Friday, 15 October 2004

Motorcycle Test

Over the last couple of weeks, I had my final three motorcycle lessons and today I went for my test in Reading. I was a bit nervous but not too jittery.

I passed!

Whew! Quite a relief since if I had failed, I would have had to wait until mid November for a retest. As it was, the day was rather chilly with some rain. The examiner, Mark, drove around behind me in a car for about 45 minutes giving me directions over a one way radio. I was particularly nervous doing the U turn in the middle of a narrow sloping street. All you have to do is misjudge your balance and put your foot down to get an instant fail.

At the end of test, I received a mild bollocking for10 minor faults I committed while my instructor, Lou, scowled as Mark described each mistake. Luckily, you can get up to 16 minor faults before you fail. All it takes is one major fault for an instant fail.

There was another student with us who did his test after me but unfortunately, he forgot to turn off his indicator. Instant fail.

So now I'm licensed to kill myself. I'm well aware that you're 38 times more likely to die in a motorcycle accident than a car accident. In London, motorcyclists account for 2% of traffic but 18% of road accident fatalities. Still, I'd like to get a motorcycle next year for casual fair weather riding. One day, I'd like to do a motorcycle trip in a country with not too many cars. Maybe Arizona or New Zealand or something like that.

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