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Welcome to official blog of the Florida West Coast Motorcycle Club. An American Motorcycle Association Historic Club (No. 165), we are a family oriented riding and social club with a history back to 1936. Our motto is "Ride and Have Fun". Learn more about us or how to join our club.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Learning to ride the RIGHT way

     I’m one of those people who never really learned to ride a motorcycle.  Back in the 1960s, when I bought my first bike, there were no formal riding courses available. I learned from some friends, and by reading motorcycle magazines. Mostly, I learned by just rolling my Yamaha 250 twin out onto the street, taking a deep breath, and taking off.
     Of course, it’s a different world now, and there are lots of courses available that teach how to ride the right way. Harley-Davidson offers learn-to-ride courses, which it calls Rider’s Edge. Available courses include the basics for people who have never ridden before, and advanced courses for people who have ridden for years but may want to polish their skills. The Rider’s Edge courses are based on motorcycle training courses developed by the MotorcycleSafety Foundation.

   Jim’s Harley-Davidson offers Rider’s Edge courses, and they extended an opportunity for FWCMC members to take the advanced course (which they call Basic Ridercourse 2) for a great price -- $20 per head. Six of us – me, Frank Scharibone, Christine Reed, Spanky Sanford, Danny Buckley and Bruce Hayes – took them up on that offer, and took part in six hours of fairly intensive training in the parking lot of a high school up the street from Jim’s dealership earlier today (Saturday, June 1).
     I took an advanced riding course a dozen or so years ago, and I remember being surprised at all the things I didn’t know. That was true this time, too. Some of my skills, notably low-speed maneuvering skills, were really in need of some seriously polishing.
     Charles, our instructor and a Jim’s employee, made everything look effortless, but he had me and at least some of my classmates really sweating.
     Here is what Rider’s Edge says about the course:
     “The course runs 1-2 days and is built on the curriculum of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation® (MSF) Basic RiderCourse 2 Suite. It is taught by devoted MSF and H-D® Certified Instructors.
     “The course focuses on improving these skills:
  • ·         Control at low speeds
  • ·         Risk management
  • ·         Limited space maneuvers
  • ·         Cornering judgment
  • ·         Swerving and stopping quickly on straights and in curves
  • ·         Multiple curve maneuvers and surmounting objects

     “When you're done, you'll earn an MSF Basic RiderCourse 2 completion card that may qualify you for a discount on motorcycle insurance.”

     This training opportunity will come around again, and when it does we will let you know about it. Taking it is a personal choice and no one is going to require you to take it. But, believe me, it will make you a better and safer rider.
     Give it some thought.


1 comment:

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