Posts Tagged ‘BLACK B.A.G.’

A Homecoming Of Sorts For The Experienced Rider Course

Monday, July 3rd, 2017
motorcycle training course

Bob sets up cones on the course for the next exercise.

I’ve always been a big proponent of rider training and that led to an offer for me to take another course at no charge. The assumed quid pro quo was that I would then write about it. Well, of course I would, I write about just about everything in my life that involves motorcycles.

So on Friday I went up to Thornton to BLACK B.A.G. for the ERC, or perhaps it is now considered the BRC2. I’m not totally clear on this but I believe the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s old Experienced Rider Course has been totally revised and what had been the ERC is now considered the Beginning Rider Course 2. Doesn’t matter.

There were three in my class: me, Bob, and Will. Bob rode dirt bikes as a kid but hadn’t ridden anything after about age 25 until in November he bought a Kawasaki KLR 650. He took the BRC then and was back now for the ERC/BRC2. Will is a National Guardsman who needed rider training certification in order to be allowed to ride his V-Max on base.

The instructor is also Bob. And Bob is a good instructor. He inserts enough humor to keep things fun and he has developed effective techniques for eliciting participation from the students. Participation requires attention and thinking, and those enhance learning.

Knowing I was going to be doing tight maneuvers and, who knows, might even drop the bike at some point, it was easy for me to decide which bike to take. Both the Concours and V-Strom are tall bikes with big gas tanks up high. I rode my CB750 because it is lower and has a much lower center of gravity.

What I didn’t think about until I got there was that this was sort of a homecoming. I lived up on the north side of town, in unincorporated Adams County,for 17 years before moving to southeast Denver 21 years ago. When I bought my first motorcycle ever, my 1980 Honda CB750 Custom, this was where I lived. I learned to ride on that bike and when it came time to get my motorcycle accreditation on my drivers license I went to the Motor Vehicle office in this very shopping center where BLACK B.A.G. now operates. I took, and passed (on my second try), the riding skills test on this very motorcycle that I was there on for training on Friday. This is where it all started.

There’s no question I’m a much better rider now that way back then. A lot of that is simply experience, but there’s a good bit of it that is due to all the rider training courses I’ve taken over the years. We talked, for instance, about making U-turns on narrow roads. My buddies in the OFMC universally do Y-turns, jockeying back and forth, while I slip the clutch, ride the rear brake, and easily ride the U-turn at walking speed. I learned that in these classes.

So what did I get out of this latest one? I’ll get into that in my next post.

Biker Quote for Today

Some take drugs, some drink bottles. I solve my problems by twisting throttles.