Originally Posted by Kommando
If not already done, I'd also look into BRC and dirtrider courses. It can really help with the learning curve and safety.
The safety course if definitely in our plans. We'll just have to wait a bit for it now. We thought we had a pretty good plan set out, but you know what they say about the best made plans...
We purchased the bikes from our local dealer, which is right nextdoor to my place of work. Literally. We share a fence. I took the bikes to work, planning to leave them there until the weekend. On Saturday we went to the shop to play with the bikes. We got to know all the controls, got to feel how everything worked, looked everything over. Then we putted around the shop, which, while not terribly large, gave us some room to ride at slow speeds, in I guess what you'd call a large U-shaped oval. You can get to second gear if you try, but it's mostly first gear speeds. We each did this several times, I think she put about 2 miles on her bike doing this.
Then, as per the plan, if everything was going well enough, we were to go just around the corner to a little side/industrial street with no weekend traffic and pratice there. If things were not going well, we'd continue the parking lot work until they were. Things seemed to be going fine, so we left the parking lot of my work, walking the bikes to the nearby sidestreet. That's where things went wrong. She tells her story here:
Not surprisingly, that wasn't part of the plan. The plan would have had us practicing a little on the sidestreet, and then depending on progress, either doing this all over again or proceeding to go to my parents house (likely on the following day, early Sun morning, when traffic is virtually nil) . Now, my parents house was going to be a bit of a... Well, I don't know just what, but since my mother had no knowledge of any plans to buy motorcycles, let alone having actually bought them, and of course being a mother... It was going to be interesting. But once we worked through that, we were going to practice further, as my parents live on a half mile paved private road, with connections to dirt roads as well. So we planned on setting up some cones, and working through all the exercises in the safety handbook.
And then, on to the safety class.
We felt that one of the great parts about the plan, was that at any point, if we didn't think things were going well, we could stop. Leave the bikes where they were (thanks to understanding boss and parents), and rethink things. We didn't have to ride anywhere.
So much for the plan.