by Dottie

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.


Comments for GOT MY LICENSE!

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Oct 08, 2011
by: Yvonne - NC

Tessie, when I went for my test, I, too, had the biggest bike and was the only female. Had a tough go of it because I have and 1100 Honda Shadow. But, I made it. Had a couple of do overs, hate being watched. Best thing I've done is to get my license again. Had one about 40 yrs ago, decided to ride on my own again at 60. Retired last year, so now, my husband and I ride very often. Just love it.

Oct 07, 2011
My experiance was very close to the same
by: Tessie

I also took the riders coarse. The weekend I went it was 30-40 degress out on sat it was raining and snowing and sunday more of the same! I still was determined to do it! By the time it came to test I was so tired cold wet and numb I just couldn'tass the road test:( They did let me retake the course in which I failed again! I had droped my bike 2 days before the retest and just lost all self esteam I just couldn't do it! Went home woundering what the heck am I thinking I have 4 boys to take care of maybe this is not the thing for me! I gave it a rest for a while but seeing my beautiful "cupcake"(the name of my bike) just sitting it the garage killed me, So 2000 miles later I went to the DMV and just did it! I was the only women there and the last to test also the only one that came on a bike more than 250cc's. Needless to say every man there waited for me to test to see how this little lady would do on a 800cc suzuki blvd, I left ther so proud I did better that all of them!!It just goes to show that us "girls"can do anything when we set our minds to it!!! Be Proud of what you have acomplished!!!!

Oct 02, 2011
Good for you
by: Denise

Good for you missy.. You will enjoy the blank out of it

Sep 30, 2011
Great Job!
by: MSgirlnETN

Wow you really meant business! Keep riding and stay safe!!

Sep 28, 2011
Congrats to You!
by: sassy2731

Way to go! You did a great job!

Sep 27, 2011
by: Joan

Way to go Dottie! You did a great job! I love how you proved the MSF riding instructor that he was wrong as far as your motorcycle goes. I can't believe how rude he was to you. All the practice that you did surely paid off! I know that you must be so proud of yourself and I know your husband is too! Hope you get many miles on that new Heritage! We have 3 Harley's. Our Heritage was our first one and it will always be my favorite one. I love the style and it's just a fun bike to ride (even though I only ride on the back of it right now as I'm spending all my time on my 2011 Sportster Superlow). Have fun and ride safe! Joan

Sep 27, 2011
by: Yvonne - NC

Congratulations!! I know what you mean, I have a 2000 Honda Shadow 1100 and took the test on it. Very nerve wracking. I, too, had a good tester, she was very patient. And I also will NOT let it lapse, don't ever want to take that test again. It is a very tricky test because I haven't ever had to go that slow for anything, even u-turns. Good luck and keep the shiny side up.

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