Saturday, June 22, 2013

Class 2B from Class 3 (SSDC): Practical Lesson 3 Part 2 Session 1

8.15am lesson, haze is just as bad hovering around PSI 200-300. I brought my surgical mask and rider mask. Yesterday after lesson I went to helmetboyz to buy the promo rider mask, made me look Mortal Combat scorpion /sub-zero.

Got this lesson through "trysell immediate booking" at the kiosk, otherwise I have to wait till 3 weeks later for the next lesson. Made me wonder why there isn't any available lessons in the next 3 weeks period, is it because SSDC halt the lessons due to haze, or there are aplenty students waiting to clear their backlog of lessons? Probably both.

This lesson is interesting. The group of us had to attend the motorcycle simulation before going to the circuit at level 1.

Motorcycle Simulation Room
There is only 1 motorcycle for 7 of us, so we have to take turns to use it. Instructor claims that he could understand our mistakes by observing us. Soon all of us realised our own mistakes, but then again, who would remember to correct such mistakes? We are students afterall, and have our own bad habits that will bring us towards failure if we don't remember or have dedicated instructors to constantly point out. This air-con room is so cosy I could sleep in here!

Circuit at Level 1
We were led thru the circuit twice instead of the usual 1 time, and went into the briefing room next to the canteen! So many first times in a day.

Everything were fine except crank course, and a bit of the figure 8. I need to work on my confidence and eye level.

Needless to say, I couldn't pass this lesson, what's new?

Friday, June 21, 2013

Class 2B from Class 3 (SSDC): Practical Lesson 3 Session 2

Suhaimi is the coolest instructor in SSDC, 'nuff said. Well, I passed due to his good advises.

Wrap up on improvement I had taken note of:

1) e-Brake
Rev up to enough speed (30-35km/hr), take a peek at speedometer while maintaining the speed. After reaching the yellow line with cones,
 a) look straight, keep posture right, apply all 3 brakes, front brake 60%, rear 40%, engine brake natural course. 
 b) Before stopping, apply clutch, look forward, keep posture right, don't lean forward, and don't change gear.

2) figure 8
a) Close throttle and clutch in together, change up gear 2, cancel signal before crossing dotted line.
b) maintain speed, and throttle up in the center before turning into 2nd half of the figure 8.
c) signal left before crossing dotted line
d) check right for incoming traffic.
e) stop if necessary, otherwise check back on blind spot and continue turn left. 

3) crank course
My least favourite segment.
a) Close throttle and clutch in together, change up gear 2, and turn left immediately.Signal can remained switch on throughout. 
b) throttle slightly before each bending.
c) before exit, check traffic on right before turn left.
Why my least favourite segment? Once I bend on the first left, the gravitational force make me involuntary step down the gear into neutral or gear 1. Such incident caused me to loose momentum and wobble, sometimes my foot have to step down. Of course I don't know which gear I'm in. Anyway, this lesson I was using the old bikes, everything was smooth, and I passed lesson 3 part 1

Trysell immediate booking works! Maybe because of the haze, somebody tried to sell off the lesson. I got 1 in morning tomorrow! 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Class 2B from Class 3 (SSDC): Practical Lesson 3 Session 1

Sunday 10.30am, hate this session due to Sun ray and rising temp. No choice as this is the best available slot. All night and Saturday classes taken up, I wonder if this is due to June holidays?
Class again is too big, so split into 2. Part 1 of lesson 3 was:
1) e-brake at 30km
2) crank course / narrow course
3) figure 8
other than figure 8, I failed utterly at the other 2.
1)  e-brake at 30km : revving up gear 1 and 2 in a short time, at best effort going up to 40km was a tremendous feat for me. And attempting to e-brake after such short distance ... brings back fear from my high speed bicycle fall in April 2011. I couldn't overcome the fear, and didn't have success. 
Naim advise was, picking up speed was good. Must keep in mind the sequence, close throttle but don't clutch in because free wheeling will make the distance longer. After closed throttle, engage both brakes not too hard to lock the wheels and skid, but enough to make the speedy emergency brake. 
2) crank course in gear 2, it's not tough at all. It's odd sometimes when I start to bank left, my left foot will force the gear level to tap down into neutral gear... Then Murphy's law took over, bike slowed down and rattled, I lost the momentum in seconds and consequently lost my balance. I wonder what's wrong, I just so hate when that happens!

Anyway, my schedule could only allowed me to book the next lesson on Friday afternoon, hope I pass!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Class 2B from Class 3 (SSDC): Practical Lesson 2 Session 3

Monday night class, not raining, lucky me. Sat on a bike that gave me a good feeling. Number 51. Maybe today is the day I'll pass my lesson 2 hopefully.
Class was too big of 12-14, so we were split into 1st timer and repeaters. Good, at least instructors could concentrate on different groups' learning curves.
I realised the reason why I couldn't pass the narrow plank was largely related to my posture and confidence. I seriously relaxed my posture to the max, and noticed I could balanced in super slow speed like an acrobat! Probably an exaggerated statement, but I got the hang of it even after practising several times. It helps even more when we were required to balance on the white line after u-turn from the last pylon, and ride on the white line all the way back to the start of the narrow plank starting line.
In the end, I passed and will be going to lesson 3 session 1.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Class 2B from Class 3 (SSDC): Practical Lesson 2 Session 2

Saturday 8.20am lesson, best. Instructor Ng C.L.! Nooooo!!
As a repeater, I thought lesson 2 could be like lesson 1 with multiple areas of learning. But, it's the same old. So I practised all of the last session.... and failed at the narrow plank again!
I couldn't find the right posture to comfortably ride it through in 6 sec.
Then, Lee told me, I have to ride it at LEAST in 6 sec or more. I realised I misunderstood it all the while! Which puzzles me I could ride through fast enough but why couldn't I pass this lesson.
After several practices, I still couldn't find the G spot, and I was dismayed.
Hopefully I could pass in the next session.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Class 2B from Class 3 (SSDC): Practical Lesson 2 Session 1

1st night session, 1st time in the rain, there's always a 1st time. I have the faintest idea that a good warm up was done, because we were busy wearing our rain jackets and trousers, and the number tags have to wear on the jacket. While I struggled with my helmet and glasses and gloves, I saw my instructor and class went to a further part of the parked motorcycles.
Just as I doubled my pace to a bike, my class left. And I got onto a bike without a side mirror, which I parked it again, and got another nearby bike. Sigh, Murphy's law... Then I scrambled off chasing my class, and tried to find them.... In the rain!
It seems like we went a few rounds of  outer circuit as warming up, and went downstairs to level 2. I seemed to have lost my orientation and saw my class went through a unfamiliar area. There wasn't any guidance and I just went ahead to the area.
As I throttle into the area, immediately I seemed to have brushed against something and I couldn't steer my handlebar correctly. Losing my balance, I fell off my bike but managed to land on my right foot standing first.
Then the instructor came and asked if it was my first session for lesson 2? It was quite irresponsible of him to only ask that now isn't it?
I shifted my bike to the side and started to notice the area. I fell off at this metal long thingie and my tire was brushing against it, and what is this metal thing?
I saw my class got onto it one by one slowly and trying to balance while riding on it. Then instructor explained,
a) First part, narrow plank, ride half clutch in 6 sec
b) after that next section, pylons, ride through in less than 6 sec.
After composed myself, I tried both and realised it wasn't east to balance on the narrow plank.
So the whole lesson were mainly,
a) cross narrow plank in 6 sec
b) 4 pylons in less than 6 sec in gear 2
c) stop at mid slope and move off
d) observe all traffic rules
I was told my narrow plank timing was 4.8 and 5.6 sec, what a good achievement I think!
Results of this session are all above items were ok, except (a) which I need to slow down another 1 more sec. That puzzled me, which I thought in 6 sec... anyway I know I want more practice too, so that's fine.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Class 2B from Class 3 (SSDC): Practical Lesson 1 Session 3

I really like having lesson at 8.15am, it's not so hot and there's not much people... At least for my session. There were 4 people in my session, 1 of them was from the first session! He also had the same plans as me to take lessons over the weekends. 1 of the middle age man had a class 2 days ago, apparently he was taking night classes. He said (with hand chopping actions) he would like to clear his practical lessons quickly. Somehow, I was quite inspired by his "passion" in learning.

Session 3, first half hour was on the outer circuit again. But this time a bit different. We went round and round for 10-15 minutes. Our instructor Mr Chua was very professional, I think the best of the 3 sessions. He was patience in teaching and guiding, and not shy to point out mistakes and improvement. At least I know I lack the throttle up when changing gears. 

After we got into motion of changing gears, we went on to stop by the side from high gear traveling. This went on for another half hour.

After that, 3 out of the 4 of us were single out and we went into the circuit on level 3. Chua led us in and brought us onto the slope. The slope technique is similar to the car, since we only have 2 feet, one is one the clutch and the other is on the accelerator, the hand will have to control the hand brake after we get the power and biting point. The motorcycle is left hand on the clutch, right hand on the throttle, and right foot on the rear brake, quite the reverse huh? But it's still the same 3 area of control. After the slope, stopping at the white line is at half of the speedometers gauge from our line of sight to the line. Thereafter signal left, check and move another round again. 

After a few rounds, the lessons ended, and all gathered at the level 5 counter. Mr Chua announced that the 3 of us who went into the circuit had completed lesson 1. That's good news! He said subsequently whenever we completed each lesson, we need to check the practical lessons booking before continuing. He said sometimes the system had not update our status in time, we might not be able to book our actual next lesson. Good point Chua!

Coming back to my inspiration, I'm going to try booking the night session, probably that could hasten my learning.