Starting my motorcycle journey as a female rider
The taster session got me hooked, I didn’t want to stop after the end of that hour. I had to wait three months though before I could take my CBT as I wouldn’t have a bike to ride until then.
The CBT Course
How did I feel that October day when I turned up to take my CBT?
Very positive, it is something I really wanted to do and didn’t ever consider that I wouldn’t be able to. I was mildly excited (I’m not one for showing extremes of emotion) and hopeful that I wouldn’t make a complete tit of myself.
Good old British weather
One thing I didn’t even think about was the weather; if it rained, I’d get wet or rather my waterproof gear would get wet, end of!
I don’t have a lasting memory of the day other than that I enjoyed it, but I was also relieved that I completed it on the day. Thinking back though, having it fixed in your head that the CBT is only a one day course is not helpful (it isn’t easy).
With several years of riding behind me I can see that for some people this would be a big ask, especially if they do not have any road experience (i.e. driving a car or riding a bicycle). Surely your own personal safety is worth spending a bit more time going back if you need to and spending the extra money on!
So, what next?
So CBT over with my only thought then was a full licence. I never even considered any other options.
I got out practising on my 125 as often as I could and after a couple of weeks made the journey to work. Not an easy route and a lot to look out for through the urban roads on the east of Birmingham.
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Moving up to DAS
This did give me lots of experience and provided plenty of points that I needed clarification on. So when I turned up for my first DAS day I arrived with a page of questions.
First day of the DAS course was still on the 125; it was good getting out with an instructor again though and building on what I’d learned and practised since my CBT.
On reflection, I think it must be really hard for riders who have only taken a CBT and then ride on the roads. I had so many questions and was slowly developing an awareness of my own vulnerability on the road and how much I didn’t know. I wanted to be the safest rider that I could be.
Next step, the Theory Test
Now for the theory test – I was a bit miffed that I had to take the theory test, I’d been driving a car for 25 years so it didn’t really seem right. However, it was something that had to be done as I wouldn’t be able to take my bike test without it.
I did get a bit stressed about it though and was a bit paranoid about failing it. I read the Highway Code book every day and also practised loads on the hazard perception test DVD.
Nervous on the day of the test, the receptionist asked me if it was a mid-life crisis! A bit of a cheek and very unprofessional!
The test itself was actually pretty easy. The Highway Code questions were not hard, there was loads of time to review and time to spare. The biggest issue was the hazard perception software, especially if it thought you were randomly ‘clicking’.
So it is easy to be marked down because the software interpreted your actions incorrectly. However, not a big issue and I think as long as you practise enough and get passes on the DVDs or online study, then you should be okay. Much easier with hind-sight to be calm about the whole theory test experience.
Written by Moira Day (female rider)