Bermuda riding test

Hello again my dear reader,

this is a quick post to announce that I have just passed my riding test. That means that I am now legally able to ride any motorcycle up to 150cc, as long as it is without gears i.e. most scooters. I have already bought a 100cc Yamaha Grand Axis (I call it “the beast” but it’s a piece of cr*p really, it was new in 2001) so I can now legally ride it. It had a rusty box on the back which I replaced yesterday and all now seems OK with the bike. I will have to take it in for servicing at some point but it rides perfectly OK for now. Given that I only paid $600 for it, if it lasts 6 months, I will be happy and will have made money on it. I can then look to replace it, if needed.

I took the theory test this week and arranged the riding test for this morning at 9. If you’re planning to take your test in Bermuda also, make sure you arrange it for early in the morning. The test centre was completely empty, just me and the examiner. I was lucky, the examiner was a nice older black gentleman who was quite friendly. I was warned that you can sometimes get a terrible examiner and it makes passing almost impossible but I got lucky. There are only 4 tests in the Bermuda riding test. First, you have to go round a circle in one direction, turn around and go round the circle in the other direction without putting your foot down. Then, you have to zig-zag through some cones, turn around and do it again coming back. Then, you have to ride through some cones in a straight line, turn around and gun it back, making sure to stop safely behind the stop line. Finally, you have to drive in a straight line and do the left and right hand signal while putting the indicator also on. This sounds quite comprehensive but, trust me, it isn’t.

Compare this test with the same riding test that I have taken and passed in Greece. You get given a headset and get taken out in the traffic by the examiner. The examiner follows you in a car or motorcycle and communicates instructions through the headset. If you don’t indicate, you fail. If you go over the stop line before a traffic light, you fail. Basically, if you do anything stupid on the road, you fail. And, you’re doing this in traffic with other cars and bikes all around you. I think this is a better test of riding skill but, I guess, opinions may vary.

Anyway, I’m very happy to have passed the test here. Now, I can enjoy riding the bike without worrying about being stopped by the coppers. I still have to transfer the insurance and the bike itself to my name but I think this can wait for next week. Tonight, we’re moving some furniture into the new house. We hope to physically also move on Sunday night or Monday morning. Please keep checking for more news.

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