Monday, August 3, 2009

Great weekend

October 22, 2007 - Monday

Was it ever.

Saturday morning started off with me doing some more work on Eurus, the PYO griffin commissioned by emerald212. The air was chilly, and it had barely been light for an hour when I looked out the window to see snow blowing vertically across my view.

I had to laugh. I was going to have four hours of obligatory motorcycle lessons that afternoon at 1300 hours, and here it was snowing.

Mom and I went on a ride that morning, so I didn't get to head down to Philips and get in some practice before we went there during the lesson. But it turns out I didn't need to.

I topped off my tank before turning up at the Strassenverkehrsamt 20 minutes early. By now the sun was shining, and it hadn't snowed in Zürich at all. I rolled onto a car parking lot and waited, wondering what other kinds of machines I'd be "up against" today.

Five minutes after I arrived and parked, a 50ccm Aprilia dirt bike and a 50 ccm Aprilia scooter that I'd been trailing coming into Zürich showed up. They parked in a corner of the lot and were soon joined by another 50ccm scooter.

The fifth arrival was a blue scooter, driven by a middle-aged lady. She parked next to me, and we chatted a bit. Finally, a bit before ten, the teacher, René Bacci, showed up - on foot. His big BMW GS1200R had died. The battery had given out. A buddy had driven him up.

He greeted us, and we were joined by the last student, a guy driving a Honda CBF 600. That was the only other decent machine in our group. (Turns out it was rented because his was in the garage being serviced or repaired or something.)

The CBF driver and Bacci already knew each other, and they chatted while Bacci was checking our licenses and bike papers. And I overheard Bacci say that one of these days, he was going to get a bike like that - mine. Now if that don't make one feel proud.

It got better. Since Bacci's machine was down, he had to drive with one of us to the course at Philips. The only real options were my Buell and the CBF, and the guy on the CBF promptly said he wouldn't.

I figured this was a chance that I didn't want to lose to a scooter, so I offered. He got on the back, and I led the way back to Philips.

This was the first time I'd ever driven with anybody on the back, but it wasn't really that hard. The Buell's nice in that regard, though, because of the short wheelbase that concentrates all the weight on a central point. I did fine.

We got to Philips, and the next four hours were spent at maneuvers. I had an unfair advantage in that I'd been there with Florian before, knew what to do and had practiced. I took the slalom with a problem, and got 14.8 seconds on the 10 meter stretch that you're not allowed to cover in less than 15 seconds. ( I still need work there.) I practiced the staggered slalom until I could do all five pylons from both directions. And the 8 was no problem at all.

After taking a break at the gas station across the street, we returned to practice braking. That was cool. My bike had to stand as an example of when to change one's tires, but I still just barely had the legal limit of 1.6 mm profile, and I told him the tires would get changed on Tuesday. I did just fine on the braking and skidding.

I was very sorry once the lesson was up, but I have two more sets of four hours to get through. The next one will be on November 3. Until then, I gotta practice taking the curves properly, because I hear the experts are really picky, and if you cross the middle of your lane and cut the curve, they'll flunk you...

No comments:

Post a Comment