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I comprehensively failed the off-road module of my motor cycle test this morning, this for the second time. The first time was due to a lack of paper work. I had been expecting a replacement certificate through the post, but it did not turn up until the day after the test so I was not even allowed to start taking it.

This off-road module is the third in a series if 4 tests it is now necessary to take in order to get a motor cycle licence. The first is the Compulsory Basic Training (CBT), the second the theory test, even if you already have a car licence, and this the third. The fourth is the on-road test.

I have attempted to take tests 2 ,3 and 4 without the aid of an instructor. The theory test was easy. I scored 50 out of 50 on the knowledge of the Highway Code -the multiple choice questions are so structured I don't understand how anyone could fail - its generally obvious which answer they want you to give ,along the lines of 

Q. Pedestrians are slow to finish crossing at a pedestrian crossing, do you:

a) rev your engine

b) sound your horn

c) open your window and shout at them

d) wait patiently.

And I just scraped through the silly mouse clicking risk identifying scenarios.

So the results of Goodyear's annual Test the Nation study are a bit worrying - "almost a third of all drivers failed their theory test at least once"

I'll take even more care in future crossing the road knowing "Almost 30% did not think you had to stop if a pedestrian was at a zebra crossing waiting to cross, while well over a quarter did not know the speed limit in a built up area is 30mph."

My failure this morning came in the emergency stop, and happened for two reasons. First, without an instructor I had never practised it - just travelling at over 30 mph in an overgrown playground is a bit scary, and having to stop suddenly worse. Second, I spent years riding a push bike, and was much fonder of my rear brake than my front. Using the front brake I found destabilising. I've understood, but obviously not committed to, the fact that the opposite is true on a motor bike, where the front brake is king. So my emergency stop this morning left a 3 metre trail of rubber on the tarmac, and the immediate cessation of the test!

I'm sticking to my 'no instructor' plan, though. This test costs £15.50 a time and based on the estimates I was given by  a motor cycle school I can fail it 5 or 6 more times and still be quids in. 

On a slightly different  topic, there's a lot of comment in the papers and on the radio about stamp rationing. I can offer this photo as evidence of why this is happening

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Tags: motor cycle, stamps, test

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