The next two lessons

So, I had my third and fourth lessons. It started very badly insofar as I was late and couldn’t start the first lesson. I was able to take a later lesson to make up for it, but I had to pay for the missed one. Bummer.

Anyway, the first lesson was not good. First of all I just did the circuit that I was doing at the end of the second lesson, but then the instructor introduced an emergency stop, called kyusedo in Japanese. However, I needed to go to the toilet before the lesson but didn’t, being slightly nervous and not wanting to be late again. Bad mistake. Within a few minutes I was finding it hard to concentrate and was too shy to ask to be let go. Silly, I know, but that’s how it was. Then, I was utterly confused about the kyusedo instruction to apply the brakes before applying the clutch. In a car this would be a stall, but it seems to be OK on a bike as long as you don’t wait too long to apply the clutch. Also, I wouldn’t stop going down the gears while braking. It was ridiculous, but this was my habit of twenty years ago riding a 50cc off-road bike around Holland and I still seemed to have held on to it after all those years. Out of five or six attempts, I went down the gears whilst braking after being told not to. The instructor was rolling his eyes after a while and I got flustered and the lesson went into a downward spiral for me. By the end of it I was making stupid mistakes all over the place. Both he and I were glad when it finished to be honest. I went to the toilet. It was so nice it was almost orgasmic.

The second lesson was after lunch so I went home, had a bite to eat and a coffee, and went back for the second lesson. Not having a bursting bladder worked wonders for me and I did the morning’s circuit without issue three or four times.

Then he introduced the ipponbashi, a raised metal bar running for several meters towards a digital timer. The instruction was to ride the ipponbashi for longer than seven seconds. I got it first time, came off the second because I tried to go far too slowly, and then got it every time after that, managing more than a couple of times to ride it for over nine seconds.

Next he showed me how to do a pretty tight S shaped section of the course, indicate left into it, no brakes or clutch allowed, change to indicate right half way through and then leave to the right and go to the ipponbashi, back to the S, and wash and rinse thereafter. Again, this was no problem and I got it right from the off.

Then he introduced The Crank, an angular S shaped section of the course, like half a swastika. Again, indicate left to enter it, but this time half-clutch only and no brakes, indicate left out of it. Again, this was no problem.

Then he told me that I had all the elements of Ciruit A in place, so he led the way and I followed him as we did two full circuits. Apparently I need to know Circuit A and Circuit B for the test. As yet, I don’t know if I do both, or if I’m told which one to do on the day of the test. After being shown, he followed me around the circuit and I nailed it just as the buzzer went to end the lesson. I felt a lot better after this lesson than I did after the morning one.

So the Circuit A is this:

a. S section.

b. Ipponbashi

c. The Crank.

d. Kyusedo

e. Slalom

I have no idea if this is a national standard or not, so others can comment if their experience was any different. As I work things out I’ll update, and if I can get an actual diagram of the course I’ll scan it and post it.

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