Been a while since I’ve been on here but I thought I would add my thoughts to this thread.
It’s only been 3 years since I started so I can remember what it was like. I did my BRC before hitting the road but the BRC is no magical course. I thought it was very basic and left thinking “is that it?” and as many instructors say as their parting words, “You are now qualified to ride in a parking lot”. The great thing about the course is you have experienced eyes looking at your form and can give you instant feedback. Things you would never know you are doing wrong otherwise and it helps to start out doing things correctly rather than learn bad habits which you would try to unlearn later.
jsan, I think you set alarm bells ringing when you talked about going round the corner with the clutch in. That basically means you were completely out of control. Happily nothing bad happened but, in case you didn’t realize it already, you messed up big time. Combine that with going in too fast to a blind intersection and it all sounds very scary. I can’t emphasize enough the need to slow down before a corner and be gently on the throttle throughout it. It took me the longest time to learn this simple lesson (despite reading it many times) as I was always concerned about how I looked. Eventually after one scare too many I stopped worrying about my speed and tried to get the correct form. I then had my aha moment. Being gently on the throttle the bike will go round the corner as if on rails. It all feels safe and secure and you are completely in control. It will probably also feel slow because you are so in control but trust me, your speed will build as your ability to read corners grows. Your “oh shit” moments will hopefully reduce to very few and riding becomes very much more rewarding.
I also strongly recommend you grab a copy of David Hough’s Proficient Motorcycling book. That is a great introduction to all the dangers out there you face that at this point you are unaware of. The best $20 you will ever spend on motorcycling training.
Good luck with everything and keep us posted on your progress