Monday, May 25, 2009

Three Years and a bit over 64,000 miles ago....

Three years ago, I was part of a group of students going through the MSF's Basic Rider Course at the local Honda Motorcycle dealer on Arapahoe Road and Clinton Street.

I stopped by there mid-morning once I realized the weather was not going to allow for a safe ride to the top of Mount Evans today. By coincidence or good luck, there was a Basic Rider class going through their own training as I rode up and parked.

The students probably wondered who was this guy who just sat there on his beemer with a bemused look on his face. One of the instructors walked by and said hello and I told him I'd taken the course three years ago and he said he knew the instructor who had trained me. He got busy again helping the main instructor and I was left alone to observe.

The students were doing pretty good, they looked a bit unsure of course, a few kept letting out the clutch to fast without raising the engine from idle and killing the motorcycle, their turns were slow and they kept looking at the ground instead of keeping their eyes up and scanning. In other words, they were learning and I am sure having a ball; I am sure they also were wondering what the heck they were doing on a motorcycle when things proved not as easy as the instructor made it look!

A lot of the mistakes that I made while a student came to mind and I found myself nodding in agreement as I overheard the instructor coach her students.

I left as a light rain started to fall on us. I felt I was "cramping the student's style" by my observing and left them to discover the joys of motorcycling with the bare minimum of skills one needs.

I headed on home, stopping briefly at a couple of spots with good views of the horizon to capture shots of the storm clouds that were rolling in from the west.

Usually, you'd be able to see Mount Evans off in the horizon, directly behind where Brigitta sits

No riding into the mountains today for me

As you can see, the mountains are pretty much obscured directly to the west of the Denver Metro Area. I could see part of the Rockies to the southwest but way too far for riding today.

Three years, time flies when you're having fun!


Jack Riepe said...

DSear Charlie6 (Dom):

I had to take the MSF course twice, as I failed it the first time and contested the point by reminding the instructor that he was a little shit. Regretably, it was an emotional time and I reminded him in front of 15 people.

I took the course again a year later -- marketed as the Harley-Davidson's Riders Edge class-- and got my license when I passed that. I think the MSF course is a very valuable experience and every rider should take it. If I had but one criticism, when you exit, you are certified to ride in any parking lot, anywhere.

Leslie (Stiffie) passed it both times (taking it again with me). She loved it, but found herself horrified at the proximity of traffic in the real world.

Fondest regards,
Twisted Roads

Charlie6 said...

Hi Jack

re "being certified to ride in any parking lot"...well, parking lot with cones anyways! :)

yeah, we should follow the British model where the instructor follows along behind you on actual roads doing his coaching....the testing is the same too. much harder to pass but then again, it'd be under realistic conditions.

I'll admit I had to "dab a foot" in the figure eight exercise during the final test. Thought I'd blown it at that point but just lost a couple of points.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Charlie6 (Dom):

Leslie attempted to make the turn in the box and droped a foot, costing her seven points.

I made one turn in the box, smiled at the instructor, and went on to the next challenge.

"You're not even going to try," he said.

"Nope," was my reply. That decision only cost five points. It was my only mistake in the riding test (the second time).

Fondest regards,