Though it is a long time since my wardrobe choice of a weekday morning was a maroon blazer, grey skirt, carefully wrinkled sloppy socks, and canvas bag from the army and navy with an artful arrangement of Duran Duran badges, in a corner of my skull I can still hear my dad saying “96%? What happened to the other four?” (never knew if he was joking or not…)
So a talk called “What the examiner expects” appealed direct to my inner girly swot and saw me on the front row with pad and pen to hand.
It turns out the examiner expects 100% recall of every road between Hatfield and Stevenage. He expects us not to ride on manhole covers (can’t argue with that); not to go over the speed limit (and also to know what the speed limit is, which seems pretty essential to anyone claiming to be an advanced motorcyclist); to attack roundabouts with gusto (will be my downfall, I suspect) and not to be rude about the “safe side” on un-named internet fora.
He also deprecates the Hendon shuffle and expects us to wait at lights with the right foot down and the left foot ready to put the bike into first gear for a sharp exit, ideally if the lights have changed but also in the event of the car behind failing to notice the queue.
It’s surprisingly difficult sitting in a chair to visualise my personal foot habits, so I took the bike to work the next morning to find out. (Also because I was starting at 6.45, sound of violins please!).
Instead of trying to do the ninja-no-foot-down lights trick, I stopped dutifully at each amber and took note of which foot hit tarmac first.
It turns out that despite being formally inducted into the Church of England by the Bishop of Chester, I am a confirmed left-footer after all.