#3 - CBT

With my confidence blooming after my new rider course, I’m ready for the CBT (I think?)

So there is myself and four other guys. One is training up to be a new instructor and the other three are in the same position as me.

Graham and Steve are our instructors for the day.

After having a coffee, and meeting the other guys and sharing riding experiences (or lack of) also discussing pet stories (how random!) its time to go through official bits and pieces.

Driving license – check, plus going through helmet and relevant first sections of the CBT syllabus, and plan for the rest of the day. Including clothing, protective/safety gear, this was module A. I have to say though I was very surprised to learn that legally in the UK; the only protective item you need to wear is a helmet! Now obviously I have a while before I start riding like Lady Godiva, but seriously just a helmet! I just want to take this moment for anyone thinking of going out for a ride with no protective gear on. Think again, you only get this set of skin!Module BThis is where we get introduced to the bike (again in some cases) learn some basic maintenance, special emphasis on safety, and proceed to remove and replace the bike on the stand.
If you read my last blog, I wasn’t too hot at this, but this time it came quite easily you will be pleased to know!
Module CThis is where you start learning to ride, beginning with moving off and stopping and developing your skills through a variety of exercises until you are readyto go on the road.
After doing the above on the new rider course I was so ready and just as good (if not better than my peers, who had all ridden before) well done me! Ok well done Graham, he is a great tutor, and apparently no-one rides better than him. He will love the fact I have mentioned that!
So at this point all was going well until one of our fellow students lost the knack of clutch control, and took a stumble off the bike! To which the two other guys and myself got quite shaken by. Not even mentioning the guy who came off!
He wasn’t hurt, and got back on, ready to go again. Anyway after some 1-2-1 tuition of the slow clutch control, again he lost his confidence and came off, luckily missing the metal fence by about a foot!
At this point he was advised to take a break. Then had to be booked back in for another session. We did feel for him, as we had started the day well together as a group.
Well onwards and upwards, it was time for some lunch!Module DThis is a classroom based session about how to ride on the road safely. You are expected to already have a good understanding of the Highway Code. I have to say we all did, although Graham may quote me on that! Ok, so maybe we had got a little lazy as we are all car drivers and have been for a fair few years. So back to swotting up on this area!Module EMinimum (legal requirement) two hour road ride. (Your instructor will issue you with a radio, ready for your on-road session. This will last at least two hours, and will involve a variety of roads. There will be regularstops to discuss aspects of the ride, with debriefing sessions and discussion of various road hazards.)
By this point I was very excited about getting on the road. The other two guys went with Graham and I had Steve.
So I was ready until all module D started going round in my head, about what happens when you come off, and slide etc. Especially now out of the confines of the safe iron fence. Now there are cars and lorries to contend with.

Nerves aside I put my ear piece in, and get communicated with Steve.
So when you’re ready of we go…
A shaky start I’m faced straight away with gravel! I slowly go across and get to the road. My heart starts pounding and I suddenly feel very vulnerable. I didn’t think I would feel so exposed. After driving for 11 years you begin to feel a little indestructible on the roads. Now all of that has gone and a little slip and I could be under the car over the other side of the road!
I hear a voice in my ear then giving me confidence and guiding me where to go. Steve was very reassuring, and a great instructor! Although at some points I would have rathered him actually being on the bike with me!

Checking my speedo, I realise I’m bombing along at a not very respectable 30mph on a 50mph road!

Anyway an hour or so later were getting up to the appropriate speeds no problem. At this point when you have the open road in front of you, you feel so free on a bike. I have to also say it is so fun!

Although Steve will hate me saying this, as you’re going along at such speeds the thought goes through your head “what if I were just to let go?”
No need for answers on a postcode, I do know.

Before I knew it it was over and we were back at the school. I was very tired but pleased to say I got my CBT, and so did the two other guys.

Thanks so much to ART for getting me through, and look forward to my next lesson with you!