The 2nd half of my P test. Read the first half first.
Next we had another theory talk followed by a lunch break. We walked to Macarthur Square via Macarthus Station and all grabbed some Subway and a drink for lunch. Which was good. I only had riding boots. Which was bad. Infact I’ve got blisters on my heels and the walk back was painful.
Not only that but I walked down with my bike pants on with the sun out in it’s full, lets rain my Michaels P test parade, glory. So not only did I get blisters I was very, very sweaty and hot when I arrived back. Luckily there was aircon on inside the daycare centre and I ate my lunch and chilled in there.
After lunch we went on the road ride. It wasn’t too bad, everyone passed, the only problem was the intense heat and that we stopped every 5-10 minutes of riding for a quick chat.
The worst part was when we stopped for about 5 minutes to talk about cornering in the heat.
Alright back to the daycare centre we went and we talked about the ride, more theory stuff and then finally got 15 minutes to practice for the MOST. It was hot, the sun was out, I’d been sweating most of the day and I was tired from all the riding and heat.
The track was left up as before with the other two guys doing their thing. I went through once, not very well and was like. Ok I’m fucked, hello fail. So then I was like. Hey if I’m going to fail then I might as well fail my way. So for the next 15 minutes I think I did the course 3 maybe 4 more times and skipped the obstacle and quick stop everytime. For comparison there was probably time to do atleast 20 attempts.
What did I do with the rest of my time you ask? Well I just did like I’d normally do out the back of some industrial area. Slow speeds, switching between holding my clutch in and rolling, finding a good throttle/friction point, stopping and generally just turning and getting comfortable with my bike. Nothing too fancy and I felt alot less tense and not at all cramped or constrained by the cones on the course.
For some reason the car park has 4 marked joint P/L courses with only 3 being used so I found the left hand turn and did two then found the U-Turn bay and did one U-Turn and then it was time for the test.
It was hot, took the instructor a while to setup the course, oh and I was first up. He ran through the first left and turn and where I had to stop. I waited for him to saw go and I went off. I made the turn and stopped with my wheel in the white box. Yay I done the easiest one. Oh crap!!! I forgot to head check!
So yeah one test, the easiest one, and I’d already lost 3 points.
Obviously I was freaking out by now. I tried to remember to head check everytime before I moved the bike. I did my best on the cone weave, the U-Turn, emergency stop and put both feet down and finally did the obstacle avoidance test and headed into where the instructor was and prepared to be told I’d failed.
So obviously I’d failed, rocked up to the instructor to hear the bad news. “ok here's your points, 5, congrats you passed”. It was kinda disappointing, 2 weeks really wasn’t enough, I really should have gone out and practiced more, 1200km’s total. What was I thinking. I’m faily sure Harpreet is upto 5000k’s on his ZZR. Wait did he just say I passed? It didn’t sink in, I think he said I passed but maybe I was mistaken. It still hadn’t sunk in.
We headed back into the class room and I got my certificate. It still hadn’t fully sunk in yet.
I headed home told my parents I’d passed. Nope still hasn’t sunk in yet.
Infact it’s only now that I have my P plates and a licence in my hot little hands that it has fully sunk in that I passed.
I failed to perform two head checks which was 5 of my 8 points down the drain.
Other that that I pwned the cone weave, was the only one to do the U-Turn without putting a foot down or touching a line, stopped on a dime for the emergency stop and breezed through the obstacle avoidance like it was nothing. Infact I had to pick some rocks out off the grooves and rubber, yes they were stuck to the rubber and left a mark because there was that much down force on the front wheel by the end of the emergency brake. So except for the two failed head checks it was a flawless technical ride.
Oh but our story doesn’t end here. Next we went inside, got our certificates, had a debriefing and then it was time to head home. You know what happened then? It started to rain. My wet weather gear finally paid off.
How did I manage to pull it off?
With only 1200k’s to my name, 2 weeks since I got my L’s this time, 18 months since I last had my L’s, screwing up all the organised training before hand?
Apart from already having my full car licence...
Probably because almost every single time I went out to ride when I previously had my L’s I’d do atleast 10-20 minutes of slow speed practice in the industrial area next to Blair Athol. It was all their in my head, earlier in the day I’d just been trying to relearn in a way that simply wasn’t working. So when I finally just did my thing without trying to do it as the instructor told me and instead just concentrated on doing it that when it all came together. Just like when I was practicing the course with Harpreet and when I’d practiced the few other times to remind myself of how I used to slow speed manouver.
Thus I passed because I drew on all my previous practice rather than the limited and poor practice attempts on the day.