Saturday, May 28, 2011

RiderCoach Training: Day 9 – RCPC

Today was a good day. As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been looking forward to this day for many months. Today, we taught real, live novices! I started the morning session in the classroom as taught Unit 1. It went well, but I wasn’t as energetic as I could have been. We divided the material up between the nine remaining candidates and took turns teaching segments.

We had 15 students in the classroom – eleven full BRC participants and four moped students. The moped students were all 15 and trying to get their moped endorsement while they waited to turn 16 to get their driving license. There was a mix of ages, genders, and riding experience. We even had two students who already had their motorcycle endorsements, but were attending with a friend or spouse.

RCPC Day 9/10

The four and half hours of classroom went by quickly, and it was my turn again to finish things up. I went over some relevant Minnesota motorcycle laws such as required equipment, required gear, and the licensing procedure. I turned the review into an open floor review session which really worked great. It turned some pretty dry material (reviewing statute) into something fun and engaging. I administered the knowledge test, and everyone passed pretty easily.

RCPC Day 9/10

After a quick break for lunch, it was time to get out on the range. Because of the longer classroom section required for the moped students (one day instead of two), we only finished through exercise 5 of 17. Normally, we’d finish on number 9. Things went well for the two exercises I had on the range.

RCPC Day 9/10

I just loved watching the novices learn to ride. It was so great to see them bobbling around in exercise two taking their first shaky steps and riding across the range, and then by exercise five they were actually riding around in second gear negotiating an easy inline weave. I enjoyed watching their faces as they had their “ah-ha” moments when they realized why we stress head/eyes up so much. Tomorrow will be great, as we’ll really hone their basic skills, and give the endorsed riders a real challenge. I’m glad we have such an “experienced” group of novices as our first real class.

RCPC Day 9/10

RCPC Day 9/10

A couple of the other candidates had some surprises as the novices were (are) pretty unpredictable. The novices are also a ton more work than the peer-teaching we had been doing as we all know all the bikes and the paths of travel. The novices are seeing everything fresh. It was a very rewarding day to see all the hard work finally paying off.

The schedule was much more open today, so I had some chances to finally take photos. All the candidates are in the bright, hi-viz shirts. :)

RCPC Day 9/10 

RCPC Day 9/10

After the class, we all went out to dinner to celebrate a very successful first day of teaching!

RCPC Day 9/10


  1. Great stuff Chris! Your first students and no only was no one witnessed their "lightbulb is now on" moments....

    As adjunct faculty at Regis University, part-time, I've seen those moments and they are quite rewarding....though your kind of teaching is much more fun than IT concepts.


    Redleg's Rides

    Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

  2. Does this mean you are ready to teach the BRC or is there still something like an internship? I.e. co-teaching with another instructor.

    What did the students think about all of the instructors?

  3. Dear Chris:

    You must be getting closer to the moment of truth — when the certificate is placed in your hand. I was never in teaching position, except for the time I ran the projector in the health class for the VD movie. There was no certificate for that.

    However, I will be conducting a seminar at the BMW MOA rally in July.

    Fondest regards,

  4. Dom: Thanks Dom! It's been a great experience. If you can find the time, I'd recommend it. That's great you are teaching some IT stuff. Getting paid to talk about and ride motorcycles is nice change from the usual IT stuff during the week.

    Keith: :) :)

    RichardM: Now that I have completed the entire RCPC (including the required student teaching of a BRC) I can now teach the MSF BRC solo. However, Minnesota recommends I mentor a session and then get coached one or two more times after that.

    Dear Jack: Yup, I got the certificate last night (see the recent post). I'm staring at it right now. It all still feels rather surreal.

    I am still hopeful I can make the MOA rally in July. I still need to sort the vacation time with my day job first.