Sunday, October 11, 2015

Novice class deja vu

Just a quick post of where I'm at right now, I haven't been posting much because I've been pretty busy.  I just taught the last motorcycle class of our weekend teaching season.  It has been two full weekends of hard work and great satisfaction seeing 10 new riders heading out to start their motorcycle adventures.  It was pretty challenging this weekend with it still being dark at 7:00am and pea soup fog compounding the situation with poor visibilty and very slick asphalt. I am always in awe seeing 10 people who for the most part have never touched a motorcycle and watching their skills grow and strengthen as novice riders. Its pretty remarkable to watch the transformation, its like watching a butterfly emerge. 

Students are getting the lay of the land and instruction about MSA test expectations. 

It was coincidental that on Friday facebook sent me a memory from October 7, 2011, that was the moment in time when I was finishing up my novice class and stressing about riding the motorcycle skills assessment test (MSA).  Wow how things have changed! Part of my duties as an instructor is to do a riding demonstration of the test layout.  My partner instructor was there at my beginnings of instructor training last year and he remembers how much I used to stress about riding the MSA test. We both laughed about it today after I rode the demo, he made me smile when I heard him say to our students "That was a clean test, there were no faults or demerits."   

Lined up waiting to ride the uturn box.

I have heard several times from students that they couldn't ride the test and its stressful and then they say, "There is no way I can do what you just did!" I get how they are feeling and if they only knew how recently I actually did this very test in their situation, they'd know that understand those feelings. I reassure them, tell them these are skills they have learned and that there is nothing new to them. I also reiterate that it is continued practice that allows me to ride the test clean. I can't help but smile and think back 4 years ago and I am thinking to myself as each of my students rides the exam "Wow that was me 4 years ago!" 

This was the best way to spend a long weekend. To top off my excellent weekend we had Thanksgiving and are all in a blissful food coma in my house and I get to sleep in Monday! 


redlegsrides said...

The student is truly becoming the master....or mistress? :)

VStar Lady said...

Foggy and dark here early as well ... but balanced by extraordinarily beautiful daytime temps and sunlight.

Dar said...

I think a bit of both, long way to go still before I hit master status, still lots to learn yet :)

RichardM said...

Only four years? I must admit that I really enjoyed the class when I took it. (Someone else's bike!)

Dar said...

I hear you Richard! I like riding someone else's bike too, particularly if I am testing the upper limits of my skills and taking it to another level, because then I am not responsible for the fix.

Troubadour said...

Good for you Dar, you're a much better rider now, and you hit the nail on the head when you mention continued practice. I come just short of pleading with our students to take further training in hopes that at least one student follows through.
I'm scheduled to teach next weekend and I suspect it may be my last class this year, it's predicted to be a warm and mild winter so we'll see.

Coop a.k.a. Coopdway said...

Dar has been "pretty busy"....the mistress of understatement. Days out there along that big water must be a lot longer than they are around here. Congrats on your continued mastery Dar!

Deb said...

My experience of learning to ride was so different and there is only one local formal class location around here and it is booked up years in advance.

These ducklings are lucky to have you showing them the way and I know your enthusiasm is catching as well!

Bet you will be glad to have some weekend down time for awhile too!

Meanwhile, great job and glad you are enjoying it all!