Friday, 4 May 2012

The Big Test Day

Our leaders bike came out first, the only red CB250 on the course.
I awoke Thursday morning to birds singing, not a cloud to be seen, not that you could see the sky for the fog ... At least it wasn't raining but it was damn cold!! So I took the weather proof liner out of my jacket and put in the quilted liner .. better. I was really early at the centre for the rider training, so I sat in the car and watched the instructor getting bikes and witches hats out on the bit of concrete we'd be playing on. Then a Virago pulled up next to me, just had to get a pic of that, guy had more guts than me doing his test on that, then I saw him walk over to the instructor and tell him he was hiring a bike today. Off goes our intrepid leader for the day to get another bike out.

The Virago

The day cleared pretty quickly, but before the fog lifted I got a shot of the horses shivering in the mist across the road from our play area.

And of course when everyone got there I got a shot of the bikes on the course waiting patiently for us to come and get to work. Well you cant see all the bikes but they're all lined up there waiting trust me.

So we started in a room upstairs, that had the air conditioning going full blast, umm did no one realise it was close to snowing outside? We weren't there for long, he went over some interesting stuff bout riding as well as telling us the rules and about what we were doing today, then we got to go outside to get to know our bikes. It was interesting getting on that bike, for a start I never realised you cant just jump on a bike the way I do with the shadow. If I had have tried it with the wee CB, me and bike probably would have ended up on the ground on the other side. It was so light!! It also had the heaviest clutch I have ever felt, OK so I've only ever felt the shadow's clutch, and yeah she's new and hasn't been adjusted to death like these hire bikes, but this clutch just didn't feel right from the start. We had a go on the course, doing some figure 8's and giving way, and stuff like that, I was screwing up badly and I didn't want to blame the bike, but I was finding it so hard to get the thing in gear. I told the instructor, (oh we knew his name by now so lets just call him G) I tried to show him that in order to pull that clutch in I was having to kinda twist my arm up just to get my fingers around it with enough strength to pull it in. He tried to adjust it for me but there was no adjustment left in it. Oh well I would work it out, I kinda thought it was probably a lot to with me and not being used to any other bike besides the shadow.

We went for a road ride after morning tea, and I was feeling pretty crappy bout how I was handling the bike. But we did get to wear those sexy fluro yellow vests, I could have taken my jeans off and worn mine as a dress. The ride was to ... Mt Panorama!! I was kinda surprised, After having done that a couple of weeks ago, I thought ugh, I'm not going to love this on the mighty CB. And I was right, and I still sucked on that big corner, but on the second lap we did I was better at the esses. After lunch it was more practising on the course and he had set up some weaving, a u-turn and a hard left turn. Ending with an emergency stop. I couldn't get up to speed for the e-stop and G told me after the third time I stuffed it up that I had to change to 2nd or I wouldn't ever get it. So I once again explained to him that I couldn't pull in the bloody clutch and my hand was cramping, I think he thought I was being a gurl, then he pulled it in .... "ahhh" he said .. "do one more lap then we're going to change courses, and you are going to ride my bike." Yay, after that I suddenly had no problems with the e-stop, and I didn't hit as many witches hats in the weave either, it's amazing how you can control a bike when you can control the clutch.

We did a bit more classroom stuff, all great stuff that made me wish I had done the learners course too. Then it was time for the test. About 5-7 minutes each to do the course one at a time, and every time someone came back from doing it we all cheered. My mate on the Virago, oh yeah he couldn't handle the mighty CB and went back to his bike early in the day, went first and came back with a huge grin. Yay, if he could do it I could! So yeah I hit a couple of witches hats on the weave, but I did the u-turn even if G indicated to me that I was within a fraction of going on the line I wasn't supposed to touch, I still did it. The second last test was the e-stop, and hey I had trouble with that earlier today with the other bike, so it was awesome when I got the best stop of the day, stopping about four lines in front of where I was expected to stop. Yay, I got the hand shake and the little bit of paper that says I am now a big bad P Plater. We all passed!!

It was a great day, and while I was excited and happy with it all, it was still a 3 hours drive home, and I was so tired by the time I got home I didn't want to do anything. While I was away we got our Sena intercom, I really want to play with that but it's going to have to wait til I get some time off work and a chance to sleep. When I do I'll tell you all about it. Not sure if we'll get a ride in this weekend, but if we do I'd like to do it wth intercom in action to see how it all works.


  1. Great job getting through the course.

    I need to take a refresher course but I have such performance anxiety that it is stopping me. Funny since it isn't even a pass or fail course, just skills practice.

    I am glad he finally had you switch bikes so that you could pull the clutch in.

    Happy riding.

    1. Ta Brandy, go do the course, you know once you get there and start enjoying yourself all your anxiety will leave you. I always try to focus on the highs I get when I've achieved something, and even tho I feel as if everyone in the world was watching me when I furber something up, you turn around and realise that everyone else is just as busy as you trying to get it right that no one but you noticed. It's what you get out of it that's important eh :)

  2. Congratulations on passing your P's test.
    You won't ever look back now. Just keep on riding.

  3. Well done, I also have just recived teh Sena and it is brilliant.

    1. Ta Roger, :)

      We havent taken the sena for a ride yet .. been a busy weekend .. but we have tested it out in the house, wanting to go with the voice activated intercom thingy but we are finding you have to pretty well scream into the mic to activate it, have you tried this option on yours, is it better when there is background noise happening while riding?

  4. Congratulations on completing your course! It feels wonderful when you do it. I had a bike like yours in my course, but it was the gearing tat was messed up. Those poor course bikes are beaten to death and usually have some sort of issue. Happy riding!