So, here I am, 6 months to the day after getting my full licence, and I have passed the Advanced Motorcycle Test! The date is 30th of May 2016, 6 moons after that other noteworthy 30th, in November of 2015.
Is 30 my lucky number? Maybe, maybe not. But I know for certain that the fantastic team and the dedicated Observers of L.A.M. contributed immensely to my pass success.
The Test started at 2pm, when I met with and was given a pre-test briefing by Jon Taylor. Then it was time to hit the road. I had confirmed to myself earlier, that IAMSAFE and I knew that I was looking good, having done my POWDDERSS. So with the voices of Observers past ringing in my ears with the symphony of IPSGA, I set off, with Jon Taylor of course ever present to my rear, first in one side mirror, then the other.
I cannot remember much of the ride, except that I went down some roads I never knew existed, and oops, I missed a national speed limit sign, though to be fair to me, it was completely shrouded in battlefield camouflage, doing its impression of a Royal Marine Commando on an exercise in the Brecon Beacons. I caught on at some point though…no repeaters, no street lights, country roads…hint, hint!
And the nerves! I had just about got used to having an Observer stalking me at every LAM opportunity, and then this. An examiner from the almighty IAM?? I really had to be ROADSMART, otherwise, my personal ambition and the efforts of the all-seeing(and they did see everything!!), leechlike (never could get rid of any of them on a ride!!) Observers, would come to nowt.
The penultimate task, machine control, a.k.a., slow riding. Would I freeze and fall off, or put one foot (or both) down, or all of the above???…nah, not happening, phew! Finally, (where did time go??) comes the final stretch, national speed limit, a very sparkling overtake……
And then we were at the Garden Centre!!!
All of a sudden, just like that, it was all over. There I was, ‘bike on stand, carefully and methodically peeling of my gloves, slowly taking off my lid, not daring to look anywhere near Jon Taylor, and horror of horrors (damn my peripheral vision…well, except when keeping on the line of a curve, seeking the vanishing point) him waiting patiently for me to finish. What would be the outcome? Was I good enough? Would I have to go through this again? So, here goes (I said to myself) and looked up at Jon Taylor, squarely in the eye, ready (or not?) for whatever was in store for me…and he smiles, holds out his hand, and says those Olympic (to me) words, “Congratulations, I am happy to inform you that you have passed the test”!
Relief, amazement, fulfilment…ok ok (to my author self) that’s enough!
But then, I had done it, I had passed The Test, yes it’s true IAM ROADSMART!
Date: 07 June 2016