Motorcycle Operator Safety Training

I am stunned. I just finished a motorcycle safety course and passed the license exams. The first day was… well, not ‘difficult’ but…. complicated. If they had sat me on the bike and said pull this in and turn the bike on, no problem. But just sitting on the bike was explained in seven steps. SEVEN. I am not kidding:

1. Reach across your bike with your right hand
2. Squeeze the front brake
3. Swing your leg over the bike
4. Sit down
5. Stand the bike up
6. Straighten the handle bars
7. Put the kick stand up

The words makes it sound like a huge undertaking. It is like explaining in detail how to do a cartwheel. 
Put your left foot at a 45 degree angle with your toes facing outward away from your right foot. Raise both of your arms over your head. With your right foot take one step in the direction of the cartwheel. Turn your hands at a 90 degree angle in the opposite direction of your left foot. Quickly lean forward, twisting your upper body to the left, and place only your right hand on the ground…

And that was just the explanation of how to get on the bike. By the end of the day they were explaining the steps involved in up-shifts, down-shifts, and u-turns and counter-steering. Aaack! My head almost exploded.

But the second day those things were already starting to become second nature. I don’t really think it is a bad thing to dissect all that stuff at first and maybe even review it periodically. I am sure it is like any sport where you start forming what will be your habits right off the bat – good or bad. Instincts are great but it is a lot better when the foundation is skill. (def: skill is the learned capacity to carry out the best results with the minimum outlay of time and energy). I want to build the kind of habits I won’t have to try to break later on.

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