Sunday, December 29, 2013

Let the Riding Begin...

...& begin, it did. I made it through the 2 days of riding to get my MSF card. It started with me being late to class because I got behind someone who decided to drive the school zone speed limit.

At 0630 in the morning.

On a Saturday morning.

And I had an eye problem, because it's tough to drive in the dark after LASIK.

Not exactly an auspicious beginning.

I think I rode well. The first day is pretty easy; it's about getting comfortable & taking it slow. Since it wasn't my first rodeo, I didn't have too many issues. Mr. Ancient, however, fell off the bike. Ms. Germ was "too good for us" & kept walking away from the group...which made the 2nd day, when she handed out her business card to recruit new chiropractic patients particularly hilarious & hypocritical.

The second day was rough for me; I have an issue with Figure 8s (otherwise known as "the box"). For me, it's always about that feeling of falling. But what I simply loved about The Instructor is his reality; Figure 8s are not going to save your life...knowing how to swerve will save your life. Braking saves lives. Navigating curves properly saves lives. So why freak out about the Figure 8?

Doesn't mean I got any better at it, by the way; I absolutely suck ass at Figure 8s. But I did well enough to feel like I earned my MSF card this time...I'm convinced that in 2009, when I took this class the first time, I only passed to help the teacher bump his numbers up with Harley Davidson & its branded "Rider's Edge" course.

Speaking of passing people who shouldn't get the MSF card, Mr. Ancient was sent home about 1.5 hours into the second day. And that action alone made me trust The Instructor 100%...because it's one thing to be a teacher...but sometimes you have to make the tough call & keep the roads and riders safe. Mr. Ancient would never be safe on the road. And after watching him for just a moment, I don't even understand how he drives a car, let alone a motorcycle. And I liked knowing people wouldn't necessarily pass...that The Instructor wouldn't give the MSF cards away. We had to be good enough to earn them.

My favorite part of the entire 2 days was after we passed the course. One of the secondary instructors asked us if we were tired, if we were nervous about getting out into traffic...& then gave us great ideas about how to get comfortable & log miles in the saddle.

I love the idea of "target mileage." As a runner, I find it very helpful to know there's an end in sight. To know what the goal telling me "try to log 100 miles a week" is a great way to put a target in place for anyone to hit. I loved it. I really loved how "real" these instructors were about absolutely everything.

All in all, I thought it was a great experience & I don't have a lot of snark about it. I learned quite a bit, thought the instructors were great about instilling confidence & making tough decisions, & I feel like I deserved to pass the course.

More snark to come, I promise.

If you're in the Gainesville FL area & want to ride, check out Fun to Ride. I can't recommend them enough.

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