  • When in Doubt choose the lower gear
  • If you do get stuck; try smarter not harder. Take your time don’t panic!
  • Pay special attention not to allow the engine to stall
  • Point into flow
  • Don’t be afraid to get wet
  • Make a plan and be ready to get along with it
  • If in group go one at a time

AVOID

  • Going too fast
  • Taking your feet off the footrest
  • Stalling the Engine/Motion
  • Panicking
  • Slipping the clutch
  • Too much RPM
  • Holding too hard on the handles

Written by Milind