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 Disgrace and Redemption

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Janice
Scooter Rider
Scooter Rider
Janice

Number of posts : 21
Age : 68
Location : Toronto,Ontario,Canada
Points : 4215
Registration date : 2009-05-11

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PostSubject: Disgrace and Redemption   Disgrace and Redemption I_icon_minitimeTue Jun 09, 2009 9:35 am

Hello everyone.

This is not so short story about my (scooter) life for the past 3 weeks.

In Ontario, we have a 3 step process for receiving a full M license. First you do two written tests, one for all vehicles and one motorcycle specific. That gives you an M1 limited license that is valid for 90 days. With that license you cannot ride on the highway, between dusk and dawn (approx.), have any alcohol in your system or take passengers. After 60 days you can upgrade your M1 to an M2 by doing a parking lot test. If you pass the parking lot test the only license restriction is no alcohol, and that license is valid for 5 years. After 2 years of having the M2 you can upgrade it to a full M which doesn’t expire and allows you to have the current provincial amount of alcohol in your system.

I had passed the 2 year mark on my M2, so signed up for the M2 exit course at a local college. – the same one I had taken my M1 exit course. The course is 2 hours classroom on Friday evening, one full day - Saturday – on drills, skill enhancement, bad habit replacement etc. Then Sunday, you take your road test. Some of the instructors are licensed by the province, to give the standard test(s) after the course is complete. The road test is about 45 minutes long, and includes highway ( on and off ramps, merging, lane changes) residential, industrial, lots of stops, left and right turns, lane changes, and a couple of roadside stops. You need to do a lot of hazard spotting and head movements so the tester (in a car behind you) can see that you see the playground, fire station, cross walk etc. and they mark you if you fail to perform a specific task There are 4 ways to fail – drop or fall off your bike, perform a dangerous maneuver (cause another vehicle to slam on the brakes), break the law (i.e. speed or miss a stop), or rack up too many points. Anything over 26 is a failure. I failed – dangerous maneuver. I was ¾ of the way through, had only 2 demerits – both for not turning my head definitely enough at a hazard. I was on my second highway merge, did my shoulder check, signal, shoulder check – saw a car flying up in the lane I was going to merge into. I was up to speed, running out of lane and thought I had enough time to get in front, but I had misjudged his speed and he had to change lanes. I knew as soon as I saw him change lines that I had failed. The tester let me finish the test, and then we discussed it when we got back to the school. No brake lights came on, and I think from the angle the test car was at it looked closer than it was, the car was definitely breaking numerous traffic laws – he was speeding, passing on the right, but because he slowed down and changed lines I failed. I was humiliated, my tester said his heart was still pounding, and he was really upset because he was sure, after working with me all day Saturday, that I would pass with flying colors.

I booked a retest for last Sunday (you need to wait a minimum of 10 days) and passed – 5 points – my tester said anything under 10 was considered exceptional.

On lighter points, there were 16 riders in my group– about 50 -50 cruisers and sport bikes – one scooter.( I was also the only woman in the group) Few people spoke with me early in the morning (scooter cooties I guess:Disgrace and Redemption Affraid '), although an older gentleman on a Goldwing came over, and said he had been on a motorcycle tour in Florida last summer and the leader had been on a Silver Wing and he was very impressed with the speed, maneuverability and power of the S’Wing. By the time we had gone through a number of the drills, and everyone had a chance to see what we (my scoot and I) could do more conversations and questions – how big is the engine, wow – lots of storage, is that ever fast, etc.. On our small group rides on the roads, the two sport bikes riders were very impressed at the quick pick-up of speed on the highway – they had a hard time keeping up. At one of our breaks, the rider of a Harley sitting on his bike beside me mentioned that he was getting tired of swinging his leg over the bike getting on and off, and how tired his clutch hand was getting. I just grinned as I sat on my S’Wing and said “Step – through.” “Automatic” He laughed.



All in all a good three weeks. I made an error in judgment that could have had serious consequences, I learned a lot, and I contributed to the education of some people regarding scooters. 'cheers'
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dspevack
Silver Wing Guru
Silver Wing Guru
dspevack

Number of posts : 2009
Age : 55
Location : Miami, FL
Points : 6727
Registration date : 2008-12-27

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PostSubject: Re: Disgrace and Redemption   Disgrace and Redemption I_icon_minitimeTue Jun 09, 2009 10:59 am

Congrats on passing the test.
I wish those kinds of tests were required for scooters here in the USA.
We'd be a lot safer.

Dan
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Janice
Scooter Rider
Scooter Rider
Janice

Number of posts : 21
Age : 68
Location : Toronto,Ontario,Canada
Points : 4215
Registration date : 2009-05-11

Disgrace and Redemption Empty
PostSubject: Re: Disgrace and Redemption   Disgrace and Redemption I_icon_minitimeTue Jun 09, 2009 2:29 pm

The regulations are different in every province here, due in part at least to the insurance system. In British Columbia, for example, there is a three tiered system as well, The first tier lasts 12 months, you have to wait for 30 days after the written test to take a skill test, and during tat time you must always ride within sight of a qualified Supervisor - someone 25 or older who holds a valid motorcycle license. Also you must wear or display a large red L for the 12 months of your first level of learning, and a yellow L for the next 24 months. No matter what displacement your scooter is, you will only be given a limited license – you can’t legally ride a motorcycle.

In Ontario, if your scooter is more than 50 cc, you need a full motorcycle license. I’m sure there are different requirements and regulations from state to state down there. About the only requirement across the country here is the mandatory helmet law.

It’s amazing, once you’ve taken a course, you can spot riders who haven’t – not staying in the correct track, no shoulder or blind spot checks, no checking of hazards etc.
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