This session would be with my IAM Observer, Ian Souter and Charlie, who is the Chief Observer for the MKAM (Milton Keynes Advanced Motorists) who I am doing my IAM course with. Charlie would be observing my riding as if we were on a test to see if there were any areas of my riding that we can improve on, basically a second opinion, before Ian put me in for my test.
I have to say here that I was really nervous about this session. I think it’s that word ‘test’. I am not good with that word. I didn’t sleep well the night before worrying about how today would go and was struggling to relax.
I met up with Ian and we had a general chit chat before heading off on our bikes to meet Charlie.
The three of us had a chat to start with before Charlie explained how this session would go, the length of the proposed ride was 45 miles, approx. 1 hour depending on traffic, and he gave me a brief overview of the route.
Okay now I was really nervous. Charlie was lovely and tried to make me feel at ease.
We headed off on our route and away we went. I could feel I wasn’t relaxed riding the bike and it wasn’t until about twenty minutes into the ride when I did a couple of overtakes that I felt the my riding change, I had started to relax and was now getting into the ride.
During the course of the ride we covered a combination of roads – dual carriageways, A and B roads, country lanes, towns, villages etc. I think I can safely say we covered them all.
I was really pleased with myself that I didn’t miss an indicate from Charlie.
We got to the finishing point, parked the bikes, grabbed a coffee and sat down. Uh oh, the moment of truth.
All in all I did a very good ride. Charlie said he thought it showed through in my riding to start with that I was nervous and it was not until I did a couple of overtakes (really good overtakes at that too, said Charlie 🙂 ) that he felt my riding changed and I came alive. I definitely agreed with him here.
My positioning, control of the bike at low speed and controlling my speed were all good. I was generally systematic in my riding although not completely and Charlie said I looked comfortable on my bike.
Charlie would however like to see me get up to speed quicker on a dual carriageway, a couple of times I was holding the clutch in whilst at traffic lights instead of putting the bike into neutral and when there is an open view on bends, I don’t necessarily have to take the bends.
So all in all a really good ride and I would have passed today except for one major boo boo!
When filtering a line of stationary traffic I pulled in just before the zebra crossing but I pulled in front of the lead car on the zig zag lines. I should have pulled in behind. Damn. I know I should have.
I am really gutted with myself that I made that mistake. I have been driving/riding for many years now and it is something I do know not to do. I cannot tell you why I did it this time.
There is one plus point though, Ian said on next week’s ride we will find cake …. 🙂