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Old 07-21-2014, 07:51 AM   #46
vaara OP
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Here, we have them back up and then dog-paddle to the start point for #2.

I definitely know we have to stick to the script, and I suppose pushing the bike around might contribute to the idea that "it's the bike's fault."

OTOH there are situations when we have to apply judgment. For example, one student asked if I could take some "action shots" of her and her BF while they were riding (at that point I was an observer). I thought about it for a moment and then politely turned her down, saying it would be "too distracting."

The RCT later told me it's actually a privacy and liability issue; the range is a closed workplace, and no one on it had consented to have their likeness (potentially) broadcast.

(We'll just politely ignore the fact that I've been divulging 'privileged' information all over this thread, shall we? )

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Old 07-21-2014, 08:01 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by SxyRdr View Post
Nope, the only time they're allowed to push the bike is during the initial "I ran out of gas" exercise... er... I mean the transition between 1 and 2.
Wait, you have them dismount between #1 and #2?
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Old 07-21-2014, 08:30 AM   #48
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Wait, you have them dismount between #1 and #2?

Yes, we do ex 1, then dismount, explain that after every exercise we will gather up to debrief/talk about what we learned. Then we explain we have to move the bikes from staging to the cones for ex 2. We give them the option to either mount and walk or push from the side. About half way through, if anyone has mounted, we give them the option to switch to pushing. Most accept it. Then when they're lined up for 2, we tell them to mount and find reverse, backing up several feet, and then tell them to walk the bike back forward (while mounted) so that their tire is just to the right of their cone. Then dismount again to RTFC for ex 2.
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Old 07-21-2014, 08:36 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by SxyRdr View Post
We give them the option to either mount and walk or push from the side.
At the end of Ex. #1 you're supposed to have them straddle-walk to the start of Ex. #2 so that they can practice using their front brake smoothly. It's in the cards. Just sayin'.
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Old 07-21-2014, 08:42 AM   #50
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At the end of Ex. #1 you're supposed to have them straddle-walk to the start of Ex. #2 so that they can practice using their front brake smoothly. It's in the cards. Just sayin'.
Yes, it is. As a QA guy, I would 'ding' the practice of letting them push from beside. That is where they should correct keeping their eyes up and not covering the front brake as well as the mentioned smoothness.
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Old 07-21-2014, 10:12 AM   #51
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Our QA department encourages pushing the bikes because it's easier. Funny.. that's the one thing VA is more lax about.

And they are keeping their eyes up... because they're looking for me to give them the stop signal so they can practice not jabbing the front brake.
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Old 07-21-2014, 10:23 AM   #52
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Not showing word for word what our VRTP (VA program) cards say but here's a synopsis of our script for the end of Ex 1/set up for Ex 2:

FINE-C/start engines
Thumb/Key/Valve
Dismount
Debrief
Move into position for ex 2
Practice front brake operation in response to signal(s)
Practice backing up while looking over shoulder
Either walk alongside or straddle walk; RCs shall be allowed to use either or both
The key objective is to become familiar with the sensitivity of the front brake
Conduct Ex 2
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Old 07-21-2014, 10:27 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by SxyRdr View Post
Not showing word for word what our VRTP (VA program) cards say but here's a synopsis of our script for the end of Ex 1/set up for Ex 2:

FINE-C/start engines
Thumb/Key/Valve
Dismount
Debrief
Move into position for ex 2
Practice front brake operation in response to signal(s)
Practice backing up while looking over shoulder
Either walk alongside or straddle walk; RCs shall be allowed to use either or both
The key objective is to become familiar with the sensitivity of the front brake
Conduct Ex 2
Strange... not only does that disagree with the MSF, it also seems a bit more dangerous (which is probably why the MSF doesn't agree). Having students push bikes from the side is a great way have one fall over... perhaps even on a student.
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Old 07-21-2014, 06:52 PM   #54
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This may sound strange, but thank you all for posting these insights. It's convinced me that I'm not the kind of person that can be an instructor. You have my utmost respect for giving back to the community and helping new riders be safe - but I think I'd pull my beard out if I tried to do it. I had aspirations, but I think I'm content now to leave it to those with more patience.
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Old 07-22-2014, 03:43 AM   #55
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This may sound strange, but thank you all for posting these insights. It's convinced me that I'm not the kind of person that can be an instructor. You have my utmost respect for giving back to the community and helping new riders be safe - but I think I'd pull my beard out if I tried to do it. I had aspirations, but I think I'm content now to leave it to those with more patience.
In all seriousness... yeah, it does take a lot of patience.

I've had:
Female students who cry.
Male student who insisted his bike's neutral was broken.
Court ordered students who couldn't care less and are pissed off about being there.
The know it all students who have been riding dirty/poorly and think they are the instructor.
The smartass students who just want to pop off and be ridiculous.

But I tell you what... seeing the light bulb go on when it clicks... seeing the smiles when they accomplish the task at hand... seeing them go from being someone who had never even operated any type of manual transmission successfully complete the class... that makes it worth it.
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Old 07-22-2014, 06:00 AM   #56
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But I tell you what... seeing the light bulb go on when it clicks... seeing the smiles when they accomplish the task at hand... seeing them go from being someone who had never even operated any type of manual transmission successfully complete the class... that makes it worth it.
In addition to the negatives already mentioned, I'll throw in hot weather, cold weather, rainy weather, standing in a parking lot for 12 hours a day, and many hours spent teaching when you could be riding or hanging out with friends or family... oh, and let's not forget that Prep sucked!

BUT the quote above is exactly right, and it's why most coaches do it. In spite of the negatives, it's also the most satisfying job I've ever had.
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Old 07-22-2014, 06:24 AM   #57
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In addition to the negatives already mentioned, I'll throw in hot weather, cold weather, rainy weather, standing in a parking lot for 12 hours a day, and many hours spent teaching when you could be riding or hanging out with friends or family... oh, and let's not forget that Prep sucked!
You forgot snow. (I teach year round.)
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Old 07-22-2014, 07:34 AM   #58
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From our class in March. . .. (wind, rain, sleet, hail and then snow. . ..)

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Old 07-22-2014, 07:37 AM   #59
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From our class in March. . .. (wind, rain, sleet, hail and then snow. . ..)
Reminds me of Prep. It was like that every day. As if Prep wasn't bad enough already...
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Old 07-22-2014, 07:45 AM   #60
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And a QA. That made the entire experience special. . ..
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