MSF Instructor was an MF'er

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Mrs6gun, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. PSYCHO II

    PSYCHO II Crusty Demon

    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    Oddometer:
    541
    Location:
    Gold Coast, AUS
    You shouldn't be so intolerant of yourself. Perhaps you could learn to ride a motocycle to sooth your intolerance. Oh... that would take some ability to follow instruction and not be just bitch baggage.:roflI think I see the problem.:lol3
    #21
  2. mjydrafter

    mjydrafter evil boy for life

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,252
    Location:
    dsm, ia
    If the 2 of you have a bike or 2, why take them to a big empty parking lot and do some drills? Today you could find one, being Sunday.

    They wouldn't be hard to recreate.

    If she would be uncomfortable with Mr.6 teaching find someone else, or just help her to set up cones, but then just let her do her thing.

    Like Jim's suggestion, you could just ride the drills with her so she has someone to emulate. Not teaching per se, but just offering her a look at what needs to be done.

    That way when you go back you won't be a total newb. I assume that's what the instructors are kind of hoping for.

    When I took it there were some total newbs, just like the others mentioned in this thread. They seemed to pick it up and pass the test. I think one of them even dropped a bike. Our instructor was stern and a bit gruff, but they have a pretty big responsibility, sheparding the newbs.:dunno:lol3
    #22
  3. dolomoto

    dolomoto Destroyer of Motorcycles

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,692
    Location:
    Gen. Oglethorpe's 1733 folly
    Firstly, it's the MSF Basic Rider Course (BRC)...not "Beginner" Rider Course..reasons were given earlier-the BRC helps riders learn Basic riding skills (clutch, braking, shifting, cornering). It is appropriate for both brand new riders and those who've ridden awhile.

    It was nice to see the hardened riders show up with their spouse to take the BRC; many times the husband would pull me aside and explain that their expert skills would eliminate me giving them any attention and that I could just let them ride. :D

    I usually replied, "Great! I expect you to ease out the clutch without giving it too much or too little throttle, to stop perfectly at the right spot and ride at the quick end of the cornering exercise." :clap

    As you might imagine, that rarely happened as even seasoned riders could pick up a few things when given the chance to ride on a closed course with a Rider Coach (RC) giving helpful suggestions.

    That is a gross oversimplification of the RC guidelines. If a rider consistently feels rushed then they probably need to run thru the troubling exercises again. Yes, sometimes we ran exercises twice! Riders who rode the exercise perfectly were given the option to ride it the second time. And riders who still struggled were asked to stay over and arrive early the next day for some individual riding.

    I understand the phrase "riding bitch" can be just an expression...I wonder if that good friend's wife felt obligated to get her own moto because it was demeaning to "ride bitch"? And it's not leaning that riders are asked to learn, it's countersteering. There is a difference.

    I've seen some extreme examples of couples taking the course together. We usually kept the spouses as far apart as possible. I'm not sure that all that is necessarily true about the OP. I hate to hear that any rider did not have a good time in the course. IIRC, with a single RC the max riders is 7.

    The OP should get in touch with whoever admin's the course and ask to take it again at no charge with a different RC. If you don't get satisfaction there, you can take it up with the state certification board (most GA Rider Coaches are also certified by the state).
    #23
  4. dbuzz

    dbuzz Citizen of the world

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,270
    Location:
    On my bike
    er .. why should the course provider offer a 'no charge' for someone who needs extra tuition to make the grade? If the prospective rider was a complete noob / in need of etra tuition they could access one on one private tuition to ascertain their learning needs. A course is not guarantee of competency :deal

    We are talking riding a motorcycle here which takes a few more smarts than walking down the sidewalk. It never fails to amaze me that people see motorcycle riding as a right not a competence.
    #24
  5. dolomoto

    dolomoto Destroyer of Motorcycles

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,692
    Location:
    Gen. Oglethorpe's 1733 folly
    Because I'm a kind-hearted rider who is eager to see new riders learn and practice life-saving skills.

    My point about taking it to the admin of the course is because most programs will allow a rider to recycle thru another course for n/c.
    #25
  6. TrashCan

    TrashCan Scary Jerry

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,121
    Location:
    Louisville, Tn



    The OP's husband said they were getting a refund.

    So she should get a class for free???
    #26
  7. thunderkat59

    thunderkat59 Cooter on a scooter

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,212
    Location:
    ♘ ④⓪②⓪⑤ &#9816
    MSF course is better than nothing, but theoretical BS and dopey, arrogant teachers aren't going to provide you with most of the skills needed to handle your bike in adverse conditions and situations. Anybody can be an MFS instructor, Your "instructor' might have only had a few years of uneventful riding experience himself.

    If you want to invest in your riding career, and possibly life, buy a 125 dirt bike off of Craigslist and ride it every weekend. There are zillions of places around GA where this is possible. You will learn advanced bike handling skills that will be applicable in real world situations. You will also learn to fall. It sort of defies explanation, but its an important part of being comfortable on your bike. There is just nothing like trail/woods riding to hone your reflex's and bike handling skills.
    Good luck, and dont let arrogant, prickish MC bro's wreck your riding experience :beer
    #27
  8. Hollyr

    Hollyr Vesterislendingur

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Oddometer:
    862
    Location:
    Ancaster, ON
    ^^+1000
    #28
  9. Hollyr

    Hollyr Vesterislendingur

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Oddometer:
    862
    Location:
    Ancaster, ON
    Teaching is an art and some people aren't artists. My course was hellish, too, but that was a long time ago and I think most bad instructors were weeded out long ago. Obviously not all of them. I learned to drive cars in Montreal and therefore am a very defensive driver/rider. I flunked the course for "not being aggressive enough." My instructor rode into a semi a few months later. I'm still alive with many thousands of riding miles since then.
    #29
  10. dolomoto

    dolomoto Destroyer of Motorcycles

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,692
    Location:
    Gen. Oglethorpe's 1733 folly
    No, of course not.

    In lieu of a refund, take the course a second time.

    Rider Coaches aren't so much in the business of "teaching" as they are facilitating learning. It's preposterous to think that all MSF-certified RC's are expert riders.

    Rather, the RC course ensured they could accurately ride the demo's, stick to the curriculum (minimize the "there I was" stories) and facilitate the ability of new riders to learn the gross and fine motor skills necessary for basic motorcycle operation..on a closed course...around some cones.

    MSF courses aren't perfect, but they are far better than Uncle Billie trying to teach someone to ride around the backyard (or some variation thereof).
    #30
  11. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,484
    Location:
    Delaware Ohio

    Depends on what you are getting help with... It was a great lesson in what should be written on the ADVrider forum. :clap:lol3

    Of course your recommendation is spot on. I'd be bitching (the proper word) too. I'd complain to the DOT license bureau supervisor and even go as far as to at least threaten to go to my state legislator if that supervisor dismissed my complaint without a redo if felt necessary on my part. Be courteous, but be firm.
    #31
  12. jbc

    jbc Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    21
    Location:
    Northwest Pa
    BIG +1 on this and I would add that a small 4 stroke would be the best bet as it's throttle response will be more like a street bike than a snappy 2 stroke. There is really no better way to learn the feel of a bike than to rip around a field on a small dirt bike. Get some good armored mx gear, have your husband talk you through any questions then have him step aside and watch from a distance. Just ride and slide and get your knocks and mistakes out of the way on a nice relatively soft hayfield and you will be confident in no time. :ricky
    #32
  13. XC Rider

    XC Rider Motorcycle Vagabond

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,124
    Location:
    Right where I need to be
    My 2 cents. While I encourage all I come across who express a desire to possibly learn to ride someday to take an MSF (or similar) course, I realize that the course is not for everyone; some people do better with one-on-one instruction. I myself am not an MSF instructor, but I have "taught" dozens of people to ride over the years (my first street legal bike was a Honda Nighthawk 250, which I kept for years even after moving onto to bigger bikes. it was a perfect learner bike). From what I'm reading Mrs6Gun, an MSF type class may not be for you; you might do better with one-on-one instruction. While I can appreciate how your husband/significant other may not be the best candidate to teach you, you must have a friend with a lot of riding experience that may be willing to do so? I see in your other half's sig line that he has a Super Sherpa? That makes for a perfect learner bike. Now all you need is someone to show you how to use it, and an open parking lot in which to practice. I always found that public schools parking lots on the weekends were a great place to do so.

    Good on you for not letting someone else crush your dreams, and good luck.
    #33
  14. SR1

    SR1 Back in S. Korea

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,540
    Location:
    Seoul Survivor
    I have to see the possibility at least of UP's side. In fact, that was my thought when I read your first post. I've seen it first hand in BRC classes (I am not an instructor, but I had considered it, and still do, and had visited several classes). Sometimes people expect to be coddled. I'm not saying that you did, but it does happy. Eventually those people leave unhappy. The class dues need to move on, and some people are talked out of the class, intentionally.

    There are always two sides of a story.
    #34
  15. cardoctor1

    cardoctor1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    560
    Location:
    horsham pa
    beginner class doesn't mean" virgin rider" it means hey i know how to use a clutch and ride im just not very good at it and i want to pass my riders test.. look locally for a used 185/250 cc bike practice on your own until your some what comfortable with riding then take the class.
    #35
  16. Capt Crash

    Capt Crash Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Oddometer:
    232
    Location:
    SW I...DOH! NO!
    It's always hard to try and get your arms around another person's perception of their experience. A Basic Course does have time limits and there is a point where you have to say, 'Sorry, today ain't yer day." I've 'counseled out' a handful of riders in my time teaching and it's always hard to tell someone that the day is over. Usually this means that because they aren't keeping up they are a danger to themselves or others.

    I counseled a rider out about 4 weeks ago because this person could not get their feet up because they wouldn't go fast enough to stabilize the bike. There were 12 people in the class and 4 were complete noobs. The other 3 passed. Why? I don't know. Since classes have a schedule there's only so much time you can spend for one on one remediation. We actually ran the first break long and tried to help this rider out...no joy.

    You have a right to be treated like a human being. You have a right to be dealt with civilly. You have a right to try and learn to ride. You have no right to endanger others or hamper their learning experience.

    That said: There are asshat RCs. When I started instruction there was a very, very boot camp feel to it. It was a tad...brusque. Believe it or not, now it's much more nurturing and there's a lot of focus on student accommodation. You might have had an old school instructor. (In fact when the terminology was changed from "Instructor" to "RiderCoach" there was a huge outcry. I remember one instructor telling me, "I'm not a Coach. I instruct.") Coaches as a general rule want you to succeed.

    Retake the course. Find a different provider or, at least, a different coach. Keep hacking at it. Good luck!
    #36
  17. Capt Crash

    Capt Crash Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Oddometer:
    232
    Location:
    SW I...DOH! NO!
    BASIC means you've never sat on a bike before in your life. That's how it's designed. That's why they even remind you to squeeze the front brake while mounting and to put the kickstand up.

    BASIC 2 assumes you can clutch, turn, and brake.
    #37
  18. TheWorstKind

    TheWorstKind In the Wind

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    860
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA, USA
    I am an MSF instructor. Not every other instructor is the cat's meow, but the vast majority I know are concerned about delivering quality coaching to the students. Not every student is the cat's meow, either, but most of them put forth a genuine effort to learn. Sometimes "anomalies occur" and a bad experience results. Sounds like this may have been one.


    To the OP: please know that the course is designed to put the responsibility of learning on the student. It is no longer a "traditional" teaching course where the student "drinks from the firehose of experience" from a forty-plus year rider. Having said that, I hope you take another BRC. It is a very well designed course. Please feel free to pm me with any questions you may have. I'd love to help restore your confidence in the program.


    Finally, here is a reason to pay for some professional help (pardon the language):

    <IFRAME height=315 src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Cj6Ejqn-nUE" frameBorder=0 width=420 allowfullscreen></IFRAME>
    #38
  19. thunderkat59

    thunderkat59 Cooter on a scooter

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,212
    Location:
    ♘ ④⓪②⓪⑤ &#9816
    Is there a questionnaire or anonymous rating opportunity given after the course ?
    I know some stuff has changed over the years . . .

    In the OPs defense, In any situation where "class", "instructor" and other such adjectives are used, there is a perception of lots of knowledge, wisdom and patience required to instill.
    When a person complains, it might be in everyones interest if these complaints were tracked? :dunno
    #39
  20. 74C5

    74C5 Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,021
    Location:
    El Dorado Hills, CA
    I'll second the two primary responses. Go practice and go take the course again. Work at it until either:
    1. You have enough confidence and understanding of yourself to move on to another level or,
    2. You have enough confidence and understanding of yourself to move off, of the rider position.

    Operating a bike is not something that everyone can do safely.

    You might consider looking for a course offered by, or taught by, a motorcop instructor. From time to time, they have to teach someone who really has no bike skills and, in short order, get them going through cone patterns. There are many ways to teach something and that skillset may help....one way or the other.

    I have family members who I would never want riding due to their typical attention level, maturity, kinematics (motor skills) and just personality.

    Grow thickskin as well. You may need it to get better and hear the nature of the criticism instead of the tone.
    If you can't get the hang of riding, it is what it is.

    Good luck.
    #40