It has been a long, long time since I’ve felt this nervous about anything. I can’t actually remember pushing myself so far beyond the comfort level. The time to do my IBT had finally arrived.
It seemed like a long time ago that I had met my instructor at the RDS Motorbike & Scooter show but really it was only a matter of a few months. Now, I’d read some reviews of this person and they all seemed very positive but really there’s nothing like first hand experience in my humble opinion. Would this person, over the space of two full days of intensive training, be able to take me from fear-struck passenger to a relatively confident road user?
Drum roll please…. enter Paul, motorbike instructor at Leinster Driving Campus. A very friendly and more importantly, calm individual who would over the course of the IBT give you the confidence to go out on the road with a view to having many experiences of happy biking. The classwork may leave your head spinning but it does make sense when you are actually out on the road. The brilliant part of the Leinster Driving Campus is that they have a track with roundabouts, traffic lights, yield signs and blind corners that you can make mistakes on and learn from so when you go out on the road (which would be on the second day of the IBT 2 day course) you have gained a bit of knowledge of how to control your bike. By the end of day one I was exhausted from learning so much, having perspired half my body weight (wearing proper motorbike gear when not moving very fast can lead to one very sweaty individual!!) and excited to be going out on the road the following day.
The next day you would want to have had a good nights rest and be prepared to look at road use in a totally different way if you are already driving a car. I had previously been told that when you learn to ride a motorbike it can lead to making you become a better car driver and now I can see how that can be stated (not saying that my driving profile is impeccable but still, I pay more attention to what’s going on on the road now). Paul gave great instructions and made the day very enjoyable. By the end of my IBT I had covered town traffic, dual carriageways, country lanes and winding roads and plenty more. I couldn’t praise this tutor enough and would hope in the near future to become one of his ever growing list of students who have passed their test.
After all of this teaching, ultimately it is experience that will smooth the dodgy starts and build the confidence levels. This evening I managed to head out on the road and travel for 40 minutes … something only a matter of days ago I couldn’t do but something I’m looking forward to doing again tomorrow (maybe travel a little further this time!).