Thinking of buying a motorcycle?
Do you know what counteractive steering is?
If you should use your front or back breaks, and when?
Any idea where motorcyclists should position themselves on the highway when traveling behind a big rig?
Here’s an easy one: remember what the arm-signal is for a right-hand turn?
No? Or, maybe you knew them all?
Do the course, because before Saturday, I had no idea how to answer any of them.
Other veteran and beginner motorcyclists – the vast majority of them anyway – will agree with me.
In fact, some riders who’ve been on the road for years still go back and do the course.
After years of waiting myself, and two months of incredible anticipation, I finally did my motorcycle training over the weekend, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision.
(Yes, Bessie, my motorcycle I introduced you to in the June 21 edition of the Advertiser is ready for the road – and already we’ve been buzzing around town!)
Until Saturday, I hadn’t even started a motorcycle on my own. My father would let me sit on Bessie (my mother’s first motorcycle) as a child, parked in his garage, and hit the horn a few times, and that was about it.
After an evening of in-class instruction on Friday, bright and early on Saturday, decked in leather and protective gear, I finally did it.
And my smile hasn’t disappeared since – what had I been waiting for all these years!
I drive an automatic car. Besides a test-drive in my husband’s standard several Christmas’ ago, I had little idea of how to drive with a clutch.
I paid extremely close attention in class, but I was still shaking-in-the-knees nervous. Two-hours into the course, I was doing laps around the parking lot of the College of the North Atlantic here in Grand Falls-Windsor – and by the end of the day, I had test driven every bike on the lot. (I think I’ll follow in the tracks of my sister – the sport bike was my favourite.)
The thing is, these machines, while incredibly thrilling, can also be incredibly dangerous; we know these things, it’s common sense. What the course does is explain these dangers, what can go wrong, and ultimately, what the driver needs to do to avoid such hazards.
Getting use to two-wheels is a lot easier on a parking lot than in the middle of a busy roadway, too, I can imagine.
When I prepared for the course, I purchased a new denim jacket, thinking I’d look cool in blue. Twenty-minutes into the classroom session, I quickly changed my mind, opting instead for leather. It was the instructors who changed my mind – and it was a decision that could make all the difference in the world if, heaven forbid, I were to get into an accident someday.
I have a back pocket filled with dos and don’ts that I will take with me each time Bessie and I hit the road.
And while I feel like I have a much better understanding of safety gear, the machine itself, and the rules of the road, which is absolutely priceless to me as a learner, I also had the time of my life.
Jackie and Roger of Two Guys Motorcycle Training kept me encouraged the entire day – and laughing! They’re incredible teachers with a great sense of pride in their work. (Thank you both so very much. And Roger – my first ride, I spent an hour driving around town – and I didn’t stall once. Honestly.) The other students I learned with were amazing, and will no doubt be buddies on the blacktop for years to come.
There was a saying introduced to me at the beginning of the program: “four wheels move the body, two wheels move the soul,” and I feel it already.
But if you’re going to buy a motorcycle, and become a rider, do the course. I promise you, it’ll be the smoothest move you make.