03/02/11 Basic Rider Course Day 1

I left the house at 3:30 to give myself a lot of time and not feel rushed. After dealing with an argumentative Garmin Squirrely, pouring rain, slowed traffic, and a longer than necessary route, I finally arrived at 5:10. I’d only been to two Harley shops prior to this. I’m sure there are others similar in size if not larger, but to me this place was on a Walmart Supercenter level.

Ten people in the class, three women including myself. We did an ice breaker introduction-type exercise with a partner, our tables were set up as teams followed by a ‘think outside the box’ exercise. After some routine paperwork we toured all the departments of the store, including the service area with its motorcycle elevator to access second story winter bike storage. We saw two videos. The first was basically ‘The Joy of Motorcycling’ and the other was ‘Why I’m Glad I Took The Course’; both more appropriate from someone considering the class rather than for people already signed up and there.

I don’t feel like I walked away knowing anything new. I realize it was the first night, but with only four sessions that was 25% of the course. My previously mentioned anxiety? We were told a grade of 80% is required to pass the knowledge test. With very little preparation I’ve consistently scored 90% or higher on the course review. So I think after classroom instruction I should do quite well on that. Remaining nervousness is more focused on actually learning to ride and passing the skills test.

In trying to remember everything I needed to take I forgot the camera so unfortunately the only pictures I was able to get were from my phone.

02/24/11 Shh, It’s A Secret

anx-ious [angk-shuhs] -adjective
1. full of mental distress or uneasiness due to fear of danger or misfortune; greatly worried: Her parents were anxious about her poor health.

This coming Monday is the first day of my MSF Basic Rider Course, or more specifically my Harley Davidson Rider’s Edge New Rider Course. This Monday. I registered for it back in January, but until now have told no one outside the house.

Readers of my first blog, Facebook friends, real-life friends, and family have been asking me for a long time if I was planning to take the class. The subject came up on this blog after my Testing post. While there is confidence amongst supporters that I’ll do fine, I myself do not necessarily feel that way, thus the reason for not making this public. ‘She was anxious about her ability to successfully pass the course.’

I read the Should You Ride A Motorcycle? self assessment, took a number of practice knowledge tests, and have the Rider Handbook. One of the requirements is 126 study questions, which don’t have to be completed; the answers are to be highlighted in the handbook. I think it’s more important to know the answers rather than how to find them, but I digress. I did start working on them yesterday and ended up finishing 30 or so, again using the  ‘oh, I have better more important things to do’ excuse.

So why am I concerned about failing? Not exactly sure. I never learned to drive a stick. My ex tried to teach me a few times but that wasn’t a good idea at all. I probably have more motorcycle experience than a lot of people walking into the class, whether that helps or not I don’t know. I could memorize the information, ace the practice tests, but it’s the actual learning to ride that concerns me.

Complete change of topic but I’ve also decided to join the Post A Day 2011 challenge in addition to Post A Week. I was doing some blog maintenance and noticed I’ve been writing daily since 02/13, mostly encouraged by the number of visitors I’ve received and subsequent comments. What better way to put more pressure on myself than to join a daily writing project, right? 😉