By Zaihan Mohd Yusof
Rain - and I'm not talking about those 20-minute passing showers - changes the riding game.
The kind of rain that riders have experienced in the first half of this month can be scary.
Even the bravest of bikers, dressed in the latest in waterproof protection, were spotted huddling under overcrowded expressway shelters when the early March downpour proved too much for them.
The National Environment Agency attributes the above-average rainfall to the north-east monsoon and the Sumatra squalls, which on March 5 resulted in strong winds of up to about 70kmh.
Under such conditions, riding can be treacherous. You are trying to keep your balance while struggling to see where you're going.
Even an experienced rider can be caught off-guard by how quickly conditions can change. Daylight fades instantly and is replaced by gloomy low-light conditions.
The heavy downpour reduces visibility to just 20m. It feels like you're riding with blinkers on.
After 10 minutes of riding wet, cold and half-blind, I often hear a nagging voice in my head: "Quick, find shelter."
If you can't see where you're going, I'm sure car and lorry drivers can't either.
You don't want to be caught in the crosshairs of fate thanks to a skidding lorry on emergency brakes.
My father always says that if it rains, or if it threatens to, take public transport. It's safer, and your motorcycle's paint and chrome will last longer, he would argue.
While I tend to agree with my old man's advice, the reality is that we need to go places for work or leisure, rain or shine.
You often see some riders giving up on shelter if the wait is too long.
It's not a risk I'm willing to take. Sometimes you have to admit defeat against the forces of Mother Nature.
Sure, the improvements in motorcycle technology, such as traction control - which cuts engine power when the onboard computer senses you're about to slip - and sticky tyres, help.
Advances in waterproof safety apparel keep you drier longer and ensure you're not too bruised should you slip and fall.
But not all motorists and vehicles have such technology. Often, we ride because it's a convenient and cheap mode of transportation.