Thursday, May 26, 2011

RiderCoach Training: Day 7 – RCPC

Day seven of ten is finally over. It was a long day. For me, it started on a low note when I read my email over breakfast. One of the other students dropped out. I was really disappointed to see it.

We spent the first part of the morning on the range working on our second round of peer-teaching. It was nice to get some more practice, and finally the weather was cooperating – mid 60s and sunny! I was co-coach on two of the exercises back-to-back with two other different lead student coaches.

It was a lot to do getting the cones ready while the lead coach was reading the cards, and then ride the demo. I rode the first one perfectly. The second demo didn’t go as well. I got the exercise mixed up in my head with another and was shifting when I was just supposed to be riding the perimeter in second gear. Otherwise the rest went smoothly.

In the later part of the morning, a representative came from the Department of Vehicle Services (DVS) to explain the third-party testing procedures and some of the relevant laws. In Minnesota, we will be trained as third-party examiners. At the conclusion of the BRC, we will be able to give the motorcycle endorsement test and stamp the instruction permits. Then the rider will be able to take the stamped permit and apply for a license. There are lots of little things to protect against forgeries. Lots of chance for mistakes for us too! I’ll be sure to have my manual with me the first few times to avoid making mistakes.

The DVS rep also gave us an exam to be third-party testers. It was all short answer. We all passed, and the best score was five wrong. A couple of the questions were poorly worded, and all of us got them wrong. I hope they fix the test for the next bunch.

The afternoon started off covering some administrative procedures – how to fill out different forms and other paperwork, report crashes, report damaged bikes, etc. Another 50 page manual was also handed out, and it was recommended we read it before our first class which is Saturday morning.

We finished off the afternoon with more range exercises. The other two coaches I am working with and I went to dinner afterwards and quizzed each other for the big MSF RiderCoach test tomorrow morning. The second to last big hurdle.

After dinner, we went back to the range to practice some more exercises and met up with another classmate doing the same. The four of us worked together for a while and compared notes. It was nice to run the exercises a few times.

I was away from the hotel for about 12 hours today. I’m exhausted. Time for some sleep.


  1. You're most of the way done, Chris. Hang in there. I don't think many, or any, ever fail, but several drop out every session. It's a big commitment of time and energy and a lot of people who think they are going to get something out of this that they realize is insufficient sometime during the training. Teaching isn't for everyone. Following a prescribed program is equally difficult.

    I had a great class, with Dwayne, this week. Made up for a couple of painful classes last week. Sometimes, it can be a good job that is fun.

  2. I planned to do this last spring, but schedules didn't work out. Thought it was interesting that the application seemed more concerned with my teaching experience than my riding skills. Anyway, it'll happen one day. For now I've got too much riding to do!

  3. Something tells me Chris, that the DMV test for third party testers has had that poorly worded question for a long time, things don't change fast or at all in some bureaucracies.

    Good stuff on your progress though.....looking forward to seeing you "certified"


    Redleg's Rides

    Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

  4. Tom: Thanks for the support! I'm hanging in there. The coaches mentioned that it is common for at least one to drop and about every other course or so someone fails. We have one guy in our class that failed last year due to a safety violation. He won't say what, but I'm guessing someone forgot some gear and rode a bike. The fun begins tomorrow!

    We're getting paid to talk about and ride motorcycles. Sounds fun to me! :)

    Mrs Road Captain: Thanks for reading and commenting. They mentioned that with me too; I didn't get it at the time. I can see why they'd emphasize teaching over riding now. I think the riding part can be learned pretty easily, but the teaching/coaching part is harder to learn and to do well. For me, the riding is the easiest part of teaching the BRC. All the other stuff is a bit more complicated.

    I hope you can catch the next RCPC. It is a good experience.

    Dom: You're right as usual. :) We all talked about it again today. It seems that the test is about ten years old.

    Thanks for the support. I am looking forward to that too -- only two more days to go!