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Old 03-24-2013, 05:16 AM   #20
True Airhead
Joined: Sep 2012
Location: Gunnison, CO.
Oddometer: 500
When I took the course last Fall, everyone passed, except one girl that crashed almost immediately, and was too shaken up to continue. She stayed and watched for the two days, and was then given special instruction on the instructors own time to prepare her to try again. We were told that it was unusual for the whole class to pass.

I almost failed. I'm 55 starting over after more than 30 years off the bike. Lots of off road bicycling, but no engine. The only "excuse" I had was that they overbooked the class, and had to bring in extra bikes. 6 people got nice little Honda dirt bikes, but three of us got similar size cruisers. I had never been on a stretched, feet forward, pig-handling bike like that. Sorry, I know some people like those things, but I hated it. Trying to do all the slow speed stuf on that thing as a total noob was horrible! Stand up over the "bump?" yeah, right!

I had traveled 200 miles, paid for a motel room in addition to the class, and if I would have failed, I would have been very disappointed, but I would have taken the course again. Cruiser or no cruiser, it showed me that I needed a lot more work on slow speed handling. I did fine on looking through corners etc., but I was weak on picking through cones in a parking lot.

I did pass and got my license. My first bike, arranged long before, is an '89 R 100 GS. Not a lightweight, but it is MUCH easier to handle at low speed than that cruiser was. Having my license, and being street legal, I took it immediately to a big local parking lot, and practiced low speed, starts and stops, friction zone etc., until I gained a lot of proficiency. Then I started tooling around neighborhoods in our small town on Sunday afternoons. No traffic, but lots of stop signs, starting out right hand turns, and so on. Finally, I felt I could start to ride to work, and hit the highway and trails.

My point is that almost failing that test opened my eyes to my weaknesses. If we had had to do a 12 hour day, I bet fatigue would have pushed me over the edge into failure, but I still would have had to acknowledge that sometimes you get really tired, and still have to perform, so back to the course. I hope they give her a free do over, and she can practice inbetween, but failing these tests just shows you that you need work-nothing to be ashamed of. Good on her for doing the course, pressing through the disappointment, and getting back on. I bet she passes wth flying colors on the next try.
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