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you'll shoot your eye out

So this weekend I'm taking the BRC (Basic Rider Course). Its a 15 hour basic motorcycle skills class. If I pass through the whole thing successfully, then I'll basically have a motorcycle license in my state! But enough about my pending dismemberment, I have to tell you about my class.

The first day of class is all classroom based. So when I showed up, there were 24 students, all there for assorted reasons. Note* this whole thing was remarkably like an episode of 'Community', that new sitcom with Joel McHale. That show makes me laugh like nothing has this past few years. I recommend.

Anyway, we spend the first 30 minutes talking to each other because the instructors make us introduce each other (not ourselves). So we learn all kinds of things about why people want to take this class. And the reasons range. Most people just want to ride a motorcycle. One guy needs the certificate to become a teacher, another wants to cruise the country with his daughter on some kind of bonding summer trip (his daughter, who audited the first class, kept rolling her eyes the whole time. She was not impressed). Then there was the woman who wanted to be able to evacuate the area quickly without being caught in traffic, and thought a motorcycle was the solution. Given recent events (9/11, Hurricane Katrina), this almost made sense.. but the impending doom she feared was alien invasion. This woman did not come back for the following classes.

but whatever, we made it through that first day and the following written test. Yay! which meant that on Day 2, we actually got to ride motorcycles!

This was really really fun. We had 9 exercises which started with us sitting on the motorcycle, learning to find neutral, pushing it around manually, and then actually starting up. Then we got to ride around in 1st gear for an hour or two.

That may sound boring, but believe me, its probably the safest way to do this. We only had one 'crash' the entire class, when a student mis-understood the instructions and left the range (an area of parking lot marked off by cones). Instead of circling our training course, she circled the range. An activity quickly curtailed by the existence of many parked cars. Given the choice of a traffic cone or a car, she hit a big cone and then stopped, at which point, we all got a lecture on the difference between the cones marking the range and the little multi-colored baby cones they used for the training course.

fun fun fun.

But it really is fun! By the end of the day, we got up to 3rd gear, drove around in circles to practice leaning, and in an act of great bravery (I suspect bolstered by much experience in dodging) our instructors had us practice quick braking by standing in front of us and signaling us to stop. I don't think I got closer than 15 feet to ours on this one.

So that was the end of days 1 & 2. I'll see how today goes.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 4, 2009 9:48 AM.

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