Thursday, September 28, 2017

Learning to Ride a Motorcycle: Stage 2

This past Sunday I had my last motorcycle lesson in Stage One.
Stage One is where you learn all the basic techniques of riding a motorcycle.
My teacher was Mr. S. I had never taken any lesson with him, so I was a bit nervous. In the last lesson of Stage One I was expected to demonstrate all the skills that I had learned up to that point. The teacher assigned me to Bike No. 11. But I was so nervous that I hopped on Bike No. 14, and I was told to switch the bikes. I almost wet my pants! Just kidding.

The teacher told me to warm up a little by driving around Course 1, which includes all those tricky sections such as a figure 8, a S curve, a crank, and so on. While I was warming up, the teacher came behind to observe my performance, and when he thought I was doing fine, he left me to teach another student. In my school teachers teach up to two students at one and the same time.

With about 15 minutes remaining, the teacher told me to return to the start line, and go through the whole course, beginning from approaching the bike all the way to stopping the engine and standing the bike on the sidestand.

I went through the steps that I had learned one by one, making sure I wouldn't screw anything up. However, at one point I released the clutch too soon and the engine stopped. I panicked, afraid that I would fail. I re-started the engine and went on with the routine. I came backed to where I started off. I climbed off the bike and looked at the teacher. He slowly opened his mouth and gave me two pieces of advice:

1) Don't forget the knee-grip. My knees were both off the gasoline tank, and both of my toes were pointing outward.
2) Park the bike within 30 centimeters from the curb.

I was totally unaware of 1). It's the first thing you learn in order to secure stability, and yet I was so absorbed in other elements of driving, mostly things related to maneuvering the vehicle through the tricky parts. I was glad the teacher pointed that out.

As far as the second tip is concerned, I didn't know it. Maybe it's in the guidebook, but I don't remember any of my teachers telling me that. But that's OK. Now I know it now. I will keep it in mind, and do I was told to on the qualifying test.

Tomorrow on Sept. 29, my first lesson in Stage Two begins at 8:30 a.m.
Stage Two is the more advanced phase of the motorcycle training. It includes anticipating dangerous situations, and more advanced riding techniques such as driving on a bumpy road, and so on. (I guess...)

I am very excited to learn new things. I enjoy being a student so much.

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