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More confident than I was with the U-Turns
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SarahC's Suzuki and BSM DAS Diary day five: I'm really starting to enjoy this

By Sarah Carnell -

 16 May 2008 18:21

Well with just one full day’s riding ahead of my test tomorrow the heat really was on.

I started off by taking myself out round the pad to warm up Kay and also to put in some U-Turns so that I could cheat my stupid brain and make it believe I really can do this. Well, I attempted three and landed them all within the white lines, job done, off we go.

I had thought yesterday was my last day with Mark and I thought I was getting big Chris today, but the instructors were moved about so unfortunately for him he was landed with me for one last day.

We headed out to Lichfield again for some further practice and familiarisation over there.  My back was not as bad as yesterday but still not 100 per cent so Mark broke up the long A38 journey with a detour via the outskirts of Tamworth. Back on the A38 it was straight in to one of Lichfield’s residential estates for some U-turns. Could I get Kay round, could I hell. I was having a nightmare.

I managed to land a few and today my new theory for getting round was to look at the top of a tree as Mark said I was dropping my head half the time, which was why I was dropping the Suzuki Van Van.

After making either the tops of trees of roof tops my new focus I did manage a few more regularly.

The only problem Kay had with trying out so many U-Turns was that she was tending to overheat and kept cutting out so we were then having to take a 10 minute brake to left her cool off a bit.

Riding around Lichfield is not proving too much of a problem and Mark says my general riding is really good compared to the beginning of the course. He also noted I was taking some corners we had tried on Tuesday a good 5mph faster.

So after Mark tells me if it was just the riding that would be the test I would pass no problem, I started to enjoy that part of things a bit more. I just need to get these flipping U-Turns sorted so off we went to another residential area for a few more.

The plan was to ride for a bit and then U-Turn, ride for a bit and U-Turn and I did get quite a few more with my new plan of looking at trees, lamp posts or anything higher than cars parked on the side of the road. I did however send poor Kay to the floor a couple more times and killed another brake lever.

After lunch it was pretty much more of the same, a ride around town then heading out to a national speed limit area, through the residential 20mph hour and then in to another residential area which is 30mph. I was also really getting the knack of mini roundabouts and now I’ve learnt to look to where I’m going more and slip the clutch on the way round I’ve not hit any of the paint.

The ride back from Lichfield wasn’t too bad. The earlier wind had dropped quite a bit and I even had Mark singing Sponge Bob Square Pants down the radio at me! I think he was preparing me for big Chris tomorrow who sings down the radio and tells you what he thinks about other motorists quite a lot.

I now feel fairly confident about my riding and feel much safer than I did on day one, but if only I could get the U-Turns sorted I would have complete faith in myself rather than just the 70 per cent I’ve got now.

Tomorrow really is shit or bust. I had intended on coming up here to get my Direct Access training and an open licence, but I’m happy enough that I’m going for my A2 and am satisfied that if in the future I want to try bigger motorcycles I can, but for now I’m happy.

Tomorrow I intend on having an imaginary picture of the Kawasaki Ninja 250 up on the lamp post or in the top of the tree as that’s my aim. If I get my test passed, that is what I intend to get riding on so fingers crossed.

So guys, think of me at 1.30pm tomorrow and will me through my test and my bloody U-Turn so I can get that Ninja.

SarahC

To find out more about Suzuki's course with BSM call 0870 010 0057.