Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Another motorcycle adventure

It was hard to believe but two months passed between completing my CBT and my first ‘proper’ motorbike riding lesson on Friday.

I was a little nervous about climbing back into the saddle but it turns out that riding a motorcycle is a lot like riding a bike (you never forget how). In fact I felt more comfortable and confident than ever.

Even so, it was a relief to begin within the safety of the riding school’s compound practicing some of the exercises that crop up on the motorcycle test. The strangest of these is wheeling the bike backwards from one ‘garage’, defined by four cones, to another parallel space a few feet away. Other exercises included a slalom and figure of eight, both done at low speed – challenging but the key seems to be to look at where you want to go.

On the road I had to work hard to keep up as I was on a little 125 while the instructor and other pupil were on 500cc ‘bikes. Having previously thought Honda’s CG125 to be a bit of a slug it was gratifying to discover that it can move at a decent pace if you are prepared to wind the throttle right open.

Sadly there was no opportunity for jaunts through the country, the rest of the lesson concentrated on a succession of urban junctions. There is a lot to remember, for the novice anyway, in terms of observation, position, signalling, gear selection and cancelling the signal afterwards – no self-cancelling indicators on a motorbike.

But it was all good fun and it looks like there are only a few areas that need work before I can take my test. The next lesson will be in four weeks time.

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