Motorcycle Safety Foundation Rider course
– Successful completion allows you to waive the DMV motorcycle driving test.
– Being a responsible rider I read articles about safety before, but decided to refresh the knowledge and skills before riding a bike in a completely new environment.
– Last, but not least – the recommendations from friends and colleagues were very good, so I decided to give it a try.
The course is divided in 2 parts – theoretical class (5 hours) and 2 practical training sessions on the range (5 hours each). As you may guess the theoretical part supposed to be boring and provide you with required knowledge. Frankly speaking, it was far more boring than I expected. Video material was fun and reasonable, but repeating the same material from video by reading the handbook aloud sentence by sentence was killing. It made me feel like there are 5 year old children in the class instead of adults. In the end of this class we had a test with 50 questions. In my opinion, it was possible to give a lot more practical examples and recommendations on how to avoid dangerous situations on the road. However, I understand the reasons and motivation for class content and schedule, so no regrets. And it’s totally good for people who are completely new to motorcycling.
Riding. It was a terrible stress for me, though it was my own fault – I slept over the first Saturday class and it just drove me crazy, since I don’t like such a stupid mistakes. However, I was able to roll in to the riding practice next weekend. The site is amazing – a spacious parking zone next to the U.S.S Hornet museum at old naval base. Getting there by bicycle on a sunrise every morning was quite exciting, as the course itself. I was really surprised how well the exercises were designed and the timing was almost great. So in two day people who didn’t ride a motorcycle ever were able to do emergency braking, cornering and U-turns. I personally practiced and learned a lot despite my previous riding experience.
In the end of the course we had to go through evaluation (U-turn, emergency braking and swerving, making 135° corner). After the evaluation we received certificates which give discount to motorcycle gear in a partner stores (including ScuderiaWest) and for motorcycle insurance. The papers for DMV should go through California Highway Patrol, but I hope I’ll get them by the end of next week. Now I’m one step closer to getting a motorbike. Yey!
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