Riding a Motorcycle in Georgia (country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia) can be a tricky business. Here’s my few words of advice.
- In Georgia motorcycles are not respected by drivers who often try to push in front of you. Even riding assertively in the middle or more towards the left doesn’t help. They will try to get past you either on your left or right hand side.
- On roundabouts the rule is “there’re no rules”. Be ready to give way at any time, even when you think you have right of way. The rules across Georgia seem inconsistent and drivers are obviously confused.
- Expect to see many cars cutting corners, meaning that you will have to get out of the way to avoid a collision. Maybe it’s a way to save some petrol, who knows. :p
- Domestic animals are everywhere, especially hiding behind corners and inside dark tunnels, where they shelter from the sun. Very dangerous for bikers. High speed cruising is not recommended. Always be ready to stop.
- It’s normal to overtake another vehicle even if there’s a car coming from the opposite direction. Seems like the common belief is that there’s enough space for 3 cars, not mentioning a motorcycle, which remember is invisible to most drivers, so don’t be surprised to see a car overtaking straight at you.
- The road accident rate is highest in all Caucasus countries.
- You will see a lot more accidents when it rains, it’s as if people don’t realise they are supposed to slow down when it’s wet. Or maybe it’s because of old or not matching tyres, which are plentiful in Georgia
- Don’t be surprised when drivers beep at you, flash lights at you, wave at you or drive curiously 1m behind you.
- Avoid the main Kutaisi – Tbilisi road if possible, it’s an extremely busy road and cars drive very quickly. Most of it is a single lane and accidents happen often.
- You will have to speed to stay with the traffic. I found it relatively safer to go faster to avoid cars overtaking me all the time, but this meant that sometimes I had to ride 70 – 90 km/h through villages. Police check-points and speed cameras are almost non-existent. Speeding seems an acceptable way of driving.
- Interestingly, I was told that to pass a driving test, you don’t even have to go on a public road. Driving tests take place entirely on a practice square outside cities.
- The condition of main roads is relatively good. They are pretty well maintained and there’re no big surprises, except animals. But once you go off the main road, expect to see anything.
- We’ve never been stopped by police in Georgia. They are not looking for foreigners to stop to ask for a bribe. In this respect, it’s safe in Georgia.
- There’s no obligatory MOT car check, so anything that moves can be seen on Georgian roads.
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