Yesterday was the first day of the RiderCoach Candidate (RCC) Basic Rider Course (BRC). The weather today was much nicer than yesterday. It started off cool and with gorgeously clear blue skies. There was a bit of a wind (15-25mph) too. It was a great day to be outside riding a motorcycle.
We started the day in the classroom again finishing the written material. The second half of the material focused on developing a mental and visual strategy to deal with the risks of riding. We finished up with a “Celebration of Knowledge” as one of our coaches put it. The rest of you may know this as a test. Since we are RCCs, we have to pass the test at a higher level than normal students. Each of us needed at least 40/50 to pass. Everyone passed, and five of the ten earned a 50/50, including me. All that studying paid off!
Then we went out on the range to work on the final eight range exercises with the motorcycles. It was nice to be outside without raingear! Most of the later exercises were focused on cornering and stopping. Which makes sense considering most motorcycle crashes happen in a corner with second place going to a car violating your right of way. We worked on swerving too.
My favorites today were the swerving and the figure eights. The swerving is making two quick turns by moving the motorcycle independent of your body. Fun stuff!
The figure eight is one of the skills on the Motorcycle endorsement test. It’s basically two u-turns back to back. I enjoy doing these and have practiced a lot. When I took my endorsement test, this was the hardest for me and nearly made me fail the test. I had fun seeing how tight I could make my turns. The tightest I was to do was about half of the full box. The keys to my success were turning my head to look where I want to go, weighting the outside peg, and steady throttle in second gear. Sliding off the seat a bit helps too. Fun stuff!
At the end of the day, it was time for the “Affirmation of Skill” also known as the riding test. Again, as RCCs, we have to pass the test at a higher level. Each mistake earns points. We were only allowed 11 points where a regular participant could earn 21 and still pass.
When I took my original test for my motorcycle endorsement, I barely passed. I think my score was 20. I’ve improved since then, and practice my skills regularly. All of the RCCs passed! Cheers all around as we received the news along with many sighs of relief.
According to our instructors, it was the first time in a while the entire RCC class passed the skills test on the first try. Four of the ten of us even had a perfect score, myself included. My practice paid off!
Thursday, we return to Hutchinson and begin the meat of the course – learning to coach the BRC and coaching the BRC. Lots of work ahead, and I’m excited!!