Saturday saw me go through another motorbike lesson. This was the first time I have seen the test centre and it made quite a bit of difference.
My lesson started at 9.30am on Saturday morning and in the interests of not cutting things as fine as I did last time I left early. This got me through a very quiet Dundee rather quickly and I arrived at the school at about 9am.
My instructor today was Alan who was out with another lesson when I arrived. I waited in the office listening to Pete starting off a CBT course for another couple of hopefuls.
Once Alan got back to the school and bade farewell to the pupils he had taken out earlier, we got our gear on and took the bikes for a spin in the yard just to get a feel for them again. Then it was time to head out into the traffic and head for the test centre.
I took the lead by default and headed off. First note to self, don’t crawl up the rear end of the car in front just because you don’t want to stop in case you stall. I haven’t stalled in ages now so there really was no need and Alan made sure to warn me that was not the way to do things.
Once we arrived safely at the test centre, we managed to get into the Mod 1 area to practice. It really is very swish with smooth tarmac and everything marked out for both directions of travel.
I was the first sacrificial lamb and even if I say so myself, I did not to bad. I moved the bike from one parking space to another, did some beautiful slaloms and figures of eight.
I then did a stomp on the ground in the middle of my U Turn that wouldn’t have gone amiss in the West End show of that name. What on earth was going on? I can do U Turns in my sleep. My second attempt was not much better but by that time Alan had worked out what I was doing and on my next attempt he reminded me to look where I wanted to be. I looked round and the bike followed. A perfect U Turn and smoothly to a stop.
I had cracked it, after that, nothing could phase me and although there were a few minor details, nothing to worry about on the day of the test. Second note to self, make sure no matter what that you start the slalom the same way you are used to. Going the wrong way round is very unnerving and positively sick making when it gets to the figures of eight.
After I had finished, the gentleman who was also on the lesson with me had his crosses to bear before getting into the swing of things.
We both survived our mock tests and although neither of us managed everything first time, on the day of the test with time to practice in the yard first, I think we shall both be fine.
Alan led the way back to the yard to make sure we picked up some tips about road positioning and observations on the way back to the yard. I am awfully glad he did as most of my riding is done on country roads, so all help gratefully received.
I was so enthused when I returned home that I promptly jumped on my 125cc to head to the shops and promptly jumped off again thinking something was wrong. Nothing it seems was wrong, just less oomph needed when handling the smaller lighter bike. Lesson learned for next time.
My next lesson is Saturday morning again, fingers crossed things go a bit smoother as I get closer to my test.