June 27, 2010 – Budds’ Advanced Rider Training Having purchased my bike from Budds’ Motorrad, I was added to their mailing list. Although some of the material was quickly discarded, there were some activities that they advertised that piqued my interest. The first of which was the spring GS Advanced Rider Training session. I signed up and a month later was listening to Hall of Famer John Parker give a morning briefing to about 20 riders. Starting the day on a bed of wood chips The focus of the day was dealing with loose surfaces. The plan was to gradually increase the variability while adding new techniques to our arsenal. It started easily enough with a slalom course on a bed of wood chips. From there, we moved to emergency stopping on gravel. Next up were some techniques for riding a motocross style track. Using legs as additional shock absorbers seemed natural, so it wasn’t difficult to deal with the whoops. After the dirt track, we moved to a grass track. It included some uphill and downhill sections, an off-camber corner, and a small jump. Budds’ supplied a quality lunch, which provided a much needed break from the action. We restarted, the afternoon, on a flat track. It was a brand new experience to sit on the edge of the seat, with the bike angled underneath me. Learning flat track techniques After the flat track, they led us to a spot that they had been watering down to create a mud pit. This was to be the final instructional piece, with more than a few people ending up sideways. To wrap up the day, we were taken for a ride through the country around the farm. It was then that I discovered just how much I had progressed. There was a point during the ride when we were led off a road and into the field beside it. The field was about a foot below the road surface. At 50 km/h I found myself sliding sideways down to the field and, yet it wasn’t alarming. I had learned a lot in just one day.