Posted by: Jessie | March 29, 2010

Motorcycle Safety Foundation Experienced Rider Class


I’m sorry about the lack of updates lately.  I’ve been feeling under the weather.  Actually, I’ve had a pretty bad cold for almost a week now.  Congestion, cough, sore throat, stuffy head, achy, etc.  This is unusual for me.  I almost never get sick.  Anyway, we had this motorcycle class to go to in Troy on Saturday, so Friday night I decided I was going to get better.  I had soup for dinner and drank a lot of tea and a couple of hot toddies.  I took a couple of goldenseal/Echinacea capsules every hour, and went to bed early.  When I woke up Saturday morning my sore throat was gone, but I was still congested.  Oh well.  At least I was feeling well enough to get on the bike and ride an hour and a half to Troy for the MSF ERC class.  Hamilton County is not offering the experienced class again this year, so we had to go north of Dayton.  It was a bit chilly riding up there.  I wore my heated liner, but did not need to turn it on.  Eric wore his heated liner and only turned it on for a little bit.  Eric wore his Katmandu pants that he got for Christmas.  He wore them all day, even sitting in the classroom, and he said they were comfortable 90% of the time.  At the warmest part of the day they were a little warm with the liners and Eric’s long johns, but not so warm that he had to go change.

There were eight of us in the class.  The guy on the Gold Wing says he takes this class every spring to polish his skills before the riding season.  He was good.  The way he handled that Wing was beautiful.  There was a guy on a Harley with his granddaughter riding on the back.  They were brushing up their rider/passenger skills.  There was a woman on BMW R1200 GS, which I believe to be the world’s tallest bike.  And she was tall enough she could handle it.  There were two guys from the Triumph dealership.  And there was Eric and myself.  The class alternated between time on the range and time in the classroom.  We didn’t learn much new in the classroom, but the air-cooled bikes needed a chance to cool down.  There was a little section on “Don’t Drink and Ride,” of course.  The instructor had some goggles that were designed to simulate what one’s vision would be like at .1 % BAC.  It was very funny.  I couldn’t even find the line to walk on it.  These goggles messed with my balance too, I could barely walk at all.  The range was pretty intense.   Cone weaves, tight u-turns and figure 8’s, swerving, stopping in the middle of a turn, quick stops, etc.  The exercises were tight and technical, just the kind of practice I needed, but it bordered on too much for my RSI-prone hands.  My wrists were still sore the next day.  It was a bit of a work-out for my upper body, I could feel it in my arms the next day too.  The class was definitely worth the drive to Troy.

So even after all that, I still have not mastered that tight u-turn in a box.  I kept making the mistake of going too slow.  This bothers me.  Tight u-turn in a box is definitely a skill I want to have.  I might take another class…

Anyway… if you are interested in taking a MSF class here is the link to their National Website: http://www.msf-usa.org/  From that website you should be able to find classes in every state.  If you live in Ohio you might as well check out the Motorcycle Ohio site.  http://www.motorcycle.ohio.gov/

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