Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Martha takes the BRC, on a scooter!

My loving wife Martha, who's been so supporting and enabling in my motorcycling endeavours, agreed recently to take the BRC: Basic Riders Course for Motorcycles provided by T3RG Motorcycle School.

This posting is not a review of the course.  I highly recommend though, the taking of a course approved by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, whether through T3RG or some other school, if you're thinking of getting into motorcycling.

Ever the supportive spouse, Martha had agreed a few weeks ago to take the BRC, the main intent to get her the skills and endorsement to safely ride a scooter to and from her workplace.  Her commute is all of one mile each way on neighborhood roads; and it really didn't make much sense taking the cage in terms of fuel consumption and wear/tear on the engine for such a short commute.

Martha was a bit nervous about the whole thing.  For you see, she (as I had been) had never been on a motorcycle or scooter until day 1 of the BRC.  She would be taking the BRC one week and five years after I had gone through it myself back during Memorial Day Weekend of 2006.

We went through the T3RG school because they offered scooters as an option to the regular 250cc motorcycles for students.  We were to find out later, after class had started, that T3RG offered a class just for women.

There were ten students in the class, including Martha, but she was the only woman.

This past weekend was a hot one in terms of weather, the location was a small parking lot converted to a training range by T3RG.  Following pictures and videos should give you an idea of Martha's progress through the whole thing.
Day 1

 Just look at that concentration level!

Day One training exercise, basic turns....Martha is riding "sweep"

Starting to lean her scooter a little bit into the turns


Symmetry, of sorts, at the end of the day

As you can see, Martha was a bit hesitant with the throttle but made progress throughout the day.  She did manage to drop the scooter once when I was not there but neither her or the scooter were worse for the wear.

Here's a link to what Martha jokingly referred to her "speedy riding style" during day 1 of the course.  LINK

Day 2

Another scorchingly hot day here in Colorado, the instructor moved things along smartly and when I returned to the range, they were nearing the end of the training and getting ready for their rider testing.

I did witness her during one of the practice runs, get up too much speed and having to brake too hard before running out of pavement.  The engine cut out and she dropped the scooter.  I was walking over to her to make sure she was OK and to help her right her scooter but before I got there, she said to me: "I'm all right, let me do this".

Folks, I was so proud of her.  She didn't panic or become flustered.  Just got into the right position and picked up the scooter all by herself, started it up and rode off to rejoin the class.  Outstanding!

Once the training was over, due to the heat of the day only getting worse, the instructor moved straight into testing after getting the class to agree to skip lunch.  Below are videos of Martha going through a couple of the test portions of the rider test that enables them to get a Motorcycle Endorsement upon successful passing.

To me at the time of my BRC, this was the most dreaded test, riding a figure 8 within a rectangular box painted on the ground



The happy successful graduate of the BRC

Testing done, everyone in the class passed!  I was quite happy but I imagine Martha was much happier.  Now, to find her a scooter, and some better riding gear of course!

She's now got the basics, now its on to practice practice pratice......

19 comments:

Stacy said...

Congratulations, Martha!

Gary France said...

Fantastic. Go Martha!

I can tell from the videos that Martha gained in confidence and I especially liked the wave at the end of the braking video.

I look forward to the day when Martha is on the bike and you are the monkey!!

bobskoot said...

Charlie6:

"GO MARTHA, GO !"

this is great news. It looked like she was having a lot of fun too. Congrats

bob
Riding the Wet Coast

RichardM said...

Congratulations!

I was watching the videos and thinking back to when I took the class. It took quite a while before I decided that riding was "fun" and that it was something I wanted to continue.

My wife was told to practice more before coming back to the BRC class. I think that she would liked a scooter option.

Charlie6 said...

Stacy, thanks for visiting and the congrats for Martha.

Gary, that day with Martha as the rider and me as the monkey may take some time....

Bobskoot, there was a bit of death-grip going on and some really serious looks at times, but yeah, I do think she had fun. Probably more than I did when I went through the course five years ago.

RichardM, sorry to hear your wife had to get some more practice in....the scooter option definitely helped Martha out. I don't think I could have talked Martha into taking the course if no scooters were available. Thanks for the visit and comments.

No Name said...

Good on ya, Martha! Keep it up.

I'm glad I took the motorcycle rider's training course back in February. Now I'm shopping for a Harley, just in time for summer.

Circle Blue said...

Yay, Martha! I would have liked a scooter option when I took the class. Scooters are so much fun. Good luck with the practice and riding.

Like Richard it took me a while to decide if riding was fun, and then one day it all clicked. Now I can't stand to go more than a couple of days without riding.

~k

Mike said...

Congratulations, Martha! Like Richard said, I was thinking back to my class. Now the fun begins for her!

bluekat said...

Congratulations to Martha!
I'm always jazzed when someone takes up riding. It was really fun to see the videos. Like Richard said, brings back memories. My first time on a motorcycle was also my first day in class. Oh yeah, the tension, the nerves...it's all coming back.

We didn't have a figure 8 in our class. Our most dreaded task was the horrible offset cone weave. Rumors abound throughout our area about that test!

The last pic says it all, there's the smile!

Andy & Laura said...

Way to go Martha! Loved the little wave on the last video. It shows the amount of confidence you gained as you progressed through the training.

Do you guys watch "The Amazing Race"? Watching the instructor hand you your "card" reminded me of the contestants getting their clue cards at the end of the challenges each week. Next pit stop for you: Scooter Store!

Happy Trails to you.
Laura

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Charlie6 (Dom):

Well that was a moment of personal triumph... I thought Martha did great, especially on the dreaded box. And it was plainly evident that she was getting better at leaning the scooter over in the turns.

Now you have to find a great scooter to buzz around on, until the new BMW model arrives. It will be so cool to see the two of your riding around town together.

Fondest regards,
Jack/reep
Twisted Roads

bobskoot said...

Martha:

the trick is to find a scooter the right size, physically and also engine power. As you get more confident what you had in mind will expand to include areas further afield.

congrats on passing the BRC, it's just the beginning . . .

bob
Riding the Wet Coast

Low Buck Rider said...

Congratulations Martha! Dom you must be very proud and excited. If you aren't careful Martha will be taking off with one of the boys on extended scooter expeditions.

Low Buck Rider said...

Congratulations Martha! Dom you must be very proud and excited. If you aren't careful Martha will be taking off with one of the boys on extended scooter expeditions.

SonjaM said...

Way to go!

Martha, you rock. It really looks like you are a natural on two wheels.

Congrats!

irondad said...

Ok, Martha. Now comes the responsibility. With the "Right Stuff" still fresh in your mind it's time to correct a bit of sloppiness that may have crept up on somebody. Not to point a finger, of course, but I'm sure you know to whom I refer!

Congratulations. Mostly on picking a new goal, overcoming the jitters, and doing it. The fact that it was riding makes it all the more sweet, I have to say!

WhereThe HellisMurph said...

Congratulations Martha,well done.

tz said...

this is awesome..and inspiring, maybe we should start a PV ladies scooter club

Chris Luhman said...

Congrats to Martha!