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BRC introduction: motorcycles are awesome

When my dad was about the age I am now, he was involved in all kinds of risky hobbies: skydiving, amateur car racing, and of course motorcycle riding. He gave up his bike after a buddy of his died in a crash. When I was little, he scared me away from motorcycles by telling me this story. But it turns out that biking is just in my blood!

I first got the itch when my college flatmate bought a 1972 Honda 350 to ride around town. Or it could have been a couple of years later, after I was married, and took my first rides as a passenger on my father-in-law's touring bike. Or maybe it all started at high school graduation when I sat on this Harley Davidson Heritage Softail.

Either way, this weekend I'm taking the first step toward learning how to ride and survive on a motorcycle. I will be attending a 3-day Basic Rider Course (BRC) with the Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Center (MMSC). The course starts with 4 1/2 hours of classroom instruction on Friday night. Saturday and Sunday afternoons, I will practice riding in a closed lot on a training motorcycle. At the end of the day Sunday, there's a skill test so I could potentially earn my license endorsement this very weekend.

How exciting! I'll be posting reports after class each day.


Walter Kern said...

Just remember that getting your endorsement after taking the MSF class pretty much qualifies you to ride in a parking lot. You then need to get a cheap bike, get good riding apparel and a helmet and begin serious practice of what you've learned in the class. It would also be good to find a riding buddy that has been trained and is willing to go out with you as you progressively get better and better.

Watch out for cars coming from the opposite direction that want to turn left in front of you. That is the most common killer of motorcycle riders. Assume that you can not be seen. You are in fact pretty much invisible out there to drivers. So, allow lots of space around you and other vehicles on the road and stay out of blind spots.

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Sui Generis said...


Thanks for stopping by and leaving this good advice. I'm also reading Proficient Motorcycling as preparation for the class. I plan on taking it very slow at first, and since I don't even have a motorcycle yet, it will be easy not to get into trouble right away.