Home on the (motorcycle) range

When starting a course at any school, you are presented with a syllabus, or a series of assignments or tasks you will need to proficiently complete to pass. By Saturday morning, my list for the Motorcycle Safety Course looked like this:

  • Attend class on Monday and Wednesday – Check
  • Pass written exam – Check
  • Cobble together all appropriate safety gear – Check
  • Pack a small cooler with water and snacks – Check
  • Spend 10 hours on the range and actually learn to ride a motorcycle – _______
  • Pass range skills test – _____
A group of people in motorcycle safety school

I had at least an idea of what to expect on the range, but it didn't make me any less nervous. Here's the thing about nervousness, it manifests in your riding. That was the one thing that RiderCoach Phil was constantly mentioning to me. (By the way, my writing in no way captures the personality of RiderCoach Phil. His passion for safe motorcycling came across on the range. Dare I say it was infectious? All of the RiderCoaches were enthusiastic teachers and riders. I have a great respect for them and their dedication, especially considering they give so many of their spring/summer weekends to the cause.) Throughout the morning, Phil's comments to me went something like this:

You need to loosen up, you are riding really stiff.

Remember to turn your head all the waythrough the turn, and relax.

You are doing well for never riding before, but you need to relax.

My nervousness faded as we progressed through the exercises. I became more comfortable with using the friction zone, shifting, sudden stopping, swerving to avoid obstacles and weaving between cones the more I had to practice them. (And how do I get to Carnegie Hall?) Sometime around the exercise where we shifted between 2nd and 3rd gears and hit a max speed of 18 miles an hour, I loosened up, smiled and realized why people could really enjoy riding a motorcycle. Perhaps home on the (motorcycle) range is fun.

My next post will be a video one, so I bet you can't wait for that.

Your safety is number one to us. Stay safe on the road and on your motorcycle.

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