I used the doctor’s parking lot behind the hospital a block down the street. After about 6 PM, the daytime doctors have gone home for the night. And, the thinking was that if it ever went too far, I can crawl my way inside to the ER and save the ambulance charge. It wasn’t the best surface, there was some small gravel at parts and sand traps, but it worked. Imagine my amazement when I hit a small rock in the emergency braking practice, that stop took a bit longer.
My other favorite place to practice, once I got enough confidence up to ride around town, is the vocational school’s parking lot. Which just also happens to be where they teach the MSF classes, so the markings are on the pavement.
The main thing to worry about is car traffic, the edges of the parking lot, and the light poles. You don’t want to hit any of those. Also, watch out for parking lot crap, like smashed soda cans, beer bottles (college parking lots), McDonalds’s bags, chunks of broken concrete. Capt. Crash found a solution to that — use parking lot crap as cones in a cone weave.
And if someone tells you to buzz off, then do it. It’s so much easier just to say sorry and leave, then turn it into a trespassing charge because you had to be thickheaded.