i passed my motorbike test at the first attempt in 1983 on a Yamaha YB100, i had bought it brand new from john stewart motorcycles in barrow in furness for £800 i was totally thrilled as i could actually now do 60mph (going down hill with the wind behind me!).
I started hanging around with the local biker club which gathered on the car park behind my nans house there was about twenty of us all together, the older members would like to tell us their stories of road trips they had been on and the accidents that they'd had all us younger ones were in awe of these guys, we all enjoyed going to bike rallies, travelling in convoy and having races with each other along the way, one such occasion we were riding along holker mosses near Cark in Cartmel towards Haverthwaite it was a damp day and the roads were a little wet and my mate rob decided to speed off into the distance which meant that he wanted a race so i accelerated after him as we got to Haverthwaite the road turns left then immediate right under the old railway bridge rob got round the corner safely but as i leant over to negotiate the turn my back tyre slid out from under me and i was soon skidding along the road on my arse with nothing to stop me except a dry stone wall, which was coming up fast, after the impact i got to my feet to find rob pissing himself laughing i said whats so funny? he said your arse is hanging out of your trousers!, i had worn out my jeans and undies skidding along the road and badly grazed my butt cheeks! anyway when i checked the bike all that was wrong was a bent front brake lever so we got back on the bikes and rode home with my arse on full view to all other motorists on the road who when they overtook me would sound thier horns or shout things at me as they went passed, Janet, my girlfriend hated me having a motor bike she used to say "you like that thing more than you like me" and "why don't you get a car?, they are much safer" i would just stop bloody whinging cars may be safer but you don't get the same sensation in a car as when you are on a bike, it's exhilerating!.
After a few months Janet wore me down and i started taking driving lessons, the instructor was an ex policeman and was quite strict the car that i learnt in was a 1969 Triumph Herald 13/60, after a few lessons i was put in for my test, finally the day came and we had to travel to Barrow in Furness to the test centre where we met the examiner, we did the pre test reading of a car number plate then we got into the car, all went well, the hill start, the 3 point turn, reversing round a corner and even the emergency stop went without a hitch(i had always had trouble with this in my lessons) i could tell we were getting to the end of the test cos we were driving down abbey road towards ramsden square (see flickr) where the test centre is, now just before the roundabout there is a zebra crossing as i approach all of a sudden the car stopped with a screech and the examiner shouted you are supposed to stop when people are crossing the road on zebra crossings, at the end of the test the examiner told me that i had passed up until the zebra incident. My second test was with a different examiner who had a reputation for failing people his surname was findlay and was known as fail 'em findlay nothing unusual happened but i failed again, 3rd test came around and i had the same examiner as my first test, he remembered me as he said your not going to run anyone over today are you i said i hope not!, must be true what they say about third time lucky cos i passed with flying colours, when the examiner looked at my liscence he gave me a bollocking for taking three tests as i had already got a full bike liscence, i did not care and as soon as i got home i got into my first car a P reg peugeot 204, nice little car which came to a sad end, i'll tell you all about that next time