Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The MSF Basic Rider Course Part 3

Saturday morning came early with a dark cloudy sky covering the landscape threateningly. I grabbed a windbreaker and headed to the office complex not far from my house where the class would be held. I got there early again and waited for the instructor to come let us in, taking close note of the high humidity in the air. We did not have to wait long.

We took the MSF Basic Rider course test and everyone passed. This test would be similar to the State Motorcycling License test we would have to take at the Department of Public Safety. The test is not real hard and if you only paid half attention during the class you should be able to pass it. A lot of it is just plain common sense. After the tests we headed to the spot where we would be doing the riding part of the course.

The riding part of the MSF Basic Rider course was to be held at a local sporting stadiums parking lot. When the instructor got there he unlocked the fenced in area where the bikes were located and passed out the keys. The bikes were a mix of makes with engine sizes varying between 125 and 150 c.c.’s from various local motorcycle dealers. The majority of them were 150 c.c.’s. The Instructor let us pick a bike out that was like one we were planning on riding, either sport, dual sport or cruiser. I think they even had a moped in the mix. He let the ones, like me, that needed a helmet pick one out. Then we rolled the bikes around and lined them up where we were going to start.

About then is when it started to rain and I put on my windbreaker. It would not be long before it was soaked all the way through. As the class progressed the more and more wet I became. Finally I was completely soaked, shirt, pants, and lastly my feet. I found out the hard way that my new riding boots were not waterproof. Welcome to the world of motorcycling.

If you have never ridden a motorcycle before you need not be afraid. We started off with the very basics familiarizing ourselves with the bikes controls. Then we did the "duck walk", walking the bikes about fifty feet and back with the engines off just to get the feel of the bikes. Our Instructor, a motorcycle veteran of 30 plus years, demonstrated each step for us, sometimes more than once, each step of the way. He made it appear easy.

All the while the Texas sky was cryin’, sprinkling her built up humidity back down on us. I could feel the water dripping off the back of my helmet and snaking it’s way down my back. It was not the normal gulley washer and then gone type of rain we normally have. This was a constant nagging rain that lasted throughout the day. Fortunately it was not too cold. I made a mental note to purchase a rain suit soon.

Ride on,

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