Monday, March 12, 2012

Head and Eyes Up!

Huh, wha? Oh yeah, keep your head and eyes up, look through the turn.


Remember this photo?


Carrot?

When I first started auditing Team Oregon classes last fall my mentor hooked me up with this hat. With a bit of persistence, perseverance and a whole lot of patience through the winter months, I managed to make it through the interview process and landed myself into an IP (Instructor Preparation) class. What made this especially difficult for me was that December, January and February are the busiest months at my work. Once the Christmas season is over it is full throttle to ship grass seed into the distribution centers and stores for the upcoming Spring season. I was going into work early, working through my lunch and staying late trying to keep up. I was committed to the #29in29 challenge and did my best keeping up on everyone's blogs, commenting when I could. Then during the weekend and evenings Brandy and I moved a couple of walls to expand a closet in our master bedroom, then put down cork flooring throughout our house. 
My interview with Team Oregon came and went, I was accepted into class and before I knew it I was headed up to Portland for a weekend of information overload. 


Aka - "The Range Cards"

I have literally, short of sleeping with it, packed the Basic Rider Training Range Guide with me since it arrived on my doorstep, reading exercise after exercise after exercise just to prepare for IP.

I had an absolute blast, thoroughly enjoyed myself and learned so much that the knowledge started weeping from my ears. Two instructors teaching, two more instructors "playing" the role of error riders and 11 other fresh, newbie classmates took turns going through the exercises on the range for two days. We took turns riding the range and teaching an exercise so at least the other riders (fellow classmates) were model students. The error riders like "Relentless Ray" however, struck fear into all of us as he barreled all 250cc's of training bike down the range making sure to mess something up for us to coach and correct, but Ray just wouldn't learn and continued to test us over and over and over again. C'mon Ray!

We all passed and graduated to Apprentice Instructors, donning our new official khaki brimmed caps, eager and ready to teach our first class.


The "official" instructor cap.


And this past weekend just happened to be my first class. Let me tell you, at least you can somewhat predict what Relentless Ray was going to do in IP, having 12 actual students who have never been on a motorcycle before will really open your eyes and keep you on your toes. As long as I kept telling myself that they were more afraid of me than I was of them I'd make it through the weekend.

Seriously, they were all great students and my fellow instructors were very helpful and supportive. I had a great time, had a lot of fun, learned even more and can't wait for my next class to do it all over again.

Just like students learning to ride, I'm now able to keep my head and eyes up. I have a few more classes to teach before I am signed off as a full instructor.... now to slow, look, roll and press through the next turn.



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14 comments:

  1. Outstanding accomplishment Sir! You will do a great job of sending newbies into the maws of daily traffic I think, prepared and hopefully retaining the knowledge you impart....it will be interesting to read your observations/fears/worries/joys of teaching your first real class.

    dom

    Redleg's Rides

    Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

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    1. Thank you Dom, my mentor this weekend was great and let me fly on my own, yet stayed just close enough to keep me aloft. It is great to see the students gain the confidence and skills needed to navigate the streets safely.

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  2. Woo Hoo!!!!!!! Good for you! This is absolutely awesome!

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    1. Thank you Dar, I really appreciate your support.

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  3. That sounds wonderful, congratulations for getting through those challenges. How busy is the teaching schedule?

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    1. Thank you Richard. The schedule is pretty tight, my next class isn't for another 5 weeks but I can continue to audit (observe) classes anytime to stay sharp.

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  4. Head up, eyes up...If I'd done those things (and stayed off my brakes), I wouldn't have ate it on the trail this weekend - bicycle not moto thankfully! ;)

    Busy much? I hope the grueling schedule lets up a little. I enjoy hearing about your training and preparing for instructor training. You'll do an awesome job, I know. Looking forward to the great stories.

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    1. Hope you're okay, the dirt can be a little more forgiving but not much more.
      At work we have our initial orders shipped and the shelves stocked so until the Mid-West and East coast get some decent weather and product starts selling it has quieted down some. Home on the other hand, we have one more wall in the spare room to mud/sand and floor to finish then it is outside to get caught up on the yard work.
      Thanks for the encouragement.

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  5. What Troubadour didn't tell you is that I was one of his instructors for the prep class. What he probably doesn't know is that I used the privileges of my rank to move into that spot.

    Troubadour is above the curve for new instructors. He will make a great instructor. This is from a guy who knows a thing or two about training instructors.

    Leap far, Grasshopper!

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    1. Wow, what can I say? I did not know that you did that. I assumed you were just scheduled to teach, but I should know by now there are no coincidences with you. Thank you Sir, I am honored.
      And thank you for the kind words and encouragement, it means a lot to me.

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  6. Congratulations! I sure you are very proud of the cork floor.

    Seriously, way to go on surviving your first class. Actually, it sounds more like you thrived in your first class than just survived. I suspect you are going to not only be a great instructor, but just as importantly enjoy doing it. That joy you have for riding will come through loud and clear.
    ~Keith
    Circle Blue

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    1. Thank you Keith, I had a great teacher.

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  7. Congratulations, there is something satisfying, if not addicting about teaching. It's funny how we are both into teaching and at the same time, I just received my Instructor Diploma last week. - Bear.

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    1. Thanks Bear and congratulations to you too. Way to go!

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