I was much more nervous than I expected to be this morning. When taking my partner in for his lift to work we started de-touring in to the town centre just for a change. Clearly I was preoccupied but with some mild pointers at each junction or roundabout we got there in time. Then back home and time to get the little one off to breakfast club before getting in to Right Rider for a potter out on the bike before my test. Traffic was very busy and temporary traffic lights were causing some queues. Nonetheless I made my way to town with half an hour to spare. Checked I had all my documents and sat at Right Rider talking to Frank during those times where I was still in reality and not staring in to space. Frank suggested I go talk to the guys in Scotspeed for a bit to try and take my mind off the test but I was far too pre-occupied. The other pupil did not turn up but the weather had been bad in some of the outlying areas with snow and ice forming. Luckily in Dumfries itself the roads were all ok.
We set off on a short run around the town for a half hour before popping back to see if the other pupil had turned up which he hadn’t so we made our way to the test centre where Frank left me to await the examiner. I was glad to get there early as it was bitterly cold and my hands felt like blocks of ice again so I sat by the radiator warming them up. Whilst waiting I could feel my nerves rising again and decided to take another herbal calming tablet before the examiner arrived.
Eventually the examiner came through and checked my paperwork was in order and I signed the test sheet. As we left the building the examiner asked how I would prepare for having a pillion on the back. I began my spiel in my usual A to B via Z explanation and gave a rambling answer about the pillion knowing to prepare for acceleration and braking, lean with the bike etc etc before getting to adjusting the suspension which appeared to be the answer he was looking for, and of course possibly the headlight too. Next was the maintenance questions which were showing him how to test the rear brake and then the safety of the tyres. Typically I got my words mixed up, telling the examiner there should be 1mililitre, oh no sorry millimeter of tread on the tyre. Thankfully he didn’t seem to mind, I felt however if the tyre had turned liquid then chances are you wouldn’t be going very far and they had probably been more than a little over worked. Then the test really began.
I did take a few minutes to settle down on the bike and begin to relax, herbal tablets clearly working. I did not feel uptight like I expected and was surprised at how rational my thoughts became. I was also surprised to find that the bitter cold that had bothered me previously, I did not notice at all. I completed the hill start no problem on what was most certainly a HILL (quite a steep one at that). My instructions were then just to follow road signs to Stranraer which I did, then I’d to head for Carlisle, then Lockerbie. During these instructions the examiner began blowing his horn at a major roundabout in the town as a dozy lady was in the wrong lane and cut him up after I got away. Cautiously I left the roundabout whilst watching her to see what she was doing behind me. The examiner continued and finally these instructions stopped, much to my relief as I felt like I couldn’t make up my mind where I wanted to be going. After travelling down a smaller road for a distance I emerged at the dual carriageway where by I’d to cross it and head back in to town. I made sure I got my speed up as close to 70mph as I could over the short distance and hoped this was approaching the home stretch. Manoeuvred from behind a parked car on the Annan Road and followed the examiners instructions back in to towards town. I slowed down by a local school which has a 20mph speed limit in place when the lights flash which were still on despite it being just before 11am. Then it really was the home stretch after taking a left at the roundabout I was relieved when told to take the next right in to the test centre. Test over and there was another learner sitting waiting. I rode up to the top of the parking area and parked the bike up ready for feedback and desperate to know how I’d done. On arriving back in the test centre and getting my helmet and gloves off the examiner was pleased to inform me…… (drum roll please)….. I’d PASSED!!!!! Woo Hooo!!!! Oh what relief.
Overall this has been such an emotional experience. Much more than I expected having passed my car test as a teenager. Now that I am just that little bit older and wanted this sooo much more my nerves bested me much more than I could ever have imagined. In the end though it doesn’t matter. Yeah I messed up along the way, broke more than I ever thought I would, no doubt embarrassed myself on occasion doing some silly little things. When I told my 6 year old son I had passed my bike test he exclaimed: “Mummy, so does that mean you’ve learned to use your brakes now so you won’t go through anymore fences?” Cheeky little monkey that he is, for some reason I don’t think I’ll be allowed to forget that one any time soon. BUT I got there, passed the mod 2 and it’s all over. Now I can really begin to have fun and find what kind of bike I want and begin to get some experience on the road myself.
Meantime, Santa…. Top of my Christmas list would be a lovely ‘Relentless’ Suzuki GSX-R 750 please. Yeah I’ll keep dreaming for now and will start saving my pennies next year.