Luckily, myself and Suzu remain acquainted. She hasn’t given up on me and I haven’t given up on her. We’ve spent a further two hours together and are making progress.
The gaffer appears to be more than a little busy. So Pete guides us through the next set of manoeuvres. He has a gentle sense of humour and easy going manner that helps to put you at ease. We get on well.
In the second session, we’re joined by someone who is still at the stop-start stage. This is fortunate, as I’ve realised that I’m very used to being one of the more intelligent in the room, but when riding a bike, I have these moments of complete stupidity. But when someone is still at the stop-start stage, one doesn’t feel quite so inept.
Clutch is greatly more under my control than before, and I’ve learned to use the back brake. Previously, I’d been using it as a neat resting place for my toes. So we set about making pretty patterns over the yard. Two bollards are placed reasonably close together with a small blue marker between them. The aim is to cross the marker, circle one bollard in an anti-clockwise direction, cross the marker and circle the other bollard in a clock-wise direction, thus carving a beautiful figure of 8 on the ground with the tyres. I think my figure of 8 is a little pear-shaped. We definitely like the clockwise direction more than the anti-clockwise.
We move on to U-turns and try to simulate the road situation. I’m using mirrors and life-saving glances for the first time. I still feel a bit slow in commencing a U-turn, but I do believe this is my best performance so far. Clutch, throttle and back brake work in unison.
Next step: CBT – a day’s training designed to ensure that I’m not a liability on the road. That’s going to be fun!