First, thanks for the encouragement!
Part One today was 5 hours of practical, on the bike training, with out two instructors; Ted and Carol. Carol seems like a nice, laid back person that is a thorough and conscientious instructor. Ted seemed a little ADD, and seems a bit high-strung. It surprised me a little to find out that the V-Strom in the lot was Ted’s, and the FZ6 in the lot was Carol’s
I was put onto a Yamaha TW125. The training started with finding the controls, starting and shutting down the engine, then feeling out the friction zone……and more friction zone. Friction zone ride/walk it over and back a few times. Then, we all lined up, two lines opposite sides of the range and did the ride/walk between cones, stopping at each one, spaced about 20 feet apart. After that between the large cones, about 40 feet apart. Then it was time to ride, lol. They had us go about 80-100 feet (I think, not the best judge of distance), stop, then get in the other line. Then slow ovals, then learning to shift. One person in the class had trouble with the shifting, but managed to get the hang of it by the end of the day. Pretty much the rest of the day was doing ovals one way, or the other, sometimes shifting, sometimes just staying in one gear. We were coached to slow, look, roll, push to go through the corners. That’s slow down for the turn, look through the turn, roll on the throttle (a little) and push the bar to set the lean through the turn. It was interesting that when Ted and Carol stood at the ends of the range, everyone seemed to do better at Carol’s end. Well, time well spent, my skills definitely improved through the exercises, though that’s not hard to do considering I was almost at 0 at the beginning.
After the bike session was two more hours in the classroom, learning to scan the road and identify potential problems and how to deal with them. For this they put a slide on the overhead, turned the overhead on for a few seconds, then the class had to describe the scenario, identify potential threats and work out how to deal with those threats. We talked about lane selection, lane position, how to negotiate different kinds of turns…umm and the theory of swerving and emergency breaking in a turn.
Tomorrow back at it in the morning with another classroom section, knowledge test, then more time one the bikes and I would assume the practical test.
Oh, one more thing i learned today, Arai helmets are not for me, at least not the style I was wearing today.