Anyone ever taken the basic riding course...

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by RxZ, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. bwalsh

    bwalsh UUU, UUU!!!

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    You've been given good advise by actual rider coaches here. Even though I don't like your foolish statements about clipping my bicycle handlebars with your vehicle in the other thread, listen to what the other inmates have told you here. :deal

    Why short change your girlfriends learning experience with "thinking you remember" what was taught. You'd feel pretty bad when after your girlfriend has an accident from poor teaching, you walk up to her and say "oh yeah, I forgot to tell you you shouldn't have done that". Get her signed up in a class.
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  2. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Love those blue pipes

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    It's not about the exercises, it's about the coaching. You have to know what to look for and how best to address it. Get it wrong in the first five minutes and the rest will be just wasting your time. Like I said - you MIGHT do better than the average "home" instruction but not much. I also agree that teaching a close friend or family member is more often than not a recipe for disaster.
    #42
  3. bumbeen

    bumbeen Banned

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    Ok ok you guys have convinced me it is a bad idea. There's got to be a reason everyone here is telling me to not teach her, and I don't think I want to find out why first hand!
    #43
  4. HooliKen

    HooliKen Awesome is a flavor

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    Well play sir.

    Not saying it cannot be done, but there is a far higher probability that one, or both, of you will be pissed off at some point.
    #44
  5. dwoodward

    dwoodward Long timer

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    When Spouse Unit wanted to learn to ride, I sent her to a class... and I AM a trained instructor. I wanted nothing to do with teaching her to ride, and that had nothing to do with worrying about other students perceiving favoritism.
    #45
  6. Aj Mick

    Aj Mick Been here awhile

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    Getting around a corner is a basic skill, without which no motorcyclist would get far. Most I know got that sussed as a kid on a bicycle.

    Emergency braking, emergency swerves and staying in "your" lane are likely to land a rider in all sorts of trouble on SE Asia's congested mean streets.

    More than a few "well taught", disciplined and experienced Occidental riders dare not take on riding around these Oriental parts. With a high rate of fatalities, some would suggest that it is common sense not to take on Phuket's roads, especially as a visitor.

    Living here, not riding is not really an option. Registered motorcycles outnumber cars by three to one. It is how people get around. Few, if any, are "trained". If they stayed sober there would be fewer accidents, and if more wore helmets there would be fewer fatalities.

    Awareness and anticipation are what keep a rider, with basic skills, out of trouble...... here and anywhere.

    The alphabet soup of riding courses available to motorcycling enthusiasts in North America, means little to those in other parts, for whom motorcycles are primarily transport..... albeit also a joy to some, such as myself.

    There are no doubt plenty of well trained enthusiasts, whose motorcycle handling skills far surpass mine and those of many others who routinely get around on two wheels. Many of the former might be inclined to probe the limits of their skills and their motorcycle's abilities. For the later, surviving on the road is less about their own skills and knowing the machine, and more about knowing what is going on around them..... awareness and anticipation.
    #46
  7. AzItLies

    AzItLies Been here awhile

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    Well... good luck with that.

    Your point it's more a necessity than fun over there is very clear.

    Very different here, thus different skills...

    And just to clarify, again, no one is saying awareness and anticipation isn't important, of course it is. But it's not black and white, it's not one or the other. It's both awareness and the ability to handle the bike.

    Cheers
    #47
  8. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Love those blue pipes

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    The more you learn about cornering, the more you realize that it is not quite as "basic" as you first thought. The number of single-vehicle crashes that are the result of running off the road in a corner is pretty conclusive in that regard. Crashes due to an inability to brake correctly rank up there too.

    You are absolutely correct that the skill-set for basic riding is vastly different in the developing world than in North America. The typical standards of vehicle control skill and roadcraft are well below what they should be in most locations, however, and I have seen appalling exhibitions of poor skill and judgement in all parts of the world.
    #48
  9. FMFDOC

    FMFDOC Long timer

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    Speaking for me, I take the one-day experienced rider course every three or four years so that the instructors can spot my bad habits that I had developed over a couple years of commuting and help me to scrub them off. Listen to what they say and learn. You'll be a better/safer rider for it.

    It's like a golf professional taking lessons to improve his game IMHO. We all (meaning ME, because I dont know how you ride) develop bad habits and the coaches can point out where you are getting sloppy.

    Last time I took the course, the coach pulled me aside at the end of the class and said that I should consider becoming a riding coach. A few weeks later I tried to contact the guy he said to contact and take him up on it... Never could get a response from the contact guy. That said, if any of you riding coaches in the NOVA, MD, Southern PA area would PM me with some advice on how to get into rider coach arena, I'd appreciate it.
    #49
  10. bwalsh

    bwalsh UUU, UUU!!!

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    Ask and ye shall receive...:D

    http://www.mva.maryland.gov/MVA-Programs/moto/training/instructor.htm

    Here's a list of all the BRC facilities in MD...

    http://nm.msf-usa.org/msf/ridercourses.aspx?state=MD

    go out there one weekend and talk to the coach(es).
    #50
  11. dwoodward

    dwoodward Long timer

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    I know I was in the same boat in Colorado in 2001. They called and asked if I was still interested as I was packing to move back to Oregon. :baldy

    If they'll let you, hang out for a while where you can see/hear what's going on. If you watch closely, you'll probably see lightbulbs going on in the student's heads. That's the small payback. The big one is when someone stops you somewhere (Home Depot, maybe) and says you taught them something that saved their life. (Probably, they got into that situation by ignoring six other things they should have learned, but at least something stuck...)
    #51
  12. FMFDOC

    FMFDOC Long timer

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    Thank you for the information. Y'all are great! :freaky
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  13. mikesova

    mikesova Michigander

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    That was me this weekend. I liked practicing my emergency stop with a "spirited" speed and on the last try I had my rear wheel off the ground. The rider coach just said "you came in a little hot, but nice stop!"

    I took the class with my wife. I already have my endorsement, but she doesn't so I did it to support her and learn some of the other skills. I tried to keep my mouth shut...but...

    In the exercise where we were just practicing turning by modeling a Nascar track with cones, we had quite a few people crawling along at a snails pace. So imagine, riding along in 2nd gear, at like 5 mph, and going around the corner having them yell at you, "use your brakes to slow for the corner!!!!" Are you serious? I understand what you're trying to teach us, but if I use the brakes I'm going to stall this bike, fall over, or both. :rofl

    During the de-briefing portion, I brought this up, and I just got a canned response of "you could have used your brake to practice the skill" or something like that. I understand they have to stick to the script, but come on.

    All in all, though, it was a good experience and I really enjoyed practicing some of the skills.

    It would be nice, though, to have a class for people who have never sat on a bike, and a class for those who have.
    #53
  14. outlaws justice

    outlaws justice Long timer

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    The key in this situation is slow coming off the turn, give yourself a gap between you and the rider in front of you, then build up a little speed before the next turn, use the brakes even if you just fake it (to build the muscle memory) which is what the four steps to turning is all about anyway. and look, press and roll through the turn. Besides if you slow and Look the Press and roll happen without thought.
    #54
  15. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Love those blue pipes

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    That may be the easiest looking exercise, certainly the simplest range layout, but is possibly the hardest to coach. If I have people who won't/can't speed up enough to practice the skill, I will typically stop the exercise and go over it with them again, possibly even giving another demonstration. It seems to help, once they have tried it a few times. Of course there are some people who are scared to lean or scared to open the throttle coming out of the previous corner and they are the ones who need to learn the skill the most.

    Possibly and possibly not. The best students are often those who have not ridden before. It's by no means a guarantee of course but it's not the hinderance you might think.

    Secondly, how would you select who should go in which class. You can't rely one people's own judgement as you would be always fighting their perception of themselves. Many of those who haven't a clue but have plenty of bad habits would perceive themselves as sufficiently experienced not to need the "Total beginners'" class.

    Furthermore, it often helps weaker students to have stronger ones around them. I have noticed that if I get an overall weak class, they seem to drag each other down, whereas a couple of weak riders in an otherwise strong class will often end up doing pretty well, without impacting the strong riders' ability to excel.
    #55
  16. Seth650

    Seth650 Been here awhile

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    There was a mx-experienced sportbike rider there who wanted to grab the dr200, so I sat on it. He ended up on a cruiser (500cc kawa I think -very nice light blue), and was having trouble. I did him a favor showing him that he wasn't ready to jump on a 1000+ cruiser and ride as he had been used to, if he had the chance to borrow or rent one one day.
    #56
  17. AzItLies

    AzItLies Been here awhile

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    Well Said David. Hear Hear.

    The technique the MSF advocates does require there be a build up of speed in the straight before the corner. It's to simulate what it will be like out on the road.

    (It appears that the re write of the BRC will address this, but Sponsors are not required to go to the new version, if I understand correctly, so that's kind of a moot point)

    A few years ago, the way the BRC hand book described cornering in a way that many (including Sponsors) interpreted as 1) slow 2) look 3) press 4) roll. but the new write up says succinctly "in reality, they may not be distinct steps"...

    And they are NOT distinct steps, that's why we try so hard to have people speed up on the straight aways, so they can slow and look at the same time, and judge the proper entry speed for that specific radius. Which simulates real life cornering as best as it can get.

    Still, I'd remind RC's again, we're not trying to make riders into mini racers, we're trying to help new riders get around corners safely. While the 2 concepts kind of inter merge, so long as someone uses both brakes to slow, looks where they want to go, doesn't decelerate in the corner, but goes slower than they could have... that's still a pass.

    Points for going too slow? yes.

    But I'll take points for going too slow rather than killing myself in a corner because I was too fast any day.

    Cheers
    #57
  18. outlaws justice

    outlaws justice Long timer

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    And the Head turn is Key, If you have a proper entry speed and turn your head the bike will follow. Your subconscious is a very powerful tool, think of it like your coloring book when you were a kid. Some pages you had "Connect the Dots" before you could color the picture. You would get half the dots connected and know what he picture was. The same is true of riding and taking a corner. If you see your entry point, Turn your head to locate the next entry point, the Subconscious connects those two dots and forces you to apply the throttle to achieve this. Peak away for even a second, the mind forces you to close the throttle, even if you do not want to.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #58
  19. AzItLies

    AzItLies Been here awhile

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    Great Pictures of a good head turn David!

    Well Done.

    I go to extremes to help with cornering (because it's probably the most important thing we teach) and explain that we have to balance a bike around the corner, thus it's not the same as our cars (where we can look straight ahead and not worry about balancing it).

    Even in the ERC's we get many people that don't know how to emer brake or swerve or turn their heads for corners. It's sad really, they're trying to save money by not taking the BRC and just getting a permit and jump to the ERC.

    They just don't realize what they're missing until they do 500 bucks or more damage to their bikes trying to brake in a way that they can't...

    Cheers
    #59
  20. outlaws justice

    outlaws justice Long timer

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    So True!

    And I work very hard on Vision for Exercise 2 and 3 and even more for 6. If the students look this good on 6 the rest of the day and day two are a real piece of cake! Just have to make sure they are looking in the right place and not looking at each other!
    #60