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March 01, 2023 4 min read
29th November 2022
The Green, Westerham, TN16 1AS
2022 Suzuki GSX S1000 GT
Well prepared and a little apprehensive
My bike was checked over, I was asked to do an eyesight check and my declaration documentation was checked.
50 mins of my pre-ride brief where the Examiner played the role of an Associate with 2x ORs completed [I was encouraged to use the NOPS or my own prompt sheet]
10 mins OR with the Examiner stooging as the Associate with riding faults I had been pre-warned of a week or so earlier by the Examiner
10 mins mid-OR stop for me to give coaching
10 mins OR with the Examiner stooging as the Associate having taken on board my coaching
10 mins of my debrief following the OR
Total 90 minutes so far [I planned & practiced the briefings & routes to meet the times set]
20 mins where I led, and the Examiner assessed my ride followed by 10 minutes slow riding in Darent Car Park.
10 mins sit down where I was asked 6 questions on the Highway Code.
A pass was confirmed along with observations on things I could work on.
Nothing exceptional, road works stop, a large tractor cutting hedges, cyclists, etc.
I stopped as appropriate for the roadworks, slowed for the tractor and after making eye contact with the driver passed leaving a minimum 2 m gap, cyclists were passed leaving a minimum 1.5m gap as soon as I could see the road ahead was clear.
At slow speeds offset behind within 4 to 5 metres, a significantly greater distance in the NSLs.
Yes, as mentioned earlier on the Highway Code.
My coaching was at times too wordy, be more succinct.
My signals could be a little earlier ie anticipate the upcoming signs.
Debrief would be neater using the IPSGA structure.
Plan the mid-ride stop at Ide Hill better, if I am unable to safely get in front of the Associate before the stop to rather lead them around the back of the Café to create a passing opportunity for me to lead.
My delivery was polite however I should not be afraid to relax and be more convivial.
Consider starting the pre-ride brief with the eyesight check and pre-ride checks because if these are a failure there will not be an OR.
My bike was spotless, I turned up for the test 40mins early and only just before the Examiner.
ORs with experienced NObs Aiden, Paul H and Steve D who gave me invaluable advice, also half a day with Mark B who had recently passed the NObs test and gave me insight on what to expect on the day.
I studied the NOPS tables and scoresheet, re-read ARC, read the new Highway Code and the section from Roadcraft I had to coach the Associate on.
Weirdly yes I did, the Examiner was enthusiastic and made the role play entertaining albeit thorough.
I also had the support of Paul Watson in a watching brief on the test.
Absolutely yes, it is a privilege to have the opportunity to receive advice and coaching from such highly qualified and experienced riders.
Preparation is everything, be ready to use your own initiative.
I did plenty of my own preparation reading the documents mentioned earlier, marking the pages for easy reference, I created my own prompt sheet and practiced the briefings to meet the time constraints, I also planned the routes, rode them a few times and amended them to ensure my timings were as accurate as possible.
I turned up to Banstead and Tatsfield always ready to have an available NOb give me feedback on my ORs, these gave me direction on what to work on along with confidence.
The Examiner covered everything in the NOPS document but managed to keep the mood light and encouraging, I felt he wanted me to perform at my best.
We know in advance what’s involved, prepare accordingly, get feedback and practice.
My Initial plan is to use my new experiences to support others in LAM.
Yes / No. Yes
Yes / No. Yes
Image courtesy of Martin Broughton
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