Why We Need Riding Schools In India

Suppose you are interested in learning car driving. How do you go about that? You either enroll into a motor driving school which usually is a 20-30 day course and requires everyday practise for one hour or so. They charge an amount to teach you the basics of driving a car, when to press the clutch and change the gear, how to go about braking, steering etc. Sometimes they teach you about the traffic rules too.

Then comes the process of getting a driving license. These driving schools will help you in that too as they have their agents in the local RTOs who deal with the RTO officers regularly and can your job done in a speedy way. The process is usually that you have to take an online test of answering some multiple choice questions and then a small practical test, in which (at least in my case) you are asked to drive the car around for a short distance. And the same process of practical test is conducted for two wheeler as well and after that you simply get your DL in few days.

The main point which I want to highlight here is that, you don’t undergo a proper training to learn to ride a two wheeler, as you do for a four wheeler. Take this screenshot from Quora for example:

And that's how I learnt to ride too. I started with a Hero Shakti 3G(geared moped) and also learnt to ride my Dad's scooter, all home learning. Because right from our childhood, we have heard our elders talking about learning to drive a car, but never about learning to ride a two wheeler. Whenever there is a new scooter or motorcycle purchased in the house, say for the young son in the family, it is automatically assumed that he knows how to ride it. Why? Because he already knows how to ride a bicycle!! So for them its all about maintaining the balance on the vehicle. In case the son or the daughter still can’t ride a two wheeler, there best method to learn it is to approach someone who knows riding, usually father, brother or a friend, go to an open ground early morning every day and simply learn how to maintain your balance and acceleration and braking, changing gears in case of geared bikes. After that they just have to apply for the driving license and zoom across the roads, without wearing a helmet in some cases.

Unlike your lessons in driving, you never get to learn the ground basics of riding a two wheeler. Worst is when you get to learn it from someone who is not doing it correctly in the first place. Basic sitting posture, how to brake (and use both front and rear brakes), using turn signals, when to change the gear, importance of vision, basics of engine performance and how to get the best out of it,  starting and stopping, parking sense, these are just some of the things which are usually neglected by all and can affect your ride quality and experience on the bike. It absolutely hurts me to the core when I see (or rather hear) someone launching their bike from the second gear when the signal turns green, or riding in a higher gear while the engine output struggles to perform over low rpms.  Now I am not going to teach you the basics of riding in this post, my intention is to bring out the importance of learning to ride.

Now the big question, even if you want to learn to ride a two wheeler properly, where should you go? There are no riding schools as such in India, or rather the concept itself is non-existent. After looking up online for sometime, I did find few ads which claim to teach Scooty to ladies (by female instructors). This is mainly for those females who are hesitating to approach the men around them (or there is none) to teach them how to ride, because of invasion of personal space etc. And not sure how qualified are the trainers themselves and I don’t know how many are actually approaching these places for a two wheeler riding course.

What we need in India is the awareness towards the importance of learning to ride a two wheeler, be it a scooter or a motorcycle. It’s a great idea for some free lancing work too. I mean if you think you are good enough, you can put up an ad on Olx etc and teach people how to ride on your weekends may be and earn some money out of it. There should also be riding schools which certify the riders (or even people who learn to drive a car) for having completed a proper training course with them and RTOs should recognize such authentications, and only the DL process should be followed. Lets hope we get to see some reforms in this in near future and people's attitude towards learning to ride a two wheeler becomes same as learning to drive a car. I believe once that happens, it can bring down the accidents and mishaps on road for sure and make our roads a safer place to ride on. 

Ride Safe
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