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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I completed the Basic Motorcycle Rider Course

I successfully completed a 2 day Basic Motorcycle Rider Course over the weekend. The course was conducted by ABATE of Colorado Motorcycle Rider Education. Successfully completing the course makes me eligible for a motorcycle endorsement on my drivers license.

There were 12 students in the class; some had prior motorcycle experience but some did not. We spent most of the time on the motorcycles on a riding course set up in a parking lot. It was very hot both days. It reached 95F/35C degrees Saturday. Sunday hit 100F/37.8C degrees. I was too busy to take any pictures but did manage to squeeze off one snapshot.

The course assumed the students had never ridden a motorcycle before (but could ride a bicycle) so they went over all of the controls and how to shift gears. I use to ride motorcycles during the 70's but had forgotten which lever was the clutch and how the gear sequence worked. The field work was followed by a couple of hours of classroom time.

Saturday we learned to power walk the bike, how to start off and stop, how to shift gears, basic turns, and stop-and-go (commonly called a "California stop" in the USA.) Sunday we learned to fast-stop, take curves, swerve, and make U-turns.

The course concluded with us being scored on 4 riding exercises then a 50 question multiple choice test. All 12 of us passed the course. I scored a 100% on the written test but was marked off a few points on 2 of the riding exercises. In the fast-stop I should have stopped in 14' but took 15' to stop. In the taking curves exercise I rolled off power and was too slow going through the curve. But, I did well enough to pass.

While I was miserably hot and totally exhausted I still had a lot of fun and got a lot out of the course. I would recommend this course to anyone thinking of taking up motorcycle riding, or just for fun. There is a similar 1 day course designed for experienced riders.

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