Well, it was all going so well.
It was a relatively warm and dry day, the first for a few weeks. Good riding weather in other words. So I opened it up a bit. I still haven’t got my plod detector working. Can you see where this going?
Apparently the plod didn’t bust me for crossing the solid white line to get off the sliproad onto the motorway at some speed. I didn’t see the plodmobile, obviously. He didn’t do me for being a bit quick. Then I got held up by some cars in the outside lane. They were doing some speed, but I was full of the joys of traction, so I filtered. Down the white line between lanes 2 and 3 and give it beans.
Blue lights and sirens.
Anyway, now I’ve got to wait and see what I get. Apparently they do awareness courses as an alternative to points, but because I did a speed awareness course a few years ago I won’t be eligible.
The plod said I was just being charged with Due Care and Attention, and should only get three points, or the course. Which is a laugh. I was *SO* paying attention. You don’t get to survive that shit at those speeds if you are not very, very focused.
Besides the point. I tried googling it, but they changed the law this year. It’s no longer “Offence A = X points and Y fine.”
Now it’s judged on a scale, weighing culpability and such. Then awarded points and a banded fining system based on a percentage of wages. Basically, you have no bastard idea until the letter arrives through the door.
Because they’ve rebranded DC&A as Careless Driving (again, *SO* not!) the range goes from tailgating to death by dangerous driving. So the range is from awareness course to disqualification, from course fees to unlimited fine and jail.
So, I wait and see.
Plod said 3 points. I’ll take up to 4. Anything more that and I’m going to have to sell my bikes. If I was to get, say 6. I’d be one offence off unemployable. . I overheard a ‘phone call, someone refusing to give a driver with 9 points a job, “He only needs a speeding ticket and he’s banned.”
I said to Wendy when I got my bike that I’m old enough now not to be crashing all the time (once in 2½ years, go me!) but if I started piling up points I’d sell my bikes rather than lose my licenses.
I’ve got a plod detector, I couldn’t get it set up. If I’m staying biking I’ll have to sort that out. If not, I’ve already bookmarked a carbon framed pushbike. I’ll ride to work, 18 miles a day round trip, and maybe get back into triathlon for the three years until my license clears. Roll with punches.
Ironically, my other bike news is that I’ve just paid for a Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA, don’t ask me how) advanced motorcyclist course. I know, right.
Apparently it’s the best course a civvy can do. Next one down from police bike training. When I got my license you stuck L plates on a bike and learned how to ride on the way home. After I’d been riding 6 months I took a one day crash course then my test. Which was off-road around cones, then drive around the block of the test centre twice while the examiner stood on the pavement and watched you! If you put your indicators on for each corner and didn’t run over the examiner, you passed. Which means I’ve been riding potentially lethal bikes, at stupid speeds, with no idea of what I’m doing. Since I’ve been lorry driving I’ve learnt about reading the road, forward observation and planning, which I really could have done with the last 30 years, but this course is taking it to the next level.
Other motoring news, Wendy has moved it up a few gears. She learnt the mechanics of driving, but was scared witless the whole time. Then she started to relax a bit and really improved. Next she had to learn what every bastard else on the road is doing. At first she was stopping at every roundabout and had no idea when to go. She’s got that sussed. Her instructor has moved on to test manoeuvres and she’s got most of them cracked.
Typically though, they’ve just (December the 4th, I think) changed the test. Now they have to do 20 minutes independent driving (no instructor input, just following signs etc) and a SatNav section. Seems the examiners are out on strike about the latter at the moment.
Harsh. When I think about my bike test…
Apart from that, work is good. Good money, good conditions, well treated. For now. It looks like the buy out by Tesco’s will be approved, so further down the line we’ve got to worry about them moving us into their big-arse branch at Wigan (run by Stobarts) or outsourcing the driving jobs to said Stobarts, as they did with their own Tesco’s drivers. Nothing I can do about that either, just have to wait and see. There are plenty of jobs for lorry drivers in Warrington. Damned if I’ll work for them.
I said I was going to get back into running. There’s the Manchester marathon in 21 weeks. Do-able. Then I got battered with a 72 hour week. When you are working 12. 13, and one day 14 hrs 45, with an hour commute on top, there is no way you can do shit apart from sleep.
Which brings me back to the pushbike again. I was considering it anyway, but I love my motorbikes too much.
Wait and see.