Getting Started
19th October 2011

Big Bike lesson 2

Yesterday was such good fun that I was really looking forward to my lesson today. My partners operation went well and I was collecting him from hospital after today’s lesson. As women tend to do I put this to the back of my mind, dropped the small child at school and off I went in to town and right rider. Ian was again our instructor and it was the same guy who was out on the lesson yesterday so the day began well as expected. The first part of the lesson today was a short run around town and a little slow speed control at the aerodrome much the same as yesterday. After the first half of the lesson and a half hour of slow speed control I felt my gear changes becoming much less smooth as we rode back towards the town centre. As we were doing so well Ian decided that instead of focusing so much on slow speed control for the mod 1 test that we would go do some mock tests and begin to prepare for the mod 2. This was fine with me as my left hand was still aching from the clutch control yesterday. We took a nice run out covering a section of the dual carriage way on the A75 where we got to play a little and get some speed up. Then for a nice jolt through a back road on to the Lockerbie road and back in to town. This was a nice 20 mins- half hour ride. During this ride Ian was concentrating his attention on the other learner who was in front and marking him as if this was a test. I find following much more relaxed than being in front as I find I become tense when I am aware of the instructor watching me. Also I find following gives me more opportunity to reflect on my riding style and I am increasingly aware of when I do something that I don’t need to or vice versa when I miss something.

Then it was my turn. Back in to the test station and I take the lead. Ian directs us out by Locharbriggs and out a local road that I have often wondered where it leads. I believe it goes through some woods and connects with a road leading to a forest but I will have to investigate. Maybe this could be a route I will go when I have passed my test when I fancy a ride out. Anyway just after we leave the 30 mph limit Ian askes me to pull over as he was having some mechanical issue with his bike. Eek I’m thinking. Are we stuck here? Thankfully not. Apparently it started up again (no idea what happened) and we were back to the test. We travelled a short way up this road and Ian instructs me to take the next left. At this point the road was already single track and we turned on to what can only be described as a small twisty, turning local farm road and it was obvious the main users were farm vehicles. This was most definitely a single track road which was not particularly well maintained, covered in gravel, puddles and an awful lot of dirt/ cow dung. This was not quite such a nice run but is apparently an official test route- lets hope it is not used very often! Although I can see why this is a test route- we all need to demonstrate that we can ride on this type of road as well as the main ones and can adjust to the road type. This had to be negotiated at a sensible speed, as I approached each corner I thought of meeting a tractor and trying to stop on the sludgy surface. I certainly did not want to slide up this road in my nice clean trousers and jacket. Anyway this road brought us out on the ‘back road’ which travels through Kirkton. This road I know well as I travel it often in the car. This was a much more comfortable road to be on. After re-joining the A701 we headed back to the test centre for feedback. Good news was that on both mock tests Ian thinks we would have passed.

We headed out for one last mock test run. After around 20 mins we stopped for a break and myself and the other learner were beginning to make little errors. Our concentration was beginning to lapse and we were getting tired so on mutual decision off we went back to Scotspeed and a well deserved rest. After calling it a day off we went and I headed up to hospital to collect my temporary invalid.

Next up……. Mod 1 mock test next week. EEEEEEEEEKKKKK!!!!!