GOT MY LICENSE!
Wow, what a ride it has been to obtain my license! I am very proud of myself to have gotten in because it was a much harder thing than I thought it would be.
It all started when I took the MSF course and failed the driving skills test. The course instructor really did a great job conveying information to us and I learned a lot that has helped me to learn to ride my bike. However he did me a huge injustice and set my confidence back to zero and made me uncertain of my decision to buy a bigger bike as my starter bike. I had just bought (for many, many reasons) my dream bike, a 2011 Heritage Softail Classic. My instructor told me that I was crazy if I thought i could learn to ride a bike that big and it was a stupid move to buy it, that I would never learn on it. Well, me being me let it go to heart and had a few days of self pity, self doubt and just plain wondering if I did the correct thing. So with my tail between my legs I went and got a learners permit.
Then I got smart and decided to get on that bike every day and learn to ride the dang thing. So I did.
Fast forward three months and 2300 miles later, I go to the DOT last Thursday and decide it is time to take their test and get my regular endorsement. I had practiced and practiced because I knew that some of the things required on the test were quite hard.
I had to do the cone weave, it was an offset cone weave. 11 feet apart and 18 inches offset on both sides. I had to do two 90 degree turns and come to rest in the box, a u-turn in a box that was 25 feet, a swerve and a fast stop. I didn't pass the first time. I put a foot down on the cone weave, my tire hit the back mark on the 90 degree turn and I missed a couple of cones. Plus I didn't get the uturn in the allowed space.
The examiner was nice enough to give me all the dimensions and I went to the store and got some tennis balls, cut them in half and set myself up a DOT practice lot. lol
I put in a whole weekend practicing with hubby. I practiced until my arms, elbows and shoulders were sore.
I practiced using the throttle, clutch and back brake to make tight corners.I practiced using a bit more throttle while keeping the clutch in the friction zone to stay upright. I feathered both the clutch and back brake to make smooth, tight corners. That was the only way I found to make that tight of a corner and not go outside the lines of almost drop my bike. I practiced starting and putting my feet on the boards from the moment I took off.I practiced cranking my head around to look through the uturn to get to the other side. I perfected visualizing what I was about to do, how I wanted to do it, taking the time to get myself ready and not worrying about making the instructor mad if it took me awhile to get into the right frame of mind and get the bike where it needed to be to most effectively do the next maneuver. That was sort of a moot point though, my instructor was awesome, patient, explained not only what he wanted me to do, what I shouldn't do but also explaining what I did wrong last time. Without his help I would never had made it.
Yesterday I went out and retook the stinking test and the only mistake I made was missing one cone. I aced all the rest.
I am so pleased, proud and glad it is over. I plan to never let it lapse, I don't want to ever have to take that dang thing again. I have terrible test phobia and it is torture. But I did it and I did it well. All in the name of a sport I love, a way of life that is all mine and a great joy to me.
Just wanted to share my license story.