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Archive for July, 2011

I researched somewhere to do my CBT and I chose to use Camrider, as I live near Cambridge and I had seen their High-Vis vests on some riders who were being taught in the area.

I booked my CBT about 6 weeks before I actually did it. This was because Camrider was booked up for the first coupe of weeks then I had work commitments and a booked holiday and events.

On the morning of my CBT, I left my house with plenty of time. My wife said that I could use her car for the day. Unfortunately, I arrived at the training place a few minutes late. The place was not very well sign posted as I was looking for a logo similar to the one on their website. I drove up and down the road, knowing that I was in the right area but not seeing their sign, which had a different logo to the one on their website.

After my instructor introduced herself, we went into the classroom and began.

There are 5 stages to the CBT:

  • Introduction
  • Practical on-site training
  • Practical on-site riding
  • Practical on-road training
  • Practical on-road riding

Introduction

This part was conducted in the classroom and gave important information about the bike, controls, safety clothing, legal requirements, crash helmet and differences between what you can buy cheaper from the internet and what you must buy new.

Always buy a new crash helmet from a shop for 2 reasons:

  1. You do not know if the helmet has been in an accident, dropped, falled down the stairs or anything. In the CBT we got shown a helmet that from the outside looked perfectly fine, but the cross section view showed that  it had been in an accident and the polystyrene inside had compressed, but the plastic had regained its shape. This helmet would offer you no protection in a crash, but you would not know that until it was too late.
  2. You may not know if the crash helmet will fit you correctly if you buy it from the Internet. If you know that you fit a ‘Medium’ Shoei helmet, if you get a different make, you may need a smaller or larger size, they are not all standard sizes .

Practical on-site training

During this part, we got shown around a motorbike. We were shown where all the different controls were. We were then shown safety checks that we should preform on the bike daily, weekly and periodically.

Practical on-site riding

For this part we were taken to the training ground, which is like a car park and we all selected a bike. Some people were doing the CBT on an automatic scooter. Myself and a few others were doing the CBT on a 125cc manual motorbike.

Our first task was to walk the bike in a loop putting it on and off both the side stand and the centre stand. This is an important thing to know, in case you run out of petrol and need to walk your bike a distance. During this we also turned left and right as you have to balance the bike slightly differently depending on the way you are turning.

Next, we started the engine and rode the bike a few feet and stopped, and we repeated this about half a dozen times.

We then rode around in a circle then a figure of eight and started changing from first gear to second and back. We also learned the emergency stop and indication and turning at junctions including OSM (Observation, signal maneuver) – PSL (Position, speed, look) .

Following this we had lunch.

Practical on-road training

After we had finished our lunch we started with our on-road training. This was again classroom based and was very theoretical. This involved the instructor drawing lots of pictures of junctions, cars, lorries, buses etc and asked us what we should do in different scenarios.

Once the instructor was happy that we knew what we were talking about and she had asked us some highway code questions about signs, speed limits and road markings, we could continue to the next section

Practical on-road riding

This was the final and most important part, we were going on real roads with real traffic. We got fitted with radios, so our instructor could give us instructions, but it is important to understand that I had never ridden a motorbike several hours ago, and here I was just about to go on real roads. I would be in control, although the instructor would be behind me, advising me, no-one could stop me crashing or losing control. It was all in my hands, with some helpful words in my ear. But I was confident that I was able to do this and my instructor was confident that I could do this.

Each instructor had 2 students, so I set out with my instructor and a guy who had been riding a 125 automatic scooter for 2 years and was only doing his CBT because his current CBT was about to expire.

I set out quite tentatively at first, and building in confidence the more we did. We stayed out riding for about 2 and a half hours, having a couple of 5 minute breaks in between. I ended up being about to ride down ‘A’ road at more than 50 MPH.

We got back to the training centre and our instructor said how well we did and issued us with a completion certificate.

I would recommend Camrider, for Cambridge based people. Their methods of teaching we very informative and helpful and it certainly got results.

After a drive home, we celebrated with some friends in a pub, drinking wine and playing darts. I must say at this point that I do not normally drink wine in a pub, I am an ale man. However, it was a celebration and my wife fancied red wine. So we shared a bottle of red wine with our friends. We ended up going for a curry as well, woo – whoo!

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