Driving on paved roads on hilly areas is one thing. But navigating the ghats in the Indian mountains requires a unique skill set and a lot of prep. What are the factors that you should keep in mind to triumph over the stubborn valleys of India? Here's a brief guide:
The tyres are in continuous contact with the surface of the ghats. So their upkeep is indispensable. Car tyres as well as bike tyres demand the same level of attention. So, before embarking on your journey, examine the health of the tyres.
● Check for tread depth with the help of the tread wear indicator (TWI). This is a simple marker present in the grooves of the tyre. If the tread has hit this level, key in the search phrase "tyre dealers near me" on your internet browser to replace them. Balding tyres have no business rolling on any surface, let alone ghats.
● But before you head to the dealer, find the different patterns of tyres online. So you can research and pick the tyre pattern most suitable for your vehicle.
● Check that the tyres are suitably inflated before you hit the first gear.
An efficient braking system can contribute to your safety during your ghat journey.
● Examine the brake fluid. If it's not up to level, top it. Haven't replaced the liquid in a while? Do it right away!
● Ensure that the brakes have enough bite in them. Harsh braking can lead to overheating. Instead, drive on lower gears and use the engine braking system whenever possible.
● Here's a tip for driving downhill, do NOT use neutral gear or engine-off mode. This will adversely affect the brakes.
Fine-tune the workings of your car or bike before driving up the mountains.
● Ensure all its parts are functioning correctly and that there is no shortage of essential lubes in critical sections.
● Remember to fill the tank up.
● The weather in mountainous regions is prone to sudden shifts. The humidity in the air may create trouble for your vehicle.
● Plus, mobile networks are likely to fluctuate at high altitudes and you can't rely on the internet. So, pre-download a list of service stations or mechanics so that you are always on top of a breakdown emergency.
Moderate speeding is acceptable on straight roads. But ghats have a mind of their own. So, drive slowly and with patience.
● The slower your speed, the faster you'll be able to recover from a surprise obstacle.
● Stick to your lane. On a narrow road, the left lane belongs to the vehicle going uphill.
● Don't resort to overtaking unless absolutely necessary. If a driver behind you wants to pass ahead of you, let him. Remember, this is not a race. You don't need to out-pace anyone.
● Observing the depth of a valley can be distracting. And for some, it may even be disorienting. Avoid looking around, as the mountains are treacherous and full of surprises.
● Honk on every hairpin bend and curve to alert the oncoming vehicles, accompanied by your headlights at night time . Remember, light travels faster than sound.
● Navigating the ghats can get stressful. Take necessary breaks and park your vehicle in designated stopping areas. Don't obstruct the oncoming traffic.
We hope these tips can make the intimidating ghats feel a little friendlier. Remember, no road is too high and no valley too deep to not be mastered. Enjoy the ride, but drive safe!