As Dave – our instructor for the day – reached for his thirty-second cigarette with a quivering hand, muttering “God save us”. Dudley Franks (real name; unknown) puts in his 473rd lap of the training pad, his butt crack showing, balance faltering. Rich and I were doing our motorcycle CBT’s – the most basic motorcycle training and road assessment of sorts. Eventually Dudley got it, sort of. I must say I felt sorry for the guy, when things start going wrong, they just get worse as the pressure mounts exponentially.
I was nervous. But looking in my rear view mirror and seeing Rich smiling excitedly and revving his “Chit.Un.Ma 125cc” with glee quickly put my mind at rest. With the mornings test pad session complete we got chance to talk a little with Dudley and another learner, Rodney Rollban (real name; unknown) before the afternoons session. Rodney was from a nearby town that floods annually almost without fail and we were discussing if Rodney lived on the flood plain. Dudley chirped in “I don’t know why people there don’t build massive flood protective stone walls around their houses, *this* high, with a big metal gate that lifts up so you can get in and out. That would solve the flood problem. I could make a fortune. I don’t know why people don’t do that”. Dudley wasn’t exactly the brightest of chaps. “Wouldn’t you just move house?” I asked with raised eyebrow. Dudley repeated the plan, as if I hadn’t realised the ingeniousness of it the first time. Rich foolishly entered the conversation “The water would just come up the drains”. Mere words and commonsense couldn’t knock young Dudley down, however, and it dawned on everyone soon thereafter that there was no winning over this argument and anyway, the sausage sandwiches were waiting.
The afternoon road session saw us split into two separate pairs; luckily Rich and I were kept together. Apart from nearly being hit head-on by a car on the wrong side of the road it went well. We escaped unscathed to receive a CBT apiece, stage one complete. We are not quite sure how young Dudley faired.