Saturday, 8 October 2011

Fail, fail, fail

Friday was my last ride with Dave before my test. He's heading off to sunny points over the border after the weekend while I'm in the Okanagan this weekend for a family Thanksgiving with my wife's relatives.

I met him on Friday for a tune up ride going over the test route. I was feeling pretty positive and hoped that my confidence would be reflected in a clean ride.

The ride started off well enough. I remembered my shoulder checks and intersection scans, rode smoothly on the motorcycle, and was careful not to make any careless errors. I was humming along nicely for the first half of the ride and thought, yes, I am going to nail it today!

And then I broke the signal switch.

Not intentionally, you understand, but when I pushed it in to cancel it, it first wouldn't cancel, and then, after a couple more attempts, fell off onto the road. We stopped, rescued the piece that fell off, and then Dave told me to continue with hand signals.

That one small event sucked the confidence out of me and I started to make mistakes.

First one was I turned right on a yellow light but is was red by the time I was turning - not good.

Then, I stalled in an intersection while turning left and couldn't get it started for about a minute. FAIL!

A couple minutes later, I was turning left again and while the space on the crosswalk was clear, there were still people who had not actually stepped onto the sidewalk. Sorry - FAIL!

Then, on a faster section of road called the Mary Hill Bypass, I was trying really hard to relax and ended up zooming up to 78 km/h in a 60 km/h zone. FAIL!

Now, except for the stalling in the intersection, I rode the motorcycle well. My riding skills were fine. However, my driving skills were just plain careless. I know that the problems started after the stupid signal switch fell off but I also know that I can't let something like that affect my riding so severely!

I had a difficult time getting to sleep, as I beat myself up over the ride over and over in my head. Finally, though, I reasoned that stressing about my test is not going to be helpful. I am confident that I have it within me to pass - and I just have to make sure I don't screw up!

In the meantime, gotta relax....


David Masse said...

Dave you're being too hard on yourself. Driving tests are brutal. No one drives or rides perfectly in "real" life. I have a theory that no matter how you ride in the final test here in Quebec, the examiner will find a way to fail you the first time around.

So chin up, smile, grin and bear it! You'll get there. With a little luck, maybe on the first try.

Robert Wilson said...

Mistakes are something we learn from. Your "game" was thrown off because of something that was beyond your control and you started to over think it. Relax, breath deep and just do it again. :)

Robert Wilson said...

Basically what happened is that your "game" was thrown because of something beyond your control - I mean out of everything that could go wrong it's your blinker switch!

So you learn from this experience and take a deep breath...and move on. Simple as that.

Dave Dixon said...

Thanks for the words of advice. I'll be relying on you two if I get a big "F" after the test! Seriously, I am not overly worried but I am trying to be realistic about this - it's a hard test, I've got some bad habits from 36 years of driving, and I'm not totally confident on a motorcycle.

Time will tell.....