Most will agree a good portion of riding a motorcycle well is about confidence. Another important aspect is having a rider’s spidey-sense or intuition. If you are missing either of these I encourage you to practice, take lessons and work on developing your intuition.
I took the Pacific Riding School practice road test twice before I took the actual provincial final exam. It is a great simulation for the actual event and helps you to get over the jitters of knowing you are being followed.
A PRS instructor rode behind me in a car while I was, once again, hooked up via radio and took me on a route designed to mimic the real deal. I was taken through school and park zones, critiqued on my slow speed turns, watched for lane position on hills and when oncoming vehicles were turning left. I got to practice my u-turn and 45 degree park and in the practice exams and both went well.
Here’s where it gets interesting…my DMV exam was scheduled for 8:30 am the day after my second practice test. I am NOT a morning person. Ordinarily I am a night owl, up past 1:00 am, but in my rush to get my licence I took the first testing appointment.
Unfortunately due to my exhaustion I had a small spill while performing my u-turn. I hit the throttle too soon and over I went.
Bzzzzzzzzzz! Thanks for playing don’t let the door hit you on the way out! I was infuriated with myself. The tester was very concerned, but I was fine, thankfully my training has taught me to keep calm and not let small things rattle me.
I should have trusted my instincts and scheduled the ride for a time when I knew I would be at my best. I should have listened to that spidey sense. Thankfully I was in a relatively controlled environment and other than having a few bruises I escaped unscathed.
Fast forward two weeks. With many more practice hours behind me I took the provincial exam again, in the much more agreeable mid-afternoon, and am proud to say I am a fully qualified rider with no restrictions. Cue the cheering crowd!
One of the lines Dat Louie co- owner of PRS kept saying during our training was “you think you get it, but you don’t. Not yet anyway.” I couldn’t agree more.
“Getting it”, is a process, and I am just at the start.
Many thanks go out to Neil Johnston and Kevin Miklossy right here at OneWheelDrive. If I had not been working with OWD I am not sure I would have done this program or have been riding right now.
In addition thank you to Mark Kruger and Dat Louie, the owners of PRS. Thank also to Chris Fuchs, Taro Tanaka who were my two instructors in addition to Mark and Dat and thanks to Rose McNeil who runs the office and was endlessly patient with scheduling while being a positive and encouraging every step of the way.
It is a beautiful sunny Saturday as I write this and I am off to ride BC’s pristine mountains.
3 Comments Add yours
Having ridden 44 of my 58 years I cannot relate. I have only one word of advice. Dirt.
Get a small dirt bike and ride it a lot off road.
I’ll just add some people love the idea of motorcycles and others love the idea of riding them but the reality of riding ends up for some as being less than satisfying. In which case it might be better to give it up. No disgrace. That isn’t meant as to discourage. Just saying.
Related to the above. Motorcycling is a solitary experience. (Except, often, the Harley thing)
Congratulations. Now for some real learning. It has been a perfect summer for riding and lots of interesting routes to rediscover on 2 wheels.
Be especially aware when riding tired or upset, you might upset!
I cannot count the number of times I’ve met deer ones or radar guns just after getting an intuition to slow down, practice listening/heeding!
It’s all just for fun…