I made the decision to sit my full licence in May 2011 and immediately set about trying to find a motorcycle school that could give me the easiest passage through the tests. Ok... so the criteria: not much traffic, in an area I know, and close to the "lady/partner/girl friend's house" (what do you call the person you share a bed with when you have reached a certain age?!!)
As ever, taking what seemed to be the path of least resistance proved to have many hidden and overlooked challenges.
I really honestly thought this would be a piece of cake. That was until I tried my online mock theory tests. http://www.all4bikers.com/theory/ . On my first attempt I scored 35 out of 50, a fail. I then spent the next two weeks sporadically working out what to do when approaching Toucan Crossing roads, old ladies on Zebras and what lights a Pelican waves at you when you scream up to them in a cloud of rubber smoke.
Ignoring the fact that some UK road makers have an exotic animal fetish, in turns out that the test is now less about road safety knowledge and actually more like a reading test. I now also understand the constant complaints from the oldies on why A-Levels are now easy. This test is not about driving but about how well you can pass it; it's simply 'exam technique'.
This is especially true of the “hazard perception test” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHS9vQlew_M which is a new addition to the whole process. So in a room full of spotty teenagers none of whom you would let near mummy’s “Beemer” or third hand Fiesta, I exercised my new-found knowledge on how to pass a modern test. Stepping out of the theoretical test centre and into the sun drenched Georgian Edinburgh streets, the score was, Me-1, EU test motorcycle test- 0.